The Complexity of Gender

The Complexity of Gender

What does it mean to be a women’s college in the 21st century, particularly at a time when gender definitions are more complex than just male and female? Earlier this fall, President H. Kim Bottomly appointed an advisory committee to lead a campus-wide dialogue in exploring this question. Composed of students, faculty, staff, and alumnae, the group is spearheading community-wide education efforts around gender fluidity and transgender issues, with lectures, town halls, and other programs. Chaired by Adele Wolfson, former associate dean and professor of chemistry, the committee will also examine College policies and procedures to determine whether they continue to serve the community well. The committee will present its findings to the president. These findings, informed by consultations with each of Wellesley’s governing bodies—Academic and Administrative councils and College Government—as well as the Alumnae Association will guide any recommendations made to the Board of Trustees. The president has established a website where alumnae and members of the campus community can learn more and find updates on the committee’s work. To visit the site, go to and use your Wellesley login to enter. After you log in, look for “President’s Advisory Committee on Gender and Wellesley” in the right column. Click the link to go to the website, which is only accessible by the Wellesley community.

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