General Policies and Procedures

Each member of the Mount Holyoke community is expected to adhere to the honor code and all regulations in the Student Handbook. The effectiveness of a residence hall community rests firmly on an accepted code of behavior in which personal and collective integrity are the hallmark. Each student must make themselves familiar with and uphold the residence hall policies and procedures. Failure to comply with Residential Life and College policies will result in disciplinary action and may lead to a loss of housing privileges.

Alcohol

The College is bound to adhere to all Massachusetts state laws regarding distribution, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. No alcoholic beverages of any kind may be served to those under the age of 21. No kegs or deliveries of alcoholic beverages are allowed in the halls.  Students 21 and older may have alcohol in their rooms, but there is no alcohol allowed in public areas such as halls, lounges, television room, etc., unless they are participating in a sanctioned College event. For more information about the Mount Holyoke College Alcohol policy and sanctions, please refer to the Student Handbook.

Bias-Related Incidents

Harassment based on race, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender/gender expression, religion, age, or disability is not tolerated in the residence halls. Such behavior includes unwelcome slurs, jokes, graphic or written materials, and all other verbal or physical actions related to an individual's personal background or attributes.  Mount Holyoke College has procedures and protocols in place for dealing with bias incidents both on and off campus.

Bicycles

All bicycles on campus must be registered with the Campus Police Department. Registration is free and can be done through the online form, or at the Campus Police office Monday–Friday 9:00 am–3:00 pm. The registration decal will expire upon the students graduation date but in no case longer than four years from the original registration date.

All bicycles on campus must be stored in approved residence hall locations and secured to a bicycle rack. If the bicycle is outside, it should be secured to an outside bike rack. Bicycles may NOT be secured to fire hydrants, tress, parking signs, ramps, railings, or left in the path of egress in any building on campus. Bicycles left over the summer that have expired decals or are not registered will be considered abandoned and will be confiscated and discarded.

Any bicycle in violation of the College’s bicycle policy or unregistered will be confiscated and if it is not claimed within 30 days it will be discarded.

Community Responsibility

Students are members of a residence hall and are expected to act responsibly and not to interfere with the rights, comfort, or safety of their roommates and other students.

Community Standards & Violation of Res Life Policy

If a student violates any of the Residential Life policies and procedures, the student may be asked to meet with a member of Residential Life professional staff. This meeting will outline what policy has been violated, list any sanctions that the student will be required to complete, and will act as a student's agreement not to violate this policy again. If a student has multiple offenses or does not complete the sanctions set out in the agreement, the matter may be referred to the Director of Residential Life, Dean of Students, or the Honor Code Council. For more information on the Honor Code Council, hearing procedures, and the sanctioning process, please refer to the Student Handbook.

Disposal of Medical Sharps

Massachusetts regulations prohibit disposal of needles or other medical sharps in the trash or recycling.  For more information regarding proper disposal in the residence halls, please refer to the Disposal of Medical Sharps policy as outlined by the Environmental Health and Safety office.

Drugs

In accordance with the Federal Drug Free Schools and Community Act and Massachusetts state law, using, possessing, or distributing illegal narcotics is prohibited. For more information about the Mount Holyoke College drug policy and sanctions, please refer to the Student Handbook.

Escort Policy

All guests will need to be escorted by their host, but not necessarily escorted while on the floor of their host. Guests must be escorted to other floors in the hall. In the case of co-ed bathrooms, a guest will need to request permission to enter. All guests need to be escorted throughout the hall during residence hall parties. Each residence hall will be charged with the responsibility to develop policy modifications for each residence hall floor or spontaneous events or special event weekends as members of the community deem appropriate.  Policy modifications should be consistent with current community standards. Guests should not be let into the residence hall by anyone other than their student escort.  Guests should let students know they have arrived by contacting them via the call boxes outside of each residence hall.

Fire Safety and Violation Policy

It is a violation of the honor code to refuse to leave during the fire drill, to partake in negligent behavior leading to a fire, or to engage in hazardous behavior such as possessing and/or using candles and incense or obstructing the sprinkler system. Students must assume responsibility for the behavior of their guests in residence halls and can be fined and held responsible for guests' violations of these policies. In most cases a first offense will result in a incident report with a sanction of viewing a fire safety video and community service hours with Facilities Management. A second offense will be referred to the Honor Code Council. For a list of approved and prohibited items, please refer to our campus Packing List.

Furniture & Furniture Removal

Due to very limited storage space, we require students to keep college provided furniture in their assigned room. Excess furniture should not be placed in corridors or stored in trunk rooms. Students may not alter the furniture in their rooms in any way or they will be billed the full amount for replacement.

Guests

Student rooms serve multiple purposes. The Office of Residential Life encourages roommates to discuss rest, academic, and social expectations within their room. As a residential college, rest and study have priority over entertainment. This is a priority occupants sharing a room must honor. This policy on guests applies to all residential students and is in effect for the entire year, including summer housing and January term but excluding December Break.  Students staying for December break are not allowed to have guests stay with them overnight for any reason.

Students are allowed to invite guests into the residence halls. We consider a guest of the campus to be anyone who is not an actively registered Mount Holyoke student. Guests in a residential context are any student who is not a resident of the hall or assigned occupant in the residence hall room.

Specific Guidelines of the Guest Policy:

  • Student Organizations hoping to have more than 15 guests on any given night must follow the hosting guidelines.
  • Guests must abide by the regulations of the residence hall and the larger College community while they are on campus.
  • If the guest's conduct offends other residents, breaks policy, or the frequency of visits becomes problematic, the hosts will be asked to have the guest leave immediately.
  • Any guest without a host will be asked to leave immediately.
  • The host(s) is held responsible for the behavior of their guests.
  • The host(s) assumes full responsibility for informing their guests of the College policies, procedures, and community expectations.
  • In instances of inappropriate behavior, this policy will be applied to currently registered Mount Holyoke students.

Overnight Guests

Students are permitted to host guests for overnight stays. The Office of Residential Life asks roommates to discuss and come to agreement on overnight guests, including overnight visits of Mount Holyoke students. The overnight provision of the guest policy is intended for short term visits. Short term is typically a weekend. The overnight provision of the guest policy also applies to students living in apartments, singles, and suites as well as students living with roommates.

Specific Guidelines for Overnight Guests:

  • Overnight is considered any stay in the residence hall between the hours of 2:00–8:00 am.
  • The actual permitted number of overnight days should be agreed upon by roommates. The maximum number of overnight days per semester is 16 per visitor.
  • No overnight guest can stay in residence longer than seven (7) consecutive days. Overnight guests are limited to one seven (7) consecutive day stay per semester.
  • Host and guests cannot sleep in residence hall common rooms, nor may any student remove common room furniture or cushions to accommodate a guest in their room.

Hallways

Hallways must always be clear in case of fire. Items found in hallways and stairwells are considered abandoned.  A delay in removing items from a hallway will result in their immediate removal and disposal.  This includes but is not limited to doormats, boots, umbrellas and decorative items.

Illegal Moves

Students are not allowed to move into a new room assignment or change rooms with another student without the express permission of the Office of Residential Life. If you have questions about changing rooms, please contact the Office of Residential Life. For more information on room changes, please consult the Room Change section of the Housing Process Web page.

Key Replacement

Lockouts

From 10:00 am–10:00 pm, students locked out of their rooms should look for the Senior Community Advisor (SCA) or Community Advisor (CA) from their building.  If the student staff is unavailable, students should call Campus Police. Lockouts handled by Campus Police personnel will be charged a fee is $15. There are no free lockouts provided by Campus Police personnel.

Staff is not authorized, under any circumstances, to let anyone into someone else's room. Therefore, a student must show proof of identification (student identification card, driver's license) prior to entry. If the student has no form of identification at the time, the student will be required to show identification immediately upon entrance to the room.

Pets

Pets are forbidden in residence halls with the exception of service animals and fish that can be safely and humanely contained in a tank/bowl of five gallons or less.  Lights and filters are allowed and must meet Mount Holyoke College's fire safety guidelines.  Students are responsible for the well-being of their pets throughout the academic year and break periods. 

Visiting pets

For the safety and comfort of all of our residents, we do not allow pets outside of the exception noted above to visit you inside the residence halls for any length of time.  If your family or friends intend to bring an animal to campus, they must remain outside of the residence halls and follow all College policies on walking animals on campus.

Service animals

Students seeking to bring a service animal on campus should refer to the Service Animal Policy for specific details and guidelines. 

Other animals

The College will consider other animal species in residence on a case-by-case basis in accordance with Federal regulations.  Such requests should be made through the AccessAbility Services Office.

Quiet Hours

Each residence hall floor determines quiet hours through discussion and voting facilitated by the hall staff at the beginning of each semester. Quiet hours can be negotiated mid-semester if necessary. Students are expected to be courteous and respectful of one another regarding room noise and activity at all times.  Outside of quiet hours and courtesy hours, there are 24 hour quiet hours during the examination period, which begin at midnight of the first reading day.

Right to Assign

The Director of Residential Life reserves the right to assign any vacancy in College-owned housing at any time and/or to reassign any student at any time.

Room Inspections

Residential Life and Facilities Management assess the condition of each room at the beginning of the academic year. This assessment indicates the physical state of the room and all of its contents at the time of the student's arrival in the fall. Any missing furniture or change in the state of the room or its facilities beyond reasonable wear will be billed to the student.  Students will be charged for actual labor and replacement costs for major repair to a room.  A $150 cleaning fee is assessed if personal belongings or trash are left behind in the residence hall room when they vacate at the end of your Contract Period.  Any painting of student rooms or College furnishings is prohibited. There will be a $400 fee for any painting in a student room or on College furnishings.

In addition, hall staff and Facilities Management staff inspect rooms at the beginning of each semester and during breaks to ensure compliance with fire safety regulations.  Another inspection takes place after students leave.  Students will be notified in advance of inspections.

Residence Hall Common Room Reservations

Students are able to reserve the common spaces in their residence hall for small gatherings and events.  Please see the Common Space Reservations page for more information.

Smoke Free Residence Halls

All residence halls are completely smoke-free spaces. No smoking should take place in any space in these buildings. This includes, but is not limited to, student rooms, lounge spaces, bathrooms, balconies, porches, or within 20 feet of the hall.

Trunk Rooms