Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Inc.'s Blog
Dear Sxsters of Kappa Delta Chi,
A few days ago, members of Politico’s staff leaked a draft of an initial majority opinion*, written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, that would overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling passed nearly 50 years ago that protects a person’s right to an abortion without excessive government restriction. Should Roe v. Wade be overturned, laws in over 20 states could immediately restrict or outright ban abortion**.
News of this has already shaken communities, as low-income and communities of color stand to most suffer if and when Roe v. Wade is overturned. As such, we in the National Cabinet felt compelled to communicate our support and concern, as this ruling directly impacts many of our members. First and foremost, we believe in autonomy over one’s body and the full right to make decisions that impact one’s health and welfare. Your safety and well-being is our utmost priority.
We want to validate the range of emotions you may be experiencing right now. As you move through these emotions, we want to encourage you to learn about your rights, have access to resources you may need, and be moved to give back and take action.
Jessica Ravitz of CNN briefly chronicled the history of abortion policy in the United States. We encourage all members to read up on this history. Context matters, as these policies rarely happen in a vacuum and are typically motivated by actors seeking power and influence.
If you would prefer to watch a documentary instead, Reversing Roe is available via Netflix. Through interviews with community leaders that both support and oppose abortion access, you can learn more about the 50-year historical trajectory of Roe v. Wade and abortion policy in the United States.
Jaclyn Diaz and colleagues at NPR addressed a few misconceptions and incomplete narratives in this article entitled “7 Persistent Claims About Abortion, Fact-Checked.” As leaders, we must always be willing to expand our opinions and think deeper about where they come from and why they exist.
The Center for Reproductive Rights’s “What if Roe fell?” tool examines several legal factors— including laws, constitutions, and court decisions on abortion—and assigns each state, territory, and the District of Columbia to one of four categories: Expanded Access, Protected, Not Protected, and Hostile. Please use this interactive tool to find out more about where you live.
Indigenous Women Rising is committed to honoring Native & Indigenous People’s inherent right to equitable and culturally-safe health options through accessible health education, resources, and advocacy. Indigenous Women Rising creates the space for Indigenous people to tell their own stories, on their terms, as an act of resistance, self love, and love for ancestors and family.
The Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP) is an all-volunteer organization created in 1991 by the Los Angeles section of the National Council of Jewish Women. WRRAP raises money for low-income women of all ages, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds who are unable to pay for either emergency contraception or safe and legal abortion.
As you consider opportunities for individual service and chapter-wide service initiatives in the upcoming academic year, think about the ways you could contribute to community healthcare organizations. While Planned Parenthood does engage in important work, contributing time and funds to local organizations can lead to more localized, immediate solutions.
Many of these organizations have social media accounts where they launch awareness campaigns and offer ways to get involved. Check out some of the following on Instagram (this list is not exhaustive):
In closing, we want to reemphasize our commitment to choice. People deserve autonomy over their bodies and a full spectrum of choices toward healthcare. We could easily use this moment to disengage and fall back, and that is valid. However, we want to encourage you, our members, to let this moment catalyse you toward service and advocacy.
More importantly, to our sxsters who have had to–and will in the future–navigate these choices for themselves: We see you, and we love you. And you are not alone.
Your National Cabinet
For 35 years, Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc., has embodied the values of Unity, Honesty, Integrity, and Leadership. Since our humble beginnings at Texas Tech University on April 6th, 1987, our organization has grown tremendously and become a second home to thousands of members throughout our over 80 alumnae and collegiate chapters across the nation.
We celebrate our achievements and the impact we have had in our communities by reflecting on the moments that were brought to us because of Kappa Delta Chi. This year, our theme for Founding Week is KDChi Holds a Few of Our Favorite Things. During Founding Week, we invite members to share their favorite moments and participate in our virtual social media spirit week by using the hashtags #KDChi35 and #KDChiFavoriteseach day to connect and share as we reflect on our organization and the moments that have become our favorite memories.
The social media activities are as follows:
Sunday, April 3rd, 2022: Favorite Rush/Recruitment Memory
Monday, April 4th, 2022: Favorite Memory as a New Member
Tuesday, April 5th, 2022: Favorite Service Event
Wednesday, April 6th, 2022: Cheers to 35 Years
Thursday, April 7th, 2022: Favorite Social Event
Friday, April 8th, 2022: Favorite KDChi Gear
Saturday, April 9th, 2022: Favorite Membership Bond
Thank you to our founding members for creating our organization and the thousands of members who came after who continue to move this organization forward and create a second family to make memories with throughout our lives. We loved the past 35 years and can’t wait to celebrate the decades to come.
Happy 35th Anniversary, Penguins!
Vice President of Public Affairs
On Friday, February 18, 2022, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a non-binding opinion that under current Texas state law, gender-affirming procedures for nonbinary and transgender youth are to be classified as child abuse. Texas Governor Greg Abbott followed this release with his own letter to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), falsely claiming that Attorney General Ken Paxton’s opinion confirms anything about the state of gender-affirming care in Texas.
Many other state governments and leaders have attempted to block gender-affirming care and education for LGBTQ+ students, such as Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill, which has been colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill, which prohibits schools from providing student support to LGBTQ+ students, as well as banning all education regarding sexual orientation and gender identity through Grade 3, and prevents educators from witholding information about a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity from the child’s parents1,3.
Similar actions, opinions, and legislation have been proposed in several other states.
Misinformation surrounding the aforementioned state actions has led to an increase of fear, despair, and overall stigma related to LGBTQ+ rights. The Social Justice Committee has compiled some concerns that have been brought before us to help increase understanding about the actions taken in Texas and Florida, specifically, as well as the rights and responsibilities for LGBTQ+ children, students, and their caretakers. While I cannot provide you with legal advice or direction, I can attempt to demystify and debunk some inaccurate information propagated by the actions taken by aforementioned state leaders, as well as direct you on how you can learn more and ways you can help the LGBTQ+ community.
According to the Child Welfare League of America, “Providing appropriate, compassionate medical care for your child is not child abuse. We know that youth who identify as LGBTQ are at greater risk of homelessness, substance use disorders, mental illness, suicide ideation and attempts, trauma, and other negative outcomes than their peers; the right to receive individualized, evidence-based, identity-affirming care from their doctors and other medical providers saves lives.”7,10
AG Paxton’s opinion relies heavily on the use of what he calls “sterilization procedures” for children that infringe upon their right to procreate6. However, he almost exclusively refers to puberty/hormone blockers which, by their nature, temporarily prevent a child from reaching sexual maturity. Puberty/hormone blockers are considered fully reversible by medical literature.15,16
Gender-affirming care used by doctors for medical transitioning must meet the same safety requirements of other medications or surgeries, meaning that minors must have parental consent, as well as be endorsed and recommended by a competent medical doctor, with an active medical license, according to the Texas Occupational Code, Title 314. The option of surgery, especially genital surgery, is typically only offered to fully-developed adults who have exhausted all other options of social transitioning and to alleviate distress related to gender dysphoria11. The inclusion of such procedures in any opinions or statements from government leaders is extraneous, appears to be written in bad faith, and causes undue distress to members of the LGBTQ+ community.
In the follow-up letter from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the governor brings up hormone replacement and puberty blockers, which may be offered to minors who have reached a minimum stage of growth (around 9-11 years of age)15. However, as previously discussed, allegations that these two forms of gender-affirming care are child abuse rely on claims made by AG Paxton that (a) puberty blockers are irreversible, and (b) hormone replacements cause sterility. Neither claim is consistent with medical literature 15, 16.
Implications for Families
Several educators, mandatory reporters, collegians, and other child caregivers have approached me and other members of the Social Justice Committee with questions about the Texas governor’s demand that the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) launch investigations into suspected instances of “elective procedures for gender transitioning, including reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen”5.
This letter does not address social transitioning at all, which can include: (a) referring to a child by their proper pronouns; (b) allowing a child to wear clothing they find most comfortable and gender-affirming; (c) allowing a child to seek mental health care related to LGBTQ+ rights, as well as mental health treatment for gender dysphoria; (d) allowing children to engage in social play and age-appropriate social, romantic, and physical relationships; and (e) inquiring about gender-affirming care. None of these actions fit the criteria for the Texas Administrative Code’s definitions of child abuse and neglect17, 8.
Many parents of transgender or gender nonconforming children have expressed concern that the governor’s statement will cause the undue removal of their child from their home. At this time, the DFPS maintains that removal of a child is a last resort and is typically only recommended in cases of severe and well-documented physical abuse and neglect4. DFPS caseworkers are human beings and evaluate the level of evidence that supports imminent danger and harm to a child when they receive reports of child abuse. Should you feel you and your family are being subjected to a fraudulent claim, please seek legal counsel. I have linked some LGBTQ+-affirming legal resources below.
How to Help
Anti-LGBTQ+ activity in Texas and Florida has already received legal pushback9. For instance, while public school teachers have limited first amendment rights2, children of all ages have a constitutional right to free speech in the classroom1,2. This means that the State of Florida cannot legally suppress discussion of any subject between students, calling into question the constitutionality of the bill. Due to the fact that the bill has not yet been signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, it has not yet gone into effect; opponents of the bill expect official challenges to occur once the bill has been signed1.
If you would like to show your opposition to these actions, or any other action taken in opposition to LGBTQ+ rights in your state, you are encouraged to publicly show your support for your LGBTQ+ community members. Call your local and state legislators – who work for you, their constituents – and inform them of your stance. Utilize your time and talent to bring awareness and support, raise funds for LGBTQ+ resource centers, especially legal funds and mental health treatment centers for LGBTQ+ youth. There are several of these resources and legal funds, for your own use or for those who could use your support, linked in this document.
Kappa Delta Chi continues to center, support, and affirm the lived experiences and identities of the entire LGBTQ+ community, especially those of whom are our sxsters and members. If you have any questions or need support or resources, please email me. And please know that you can always turn to our sxsterhood, because we will continue to fight for you. You belong, and you are loved. To our sxsters not a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I urge you to remember: serving our community means serving our entirecommunity.
In Love and Friendship,
VP Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Incorporated
This letter, as well as the resource list below, can also be viewed/downloaded in pdf form and on our national letterhead here.
Gender-Affirming Care in Texas: What Parents and Guardians Need to Know
LGBTQ+ Legal Help:
LGBTQ+ Mental Health:
Crisis/Suicide Prevention Hotlines
Trans Lifeline - 877-565-8860
LGBT National Youth Talkline - 1-800-246-7743
TrevorLifeline - 1-866-488-7386
TrevorText - Text START to 678-678
Crisis Text Line* - Text HOME to 741741
GLBT National Hotline - 1-888-843-4564
Resources that serve LGBTQ+ folks
https://pflag.org/ (Also for parents of LGBTQ+ children)
Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. expresses our condolences to the family of Vanessa Guillen and we are heartbroken at the systems which failed her and her family. Vanessa, and all persons in the military, deserve to feel safe and empowered in reporting any instances of sexual violence.
Junior enlisted women are at the highest risk of sexual assault in the military. The most recent report on sexual assault in the military was released by the Department of Defense in 2018. The report lists troubling statistics. According to the report, the national odds that a woman will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime are 1 in 17. But for young military women ages 17 to 20, it is 1 in 8. And for 21- to 24-year-olds, it is 1 in 11. Further, 43% of women who did reported sexual violence had a negative experience.
In a historically misogynistic and violent system such as the military, women, particularly women of color, are too often violated with impunity. We demand that Congress thoroughly investigate and enact real change to address the violence inherent in the military industrial complex.
We urge our members to contact their Congressional representatives demand they change the way that the military handles reports and investigates sexual violence by moving forward with the Military Justice Improvement Act. This act is designed to professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes like sexual assault, and to remove the systemic fear that survivors of military sexual assault describe in deciding whether to report the crimes committed against them. Repeated testimony from survivors and former commanders says that the widespread reluctance on the part of survivors to come forward and report is due to the bias and inherent conflicts of interest posed by the military chain of command’s sole decision-making power over whether cases move forward to a trial.
Text your zip code to 502-200-2223 to find your Representatives in Congress or search: www.usa.gov/elected-officials
Sexual Assault Statement
Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. is adamantly opposed to all acts of sexual misconduct and relational violence. Moreover, we believe in our values of Unity, Honesty, Integrity and Leadership which provide unconditional support of our members at all times, including those who are survivors of sexual assault and dating violence. As an organization with collegiate members, we are dismayed by the changes in Title IX that will go in effect August 2020. The policy changes will create barriers for survivors of sexual violence to report sexual violence and hold perpatrators accountable. The new changes also limit the scope of reports that colleges are required to investigate and provide greater protections for perpetrators.
Our organization is committed to working with our university and greek organizational partners to revisit concerns within and among our organizations relating to sexual assault. The National Association of Latino Fratnernal Organizations (“NALFO”) has organized a Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign and Action Committee to explore actionable items and policies, programming, and collaboration to protect our members and hold perpetrators accountable.
Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. will never condone sexual misconduct committed against our members or by our members. Below is a list of resources from our Mental Health and Wellness Guide (available at www.kappadeltachi.org):
National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline
When you call, you’ll be routed to a local RAINN affiliate organization based on the first six digits of your phone number. Cell phone callers have the option to enter the ZIP code of their current location to more accurately locate the nearest sexual assault service provider.
National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) Website:
Provides comprehensive victims’ assistance resources from advocacy to legal assistance. Also includes resources for survivors of mass casualty and offers victim compensation services.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233; TTY 1-800-787-3224
For crisis and counseling services, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Hotline advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to provide confidential crisis
NALFO was tapped last week to participate in a mental health and wellness initiative called 5onthe5. The idea behind this initiative is that on May 5th each of us pledges to connect with 5 other people, check in on them, and take a moment to just listen. During this time of high stress and anxiety the organizers behind this campaign wanted us to feel a little more together.
Who will you reach out to on the 5th? We’re looking forward to getting as much participation as possible!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information, Contact:
Paula Arno Martinez, firstname.lastname@example.org
It is understandably a time of high tension and anxiety. Members’ lives have been disrupted and there are many things to worry about. KDChi should not be one of those things right now. In an effort to place emphasis on health and safety, we are asking members to focus on their personal lives. For the next two weeks, don't worry about KDChi requirements (including completing hours, paying dues). There are no final decisions on these items.
We will continue to monitor the situation and determine what is the most feasible solution for our membership. Since things are changing on a daily basis, we cannot say what that will look like at this time. No one will automatically lose their status. We truly have your best interests at heart, which is why we are asking you to take care of yourselves.
By April 1st, the National Administrative Council will communicate next steps and we will take it a day at a time. We will work with you and get through these trying times. Please use this time to focus your energy on your mental and physical health while we all grapple with the impacts of COVID-19.
National Leadership is aware of concerns regarding Regional Conferences and the coronavirus. Individual members who choose not to attend their Regional Conference due to coronavirus concerns will not be penalized and it will be considered an excused absence with the expectation to attend the Regional Conference virtually. At this point we will leave it up to the individual regions to decide whether or not to cancel their Regional Conference.
For Regional Conferences that are cancelled, nationals will be able to assist the host chapter in recuperating any cancellation fees incurred from hotel and/or catering services. Host chapters will be responsible for issuing any refunds to individuals, if feasible, and, before any cutoff dates.
We are aware that some universities have cancelled in-person classes and other events. If this applies to your university then please contact your District Chair, Regional Director, or Chapter Development Officer. Your chapter will not be penalized for missing events, service, or study hours. If a member chooses to self-quarantine, they will not be penalized for missing events, service, or study hours regardless of whether the university has cancelled in-person classes or other events. Any missed events or hours will be rolled over to the next semester/quarter or until the health advisories deem safe. However, we encourage everyone to continue with their scheduled events and follow precautions and recommendations from the Central for Disease Control (https://www.cdc.gov/
We understand university regulations may impact chapters and colonies that are currently conducting intake. For any universities that have shut down or no longer allow in-person events, New Members will be able to apply for, and be granted, holdover status. For universities that continue to allow for in-person programming, the New Member Education process will continue as planned. The Intake Division is prepared to work with each chapter and colony for accommodations if needed, depending on current university protocol. Please contact the New Member Education Officer or Vice President of Intake for assistance.
As a reminder, please keep in mind the following:
The risk to the general public in the United States is considered low at this time.
While there is currently no vaccine, the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is similar to how you’d take precautions against the cold or flu.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the crook of your elbow, rather than your hands – and throw the tissue away immediately.
Wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds
There is no need to wear a face mask if you are well and do not have symptoms.
We are closely following developments related to the coronavirus, including travel guidelines and health advisories, and will notify members of any additional guidance.
College women are at high risk of sexual assault by acquaintances and dates. Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitate. The risk of sexual assault among sorority women is likely to be as great, if not greater, than that for the general female undergraduate population.
Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. supports a woman's right to report and seek a fair, supportive, and timely due process. As a sisterhood, we will provide unconditional support of our sisters who are survivors of sexual assault and dating violence. We commit to advocating in support of sister empowerment, risk reduction and educating out members and non-members to prevent sexual assault on our campuses and in our communities.
We are specifically aware of posts by members of Omega Delta Phi in closed groups targeted toward our members that are homophobic, misogynistic, and promote sexual violence. As an organization, we do not accept this behavior toward out members and eagerly await to see the actions ODPhi will take to hold its members accountable.
As sisters, we are committed to supporting out sisters, friends, and all those who have experienced sexual violence. If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault, it may be difficult to know what to do next. You can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org and receive confidential support.