Thursday, December 06, 2007

Male Student at Wellesley College

Okay, so it's not directly a Title IX issue, but it does touch on the issue of same-sex education and what it means for women and men who break new ground in this area.

The Boston Globe reports that Dartmouth undergrad Mohammad Usman is taking his "semester abroad" at Wellesley College, the prestigious women's college in Wellesley, Massachusetts. This makes him the only male student on Wellesley's campus this fall. He reports that the experience has been very good, and it seems from the article that his classmates have enjoyed getting to know him over the course of the semester. Usman chalks up his interest in attending Wellesley to its academic programs, its proximity to Boston, and experiencing the feeling of being the only male student at a women's college.

It's good to see that Usman's experience has been a very positive one; I wonder, however, whether a lone woman at a men's college has ever felt so welcome and positive about the experience. Certainly the experience of Shannon Faulkner, the first woman to attend the Citadel military academy in the 1990s, although not necessarily representative of all such experiences, was very different.