Intentional Ambiguity As Policy

 This is giving me a lot to think about w/r/t my paper. According to this study, the school’s current admission’s policies are as such: “Mills currently considers for admission all students who claim female identity when they apply. The College generally takes students at their word when they claim such identity, amending this descriptor as necessary on a case by case basis.”While the size of the school lends to its ability to asses potential non-cis students individually, in my personal opinion, this absence of a positive policy leaves transgender and gender non-conforming applicants in a place of further vulnerability.

It’s also difficult to take the school’s assessment of itself completely at face value, particularly when individual administrators have been either been contradicted statements in this study, or have simply been vague enough about these questions (in emails to me) as to maintain plausible deniability about accessibility for trans women and trans feminine people.

I’m very open to my assessment being incorrect, or incomplete. But I think the possibility of this — of its being incomplete, in particular — would have as much to do with the ambiguity of the school’s policies as my own oversights, biases, and mistakes. If, after spending several months researching and asking questions about the school’s policy regarding trans* folks, and specifically trans women, trans feminine people, and genderqueer people AMAB/MAAB, an already-admitted student can’t quite figure out just how welcome transgender students are at Mills, maybe I didn’t need to write a goddamn paper in the first place.

6 thoughts on “Intentional Ambiguity As Policy

  1. As a Mills faculty member, I too am concerned about the hedge words in the admissions policy. I think we should trust applicants’ self identification.

    Thanks for speaking up.

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