“I think higher education should be at the forefront of that, not sort of catching up to the rest of the world,” Banks said. “What I hope is we’ll have the conversation, we’ll have the policies in practice, and then we’ll move on. It will no longer be a hot-button issue and we’ll move on to other issues.”
At single-sex institutions, compounding the transgender-related issues that tend to pop up fairly regularly on all campuses – participation in athletics, demand for gender-neutral housing and bathrooms, and gender indications on college applications — are questions of admissions, institutional history and employee and student attitudes.
There are myriad implications to consider, Banks said: in the classroom (say, a professor won’t call a student by the name she prefers), in the dorms or student union (where bullying or hate crimes could occur), and in the bathrooms and health center (which may need some degree of restructuring).
These are questions with which Mount Holyoke and other women’s colleges are grappling. Some have more straightforward answers than others.