MSU sorority settlement reached
A lawsuit filed against Michigan State's sorority Alpha Omicron Pi, or AOII chapter, regarding a fair housing complaint was settled today.
MSU alumna Kayla Hicks filed the lawsuit through the Fair Housing Center of Southeast and Mid Michigan regarding her need for an emotional support animal, according to a report by the Fair Housing Center.
Hicks and AOII were able to resolve the complaint after AOII agreed to provide for members with disabilities throughout AOII sorority houses in Michigan, according to the report.
Hicks communicated to AOII's national offices, as well as the sorority itself, that she had documentation of her disability and need of her Netherland Dwarf rabbit for emotional support, as reported by the Fair Housing Center.
Hicks then moved out of the sorority in 2018 after filing a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, who referred her to the Fair Housing Center. The case was then referred to a mediator, according to a press release by the Fair Housing Center.
"We're really pleased that the case has settled and that Kayla Hicks has opened the door for other sorority members to be able to have the emotional support animals they need," Pamela Kisch, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center of Southeast and Mid Michigan, said.
The charge filed with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights has also been dismissed.
"“Fraternity and sorority houses...are not excluded from the [Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act] provisions prohibiting discrimination based on disability or any other protected classifications," according to the settlement agreement with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.