About UM Allies

In response to the continual needs of the LGBTQ community, the goal of UM Allies is to provide spaces that are highly visible and easily identifiable for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer students, faculty and staff where support and understanding are key and bigotry and discrimination are not tolerated.

UM Allies is an opportunity for UM staff and faculty regardless of sexual orientation to take a prominent role and active role in developing and maintaining a culture of safety and inclusion at UM.

What is a UM Ally?

An ally has been trained and is willing to be visible to and available for members of the LGBTQ community on the UM Campus. Being an ally is more than standing up for a community even when they're not around.

What Does Being an Ally Mean?

  • Acknowledge that 'ally' is not an identity
  • Check your privilege at all times
  • Do not assume the sexual orientation or gender identity of another person
  • Speak up and speak out against offensive statements or actions you see or hear
  • Use gender neutral language
  • Respect the coming out process
  • Know that your opinion takes a backseat to those with experiences
  • Listen when someone opens up about their experience
  • Validate people's sexual orientation and gender expression
  • Educate yourself about LGBTQ histories, cultures, and concerns
  • Involve yourself and give your support to LGBTQ organizations and causes

Why is the UM Allies program needed on campus?

LGBTQ students often find campus environments to be unwelcoming and even hostile. Students whose emotional and physical safety is at risk can experience fear and anxiety, isolation and invisibility, fear of disclosure and high levels of stress. This can lead to attrition and turnover among promising LGBTQ students and staff. Erasure and heterosexism can lead to feelings of invisibility and effect how people interact on campus. As allies, we reemphasize that "we are a stronger and richer campus when all individuals can feel safe to celebrate their true selves."

How do I become an Ally?

Attend a training. These 2.5 hour training sessions will include a panel discussion, small group discussions and activities, information about privilege, oppression, and the LGBTQ community, and tips for how to be an effective ally. Everyone who participates in the training will also receive a training manual that includes definitions, resource materials, and referral information for programs and services in the community. Attendees can decide, at the end of the training, whether they feel ready to be an UM Ally!

The University of Montana Equal Opportunity Policy

The University of Montana-Missoula provides to all people the equal opportunity for education, employment, and participation in University activities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, age, political ideas, martial or family status, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation. Responsibility for effecting equal opportunity accrues to all University administrators, faculty, and staff.

City of Missoula Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Protects Missoula residents from housing and employment discrimination based on 'actual or perceived... sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.'

The Missoula Police Department

Missoula Police Officer Nicole Pifari is the LGBTQ Liaison Officer for the Missoula Police Department. If you need to contact Officer Pifair, her email address is npifair@ci.missoula.mt.us. Her voicemail ONLY number is (406) 552-2298, and the general switchboard is (406) 552-6300.