Smith College Students Continue Fight Over “Discriminatory” Policy On Transgender Applicants

Dozens of students plan to protest at Smith College on Thursday due to what they say is the women’s school’s refusal to make its admissions process more inclusive for transgender women after students’ negotiations with administrators failed.

The Northampton, Mass., school came under fire last spring for its admissions policy after Calliope Wong, a transgender woman, was rejected because a federal student aid form identified her as male, even though she identifies as female. Since then, activists from the Smith Q&A student organization have pressed administrators to make a key change to the policy, but they said their demands have not yet been met; they will demonstrate as a result.

“We no longer have a working relationship with admissions [officials], and they refuse to negotiate further, so we need to show them that a lot of people care about this and that we aren’t going away,” said Sarah Fraas, a member of Q&A who is organizing the demonstration. “I think if Smith sees that their image as a feminist institution and a welcoming place will be compromised by not changing the policy, that is something they will respond to.”

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