On Thursday, Barnard College announced that it will accept transgender women. The decision came as a result of a board meeting held on June 3, 2015, pertaining to the admission policy for transgender applicants.
The Board of Trustees announced that the New York all-girls school, affiliated to Columbia University, will be considering applicants “who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the identity assigned to them at birth” starting in the fall of 2016, according to USA Today.
In a statement, the school said, “In furtherance of our mission, tradition and values as a women’s college, and in recognition of our changing world and evolving understanding of gender identity, Barnard will consider for admission those applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth.”
Jennifer Finney Boylan, a transgender woman and an English professor at Barnard, said, “Gender is at the center of a women’s college experience in a way that it’s not [at a coeducational school] … So if you’re a young trans person trying to figure out who you are, and struggling with gender throughout your whole life, of course you’d come to one of these schools, because it’s going to help you figure out who you are,” as reported by The New York Times.
The decision to accept transgender women came as a result of discussions that took place for more than a year.
Highlighting this point, Debora Spar, the president of Barnard, said, “When I first started hearing from trans students, I think as a human being, I couldn’t help but sympathize. I think once you understand the human dimension of this, you want to do the right thing. The harder question then is, what is the right thing?”
With this decision, Barnard follows in the footsteps of other women’s colleges like Wellesley and Smith which have adopted similar policies regarding accepting transgender women, as reported by TIME.
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