[by Justin Kilian of Smith Q&A]
Q&A’s most recent meeting with Board of Trustees members last Saturday did not go well. One of our trans woman members was barred from the meeting, despite being present and ready to discuss the issues at hand. Although Q&A was told they were there to discuss their policy proposal, during the 25-minute meeting the Board read the policy and asked a couple clarifying questions, with very little follow up to what a new admissions and educational policies would look like implemented. These clarifying questions were unnecessarily invasive — with one Trustee claiming she wanted to be a “Devil’s advocate” in this discussion — despite the fact that Q&A representatives provided educational packets that addressed any curiosities the Board might have. Towards the end of the meeting, it was said that this policy was not likely to be changed until next admissions cycle.
This is not what progress looks like. We are sick and tired. We have spent two years building a working relationship with and educating Smith officials at the Office of Admission, only to find out that the Board is actually the entity making the final decision. We are sick of Smith bureaucracy refusing to recognize the urgency of this matter, or to make trans women a priority. We are sick of Smith bureaucracy refusing to acknowledge the voices of those affected by their policy in discussion. We are sick of being asked the same offensive questions about “male socialization” and “men pretending to be women” over and over again.
We need to make it clear to the Board of Trustees that we do not plan on taking no for an answer.
Smith Q&A cordially invites you to a protest on October 25th, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM in front of the Campus Center at Smith, next to the RCSG. We will be holding signs, making speeches, and reflecting on the institutional failure that is Smith’s current admissions policy. Stand with us in solidarity to let Smith officials know that this is a change that should have happened yesterday. This event is open to the public, including family visiting for Family Weekend.
Anyone who sees this post can help us out by:
signing our petition
contacting officials directly by email