LGBTQIA+ Student Resources and FAQ

Mount Holyoke College strives to build and maintain a campus environment that is inclusive, pluralistic and free of discrimination. The college acknowledges, values and affirms the intersections of the various identities that make up our diverse campus, including the diverse range of gender and sexual identities and identifications.

The purpose of the LGBTQIA+ (which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, plus) Student Resources page is to provide information about on-campus and local resources, programs and services to students who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Finding Community on Campus

Many communities on campus offer support around gender and sexual identity. Each one provides a safe environment for students to engage and explore who they are with students from similar identities and experiences.

Mary Woolley Living-Learning Community

Mary Woolley Living-Learning Community is a community of students committed to developing a safe supportive and celebratory environment with particular regard for the historical and contemporary experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, aromantic and allied people. Residents in this community foster connections between individuals with shared experiences and interests.

Jeannette Marks Cultural Center (Marks House)

Named in honor of English professor Jeannette Marks in 1999, the Marks House serves the College’s LGBTQIA+ community. The Marks House is located at 5 Faculty Lane across from the Dickinson House. The center includes a multi-purpose meeting area, living room, television and DVD player, library and computer lab. Students interested in visiting may attend weekly open hours, monthly programs and meetings sponsored by affiliated student organizations and the student staff.  

Familia

Familia is a student organization that offers community and support to queer-identified people of color on campus.

Femmepowered

Femmepowered is a student organization that seeks to dismantle misogyny by creating space and visibility for femme-identified people in the queer community.

Gender +

Gender + is a student organization that fosters positive and purposefully intersectional community for transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, questioning individuals and allies.

The Coalition for Asexual/Aromantic Awareness (CFAA)

CFAA is a student organization that provides a safe space for students identifying on the asexual and aromantic spectrum and their allies at Mount Holyoke to convene, share stories and build community.

The Lyon’s Pride

The Lyon’s Pride is the Queer Alumnae/Alumni Group for lesbian, gay,bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer alumnae/alumni, students, faculty and staff of Mount Holyoke College and their partners.

On- and Off-Campus Programs and Support Services

Division of Student Life

The Division of Student Life seeks to build and support a vibrant community at Mount Holyoke College. Student life includes departments whose staff provides resource services for all students, parents, faculty, and administrators from diverse gender and sexual identities. These include the offices of Counseling Service, Diversity and Inclusion, Health services, Religious and Spiritual Life, Residential Life and Student Programs. Detailed information regarding their services has been provided by some of these offices:

Counseling Service

The counseling service office is committed to providing support, resources and referrals for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming/non-binary, queer, intersex, asexual and allied students at Mount Holyoke College. Counseling service clinicians are trained to understand the added stressors LGBTQIA students encounter. The majority of their clinicians are transgender-experienced and students are welcome to request an experienced therapist at the time of their appointment.  

In addition, if you prefer to work with a lesbian clinician, please make this request upon scheduling. For students seeking specialists, we can assist with off-campus referrals:

Off-campus gender specialists

Institute of Emerging Adulthood
Jaycelle Basford-Pequet, LICSW
413-279-4984
25 North Main Street
Northampton, MA

Stephanie J. Abate, LICSW
413-887-8187
150 Fearing Street, #13
Amherst, MA

Dana Blackburn, LICSW
413-584-1766
43 Center Street
Suite #204
Northampton, MA

Patricia Jenkins, LICSW
413-588-6846
16 Center Street
Northampton, MA

Julie Mencher, LICSW
413-584-7933
199 Main Street
Suite #2
Northampton, MA

Ethan Suniewick, LICSW      
413-971-5905
8 Main Street
Northampton, MA

Off-campus LGBQ specialists

Institute of Emerging Adulthood
Jaycelle Basford-Pequet, LICSW
413-279-4984

Jamie Daniels, LCSW
413-369-3186
25 North Main Street
Northampton, MA

Dana Blackburn, LICSW
413-584-1766
43 Center Street
Suite #204
Northampton, MA

Laurie Herzog, PhD
413-586-7774
155 Main Street
Northampton, MA

Karen Rowe, LICSW
413-585-8279
111 Pleasant Street
Northampton, MA

Jordana Amato, LICSW
413-570-3167
7 Hadley Street
South Hadley, MA

Rachael Goren-Watts, PsyD
413-406-6358
24 South Prospect Street
Amherst, MA

Diversity and Inclusion

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion focuses on understanding our multiple identities through the lenses of social justice education, ally development and identity development by recognizing that no member of the Mount Holyoke community brings just one aspect of their identity to the classroom, cocurricular activities or personal relationships. Programs and services sponsored through diversity and inclusion under the Division of Student Life include:

For more information about diversity, equity and inclusion programs, as well as other resources and services, contact Assistant Dean Of Students Latrina L. Denson via email or phone: 413-505-8372.

Health Services

The health center at Mount Holyoke College is committed to serving students of all gender and sexual identities with quality primary and preventive health care. The health services website provides an overview of all services it provides,and includes a section that focuses on health for transgender or gender non-conforming students.

For specific questions about services or insurance coverage, contact Karen B. Engell, the director of health services, via email or phone: 413-538-2170.

Religious and Spiritual Life

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life is committed to supporting and welcoming LGBTQIA students and all students to our programs and services offered on campus. Chaplains and advisors are available on Wednesdays and Fridays and by appointment to provide pastoral support to students with questions, concerns or who simply need a listening ear as it relates to gender identity, sexual orientation and all other issues. The religious and spiritual life staff appreciates the complexity and pain often associated with LGBTQIA issues and one’s faith journey. Their role is to walk with you.

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life website includes a list of our chaplains and advisors. Our care and concern is not limited to those within a particular faith tradition. We support all students of faith and no faith.

Residential Life

The Office of Residential Life’s main focus is to provide housing in which all Mount Holyoke students are safe, secure and supported. Community Advisors and Senior Community Advisors receive training in supporting the LGBTQIA+ community and about campus resources. Students can also contact the office’s professional staff directly. We recognize that LGBTQIA+ students may have specific housing needs or concerns and welcome questions or conversations on how we can best support you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find gender-inclusive restrooms?

Gender-inclusive restrooms are in all academic, administrative, community and residential buildings.

Does the College offer gender-inclusive housing?

Mount Holyoke does not have housing spaces that are designated by gender. Any student may live in any space, as assigned through the lottery process for returning students or the matching process for first-year students. If a student has questions or concerns regarding housing as it relates to gender or sexual identity, they should contact the associate director of residential life at 413-538-2088.

How can I communicate my name and/or pronouns...

to faculty, staff and administrators if it is different from my legal name?

You can email your professor or visit them during their office hours to share information . Some professors start the first class by asking students to write their names, their roster names if different and their pronouns on an attendance sheet or index card, or through a survey. As you meet staff and administrators, introduce yourself with the name you would like to be addressed by. Please note that offices that deal with legal, medical or academic records may need to know your legal name to correctly find your records.

How can I legally change my name?

The process required to legally change one’s name is based on the state and/ or country in which one legally resides.

A person who lives in Hampshire County can obtain a change of name by filing a petition with the Hampshire County Probate and Family Court. How to do so is outlined in our Western Massachusetts Transgender Resource Guide.

Once you have a court-ordered name change, you can change your name on all records by bringing a copy of the court order or a driver's license with your new name to the College registrar’s office.

Can I use a chosen name?

Can I ...

… have a chosen name instead of a legal name on my student ID card?

… have a chosen name instead of legal name as my email address?

… have a chosen name instead of a legal name in the directory?

… change my name on my diploma?

Yes, you may have a chosen name instead of a legal name on your student ID card, as an email address, in the directory and on your diploma. To learn more about this process, contact the dean of students office at 413-538-2550.

How do I change my name/gender after graduation?

You can change your name, prefix and/or gender notation by contacting the Alumnae Association directly at alumnaeassociation@mtholyoke.edu.