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Salem College considers new transgender policy

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.--- Salem College, the nation's oldest women's college is considering a policy that defines what happens to undergraduate, residential, transgendered students who go from female to male.

While the school will not say what prompted the policy discussion among it's leaders, the school says other women's colleges have implemented transgender policies so it feels the time is right to carefully consider one of its own.

Student Shannon Horton says, "it is an all girls school so I think there should be a policy for it."

With just over 1000 students there are male students, but they must be over 23, can not live on campus and have to take classes through the adult education center.

The question being raised, what happens if an undergraduate, residential student wants to have surgery to go from female to male but remain a residential, undergraduate student. 

"I feel like your playing the system when you get a sex change after you are here come here as a girl and that's how get in and then like oh I'm going to be a man but I'm already in the school," says Summer Rich a current Salem student.

Jessica Sedo, an alumna says, "if they are in school female and have transgender surgery while here I think they should be accepted."
While the opinions differ, the college isn't saying much more about the policy except that one is being considered and the school would like input from faculty, staff, students and alumnae.

Student Horton says she hopes everyone will make their opinion heard, "I guess that what makes Salem special is it is an all girls school and people work harder and strive to prove themselves as a woman, so it shouldn't just go away."   

"Historically it is a woman's college and I think you should keep it that way because like she said there aren't that many left," says Rich.

School officials did say in no way was this discussion meant to gauge a boarder level the interest in becoming entirely co-ed. 

Salem says it is still fully invested in following it's historical mission to educate women.