Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority Invited a Man To Join—and Forced Its Own Sisters Out Along the Way

By Whitney Munro

When University of Wyoming freshman Jaylyn Westenbroek struggled to get along with her dorm roommate, she took refuge in Kappa Kappa Gamma’s sorority house. One of the KKG sisters pulled an extra mattress into her room and let her crash until the semester ended.

That was Westenbroek’s first impression of sorority life—a group of women who cared about each other’s safety and happiness.

Westenbroek said she never expected to rush a sorority, but after the acts of kindness shown by the KKG members during her freshman year, she gave it a chance. 

“For a while, it was the best decision I’d made,” Westenbroek said. “I made so many friends, and it was the best introduction to college I could have asked for.”

Now in her junior year, Westenbroek isn’t in KKG anymore.

In the fall of 2022, her chapter allowed a male who identifies as a transgender woman to become a member. When Westenbroek and a few other sisters expressed their discomfort, Westenbroek said KKG leadership pushed them out.

At first, Westenbroek said, leadership assured the sisters that the sorority was first and foremost a safe place, and that if anyone was feeling uncomfortable, to let them know about it—especially since all the members in the chapter are required to live in the house.

“I remember one of the leaders of our chapter telling us, ‘You don’t have to worry, we’re 99% sure this person would not live in [the sorority house],’” Westenbroek said. “And as long as one person was uncomfortable with it, that would be the case.”

Westenbroek trusted them, and KKG did not extend a bid to the male in the first round. But it wasn’t long before this male student was then considered for membership during the informal recruitment period.

Westenbroek said her father was worried about the possibility of a man living in her sorority house, but she told him what leadership had promised her—he would not live in the house. “I loved Kappa and didn’t want to leave. But I was scared.”

It didn’t seem like anyone shared her concern until she got a text message from one of her sisters: So how are you feeling about Kappa lately?

Eventually, a few girls opened up about how they felt, including several alumnae who were saddened to see present KKG sisters uncomfortable in their house and have since had their lifetime memberships revoked for defending KKG’s promised single-sex sisterhood.

When a few sisters made a petition asking for a revote on Langford’s membership and began getting signatures, Westenbroek said that the president shut it down. Then, leadership allegedly told her to drop out, because she wasn’t a “true Kappa” if she didn’t accept a male as her sorority sister. The punishment only got worse from there.

Westenbroek learned that some of her sisters were trying to evict her from her officer position. She said sisters who agreed with her were scared to speak out and risk facing the same retaliation. After all the time, effort, money, and memories put into being a part of KKG, Westenbroek resigned her membership with a heavy heart.

Independent Women’s Law Center’s May Mailman will present a legal argument before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on May 14th, 2024 on behalf of Westenbroek and the other KKG members involved in an attempt to keep sororities exclusive to female members. As Westenbroek continues her work advocating to protect women’s sororities, spaces, and sports, she also recently became an ambassador with IWF. 

“I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to be an ambassador,” Westenbroek said. “This is something that means a lot to me, and speaking up for women is something that I hold near and dear to my heart. I want girls to be able to join sororities and have that experience that I had when I first joined.”

Her advice to other young women? “Always stick up for yourself and what you believe. You have more people supporting you than you realize. And at the end of the day, they can try to retaliate—but if a lot of people agree with you, they can’t punish everybody.”

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