End Trans Discrimination in Admissions
  • Petitioned Smith College

This petition was delivered to:

Smith College

End Trans Discrimination in Admissions

    1. Petition by

      Smith Q&A

In March 2013, Smith College, an undergraduate women's college in Northampton, MA, refused to consider the application of Calliope Wong, a transgender woman who attends high school in Connecticut, because she is trans*. Calliope identifies as female and was previously told by Smith's Dean of Admissions that her transgender status would not be a barrier to admission. Smith College’s Dean of Admissions stated that Calliope’s application was returned because of a gender marker inconsistency on her FAFSA, a federal student aid application.

Though this is the experience of one person, Smith’s refusal to consider trans women as applicants reflects their discrimination based on birth assignment. This stands in contradiction to its mission as a historically women’s college, which works to educate and support women of all experiences as part of its tradition of standing at the forefront of women’s issues.

"Smith College's decision not to process my application based on my FAFSA sex marker is at Smith's sole discretion. Their hand was not forced; they chose this," Calliope said after she received her rejection letter.

Smith Q&A, an on-campus group that focuses on fighting transmisogyny at Smith, together with alumnae, students at other women's colleges, and other supporters of Calliope, has come together to urge Smith College officials to re-examine their admissions policy, so that no transgender student applying to Smith College in the future faces discrimination. Smith College should provide consistent support to trans women applicants through the application process and provide them with transparent information about policy and an equal opportunity for acceptance regardless of medical and legal transition status.

Smith College has been a welcoming and supportive place for women and LGBTQ students, and it is time that the Office of Admissions made its admissions policies welcoming and supportive to trans women applicants.

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    1. Reached 5,000 signatures

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    Reasons for signing

      • 8 months ago

      Please end this Transphobic discrimination.

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    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 8 months ago

      Together, Women Are Strong

      If we're by ourselves we come to feel crazy and alone. We need to make alternate families of small groups of women who support each other, talk to each other regularly, can speak their truths and their experiences and find they're not alone in them, that other women have them, too…. It makes such a huge difference.

      -- Gloria Steinem

      Sisters: talk to each other, be connected and informed, form women's circles, share your stories, work together, and take risks. Together we are invincible.

      -- Isabel Allende

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    • Susanne Catt VANCOUVER, CANADA
      • 9 months ago

      End Trans Discrimination

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    • Doris Werner TAMPA, FL
      • 10 months ago

      equality

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    • Jan Collins SOMERVILLE, MA
      • 10 months ago

      I think that being trans gender is difficult enough for the people who feel so strongly that they have chosen that path. I feel that they should be afforded the opportunity to study without a foofy college denying them access. Being trans gender does in no way mean that you are a sub citizen. Would Smith have denied a transgender women with the dignity and intelligence of someone like Jan Morris, the travel writer, climber of Mt. Everest, and other accolades? It takes courage to live your life the way you feel it was meant to be if not the way nature provided. I should think that a school for women like Smith should applaud their bravery, and not shun a transgender person, but help them to learn and thrive.

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