In 1979, a student at Princeton University named Sally Frank filed a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights against three social and eating clubs that restricted their memberships to male students at Princeton University. The clubs - Ivy Club, Cottage Club, and Tiger Inn - are three of a group of eleven clubs that many students at Princeton University traditionally join to receive meals and use social facilities. Frank alleged, and the Division eventually ruled, that the all-male clubs violated the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in places of public accommodation. The Princeton case signals problems for single-sex social organizations at other colleges and universities in New Jersey and around the country. Forty states and the District of Columbia have public accommodation laws similar to the New Jersey statute, and many fraternities, sororities, and other social organizations have characteristics that make them vulnerable to a ruling against their membership policies in light of the Princeton case.
Steven M. Colloton,
Freedom of Association: The Attack on Single-Sex College Social Organizations,
Yale L. & Pol'y Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol4/iss2/7