Women's college now only requires applicants to 'identify as women'

Hollins University in Virginia has traditionally only admitted biological women or biological men who had undergone full gender reassignment surgery.

The university recently updated the policy to include all who "identify as women" "in light of society's evolving understanding of gender identity."

In an effort to keep up with the “evolving understanding of gender,” a Virginia women’s college will no longer require its applicants to be biologically female, but rather only to “identify as women.” Individuals already at the school who currently identify as women but who transition to live as men will be allowed to stay.

Until this month, Hollins University allowed students to identify as male, but those who chose to solidify the identity with hormones or surgery were required to leave the college before the next semester.  The new policy updated Wednesday will allow such students to continue their education and graduate from Hollins.

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As far as admission goes, Hollins will now consider for admission any “individuals who consistently live and identify as women.” This means that in order to be considered, any applicant to Hollins “must affirmatively identify herself as a woman and her application materials must support this self-identification.”

In other words, “trans women,” or biological men who identify as women, are eligible for admission to the university. On the other hand, biological women who choose to live as men are not welcome. In the words of the university, “applicants assigned female at birth who now identify as male are not eligible for admission.” 

The school specifically notes that “non-binary” individuals do not qualify for admission either.

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The university insists that its mission “to provide an exceptional undergraduate liberal arts education for women” remains unchanged and that the policy change simply “reaffirms” the mission “in light of society’s evolving understanding of gender identity.”

“We are an institution that wants to support every single student, that cares about every single student, that wants every single student to reach their potential,” Board of Trustees Chairwoman Alexandra Trower toldThe Roanoke Times.  “To penalize an individual for making the very difficult decision to transition and saying they have to leave their community, their friends, their teachers, and leadership positions felt very much at odds with who we are.” 

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