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Calliope Wong and Smith College

nia.pike's picture

After our class discussion on Tuesday about the situation involving an application to Smith College from a transwoman. Her name is Calliope Wong. She was denied admittance to Smith simply because her FAFSA utilized male pronouns, even though of the rest of her application materials: letters of rec, transcript, and all other paperwork uses female pronouns. According to one source I found, she had been in contact with the Dean of Admissions prior to applying to Smith. The dean told her that as long as her paperwork used female pronouns, her application would be considered. However, the FAFSA used male pronouns for Calliope Wong. In response, Smith sent out this letter stating "Our expectation is that it is consistently reflected throughout the application that the student is a woman. Upon reviewing your file, this is not the case. Your FAFSA indicates your gender as male. Therefore, the college cannot process your application."

The only additional information I could find was that the Smith student body collected 4,000 signatures on a petition to change the college's policy on transwomen admittance. These signatures were presented them to the Smith College administration, who stated they would convene a committee. Yet, I cannot find any additional information on whether or not a committee was actually formed and if so, what conclusions they came to. 

Elli Palmer, a student at Smith made this resounding statement "If transgender women are women and Smith is such a progressive school, we're the type of school that can talk about these things in a real way. It seemed against that mission to deny transgender women."