"[Same-sex] colleges are in a very unique position," said Susan Marine, assistant dean of student life at Harvard College in Massachusetts. "How do they preserve their identity when student identities are being called into question?" The identities Marine is talking about is the College's identity of a same-sex institution and the increasingly diverse gender identities expressed by its students. She interviewed college administrators who are worried alumni won't donate to the schools if students are allowed to change genders.
Many colleges' policies are vague. Some colleges enact policies—like strict dress codes—that try to limit students' gender expression. Others skirt the issue. "We admit women," said Patricia VandenBerg, communications director at Mount Holyoke College. "We graduate students. They develop as they develop." And develop they do; when Kevin Murphy entered as a freshman there "he was female," Stephanie Chen writes. "By the time he received his diploma, he was male."