Branch Center and DEI

Branch Center

At the University Center one of our core values is Diversity. The Branch Center is the space for student diversity and inclusion at the University of Montana.The Branch center is a space dedicated to promoting respectful and collaborative dialogue, programming, and resources, in an effort to foster understanding, support, and inclusion for underrepresented students. 

The Branch Center is dedicated to Dr. Theresa Branch, former vice president of Student Affairs, who wanted to create a place on campus which celebrated diversity. Branch served from 2003 to 2016 as the first female African-American in the position.

Branch Center Smudge Space

The Smudge Space is a designated space (UM Policy #1016) for the UM campus community to smudge. Smudging is a traditional practice used by Indigenous people for prayer or to cleanse a person or place by burning sacred plants. The UM campus community is invited to use this space and provides smudging items for us.

Student Group Events

Interested with the Branch Center? Check out Griz Hub and search one or all of the following organizations: Branch Center, Black Student Union, Kyiyo, LAMBDA, Latiné Student Union, Pacific Islander Club, or Women's Resource Center.

DEI Events

Tunnel of Oppression

Tunnel of Oppression is a campus grassroots diversity program that originated in 1993 at Western Illinois University. Using the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, California as a model, Tunnel strives to give people a way to experience oppression in a hands-on way. By engaging emotions of the participants, it allows the accounts expressed in the program to be truly effective. People may have never been placed in these types of situations, and they obtain a sense of what it actually feels like to be oppressed or discriminated through the sights and sounds they experience. While Tunnel may be disturbing, it is an effective tool used to teach people about how it really feels to be in the various situations.


Diversity at The University of Montana is an essential component of academic excellence and DiverseU provides an opportunity to contribute to the diversity efforts at UM. This is a campus-wide series of events focused on topics of diversity and promoting civil discourse. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members discuss, present, perform, and exhibit art throughout the event. The DiverseU experience gives you an even broader platform to share your ideas, research, and art in a flexible format. We are accepting workshop and research presentations, poetry and short story readings,  discussion topics, art pieces, lectures, vignettes, dances, and more.


Salena Beaumont Hill, Director of Inclusive Excellence

Office UC 206

Phone (406) 243-5776