Smith College Takes First Step in Changing Trans Policy

The Massachusetts women's university will establish a committee on transgender students.

BY Neal Broverman

May 03 2013 1:05 PM ET

Following criticism that it was hostile to a prospective transgender student, Massachusetts's Smith College will form a committee to revise its policies on trans women.

Over 4,000 signatures from a Change.org petition were recently delivered to Smith officials, blasting the school for refusing to consider Calliope Wong, a young trans woman, for admission. After the signatures were delivered, Smith's dean of admissions, Debra Shaver, announced a committee would form to address the needs of prospective trans students at Smith. The committee will begin meeting in September, and in the interim, Smith will stop denying admissions to trans girls and women listed as male on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms, which is what happened to Wong.

"No young woman should be denied the opportunity to learn simply because of who she is," GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said in a statement. "That Smith is having this discussion and listening to the community is a positive step, but the school still needs to ensure that no transgender woman is denied the chance to apply."

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Tags: Transgender

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