Long-standing women's college votes to allow men to enroll - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Long-standing women's college votes to allow men to enroll

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Courtesy University of Saint Joseph Courtesy University of Saint Joseph
WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A long-standing women’s college has voted to allow men to enroll starting in the fall of 2018.

After months of debate, the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford made the decision on Wednesday.

The school has been an all women’s college since 1932 and the school’s president has said they would only make the change if there is compelling evidence that it will enhance the students' experience. 

“This is a very exciting day for everyone associated with the University of Saint Joseph,” said Rhona Free, Ph.D., president of USJ. “With today’s decision, we reaffirm our commitment of educational excellence to our undergraduate women students, reinforce our culture of openness, diversity and inclusion established by our Sisters of Mercy founders, and continue our mission of responding to the needs and interests of today’s students.” 

The university has been studying the change for 6 months. It all led up to Wednesday when its Board of Trustees voted.

“The Board’s unanimous decision to open undergraduate enrollment to men followed a thoughtful and inclusive process based on a lengthy accumulation of data, followed by a detail-oriented process of overview and discussion,” said E. Clayton “Skip” Gengras Jr., chair of the University of Saint Joseph Board of Trustees.  “I am very thankful for all the input from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University that led to this significant development in USJ’s history.”

Around campus, feelings on allowing men to enroll were mixed. Some students told Eyewitness News that they wouldn’t mind; however, others said it could be a distraction and that they chose the college because it was all women.

There are currently about 750 students enrolled at St. Joseph.

Saint Joseph's does have some co-ed programs like graduate masters, certificate programs and professional doctorate degrees.

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