Dixie State University: School Rejects Student Group Because Its Name Includes Greek Letters

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Dixie State University

Beginning in November 2012, Dixie State University student Indigo Klabanoff contacted school administrators to discuss the possibility of forming a sorority on campus. Over the course of several months, Klabanoff was repeatedly told that the university would not recognize a sorority or any club identified by Greek letters because of concerns about Dixie State’s “party school” image. In July 2013, after submitting a formal application for recognition, she was told by Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Jordon Sharp that “the name Phi Beta Pi will not be approved.” Sharp also explained that the Inter Club Council’s (ICC’s) bylaws had been retroactively revised to prohibit clubs from using “the Greek alphabet in their club name.” In response to multiple letters from FIRE, Utah Assistant Attorney General D. Michael Carter has defended Dixie State’s unconstitutional policy by claiming it serves a “compelling interest,” and claimed that alcohol, hazing, and other policy violations by fraternities and sororities at other universities justified Dixie State’s actions against Phi Beta Pi.