Monday, December 09, 2013

We're Still Watching You, Smith College

Smith's dean of admissions, Debra Shaver, announced a committee would form to address the needs of prospective trans students at Smith. The committee will begin meeting in September, and in the interim, Smith will stop denying admissions to trans girls and women listed as male on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms, which is what happened to Wong.

TransGriot  September 1, 'Smith College, Don't Assume The Trans Community Forgot About What Happened To Calliope "

The Fall 2013 semester is rapidly drawing to a close on the Smith College campus and this article that popped up in the University of Connecticut student newspaper concerning Calliope Wong reminded me about the controversy that erupted last May when her application for admission was denied twice.

That firestorm led to the announcement at the time by Smith Dean of Admissions Debra Shaver that a committee would be formed that would start work in the fall to address the needs of prospective trans students at Smith.

Calliope is now a freshman English major at UConn and was named to the OUT100 List as a trans teen advocate along with Jazz and Zachary Kerr.  

And Smith could have been reaping the benefits of Calliope's presence on their campus.

But this is the question we all want to know the answer to Trans World because there has been cricket chirping silence coming out of Northampton since the semester started.

What's going on with the committee that was supposed to start work on this trans admission issue?

I asked that question on my Facebook page, and JoJo Thomas, a Smith alum who is one of my longtime TransGriot readers was kind enough to send an e-mail asking that same question on the alumni listserv. 

JoJo did get a quick response to her query.  According to her, a fellow alum advised her that according to the student group working on this issue Audrey Smith (the VP of Enrollment--head of Office of Admissions and Student Financial Services) would be making announcements "soon" about changes in the policies.

How soon is "soon" in terms of a definitive date that a policy change announcement will happen, we don't know yet.  But if there more feet dragging until the end of the 2014 spring semester, Mama Moni ain't gonna be happy and the volume is going to be cranked up on this issue by moi.

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