A women’s college in Massachusetts announced it will not revise its admission policy after students voted to allow all transgender and nonbinary applicants, according to a Wednesday statement.
Wellesley College students approved the non-binding initiative on Tuesday after it was unanimously supported by the Wellesley College Government Seniors in February. Paula A. Johnson, college president, responded to the vote that there are no current plans to update the admission policy, which currently excludes biological women who identify as men.
“For nearly 150 years, Wellesley’s mission has been to provide an excellent liberal arts education to women who will make a difference in the world,” Johnson wrote. “Wellesley admits eligible applicants who consistently identify and live as women, including cis, trans and nonbinary students. Wellesley is also an inclusive community that embraces students, faculty, and staff of diverse gender identities.”
Johnson acknowledged the result of the referendum but clarified that “there is no plan to revisit our mission as a women’s college or our admissions policy.” The college will “continue to engage all students in the important work of building an inclusive academic community where everyone feels they belong,” the statement read.
The students also voted in the referendum for the college to adopt gender-neutral language to be more inclusive to transgender and nonbinary students. The college is not obligated to abide by the vote and it was intended to demonstrate the support of the student body toward these changes, the Wellesley News reported.
“It’s important that all members of this community feel seen. Some transgender male and nonbinary students whose identities have evolved during their time here say they feel excluded by the College’s use of the words ‘women’ and ‘alumnae’ — and feel that their individual identities are not embraced,” Johnson wrote in a March 6 statement to the community, according to Wellesley News. “At the same time, many students who are committed to Wellesley’s mission as a women’s college and who identify as women have been publicly criticized for their view and have felt pressured to describe Wellesley as a historically women’s college.”
Wellesley College and the Wellesley College Government did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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