With the 2013-14 academic school year about to commence either this month or in September on many college campuses, I not only wanted to take a moment to give an early salute to the transpeople in the Class of 2014 that will be beginning their senior years on many campuses, but salute the class of 2017 that will be starting their freshman year on campuses across the nation.
I also wanted to make sure that as the summer vacation season winds down and fall approaches in several weeks, that we don't forget about a college freshman named Calliope Wong that will not be walking the campus of Smith College where she wanted to go. She is matriculating elsewhere on another college campus due to hypocritical transphobia in their application process.
In the wake of the drama that Smith College's rejection of Wong caused including this Change.org petition that has accumulated almost 5,000 signatures, the Northampton, MA based college stated they would put together a panel in the Fall 2013 semester to look at the issue.
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.
Well, the start of the Fall 2013 semester classes on September 3 is rapidly approaching, and don't think for a moment the trans community, Smith students, Smith alums who support trans feminine inclusion, transpeople in Western Mass and our allies forgot what happened to Calliope or what was said back in May.