The all-female liberal arts college, Bryn Mawr, has changed its acceptance policy to allow for the admittance of transgender and intersex women. The new policy will allow for those “who live and identify as women” to apply for acceptance into the university.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that Bryn Mawr College, located in Pennsylvania, took steps clarify the university’s stance on gender. Bryn Mawr’s undergraduate program is only open to women; however, the graduate program is available to any gender. The Bryn Mawr College’s website notes that each year, 1,300 women are accepted to the undergraduate program. The goal of the university is help prepare women to lead.
“For more than 130 years, smart, strong women have come to Bryn Mawr College to seek an unparalleled education and meaningful opportunities to contribute to the world. That tradition continues and grows today. Bryn Mawr offers a university of academic opportunities in an intimate setting; a close, connected community that fosters lifelong connections; and the preparation women need to lead.”
Interestingly, even prior to the changes in policy, the university offered courses on transgender studies. It is this class, according to the Daily Mail, that encouraged students to petition for the changes in admission policies to take place. The petition, which was drawn up by current and alum Bryn Mawr students and faculty, asked the university to clearly define gender in the admissions policies. The petition claims that by not clearly defining the school’s definition of gender, they were creating “unnecessary and discouraging roadblocks”for trans and gender nonconforming students.
On Monday, the college board announced that they were changing their guidelines to be more inclusive of the transgender community.
“The Board approved the working group’s recommendation that in addition to those applicants who were assigned female at birth, the applicant pool will be inclusive of transwomen and of intersex individuals who live and identify as women at the time of application.”
Though transgender and intersex women will now be accepted into consideration for acceptance at Bryn Mawr, the school says that they will take available legal and medical steps to verify that the applicant for admission is actually female, whether that be a male transitioning to a female or an individual who identifies as a female.
“In evaluating such additional information, the College fully intends to be as flexible and inclusive as possible.”
Though the university is inclusive of those who identify as female, they note that any applicant who identifies as male will not be accepted to the undergraduate program. Therefore, if a female is transitioning to a male, he would not be allowed to apply for undergraduate admittance. However, the graduate program is open to all genders.
What do you think about the all-female Bryn Mawr College accepting transgender women but not allowing those who are male or transgender men? Should universities discontinue admittance based on sex altogether to avoid situations such as these?