An undergrad student at an all women's college in Winston-Salem, North Carolina has informed the university that she wishes to continue as a student there even after she completes gender-reassignment surgery next month.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Salem College is a four-year liberal-arts school for women. Of its 1,100 students, a handful are men who are 23 and older who take undergraduate courses at the Fleer Center for Adult Education.
However, only female students are allowed to live on campus, according to the schoolâ??s website.
And now the school is looking into creating a new policy on transgender students to accommodate the un-named students request.
Annie Webb, a 2005 Salem graduate, sent an email to fellow alumnae on Jan. 5 concerned that the new policy would open the door, legally, for the school to be pushed into becoming a co-ed institution.
â??Unfortunately, the feeling from other alumnae with whom Iâ??ve spoken is that there is very little trust in the board or the administration to maintain Salemâ??s women college status,â?? Webb wrote.
The e-mail's assertions aren't sitting well with another Salem grad, Kari Ross, who writes for LGBTQnation.com.
"The truth of the matter is there is misinformation about what is happening at Salem and what allowing an openly-transitioning student to remain at Salem would mean" Ross writes.
"Regardless of whether a student is considering transition or not, such a decision is in no way the concern of the college administration, Board of Trustees, or alumni but a private and personal decision of the individual and their medical professionals that should be respected."
Michelle Melton, a college spokeswoman, declined to identify the student who is becoming a man, citing federal educational privacy laws and Salemâ??s privacy policies.
Charles Blixt of Winston-Salem, the trusteesâ?? chairman said last week, â??The board will not consider becoming a coed institution. This is the oldest womenâ??s college in the country, and we intend to remain so.â??
The Journal says that Blixt declined to discuss any specific policy the trustees might be considering and said they have no timetable for a decision but will get input from Pauly, alumnae and other constituents.
He did say, however, that the 31-member board of trustees will consider options that adhere to Salem Collegeâ??s mission of educating women.
â??I donâ??t know whether we will decide on anything or develop a policy on transgender students,â?? he said.
Should a woman who becomes a man via gender-reassignment be allowed to continue at an all-women's college after a sex change?