Wellesley College students voted Tuesday to expand admissions eligibility to transgender men and non-binary applicants.
The students were asked if they agreed that the prestigious school, whose mission is “to provide an excellent liberal arts education to women who will make a difference in the world,” should change its admissions policy.
The Massachusetts Women’s Liberal Arts College has accepted applications from transgender women since 2015, but “those assigned female at birth who identify as male are not eligible for admission,” Wellesley states on its website.
In accordance with its gender policy, the university describes its student body as those who “live as women and consistently identify as women.”
The students also called for school administrators to adopt more gender-inclusive language in university communications, such as replacing the word “women” with “students”, and the pronouns “she/her” with “they/they”, according to a copy of the ballot shared with CNN.
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Tuesday’s non-binding referendum came as part of the school’s student government elections.
Last month, College Government President Alexandra Brooks said she hoped the ballots would close the communication gap on gender-inclusive language between students and school leaders.
“I will say, from my experience, that there is a disconnect between students and administration about what the students want, particularly the board, because a lot of them are older and it’s not a very diverse board,” he told the university’s student newspaper.
“(The Board of Directors) represents a Wellesley of 50 years ago, which is not at all the Wellesley of today, even the Wellesley of five years ago is very different from the Wellesley of today,” he added.
Wellesley did not disclose the percentage of students who voted in favor of the referendum, but after the vote, the school released a statement saying there are no plans to change its current admissions policy.
“While there is no plan to revise its mission as a women’s university or its admissions policy, the university will continue to engage all students, including transgender and non-binary students, in the important work of building an inclusive academic community where everyone feels that belong. said Stacey Schmeidel, the university’s director of media relations.
Wellesley has about 2,300 current students. Famous alumni include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright.