Morehouse College To Admit Transgender Students Beginning Next Fall

It's a progressive step forward, with a notable caveat, for the all-male institution.

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| April 15 2019,

11:41 pm

Morehouse College will admit transgender men to its study body starting in fall 2020.

All persons who identify as male are allowed to apply to the prestigious historically Black all-male college. NBC News reports the latest decision was approved by trustees April 13.

For approximately 15 months, the new policy was developed with the help of community engagement, faculty and staff and current and past students' input. The Gender Identity Admissions and Matriculation Policy, as it is officially called, will require students admitted to the college to identify as a man throughout their academic career.

If a student transitions from man to woman during their academic career, that student can no longer be enrolled, CNN reports. However, exceptions can be made.

A student in that scenario can appeal to Morehouse's president, officials said in a statement to media. But there is no guarantee a student transitioning from male to female can graduate from the illustrious school.  

"In a rapidly changing world that includes a better understanding of gender identity, we're proud to expand our admissions policy to consider trans men who want to be part of an institution that has produced some of the greatest leaders in social justice, politics, business, and the arts for more than 150 years," Terrance Dixon, Morehouse vice president for enrollment management, told CNN. "The ratification of this policy affirms the College's commitment to develop men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service."

Morehouse's announcement comes about two years after sister college, Spelman College, decided to admit transwomen to the school's student body. Last year, the all-female historically Black college saw its first transman graduate. 

Although the latest news appears to be a policy promoting inclusion, some believe the school is unequipped to protect trans students. Others have trepidation about the policy's treatment of students transitioning to female.  

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), the exemptions can only be made by a three-person committee appointed by the college’s president. There must be a written appeal submitted to the president, as well. Trans women, however, will not be considered for admission regardless of their assigned gender at birth.

Dixon told the AJC a new task force would be created in the next few months to address rising concerns such as rooms, gender-neutral bathrooms and athletic programs. 

"Today's vote to reaffirm our dedication to educating and developing men, including trans men, is an important step into one of the new frontiers of social justice — gender identity," Dixon added. 

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