Wellesley Says It Won't Change Policy on Trans Men

Students supported new admissions policy in nonbinding referendum
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2023 5:15 PM CDT
College Won't Change Policy After Students Vote to Admit Trans Men
The entrance to Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass., is pictured on April 20, 2020.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Wellesley College students have voted to allow transgender men and nonbinary students who do not identify as women to be admitted as students—but the Tuesday vote was nonbinding, and college officials say there is no plan to change their admissions policy. The college also said it isn't planning to change its mission as a women's college, the Boston Globe reports. Earlier this month, college President Paula Johnson said in email to the campus community that Wellesley is "a women’s college that admits cis, trans and nonbinary students—all who consistently identify as women," per the AP.

"Wellesley is also an inclusive community that embraces students, alumnae, faculty, and staff of diverse gender identities," Johnson wrote. "I believe the two ways of seeing Wellesley are not mutually exclusive. Rather, this is who we are: a women’s college and a diverse community." Current regulations state that "those assigned female at birth who identify as men are not eligible for admission," though the school will support those who transition after being admitted to Wellesley. The referendum also asked administrators at the Massachusetts college to use nongendered language in communication.

Before the vote, student body President Alexandra Brooks told the New York Times that the proposed new policy would reflect reality. "We're just asking the administration to put on paper what's already true of the student body,” she said. "Trans men go to Wellesley, nonbinary people go to Wellesley, and they kind of always have." She said a change in policy "would not in any way change the culture of the school." After the vote, Johnson and other officials said "the college will continue to engage all students, including transgender male and nonbinary students, in the important work of building an inclusive academic community where everyone feels they belong." (Read more Wellesley College stories.)

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