Students in Dorm

Intentional Housing Communities

Residence Life and Housing is committed to supporting and complementing the academic program with the goal of creating a holistic environment that encourages collaboration, connections, learning, and personal growth. It is with this goal in mind that intentional housing communities were established.

Intentional housing communities are living spaces in which the residents have chosen to come together around a particular area of interest that will contribute to and cultivate the campus' culture of learning. They work together with a faculty or staff advisor to educate themselves and the larger community about their area of interest. Students who elect to reside in these spaces can expect to gain meaningful relationships with one another, lasting connections with staff and faculty, access to greater campus resources, and sense of pride in their community.

All IHCs are required to host two (2) educational initiatives each semester. An educational initiative can be anything that increases knowledge about the community’s area of interest. It can be hosting a discussion, creating a blog, screening a film, or displaying thought-provoking artwork on the Magic Board. The audience can be as large as the Five College community or as small as the IHC group. Once the event is over, the IHC must submit a IHC Educational Initiative Evaluation. Evaluations are due no later than one week after the event. The ability to continue these communities is contingent upon groups hosting these events, participating in administrative aspects of the selection process, and having continued demonstrated interest from the community. Any questions about planning or organization of educational initiatives can be directed to the assistant director of residence life, an area coordinator, or an RA. Questions about starting a new IHC or how to maintain an existing IHC should be directed to the housing operations office.

2016 Identity-Based Mods and Intentional Housing Communities

View Information Booklet (pdf)

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Current Intentional Housing Communities

Applications for the current academic year are reviewed on a rolling basis as space permits. Applications for the following academic year will open in early March and close in early April (check the important dates and deadlines page for upcoming deadlines). Students may apply to multiple communities, but can only accept an invitation to one. All applications will be reviewed by a committee composed of current residents and the group's advisor. Invitations to chosen applicants will be sent via Hampshire email addresses. Upon receiving an invitation, applicants will have a specified timeframe (can be as short as 48 hours during the spring room choosing process) to respond confirming their placement or will forfeit the offer.

Art Creation and Appreciation Mod, Greenwich 37: A safe space of creation, existence, and self-expression. Through creation of art--film, poetry, music, sculpture, dance, etc.--residents express themselves without inhibition. Through appreciate of others' art, residents will examine subjective perceptions. Residents strive to strip away the concreteness of objective understanding, to recognize their inability to ever fully grasp someone's meaning, and look instead to appreciate the messiness of human interaction. 

Circus Children Mod, Greenwich 33: An environment conducive to learning, sharing, and practicing the circus arts. Residents will bring their unique perspective and skill-set to share with the rest of the mod and the community. Residents will engage in circus as a tool for education, social justice, and for building patience and creativity. 

Greenhouse Mod, Enfield 46: A place for growing plants and food, learning about environmental sustainability, and for events that bring the Hampshire community together. These students care for and maintain the Enfield Greenhouse.

Hampshire Basketball Mod, Greenwich 22: The goal of this mod is to broaden the interconnecting basketball community throughout the Five College campuses, show the importance of the basketball team, and bring together the community. Residents value community, healthy life styles, and hard work grounded in love and support.

Intentional Arts Mod, Greenwich 5: A space for students who feel passionately about art as a tool of expression, therapy, and/or activism. Residents are interested in how art can be used within these contexts and feel that art is an extremely powerful tool. The goal of this mod is to incorporate artistic practices and methods into the daily lives of the residents, and explore what benefits and drawbacks this holds.

Kosher Mod, Prescott 82: A Kosher living space. All students welcome to apply, regardless of religious affiliation. Unlike other IHCs, the Kosher Mod is an institutionally-designated space and students must re-apply each year to ensure we are meeting the needs of the whole community.

Middle Eastern Immersion Mod, Greenwich 9: A safe space for students to learn from each other, where students who study the Middle East can learn from Middle Eastern students and vice versa. All aspects of Middle Eastern culture is incorporated into mod life, such as language, food, holidays, and discussion of current issues.

Mindfulness Mod, Greenwich 7: A space where students will support one another to be mindful and cultivate moment-by-moment, non-judgmental, focused attention and awareness.

Natural Living Mod, Greenwich 35: A home for students to respect, utilize, and immerse themselves in nature as a way of life. Residents put their values into practice by using homemade and natural health remedies, supporting local farms and co-ops, and abstaining from artificial products and processed foods.

Politics and Food Mod, Greenwich 27: This mod aims to create a space for learning about different underrepresented cultures and communities. Residents foster an atmosphere of community learning through events which address specific issues centered around the history and politics of their own cultures.

STEM Mod, Greenwich 36: A space where students can share knowledge and discuss ideas related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). They focus on developing a community committed to the advancement and appreciation of STEM in everyday lives.

Upcycling Mod, Enfield 55: A mod that will work to integrate art and sustainability in the Hampshire community, by educating students on the importance of reusing and repurposing, and organizing a series of sustainable art projects and events.

Women's Empowerment Mod Enfield 66: A safe and supportive space to actively engage with and challenge the normative expectations placed on women.

Living and Learning Communities are intentional housing communities that are open only to students in their first year at Hampshire, and must be applied for during the new student housing process.

Requirements for Maintaining an Intentional Housing Community

Each IHC must select a contact person who will act as a facilitator and liaison with the HOO throughout the summer and academic year. This person will be responsible for communicating with the HOO and ensuring the IHC is completing all requirements. Their attendance at an informational meeting each semester is mandatory. 

IHCs are required to implement two educational initiatives each semester. During the spring semester, at least one must take place before March 1 in order for the IHC to be eligible to accept new applications for the following year. An educational initiative can be anything that increases knowledge about the intentional housing community’s area of interest and furthers the mission of the community. Past initiatives have included discussions, film screenings, art shows, open houses, and community meals. The audience can be as large as the Five College community or as small as the group. Residents must submit a brief evaluation form within one week of the event (a link to the evaluation form will be provided by the HOO via Hampshire email to all members of intentional housing communities). Evaluations will describe the type of event, how it was promoted, how it furthered the mission of the housing community, and how successful it was. 

If spaces become available over the summer, the HOO, in coordination with the contact person, will attempt to fill them with alternates. If no alternates were listed, or those listed no longer wish to live in the IHC, the HOO will attempt to fill spaces through an application process in coordination with the contact person. The HOO, however, reserves the right to place interested students in vacancies if deemed administratively necessary.

IHCs should work actively with the HOO to recruit new members whenever vacancies arise during the year. In order to continue as an IHC, groups will need to participate in the spring room choosing process.

Failure to meet any of these requirements will result in loss of the space at the end of the academic year. IHCs that do not complete any educational initiatives during the fall semester may lose their status at the end of that semester.

Creating a New Intentional Housing Community

A group of five or six students who wish to create an intentional housing community that does not currently exist at Hampshire must submit a written proposal (see guidelines below) to the HOO before 4 p.m. on Friday, April 8. The proposal should include a mission statement as well as a list of the students who are committed to living in this space, noting who will live in the double. Proposals will be reviewed by the assistant director of residence life, and approved or denied by Friday, April 15. A meeting may be required for approval.

Approved groups will be given three (3) additional lottery points to add to the group's total points. They will participate in the mod lottery in the traditional manner. There is no guarantee they will win a mod.

In order to be approved by the assistant director of residence life, a group must present the following items:

1. A mission statement: a short paragraph that will define the community’s purpose, goals, and values, as well as how it will contribute to and cultivate the campus’ culture of learning. Examples of mission statements can be found in the applications for existing IHCs. Some questions to consider for your mission statement: What do we hope the community can learn by living this way? How could this topic be applied to someone’s course of study at Hampshire?

2. A signed advisor agreement (found on the final page of this booklet) indicating the continuing support of a faculty or staff member who will act in an advisory role. 

3. A proposal, including timelines, for at least two educational initiatives to be carried out in the following semester.

4. A roster of five or six students who are committed to living in the IHC. This must include an indication of two students who have consented to live in a double together, and the Hampshire email address of each student. 

All of this information (and more!) can be found in the 2016 Identity Based Mods and Intentional Housing Communities Booklet. Printed copies of this booklet will be provided to all students in their first year at Hampshire, and available for other interested students in the housing operations office, area offices, and other spaces around campus.

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893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
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housing@hampshire.edu