Barnard College, the all-women’s liberal-arts college affiliated with Columbia University, has voted to admit transgender women. Beginning fall semester of 2016, applicants who “consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth” will be considered for admission. Those who identify as women when they apply but decide to transition to men will be allowed to continue their studies at Barnard. Transgender men and those who do not identify as either gender will not be allowed to apply under the new rules. Barnard joins several other women-only schools, such as Wellesley and Smith, in accepting transgender women.
According to the Times, the board of trustees approved the new policy on Wednesday, and the decision comes at a moment of heightened awareness around trans rights: It’s the same week that Caitlyn Jenner made her widely praised debut on the cover of Vanity Fair. Support for trans rights is growing — but, as this week’s potential hate crime against a trans woman in the New York subway shows, it’s still got a long way to go.