A historic liberal arts women’s college is opening their doors to transgender women.
Spelman College, which is historically only for black women, made the policy change this week. The college up to this point only allowed cisgender women, but will now welcome all people who “self-identify” as women.
President Mary S. Campbell released the change of policy in a letter:
“During the 2016-2017 academic year, I assembled a task force comprised of faculty, staff, students, alumnae and trustees to consider the admissions and enrollment policies at Spelman as they apply to an evolving understanding and knowledge of gender,” she wrote. “After a year of research, benchmarking against other single-sex women’s colleges, extensive listening sessions with students, faculty, staff and alumnae and surveys to the Spelman community, the task force made a set of recommendations to the president of the College and the Spelman College Board of Trustees.”
She continued: “As a result of this extensive study, I, as president, along with the Spelman leadership team, and the Board, concur on the following admissions and enrollment policy: Spelman College, a Historically Black College whose mission is to serve high-achieving Black women, will consider for admission women students including students who consistently live and self-identify as women, regardless of their gender assignment at birth.”
People who “self-identify” as men — cisgender and transgender men alike — will not be permitted to enroll regardless of their legal gender.
“Spelman does not admit male students, including students who self-identify and live consistently as men, regardless of gender assignment at birth.”
People who enrolled and are transitioning into male identities will be permitted to stay and graduate.
“If a woman is admitted and transitions to male while a student at Spelman, the College will permit that student to continue to matriculate at and graduate from Spelman.”
This policy will go into effect starting at the 2018-2019 academic year, according to the letter. Campbell has asked an “implementation committee” to “convene this year to consider the impact on the campus resulting from the new policy.”