Other School’s Policies

Hollins University has been quoted to have “the strictest one they have seen at an American college.” (The Chronicle of Higher Education) So how do we compare?  While most Women’s colleges do not seem to have a written policy for transgender students like Hollins does, these are some examples of women’s college’s who have created or acknowledged (at least in interviews) their own policies.

Smith College:

  • Written Policy?: Yes
  • Transgender Inclusive?: Yes
  • Altered Constitution?: Yes
  • Gender Neutral Housing?: No
  • Statement: “Like most colleges and universities today (indeed, like society at large), Smith College has a diverse and dynamic student body that includes individuals who identify as transgendered. Some do so for intellectual or political reasons, in order to challenge prevailing gender norms in our society; others feel that their birth sex does not truly represent who they are. Students at Smith, whatever their gender or sexual identity, are diverse, accomplished, and various in their views. Whereas the exploration of sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity was once a very private matter, it is a much more visible and public part of contemporary campus cultures. Students coming to college today, whether at Smith, Yale, Princeton, Wesleyan, Wellesley or elsewhere, feel comfortable publicly exploring a range of identities and behaviors.  Is Smith still a women’s college? Absolutely. As a women’s college, Smith only considers female applicants for undergraduate admission. And like other women’s colleges, Smith is a place where women are able to explore who they are in an environment that is safe and accepting.” (Taken from Smith College’s .edu website) “Smith does not track statistics related to the gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation of its students. Once admitted, any student who completes the college’s graduation requirements will be awarded a degree.” (www.smith.edu › Offices › Institutional Diversity & Equity)

Mount Holyoke:

  • Written Policy?: No
  • Transgender Inclusive?: Yes
  • Altered Constitution?: Yes
  • Gender Neutral Housing?: No

“only women are enrolled. Banks said that in the past four years or so students have begun the transitioning process while enrolled, but none have had full surgery. She added that some students have asked to be considered gender-neutral, and ‘we have made sure that our language and practice reflected our value that they be allowed to express their gender identity freely.'” (Quote from an article written by Allie Grasgreen for Insidehighered.com about Mount Holyoke’s transgender policy)
“‘Similarly, the College’s President asserts that trans students do not detract from the mission of the College. One FTM student at Mount Holyoke agreed with the President because these students were “born female, raised female, conditioned as female and experienced life as a female for most of their lives,” and therefore can share in the experience of being a woman. The Mount Holyoke constitution, like Smith’s, was amended in 2005 to replace the word “she” with “student.” However, unlike Smith’s amendment, Mount Holyoke’s was fairly secretive.'” (taken from “The Changing Faces of Women’s Colleges Striking a Balance Between Transgender Right’s and Women’s Colleges Right to Exclude”,Cathy Perifimos” Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender

Barnard College-
“Director of Public Affairs Suzanne Trimel said that Barnard doesn’t keep tabs on its students’ gender as they progress through the College, just as the school doesn’t keep track of their students’ sexuality. Although President Shapiro opposes the idea of Barnard wholeheartedly embracing a transgender population, she pledges commitment to the individual needs of students who, once at Barnard, undergo a gender transition.161 In fact, that seems to be Barnard’s unofficial policy; a dedication to individual needs on a
case-by-case basis, but a refusal to acknowledge transgender students as an official group or distinct problem within the school.” (Perifimos)

Wesleyan college-
Is listed as having a nondiscrimination policy as well as gender neutral housing.


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