Enfield housing area

Identity-Based Housing

The application for Fall 2019 is now closed. Applicants will be notified of their status via email during the week of April 15, 2019.

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?

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.

Filling existing identity-based residences:

All identity-based mods share an online application. Students may apply for as many identity-based mods as they like in the same application.

All applications will be reviewed by the Identity-Based Housing Guidance Committee. The committee is composed of residence life student staff, residence life professional staff, community advocacy staff, current residents of identity-based mods, and other invested community members.

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 in which they live, 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.

Permanent Identity-Based Mods:

Asian Heritage, Greenwich 26 (three singles, one double) The Asian Heritage Mod is a 5-person mod in Greenwich 26 for those who identify with having Asian Heritage. What makes this mod unique is a shared culture, often shared languages, and shared experiences. It’s a space where people don’t have to explain who they are or where they’re coming from. The current residents of the Asian Heritage Mod are people who really want to live in a space based on this aspect of their identity.

LGBTQQIAAP, Greenwich 32 (two singles, one double) The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Allies, Asexual, Pansexual (LGBTQQIAAP) Mod is an intimate intentional living space for people who share these identities and want to live with others who identify under the same umbrella. What makes this mod unique is its location next to the Queer Community Alliance Center, a programming and resource center for the Queer community. This 4-person mod in Greenwich 32 has an open roster, meaning it has the potential for all its new members to manifest a unique and personalized environment.

Students of Color, Enfield 52 (six singles, one double) The Students of Color Mod (SOC) houses 8 people in Enfield 52 and is for students who identify as people of color. The SOC Mod values communication, respect, community, self-awareness, and cleanliness, and an overall love for people of color, their bodies, and their experiences. Students here have created a communal identity, with shared food, shared apartment items, and an overall sense of each other and their needs.

Queer, Enfield 54 (five singles, one double) The Queer Mod in Enfield 54 is for people who identify as Queer, however individually defined. It is a comfortable space that can serve as a break from the outside world, and has historically been a place for making art. Its colorful walls full of paintings and artwork attest to its history. The current residents in this 7-person space describe it as promoting peace and independence.

Women of Color, Enfield 60 (four singles, one double) The 6-person Women of Color Mod in Enfield 60 is one of the oldest identity-based housing communities on campus. Current residents remark that: “We believe in fostering a supportive body built on foundations of sisterhood and cultural values. As young women of color in a predominately white institution, we find value in our relationship within our ecosystem and our different cultural perspectives. It is one of our objectives to create a safe home for young women to speak, be heard, and have a meaningful presence on this campus. As sisters we lean on each other throughout the tough times, and we take pride in taking care of each other.”

Not-Yet-Permanent Identity-Based Mods:

Trans and Non-Binary Stability Mod, Greenwich 35 (four singles, one double) The Trans and Non-Binary Stability Mod is a space for students who identify as Trans and Non-Binary. What makes this mod unique is that even if the mod is initially full of strangers there is an aspect of shared identity that can help facilitate an intentional and affirming community. Due to its status as a Not-Yet-Permanent Mod it must reach full occupancy of 6 people to remain an ID-Based Mod in Greenwich 35.

Trans and Non-Binary People of Color (TNBPOC), Greenwich 38 (three singles, one double) The Trans/Non-Binary People of Color Mod (TNBPOC) is a mod for students who identify as Trans/Non-Binary people of color. This mod is unique in that it centers another particular intersection, providing an avenue for TNBPOC to find shared meaning and identity in their mod community. The TNBPOC Mod is a recent formation; an attempt to address a gap in ID Based Mods that currently existed at the time. Being part of this 5-person mod in Greenwich 38 is being part of the further creation and development of such an important resource.

On Hiatus for 2018-2019:

Pan-Afrikan Diaspora

Queer People of Color (QPOC)

Creating a New Identity-Based Mod

Residence Life and Housing will not be accepting applications for new identity-based mods for the 2019-2020 academic year. Students interested in living in identity-based housing are encouraged to apply to an existing community. 

A group of five or six students who wish to create an identity-based mod that does not currently exist at Hampshire must submit a written proposal to the HOO during the spring room-choosing process. The proposal should include a statement addressing the guidelines listed below, as well as a list of the students who are committed to living in this space noting who will live in the double. The proposal will be reviewed by the Identity-Based Housing Guidance Committee. The group will be notified of approval or denial via Hampshire email addresses.

Once approved, the group will be expected to participate in the mod lottery for the size mod equal to the number of students committed to living in the space (limited to 5 or 6 students). If a mod is not won with points, the last available mod of that size will be granted to the group. Groups must indicate which students have agreed to live together in a double when submitting the names of the students in their group.

Guidelines for Creating New Identity-Based Mods:

  1. The group must demonstrate a compelling need for a living space that includes:
    a) showing the need for a mutually supportive living environment
    b) showing that the creation of the space would benefit the Hampshire community or further the goals of the community in promoting diversity
  2. The group must be unified by a social identity (such as race, culture, gender, or sexual orientation).
  3. The unifying social identity must currently experience or has historically experienced oppression within or outside the Hampshire community.
  4. Upon creation, the group must be able to fill a five- or six-person mod for the upcoming academic year, and demonstrate that the committed students are willing to relinquish all other housing options; the number of students committed determines size of mod (limited to 5 or 6 students). Among these students, two must indicate that they will share a double together, even if the group hopes to win a mod without a double.

Programming Commitments for Residents of Identity-Based Mods

Students who accept spaces in identity-based mods will be required to attend a retreat in September. Residents of identity-based mods are expected to attend programming throughout the academic year (around one per month).

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With Housing
Snail Mail
Housing Operations Office
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002