Gender Identity & Expression
Transgender students, staff and faculty often have specific questions about gender diversity on campus, some of which are addressed below.
Is Smith still a women’s college?
In its mission and legal status, Smith is a women’s college. Smith is also a place where students are able to explore who they are in an open and respectful environment.
Does Smith have transgender students?
Absolutely. Smith has students, faculty and staff who are trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming. Smith students are here to engage with each other socially and academically in respectful ways, and our community values the range of identities that the student body represents.
How are transgender students supported at Smith?
Smith is actively working to expand support for transgender students. Some of the resources currently available include:
The Resource Center for Sexuality and Gender
- The RCSG has a student staff position who maintains the space and holds open hours for peer support
- Each Spring, the RCSG, Lazarus Center for Career Development, and Alumnae Relations cohost an online panel of trans and nonbinary Smith alums focused on career options and navigating the workplace as a trans and/or nonbinary person
The Office for Equity & Inclusion
- The OEI has a Trans/Nonbinary Working Group; contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Raven Fowlkes-Witten and Toby Davis serve as OEI point people for trans and nonbinary students, which means they are available for individual support and also advocate for policy and infrastructure change
- OEI offers both synchronous and asynchronous trainings to the Smith community on trans inclusion
The Schacht Center for Health & Wellness
- The Schacht Center provides trans-affirming primary care, including hormone therapy
- They have a point person who can help students and their families navigate insurance coverage
- The Wellness Office—which serves as a resource for trans students—has a binder library, where students can try on binders to find the right size and style before buying
- Counseling Services runs a Transgender Support Group
- Every single-occupancy restroom on campus is designated all-gender, and more and more multi-stall bathrooms are as well (such as in the new Neilson)
- An all-gender locker room in the athletic facilities, with private showering and changing areas
- All student leaders (HCAs, HPs, OSE staff, SAAs, HONS, etc.) attend an annual training on trans inclusion
- Students can apply to the emergency medical fund for copays, deductibles and other non-insurance covered trans-related health care, including binders
- There is a student organization, Trans and Nonbinary Alliance of Smith College, whose membership includes trans men, trans women, transmasc and transfemme people and nonbinary people. They offer peer-to-peer support and also run a lot of social and educational programming. Check them out on Instagram.
- Campus-wide programming features a range of high profile trans and nonbinary guest speakers and performers. In past years we’ve seen such figures as Alok Vaid-Menon, Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, Eli Clare and others
- You can update your pronouns and enter a chosen name in Workday. The name you use in Workday will automatically appear on or in the following:
- Smith Google account name (the full name that displays when emailing someone, for example, or on a calendar). This is accessible to people outside of Smith with whom you communicate via your Smith email.
- Online Smith Campus Directory, which is accessible to people outside of Smith.
- Moodle, which is accessible to Smith and Five College students in the same course.
How do recent federal actions affect transgender students, staff and faculty?
The October 2017 reversal of federal protections for gender identity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in no way affects Massachusetts law or Smith’s commitments to protecting its transgender and nonbinary employees and students from discrimination and harassment. The college stands by and affirms all aspects of its Notice of Nondiscrimination, and Smith will continue to consider any instance of gender-identity-based discrimination as a violation of our policies and principles.
Admission to Smith
Who is eligible to apply to Smith?
People who identify as women—cis, trans and nonbinary women—are eligible to apply to Smith.
What is required of trans and nonbinary women applicants to be considered for admission?
Smith’s policy is one of self-identification. The applicant’s affirmation of identity is sufficient.