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Barnard: Transgender Women Now Welcome to Attend

Image: Barnard: Transgender Women Now Welcome to Attend
New students gather in front of the entry gate at the Barnard College of Columbia University campus during orientation week in New York City. (Lee Snider/Dreamstime.com, file)

By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 10:56 AM

New York’s elite Barnard College announced Thursday the school would begin to admit transgender women in fall 2016.

The school was the last of the Seven Sister schools — a network of women’s colleges that include Radcliffe, Smith, and Vassar colleges — to make the decision to take applications from people “who consistently live and identify as women,” The Atlantic reported.

"As expected, a wide range of passionate and deeply held beliefs were discussed and debated," Barnard president Debora Spar and board of trustees chairman Jolyne Caruso-FitzGerald wrote of debate about the issue, as quoted by The New York Times. “But on two main points, the responses were compelling and clear. There was no question that Barnard must reaffirm its mission as a college for women. And there was little debate that trans women should be eligible for admission to Barnard."

The school will exclude transgender men, a policy that Smith College also put in place; Mount Holyoke College, however, has decided to admit both trans men and women, The Times said.

"The policy is exactly what I was hoping for," Caleb LoSchiavo told the newspaper. “By admitting all women, only women, it's a lot easier to say 'We're a women's college through-and-through.'"

In the letter, college leaders acknowledged a “recognition of our changing world and an evolving understanding of gender identity," the Atlantic said.

Transgender issues have been in the media and hotly debated recently as Bruce Jenner made the transition, becoming Caitlyn Jenner.

In December 2014, when Barnard College announced it would consider whether or not to admit transgender women, a spokesperson told the Genetic Literacy Project, “The definition of what it means to be a woman at a women’s college — that’s changing. The implications range from housing to health services to the pronouns used in class.”



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New York’s elite Barnard College announced Thursday the school would begin to admit transgender women in fall 2016.
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2015-56-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 10:56 AM
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