The Sensible Knave

"I do not see that we are further along today than where Hume left us. The Humean predicament is the human predicament." - W.V.O. Quine

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Still going coed

The decision at RMWC has triggered quite an uproar. Hollins, beware!

I have to agree that something stinks about the timing of the announcement ("Now that all of your tuition checks for the academic year have cleared, we've got big news for you girls!").

Transferring schools, while a necessity for some, is a great upheaval for many. Many current students are contemplating this, and I suppose that the male enrollment will offset this loss (in the long run, possibly; I, for one, wouldn't be brave enough to attend next year!).

How many of the current students would have selected this school, having foreseen such an abrupt change? Very few, I imagine. I wonder whether prospective students were warned of this change as a distinct possibility. If they weren't, then can't they make the case for "grandfathering" the current student body?

It seems only fair that the school put off the admission of men until 2010, after the first year class has its standard four years to graduate. Every current student would get what they came to the school for: a four year college education in a single-sex environment. That's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's what induced these women to choose this school. If the administration needn't do this for ethical reasons, then it should do so for pragmatic ones. How else could they ever expect prospective students to take the school at its word?

Now, is my assumption incorrect? Were prospective and incoming students in recent years warned that this change was looming? If so, then never mind.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Current students were not warned of the change. I am ashamed to say that I recruited students in my sophomore year at the college; those students are now juniors at the college, and they will have men as their classmates in their senior year. At the time I worked for Admissions, I had no idea that the college was contemplating the coed change.

One student this week spoke at a college meeting; she is a first-year, and when she visited campus only two months ago to decide whether she wanted to attend, she was informed that there was no possibility that the college would go coed before she graduated. She now faces three years as a student at a coed school, or the hassle of transferring to another women's college.

Students are not only upset about the change; they are upset at the sneaky, underhanded way in which the decision was made. I think the only just thing to do is to let the current students graduate before admitting men, but the college has already admitting one male applicant, and is reviewing other applications from men.

2:43 PM  

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