The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Open letter to the Board of Trustees at Chatham

To Whom It May Concern:

Initially, I did not attend Chatham University for the fact that it has an all-women’s college program- The academic and community opportunities offered within the visual arts and arts management departments attracted my attention and led me to apply for its undergraduate program. It wasn’t until I finished my last year this past May that I realized how beneficial the all-women’s experience has helped my friends and me become the leaders we are today.

After finishing my first-year experience at a private co-ed institution I transferred to Chatham to gain a new perspective on my educational experience through a small private college with a beautiful campus. During my first three years in Pittsburgh, I found lasting friendships that have allowed me to change my outlooks on relationships between women. Sally Ramirez and I founded the nationally award-winning Artist Collective and campus award-winning Bake Club in order to sustain a legacy of artists and passionate bakers on Chatham’s campus. We helped inspire, and were inspired by, students to make a difference on a campus based on sisterhood and leadership. These relationships are still with me today, and still help me find my strength while attending graduate school at Carnegie Mellon.

There is an important bond that happens among Chatham students-A bond that is strong across cultures tied to experiences of being women in a society that turns women against one-another in the workforce. These intellectuals form from the close-knit community of diverse women, especially from the Gateway Program. What makes the Gateway program accessible for returning students is the fact that the school is just for women. It is safe to assume that if Chatham does implement a coed undergrad program, there may be a significant drop in the Gateway program. This drop would return a large loss for many perspective students who deserve the opportunity to return to school.

Chatham University is one of 47 women’s universities and colleges, which offers opportunities to women who want to make the correct decision in accordance to their own path. If the plan for “diversifying” follows through this fall, the school may suffer from inability to position itself from other Universities in Western Pennsylvania.

I owe so much to the Chatham community for granting me the academic, emotional, and financial support I needed in order to gain an educated perspective on the world, which is why I am writing to you today, asking to reconsider the decision of making Chatham’s undergraduate program co-ed.

Even though student numbers are decreasing, there are women out there who want the all women’s experience-They just don’t understand the benefits. I came to Pittsburgh not knowing what Chatham had in store for me, and I can say with all honesty that I have no regrets in choosing Chatham. Thank you.

Paige Louise Hoffman

Chatham University Alumna, 2013

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    Tricia ChickaFeb 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Great letter Paige! Thanks for pointing out the potential issues for the Gateway students. That’s a good point.