During the College Government Spring 2023 Election, students voted on a Ballot Initiative Question, which passed. The majority of the student body voted YES in response to the ballot initiative question. The language of the Ballot Initiative Question reads as follows:
"While we acknowledge that Wellesley College was founded as a college for women, we recognize the
many transgender and gender non-conforming students and alumni. To align the College’s messaging
with the demographics and lived experiences of the student body and alumni, we propose the following
I. Future Wellesley College communications will replace all gender-specific language with
gender-neutral language in reference to its student body. Below is a non-exhaustive list of
A. “Students” or “alumni” instead of “women”
B. “They/them” instead of “she/her”
II. Wellesley College Admissions will adopt a policy that is inclusive of all transgender and
non-binary prospective students
A. A. Our peer institution, Mount Holyoke College, welcomes “applications from female,
transgender and nonbinary students” in their inclusive admissions policy. We propose
Wellesley College adopt similar wording such as "applications from cisgender women,
transgender women, and all other transgender and nonbinary students."
Do you support the adoption by the student body of this policy and support our request that the Wellesley
College administration and Board of Trustees adopt the aforementioned policy?"
Despite widespread student support for transparency for the official ballot question results, the ballot question results will not be made public to either the student body or the Board of Trustees. As a non-partisan College Government committee dedicated to political engagement, we have decided to facilitate open and transparent communication between the student body and Board of Trustees by conducting a campus-wide anonymous exit poll, which we hope will capture the full range of student voices on campus.
We recognize that this exit poll is not a perfect representation of the official ballot question results. Due to widespread student support for greater electoral transparency, we will continue to advocate for public release of the official ballot question results. In the interest of “Non Ministrari, sed Ministrare” (“Not to be ministered unto, but to minister”), we hope to remind the Wellesley community that students’ voices matter.
CPE is a non-partisan College Government Committee with the task of raising awareness about politics and government on campus, and encouraging political engagement.