Wellesley Students’ Push For Gender-Inclusive Admission Rejected By School President

Wellesley Students' Push For Gender-Inclusive Admission Rejected By School President

Even as students at Wellesley College voted this week to allow transgender men and nonbinary students to attend the longtime women’s college, Wellesley’s president said the school would not be changing its admissions policy.

“We acknowledge the result of the non-binding student ballot initiative. Although there is no plan to revisit our mission as a women’s college or our admissions policy, we will continue to engage all students in the important work of building an inclusive academic community where everyone feels they belong,” Wellesley College President Paula Johnson said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Massachusetts private school’s gender policy states that it admits students who “live as women and consistently identify as women.” Wellesley’s website states that it accepts trans women and nonbinary people who were assigned female at birth, but not trans men.

Wellesley declined HuffPost’s request for comment on its refusal to change its policy.

In February, Wellesley’s student government passed a ballot question that, according to the student newspaper The Wellesley News, called for the use of more gender-inclusive language at Wellesley and a new admissions policy change that would allow transgender men and nonbinary people who were assigned male at birth to study at the school.

An exit poll collected after the student body voted on Tuesday’s nonbinding referendum showed that 90% of Wellesley students supported the move for gender inclusivity, according to the Committee For Political Engagement, a nonpartisan student government committee.

Some have criticized moves to allow transgender men into historically women’s colleges, claiming that if transgender men are “real men,” they shouldn’t be allowed into a women’s college. Others worry that this would lead to such schools becoming co-ed, The New York Times reported.

Ailie Wood, a Wellesley student who helped write the ballot question that students voted on, said last week that Wellesley is not currently a women’s college, noting that students of all genders are present around campus.

“If the administration were to create policy to support this ballot question, this fact would not change,” Wood told The Wellesley News.

Wood continued that Wellesley was founded as a women’s college to create a safe and supportive learning environment for people who were marginalized based on gender — much like other women’s colleges in the U.S. According to Wellesley’s mission…

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