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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Observer

Saint Mary’s reverses decision to consider transgender applicants for admission

Saint Mary’s will no longer consider transgender applicants for admission, according to an email from College President Katie Conboy and Board chair Maureen Karantz Smith sent to faculty, staff, students and alumnae Thursday morning. The Board met this week and decided to reverse its June decision following backlash from the College community, the email said.

Conboy and Smith wrote that the new admissions policy, which was set to take effect next fall, caused division among the campus and alumnae.

“It is increasingly clear, however, that the position we took is not shared by all members of our community. Some worried that this was much more than a policy decision: they felt it was a dilution of our mission or even a threat to our Catholic identity,” they wrote.

Fort Wayne-South Bend bishop Kevin Rhoades wrote a letter in November calling on the College to reverse its decision. Rhoades criticized the Board and Conboy for not consulting him in the decision.

The reversal comes after Rhoades met with Conboy and Sr. M. Veronique, president of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, to talk about the admissions policy change.

Uproar to the policy change arose last month following an article in The Observer and a social media post from the campus group Turning Point USA.

“We clearly underestimated our community’s genuine desire to be engaged in the process of shaping a policy of such significance,” Conboy and Smith wrote. “As this last month unfolded, we lost people’s trust and unintentionally created division where we had hoped for unity.”