Spelman College, a prestigious HBCU in Atlanta, Georgia, is reportedly in talks to consider accepting transgender female students.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the college’s president Mary Schmidt Campbell is creating a task force to provide recommendations on whether the all women’s, historically black college will admit transgender students. Campbell included the information in a welcome back letter to the campus community this past Thursday, and posted on the private school’s website.
Spelman is the latest prestigious women’s college to consider admitting transgender students. Other institutions, including Barnard College in New York City and the other members of The Seven Sisters association of historical woman’s institutions in the northeast have already enacted policies admitting those students.
Barnard College first announced its transgender admissions policy back in June of last year. President Debora Spar, alongside the chair of the school’s board of trustees Jolyne Caruso-Fitzgerald, wrote a joint letter to the community for their support in making such a progressive change.
“What came through most strongly was that our community shares a deep love for Barnard and a desire to do the right thing for this institution. As expected, a wide range of passionate and deeply held beliefs were discussed and debated. But on two main points, the responses were compelling and clear. There was no question that Barnard must reaffirm its mission as a college for women. And there was little debate that trans women should be eligible for admission to Barnard.”
There are multiple directions that Spelman can take as they consider following in the footsteps of other colleges like Barnard, Smith and Mount Holyoke. They can do like the former who only accepts applications from those who consistently live and identify as women, or can do like the latter and have a more open set of guidelines.
A report from the transgender task force is expected by the end of the school year.