Diversity and Inclusion
The Department of Residence Life is committed to making the residence halls a welcoming place where each person has an equitable place within the community. As such, Residence Life provides the following support for any student that has questions or concerns about their housing assignment.
Designated staff member(s) that will work directly with students to address any questions, concerns, or requests to their housing assignment, roommate assignment or housing environment.
University text messaging system that allows students to text a representative at MSU that will reach out to them privately to discuss any services or support that they might need as they transition to MSU.
Websites dedicated to providing students and parents with additional information and resources that are available on the MSU campus within the Residence Life Department and the Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons.
We offer a variety of living options on-campus for residents to select from including co-ed and single gender residence halls. Residence Life works with our partners at the Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons to ensure that students have access to resources and support throughout the University. In order to provide support to students who, for whatever reason, need or request special accommodations due to gender identity/expression, Residence Life needs to know that a student requires such accommodations. Residence Life staff are also concerned with the roommate matches and take careful considerations with all of our roommate assignments. If you do not have a strong feeling about who your roommate is, we would ask you to contact Residence Life to make additional notes to your application about the type of roommate you are willing to live with.
Any willful attempt to repress, undermine, or otherwise damage any person or group constitutes a legitimate threat to the health and welfare of our community. Therefore, discrimination, harassment, intimidation, abuse, assault, verbal or written threats (direct or implied) will be addressed immediately, and dealt with seriously.
Residence Life responds to prospective and current student housing needs on a case-by-case basis. Given the importance Residence Life places on creating a rightful place for all residents, our staff works closely with students who bring different needs and wants to their residence hall experience. In many cases, we are able to make reasonable accommodations for students who identify needs. Housing assignments are made on a case-by-case basis, recognizing the variety of individual needs and preferences and the fact that spaces may be limited. As with any student who applies to live in the residence halls, we cannot guarantee that all preferences can be met.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the difference between sex and gender? Sex and gender are typically viewed as the same, but they are in fact different. Sex is biological and is based on things like your chromosomes and hormones. Sex is frequently described with the terms “male” and “female,” but not everyone falls into those two sexes. Gender is how someone identifies themselves and is not based on chromosomal or hormonal factors. Gender is frequently described with the terms “man” and “woman,” but not everyone falls into these two genders.
- What are pronouns and why are they important? Pronouns are words used in place of names, such as “he,” “her,” “his,” etc. Pronouns typically are based on gender, such as using “she” for a woman. Some people will prefer a gender-neutral pronoun, such as “they.” Because gender is such an integral part of identity, using the appropriate/correct personal pronoun is an important part of respectful interaction with another person. If you aren’t sure what pronoun to use when talking to someone, it is okay to ask! Residence Life staff will use the preferred names of individuals as indicated on their housing application. If you wish to change/update your preferred name, please contact the Residence Life Office at 406-994-2661 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. *Please note the changing or updating your preferred name on your housing application does not indicate a name change with the university as a whole.
- What will Residence Life do if I can't live with my roommate anymore because we have a difference of opinion? Before you arrive on campus for the semester, please contact the Residence Life Office at 406-994-2661 or email@example.com to request a new roommate. Please make sure to include the name of your current roommate and the reason for the request. We will do our best to move you into a different space with a different compatible roommate and we would notify you if we are able to accommodate a change. After you move in, you will want to head to your hall front desk to talk to your Program Coordinator (PC). They will be able to talk through your options in the same hall or talk to the other halls to see what options are available with those halls.
- Who do I talk to or where do I report issues or incidents that happen that violate my rights? If you need to report and issue or incident that you feel has violated your rights, please talk to your Resident Advisor (RA) or Resident Director (RD) of your residence hall. If you do not feel comfortable talking to your RA or RD, Please contact James Tobin, Assistant Director of Residence Life at 406-994-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What are the community standards for the Mixed Gender Housing (MGH) option? In all of our living options our goal is that students and staff work together to
create and promote safe, affirming, and inclusive communities.In addition, we expect
that residents educate guests about the values and community expectations which include:
- Modeling behavior that reflects a positive value and respect for gender as a non-binary construct (human beings do not necessarily identify with the gender and gender norms associated with their sex assigned at birth).
- Openness and desire to develop one’s own understanding about gender identity, sexual orientation, and other differences.
- Assisting and supporting roommates and their guests in order to maintain a space that is inclusive, affirming and comfortable.
- Promoting and attempting to use inclusive language within the gender inclusive unit. This includes referring to others by their self-identified gender pronouns.
- Respecting assigned roommates’ different motivations for choosing this living option.
Residents understand they may be removed from the environment if they fail to abide by these standards.
- Is there someone I can talk to about a room preference or roommate request that will be accepting of my specific values or gender identity? Montana State University is required to assign students based on the gender designation in their official University record (through the Office of the Registrar). James Tobin, Assistant Director of Residence Life is the designated staff members in Residence Life that will be able to answer your questions and to provide you with a personal and confidential assessment of our available housing options. Please contact James at (406) 994-2661 or via email at email@example.com to understand options available to you or discuss any questions that you may have. If you speak with a Residence Life staff member, you choose what you want to disclose. Our goal is to make you feel safe and welcome into your new community. Please keep in mind, the earlier you contact us with questions and/or concerns, the more flexibility we will have in assisting you with exploring different housing options.
- Do the residence halls have gender neutral bathrooms? All of our residence halls offer public restrooms in the lobbies; some are unisex and some are gender specific.