Single-sex institutions have often been viewed as strict and non-compromising when it comes to admissions and overall culture. Spelman College, the historic women’s only HBCU in Atlanta, Ga., isn’t one of them.

In a letter recently sent to students, President Mary S. Campbell has announced that Spelman will offer admission to transgender students beginning in the 2018-19 school year after changing the school’s policy. 

“Spelman College, a Historically Black College whose mission is to serve high-achieving Black women, will consider for admission women students including students who consistently live and self-identify as women, regardless of their gender assignment at birth,” reads the new policy. “Spelman does not admit male students, including students who self-identify and live consistently as men, regardless of gender assignment at birth. If a woman is admitted and transitions to male while a student at Spelman, the College will permit that student to continue to matriculate at and graduate from Spelman.”

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This is a major move that will surely lead to a lot of extra attention for the university. Don’t be surprised if the decision is instantly met with concerning and transphobic rhetoric from the general public and those with ties to the institution. Hopefully, this will lead to a more accepting world starting on Spelman’s campus and expanding from there.

“In adopting this admissions policy, Spelman continues its fervent belief in the power of the Spelman Sisterhood, wrote Campbell. “Students who choose Spelman come to our campus prepared to participate in a women’s college that is academically and intellectually rigorous, and affirms its core mission as the education and development of high-achieving Black women.”


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