Morehouse College's New Admissions Policy is A Hit & A Miss All in One

Over the years, colleges and government struggled with policies regarding the LGBTQ+ community, specifically with trans men and women. In fact, the biggest debate came from the ideal of restrooms being able to facilitate anyone who identifies with that gender. The Obama Administration even made a statement in 2016 that called public schools to allow students to use either restroom based on their gender identity.

 Morehouse College is an HBCU that is known for having pride in brotherhood and leadership. With that being said, for 152 years the admissions policy has only allowed Cis-males to be accepted into the institution. Saturday, the institution’s Board of Trustees voted and approved the admission of trans men starting in the semester of fall 2020. This groundbreaking change in policy has been an ongoing battle. It has been reported that the policy has been in the works for about fifteen months. President Dr. David A. Thomas of Morehouse College even established a task force to increase input from all parties – students, faculty, and alumni.

President Thomas took the time to discuss the policy with the Associated Press, "I think Morehouse having the courage to speak to issues of masculinity in today’s environment is important. For 152 years, the world has, in some way, seen Morehouse as the West Point of black male development."

The basics of this policy are followed:

·         Once admitted to the College, all students are expected to self-identify as men throughout their education at Morehouse.

·         If a student transitions from a man to a woman, that student will no longer be eligible to matriculate at Morehouse. Exemptions from this rule may be granted by a three-person committee appointed by the President after a written appeal is submitted by the student. In the event that the impacted student disagrees with the decision of the committee, the student may make a final appeal to the President of Morehouse.

·         Trans women, or individuals who identify as women regardless of the sex assigned to them at birth, will not be considered for admission.

The policy requires all students to identify as men. This aspect has its pros and cons. Although Morehouse has always admitted only male students into the institution, they have also always allowed for the graduation of trans women. Furthermore, students have never been pressured to stop transitioning in order to continue their education. The full policy does mention an appeal process that can occur if any trans woman wishes to continue their education at Morehouse.

The appeal process begins with a written appeal submitted by the student. Afterward, the student would appear in front of a “three-person committee appointed by the President.” From there, the committee decides whether this student will remain a student at Morehouse College. If the results acquire the student’s removal, the last efforts to stay at the college is accepted. The student has the option of another appeal for the President of Morehouse College. The decision of the President is deemed as the final decision.

            Celebrating this victory should only be short-lived. We can raise our glasses to the acceptance of trans men, however, the battle is not over. It is evident that Morehouse’s new policy isn’t as inclusive as many hoped. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t take another fifteen months for a new policy to emerge.

To check out the policy in full detail, click the link here.