On Thursday, May 2, members of the student group Smith Q&A will deliver more than 4,000 signatures from their Change.org petition to the Smith College Office of Admissions, calling on the school to change its policies and treat trans women applicants equally. The petition was started after Smith College refused to consider the application of Calliope Wong, a trans woman and high school senior from Connecticut, because the gender marker on her financial aid forms did not match her stated gender identity of female. Calliope and Smith Q&A members have been working with GLAAD to raise awareness about Smith’s admissions policy and to call on the college to amend their admissions rules.
“Four thousand people from the Smith community and across the country have spoken up against this discrimination, and against the inaction of school officials," said student and Smith Q&A member Elli Palmer. "The issue of allowing trans women access to women's spaces is real and prevalent. The trans community is one of the most marginalized in our current culture, and it hurts to see our school not only contributing to that marginalization, but clinging to it despite our call for change."
Fellow student and Smith Q&A member Ollie Schwartz added, "The fact that thousands of people signed this petition goes to show that this is not simply a 'Smith College' issue, it is an issue that LGBT people and their allies across the country care about. We hope that delivering this petition will signal to the college that it is time to step up."
Smith Q&A members will deliver the more than 4,000 petition signatures at 4:00 pm on Thursday, but there is still time to take action. Sign the Change.org petition and tell Smith College to end its exclusionary practice of refusing to consider trans women for admission.