7 Trans* Friendly MSIs

by Tania Irwin

In light of November being Transgender Awareness Month, we are taking the time out to highlight Minority Serving Institutions across the nation that are dedicated to creating a safe space for their LGBTQ students, including transgender and gender non-conforming students. This week’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features 7 Minority Serving Institutions that are known for being trans* friendly.


1) University of California at Riverside (AANAPISI & HSI) – Riverside, California


UCR was the first public college in the U.S. to offer gender-inclusive housing for both incoming and returning students. In 2013, UCR collaborated with eight other campuses to organize the country’s first intercampus retreat for transgender and gender-questioning college students.Through its LGBT Resource Center, UCR offers an ally-training program to educate students about the experiences of trans* people, and year-round programming such as Transgender Day of Remembrance.

2) University of Illinois at Chicago (AANAPISI) – Chicago, Illinois


UIC’s Gender and Sexuality Center has made a commitment to collaborating with various departments across campus that are invested in LGBTQ inclusion to ensure that UIC is a welcoming and supporting learning community. Some of their student organizations include: Queers and Allies in Health, UIC Pride, and the Gender Umbrella Society. To demonstrate the strong commitment to LGBTQ inclusivity, UIC has established The CCSLGBTQPA (Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of LGBTQ People and Allies) that works with the Chancellor and Provost to address any and all issues and concerns of the LGBTQ community. We support you UIC!


3) North Carolina Central University (HBCU) – Durham, North Carolina


On April 9, 2013, after a nine-year process, NCCU became the second HBCU in the nation and the first in North Carolina to open a LGBTQ support center. NCCU has implemented LGBTQ organizations such as: COLORS, a student organization dedicated to creating a safe equitable community for all members; Polychromes, a support group for LGBTQ faculty and staff; DOMS, a student organization for lesbian-identified students; Delta Lambda Phi, a fraternity for gay and bisexual men; and OutLAW for LGBTQ faculty, staff, and students within the school of law. All programs, organizations and initiatives encourage ally participation, especially during the implementation of the Safe Zone program.

4) University of New Mexico Main Campus (HSI) – Albuquerque, New Mexico


UNM’s LGBTQ Resource Center offers assistance to all transgender and gender-questioning students, faculty, and staff. The arm of support extends beyond the center in a multitude of transgender awareness events, safe zone training, counseling, as well as universal restrooms. Students may also find solace within the LGBTQ Art Gallery, the LGBTQ Library, the Hate/Bias Intake Center, and the LGBTQ Lounge. UNM has enacted an Out and Ally List in which members of faculty and staff have pledged to act as allies to LBTQQI members of the UNM community. Way to go, UNM!

5) San Diego State University (HSI) – San Diego, California


SDSU is the second college in the United States to offer an LGBT Studies major. Students can also pursue an undergraduate minor or graduate certificate. Equipped with a Queer Student Union and the Pride Student Center, SDSU is dedicated to creating an open, inclusive and affirming safe place for the LGBTQ community. Some of the LGBTQ student organizations include: oSTEM, OUTreach, Womyn’s Outreach Association, as well as a LGBTQ fraternity (Delta Lambda Phi) and sorority (Gamma Rho Lambda). SDSU hosts a variety of programs including but not limited to a safe zone training and a Lavender Graduation ceremony open to all students who identify as LGBTQA. We see you, SDSU!


6) University of Maryland at College Park (AANAPISI) – College Park, Maryland


The Rainbow Terrapin Network of the LGBT Equity Center cover campus-wide training on areas that include but are not limited to: LGBT ally-ship, campus-wide LGBT inclusion methods on campus, and LGBT and Transgender Advocacy Training. Not to mention the newly-launched Prince Frederick Hall, which was specifically constructed for gender-neutral housing. UMD is also dedicated to educating students on trans-related issues and topics. From the LGBT Equity Library to the LGBT Studies Research Guide and Tutorial, all students have access to over 3,000 sources of information.

7) University of Southern California (AANAPISI) – Los Angeles, California


USC has a variety of LGBT-supportive organizations for students, faculty and alumni on their campus and the surrounding community. There is an LGBT Resource Center that offers trans-friendly programs and resource to anyone within the USC community. To top it off, USC Housing also offers a Rainbow Floor. This residential community provides additional support to both undergraduate and graduate who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or allies (LGBTQA).

What other Minority Serving Institutions are taking steps to be Trans* friendly? Share in the comments below!




5 TCUs near the North Dakota Pipeline

by Larry McDaniel Jr.

For months, tensions have been mounting in the Standing Rock Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota over the implementation of an oil pipeline that would carry over 400,000 oil barrels daily from North Dakota to Illinois. Protestors from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, as well as from various tribes and communities from around the country, have been on the front-lines contesting and combating the installation of this pipeline because it presents both environmental and cultural threats. In light of this, today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up takes a look at the Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) closest to the protest site.

1) Sitting Bull College, Fort Yates, ND


Founded by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Sitting Bull College (SBC) is at the Standing Rock reservation, which makes it the closest Tribal College to the pipeline site. SBC is committed to building intellectual capital through academic and social development. Students and instructors and have been using this capital by actively building coalitions with other communities in protesting the pipeline.

Sitting Bull College is approximately 24 miles from the protest site.

2) United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, ND


Founded by a group of North Dakotan native tribes, United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) is located in Bismarck, North Dakota, and aims to educationally serve Native American peoples in the region. Students and community leaders have held protests against the pipeline, and recently held a march to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district office.

United Tribes Technical College is approximately 49 miles from the protest site.

3) Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, New Town, ND


Formerly known as Fort Berthold Community College (FBCC), Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (NHSC) aims to preserve their past while preparing students for the future. This preparation for the future has been visible in the fight against the protest. Leading the efforts against the pipeline is a graduate of NHSC, Lisa DeVille (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation). She has been steadfast in urging the North Dakota Public Service Commission to reject the pipeline.

Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College is approximately 189 miles from the protest site.

4) Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Fort Totten, ND


Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC) is located in Fort Totten, North Dakota, and is chartered by the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation. CCCC is geared towards developing independence and self-sufficiency in its students, as well as being dedicated to building a strong community that values mental, physical, and spiritual health.

Cankdeska Cikana Community College is approximately 213 miles from the protest site

5) Turtle Mountain Community College, Belcourt, ND


Part of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), Turtle Mountain Community College focuses on cultivating a learning environment that promotes the application of academic concepts to real world problems. Despite being more than 200 miles away, members from the community have supported the protests at Standing Rock by providing various supplies.

Turtle Mountain Community College is approximately 242 miles from the protest site.

Know other TCUs or Native American Serving Non Tribal Institutions (NASNTIs) involved in the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline? Share in the comments below!


Inside 10 MSI Residence Halls

by Carol Sandoval

College dorms can be a nerve-wracking part of the residential college experience. Not only might you have to share your room with a stranger, you might also share a bathroom with the ten other students living in your hall. This is not exactly what most people look forward to when moving away from home. Thankfully, these Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) have eased the transition from your childhood home to your college home-away-from-home Check out these incredible residence halls on MSI campuses!

1) Albany State University (HBCU) — Albany, GA

The dorms at Albany State are well-equipped with a laundry room, a snack and game room, and a computer lab. In addition to that, the entrances are secured 24 hours of the day, which makes this on-campus option a safe and fun place to live.

2) Barry University (HSI) — Miami, FL
Weber Hall Triple Iso

Barry has several options for their first-year students. One of their residence halls, Weber Hall, offers four-person rooms that include their own restroom. This residence hall in particular is exclusive for first-year, female students.

3) Howard University (HBCU) — Washington D.C

College Hall includes many comfortable amenities, including cyber lounges with printers, study lounges, and resident assistants on every floor.

4) Otis College of Art and Design (AANAPISI) — Los Angeles, CA

New Building

In addition to the usual amenities, Otis College of Art and Design offers housing programs that plan events for the residents. Programs may include community service, cultural events, or holiday dinners.

5) Clayton University (PBI) — Morrow, GA

Although freshmen and first-year transfer students are mandated to live in on-campus housing, this new dorm complex can make the transition to Clayton easier. It provides 24-hour maintenance and communal areas with barbecue grills and a pool.

6) Chaminade University of Honolulu (AANAPISI)— Honolulu, HI

Image result for Hale Lokelani chaminade

On top of offering game rooms, vending machines, and larger-than-average rooms, the dorms at Chaminade University also overlook the ocean and the Hawaiian green scenery. Surrounded by breathtaking views, study breaks at Chaminade can be small vacations in paradise.

7) Shaw University (HBCU) — Raleigh, NC


Shaw University’s dorms are fully furnished with a bed, desk, drawers, and crisp walls, making it easy for students to add personal flares of different colors and patterns.

8) Southeastern Oklahoma State University (NASNTI)— Durant, OK

Built in 2006, Shearer Hall at SE OSU is a relatively new complex that includes a main lobby, with utility items such as vacuums and board games that students can check out for free. Residents are also invited to use the volleyball court and pool tables.

9) Southern University at New Orleans (HBCU) — New Orleans, LA

Spacious bedroom at SUNO Housing

Each room has two big windows that allow for a bevy natural light to enter. Some rooms also include a balcony and leather-style furniture. The residents also benefit from the 24-hour gym.

10) University of Houston (AANAPISI) — Houston, TX


Moody Towers is the go-to dorm for freshmen at U of H. Not only does it have a dining hall in the building, but it also has a very spacious lobby, gym, and a piano room. Moody Towers makes move-in a lot lighter by including a microwave and a mini-fridge in each dorm room.

Have great dorm memories or dorm decorating tips you’d like to share? Submit them in the comments below!

5 Famous MSI Homecoming Celebrations

by Aisha Bowen

November is the well-known month for homecoming celebrations across the country. Tailgates, football games, pep rallies, alumni forums, step shows, comedy shows, parades, and concerts are just a few of the many activities that take place during homecoming celebrations. Interestingly, MSIs are known for having some of the best and most unique  homecoming events.  Thus, today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights 5 MSIs that have distinctive celebratory events!

1) Howard University (HBCU) — Washington, D.C.


Amongst the famous parties, tailgates, and parades at Howard University’s homecoming, they also hold special networking events. This year in particular, Howard University hosted the “HBCU All-Stars Networking Dinner and Reception” where HBCU grads gathered and discussed the great work being done within the HBCU network.

2) University of Maryland, College Park (AANAPISI) — College Park, MD

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Various universities around the country host service projects as part of their homecoming celebrations. This year, UMD-College Park  hosted its 3rd annual homecoming community service event entitled,  “Terps Against Hunger Service Project.” This event brought together 2,000 students, staff, faculty, and community members who together packaged over 400,000 meals for a local food bank.

3) California State University, Fullerton (HSI) — Fullerton, CA

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Unlike most homecoming celebrations which are centered around football, some schools use other sports as the main event. CSU Fullerton, for example, hosts an annual basketball game as part of its homecoming celebration.

4) CUNY Medgar Evers College (PBI) — Brooklyn, NY


Faith-based concerts are a common tradition amongst MSI homecomings. CUNY Medgar Evers College is one school in particular that includes a gospel concert as a main event during their homecoming celebration. Kathy Taylor was the featured artist at CUNY Medgar Evers College’s most recent gospel show.

5) Fort Lewis College (NASNTI) — Durango, CO

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Many universities host some sort of concert as a part of their homecoming events. Fort Lewis College, in particular, annually hosts a “Skyfest” concert preceding their football game. This year’s headliners for the concert were Fortunate Youth and Scale the Summit.