student in media lab

Identity-Based Housing

See the 2015 Identity Based Mods and Intentional Housing Communities booklet

The application for Identity Based Mods is currently available.

Residence Life is strongly committed to offering identity-based housing.

Residence Life and Housing facilitates the continuation of many identity-based housing communities started by students. These residential spaces give support to members of our community with social identities that have been historically marginalized in this country, and strive to counter systemic oppression. This arises from our commitment to fostering diverse, socially just, and inclusive communities.

We recognize that our society--through its laws, institutional structures, and customs--has privileged some social groups while systematically disadvantaging and disenfranchising others. Even as we struggle to end these practices, we recognize that day-to-day life for members of these disadvantaged groups can be hurtful and exhausting.

How does identity-based housing help counter oppression?
What are the criteria for an identity-based housing group?
Filling existing identity-based residences
How to Create a New Identity-Based Residence
How does being an officially recognized identity-based group affect the lottery process?
What is my commitment if I agree to live in identity-based housing?
How do we keep our same identity-based residence for next year?

How does identity-based housing help counter oppression?

Identity-based housing is an institutional structure designed to assist members of historically oppressed groups in supporting each other. It helps to create an added level of psychological comfort and safety for those who choose to live in those spaces, often providing the foundation for those students to be able to engage fully in the greater community.

Creating these safe spaces, in collaboration with centers on campus, will benefit the entire community. We must have the full engagement of all our community members, especially those whose experiences, ideas, and perspectives are different from those of the College's mainstream population. It is through these means that we, as a full community, are most likely to challenge assumptions, craft new solutions to problems, and perform to our highest ability.

What are the criteria for an identity-based housing group?

  • The group must demonstrate a compelling need for a living space that includes
    1. showing the need for a mutually supportive living environment;
    2. showing that the creation of the space would be a benefit to the Hampshire community or to the goals of that community in promoting diversity;
  • The group is identity-based (such as race, culture, gender, sexual orientation);
  • The group currently experiences or has historically experienced oppression within or outside the Hampshire community;
  • The group must be able to fill a mod or hallway upon creation for the academic year applied for, and demonstrate that those students are willing to relinquish all other housing options for the creation of the space; the number of students who sign the application determines size of residence;
  • The identity of a group must be distinct from membership in any campus or political organization;
  • The group must be distinct from existing identity-based housing groups.

Filling existing identity-based residences:

Identity-based spaces are filled for the following academic year by an application process prior to the spring housing lottery. Please check the important dates and deadlines page for upcoming deadlines. If spaces become available during the year or over summer, the application forms will be re-opened as needed.

All applications will be reviewed by a committee composed of current residents and staff advisors. The mods that are designated as Permanent below will be filled first. Those designated as Not-Yet-Permanent will only add residents once overlapping Permenent residences are completely full.

Invitations to chosen applicants will be extended via email.

If a Permanent residence does not fill with applicants, the remaining spaces with be filled with allies. Any Not-Yet-Permanent space unable to fill will be given the option of down-sizing and moving to a new space or disbanding.

Not-Yet-Permanent residences are those groups that have existed for less than 4 consecutive academic years in the same mod. These mods achieve Permanent status in their fifth year. Identity-based groups that change size, and therefore the mod they are living in, re-start the 4-year process from the beginning in their new space.

Permanent residences are truly permanent. Once a mod has achieved Permanent status it remains designated as an identity-based mod within the Hampshire housing system. In addition to establishing dependable spaces for identity-based communities, the goal of permanency is to give groups more ownership over their space and the chance to create a unique and lasting history within the mod.


Students of Color, Enfield 52
Queer, Greenwich 25 and Enfield 54
Women of Color, Enfield 60


Asian Heritage, Greenwich 26 (eligible for permanent status fall 2017)

On Haitus for 2013-14 Academic Year

Men of Color, Prescott 90

How to Create a New Identity-Based Residence

1. Groups interested in forming a new identity-based residence must meet with the assistant director of residence life. Appointments must be scheduled by April 10 and completed by April 12. A minimum of two students from the perspective group must be present at the meeting, and should come prepared to discuss how their group meets the criteria listed above.

2. Gather signatures of five to six committed students; two of these students must be committed to living in a double together. These are required for the application, and those students will not lottery with any other group.

Applicants will be notified at least one week prior to the first stage of the housing lottery whether their group was approved for an identity-based residence.

How does being an officially recognized identity-based group affect the lottery process?

If a group completes the application process, and is granted special identity-based status, it will receive a living space during the housing lottery. The group, with its lottery point letters, will take part in the lottery for the size space it has requested. The group will be allowed to choose whatever space its total numbers merit in the lottery. If the group has not "won" a mod when only one mod of its size is left, that last mod will be reserved for the group.

What is my commitment if I agree to live in identity-based housing?

Signing an input form or an application to create a new identity-based mod indicates a commitment to live in this residence for the coming year.

How do we keep our same identity-based residence for next year?

To maintain the same residence year-to-year, identity-based groups will participate in an application process each semester. Identity-based residences must fill completely each spring in order to continue into the next academic year.

Stay In Touch
With Housing
Snail Mail
Housing Operations Office
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email