Enter your number to get our free mobile app

A popular fraternity on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor Campus is being sued for allowing women and people who identify as non-binary to join.

The Sigma Phi Society, which is based in New York is attempting to sever ties with the University of Michigan Chapter. The parent organization has filed a lawsuit against the U of M chapter saying "the chapter is causing harm to the national organization and its trademarks."

Stephanie Stoneback served as the president of the Ann Arbor chapter in 2017-18. She joined the previous year with five men and four other women. She was asked to join by a male member of the fraternity who had begun to identify as female. Another male member began to identify as non-binary at roughly the same time.

"It did feel sort of like we were pioneering something," Stoneback tells the Detroit News. "But honestly, it really just felt like I was joining a group of friends."

Dozens of non-male members have joined the U of M chapter since Stoneback and she tells the News that the local chapter has campaigned vigorously for gender inclusivity among college fraternities.

A federal judge will consider easing an order that bars Michigan Sigma Phi from using the national fraternity’s name and Greek letters on Thursday. (10/29)