Identity-Based Housing

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

Residence life is committed to offering identity-based housing.

We recognize 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 safer spaces, in collaboration with centers on campus, benefits 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 we as a full community are most likely to challenge assumptions, craft new solutions to problems, and perform to our highest ability.

Identity-based mods (for continuing students)

The current identity-based mod residents will work with residence life on the selection of residents for their mods for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Identity-Based Mods

Asian Heritage, Enfield 57 (four singles) and 58 (four singles) The Asian Heritage Mod is 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, Enfield 41 (three singles) 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. 

Students of Color, Enfield 52 (six singles) The Students of Color Mod (SOC) 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) The Queer Mod 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. 

Women of Color, Enfield 60 (four singles) The Women of Color Mod is one of the oldest identity-based housing communities on campus. Residents have remarked 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.”

Programming commitments for residents of identity-based mods

Students who accept spaces in identity-based mods will be required to attend a retreat in the fall and the spring. Additionally, residents of identity-based mods will be encouraged to plan and/or attend approximately one program per month during the academic year.

Identity-based halls (for incoming new students)

Identity-based halls (or floors) seek to bring the benefits of identity-based housing to first-year students living in residence halls. They are also living environments formed to counter oppression, while supporting incoming students in developing healthy and liberatory ways of living on campus. There will be structured opportunities to connect to and learn from continuing students living in our identity-based mods.

There are currently three identity-based halls available:

  • The Students of Color Hall
  • The Women of Color Hall
  • The LGBTQIA+ Hall

New students may mark their preference to live in an identity-based hall on their housing form. The resident advisor working with residents of identity-based halls will support students with programming and resource referral.

Community Advocacy staff serve as advisory support for residents of identity-based housing.

Whereas residence life staff assist residents of identity-based housing with housing-related matters, staff within community advocacy support these students and provide advice related to their social identities. Contact Robert Gordon at rgordon@hampshire.edu for further details.