Campus Updates

Visit the campus updates page for information on Mount Holyoke's response to the global pandemic. The Opening the Gates site also contains details about the fall semester. 

Mount Holyoke College
Opening the Gates

Community Compact for Residential Students

Students will be able to sign the Community Compact prior to arrival on campus. It will be emailed to all residential students to agree to online.

Updated August 5,, 2021. Subject to change.

Mount Holyoke Honor Code: I will honor myself, my fellow students, and Mount Holyoke College by acting responsibly, honestly and respectfully in both my words and deeds

At Mount Holyoke, our honor code is more than a promise -- it is a covenant in which each student takes responsibility for their own behavior and wellbeing as well as for that of their fellow students and, indeed, the entire College community. This student community compact outlines key behaviors and actions that must be taken due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic.

While high levels of vaccinations have enabled more in-person interactions, and the College continues its commitment to minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus, that risk cannot be eliminated entirely. Even students who have been vaccinated are at risk of infection from COVID-19 and the new “Delta” variant. By returning to campus, students accept the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Consequently, it is incumbent upon all members of our community to remain steadfast in our continuing health and safety efforts. 

Through this community compact, all students at the College agree to follow all applicable campus health and safety measures. We acknowledge individual and collective responsibility to maintain our own health, protect the health of others and do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We all want to work together to stay healthy.

The College’s COVID-19 rules, guidelines and campus operations may be updated and revised as we receive additional guidance from local, state and federal public health authorities or as conditions around COVID-19 change.

Campus Arrival and the Start of the Semester

Students, regardless of vaccination status, should not come to campus if exhibiting signs of COVID-19 infection, and should wait until fully recovered before traveling to campus. Students may come to campus if they receive a negative COVID-19 test after exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

All students who have access to the COVID-19 vaccine and who do not receive an approved exemption must provide documentation of vaccination to Health Services on or before August 1, 2021. Students who are not vaccinated are subject to campus restriction for the first seven (7) days after their arrival. These students are not permitted to leave campus unless there is a medical emergency, a personal matter of an emergent nature, or if the travel is approved in advance by reaching out to the Office of Residential Life at

  • Unvaccinated students must get a COVID-19 test between 48-72 hours before returning to campus. If a student tests positive, they must notify the College and may not arrive for move-in until they have completed their isolation at home or their current location and received clearance from a medical professional. If a student cannot obtain a COVID-19 test, please contact Health Services for further instructions.
  • Upon arrival to campus, all students will be screened with a symptoms checklist and given a COVID-19 rapid test at no charge. No student will be permitted to move into their residence hall prior to completing their test and receiving their results.
  • Students are allowed to have no more than two family members, friends or guests help them move into their residence halls at their selected move-in time. Along with all residents, guests assisting with move-in must be masked when in any campus buildings. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure all guests comply with our policies on campus.
  • Students will sign up for a move-in time before they arrive. This two-hour window is the timeframe students are allowed to have guests in the buildings. Please arrive at the start of the move-in time to allow the most time for guests to be in the building with the student.
  • Students will receive a lanyard and ID holder during move-in; this must be worn and visible at all times when walking around campus.

Required Monitoring, Education, Testing and Tracing

Students agree to:

  • Monitor for the symptoms of COVID-19 and contact Health Services if you experience fever of 100.4º F (38º C) or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Participate in any asymptomatic COVID-19 testing required by the College as well as in all contact tracing efforts, regardless of vaccination status. Respond to texts, emails and calls from contact tracers and answer all questions about contacts honestly and completely.
  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19 in any off campus setting, they must inform Health Services. If they are informed (by anyone other than Health Services) that they are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they must inform Health Services. Health Services will review the student’s vaccination status, exposure risk, health status and develop the appropriate next steps. 
  • Participate in any mandatory education sessions that review the expectations for living on campus.

Behavioral Requirements

Students agree to:

  • Comply when directed to move to isolation or quarantine housing. Students may be required to move as the result of COVID-19 symptoms, a positive COVID-19 test and/or close contact with someone who is symptomatic and/or tests positive.
  • Follow all the mask guidelines set by the College. Follow the provided guidance for any events/activities that may require them. Masks will always be required, regardless of vaccination status, in the Health Center, whether for counseling or health appointments, and the Testing Center. 
    • Masks will be mandated in all indoor locations, regardless of vaccination status, until at least September 10, 2021. 
    • The College reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to require masks following September 10, 2021 based on current federal, state, or local public health guidance.
  • Be positive, attentive and helpful to anyone who may be in need of support. Residential students must be particularly sensitive to the fact that their neighbors and/or fellow residents are impacted by their decisions. Strong communication skills and empathy for others are important characteristics to cultivate during this time.
  • Abide by the prohibitions against smoking, vaping and chewing tobacco.  Given that COVID-19 causes respiratory distress and concerns, smoking and vaping of any kind anywhere on campus is considered an honor code and student conduct violation and can lead to a student’s removal from campus housing and/or other consequences. 

Guests and Building Access

Students agree to:

  • After move-in, no guests are permitted in the residence halls through October 8. This prohibition includes overnight and daytime guests. For the purposes of residence hall visitation, anyone who does not live on campus is considered a guest. The College will notify students before October 8 if the no-guest policy will be extended beyond that date.
  • After the move-in process is completed (August 30, 2021), students living  on campus are welcome to visit other residence halls but must be invited by a student living in that building. Students will not have direct access to any residence hall except their own and commuter students will not have access to living spaces in residence halls.


Students agree to:

  • Practice good hygiene, including thorough and frequent hand washing using soap and lasting at least 20 seconds, along with the use of hand sanitizer, especially when returning from outside, after using a restroom and before meals.
  • Keep their own residential spaces and shared common spaces clean and follow all posted cleaning/hygiene information in all buildings to which they may have access.

Disciplinary Procedures

Disciplinary complaints will follow the procedures set forth in the student handbook.

Students may bring any alleged violation of the community compact to our attention by completing this form.  Please note that decisions made by the hearing officer or Honor Code Council will be final given the public health and safety consequences of violations, this means that no appeals will be granted. A student who violates this compact may also be in violation of the code of conduct and, consequently, may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the College.  No refunds of tuition, room and board or fees are available to students dismissed for conduct violations, including violations of COVID-19 health and safety rules and policies.

Student Accountability

By signing below, I agree/acknowledge that:

  • I have read and understand the information included in this compact, agree to abide by the terms and conditions of this compact, and understand the terms and conditions may need to be modified from time to time by the College.
  • If at any point I find I am unable to comply with the terms and conditions in this compact, I will remove myself from campus and complete the semester living off campus or will take a leave of absence from the college. I understand that, if I do not remove myself from campus voluntarily, I may be subject to removal from residence by the College. Students may seek reasonable accommodations from AccessAbility Services as applicable. If my requested accommodation(s) is not approved, I will make other housing arrangements. 
  • I understand that the violation of any of the College’s health and safety rules and policies that put at risk the health and safety of others could result in my removal from campus or other outcomes.  As such, I agree to plan alternative living arrangements in the event I can no longer reside on campus.
  • I acknowledge there is an individual and collective responsibility to maintain our own health, protect the health of others and do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  Therefore, I am responsible for my own actions and I have a duty to report the actions of others that may put at risk the health and safety of our community.
  • In the event that Mount Holyoke College and/or the state determines that public health conditions warrant de-densification of campus and/or a fully remote environment, I will prepare for and fund my own personal travel home, or to an alternative residence, find off campus storage, and/or will work with Student Life, as needed.
  • I understand that the College has adopted these requirements to promote the collective health and well-being of our community, and specifically the students, staff and faculty on campus during this time period. I further understand that my ability to enter and remain on the Mount Holyoke campus as a residential student is predicated on my adherence to these policies. I will follow these policies not just for my own health, but also to protect and safeguard the health of those around me, including employees living or working on campus. I acknowledge and agree that these rules and guidelines may change as life on campus and public health guidance evolve and as new testing and tracing methods emerge, and I agree to abide by any new rules and guidelines as directed. 

Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability 

I acknowledge that Mount Holyoke College cannot eliminate the risk of illness during a global pandemic. I understand that Mount Holyoke College has implemented safety protocols, procedures, and policies in an effort to reduce transmission of COVID-19, but all risk of contracting COVID-19 cannot be eliminated. Therefore, I voluntarily assume the risk that I may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 while enrolled at the College. I further understand that becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and others, including, but not limited to trustees, officers, employees, agents, or other students of the College. 

I fully waive and absolve Mount Holyoke College and its trustees, officers, employees, agents, insurers, reinsurers, and volunteers from any and all legal or financial responsibility, including, but not limited to, any personal injury, disability, illness, damage or death from exposure to COVID-19, whether such exposure occurs before, during or after my enrollment at the College. I further agree on behalf of myself, my personal representatives, and heirs, not to make any type of legal or equitable claim against Mount Holyoke College or any of its trustees, officers employees, agents, insurers, reinsurers, or volunteers with respect to any exposure I may have to COVID-19, whether or not it arises through the negligence, omission, default or other action of anyone affiliated with the College. I also agree that if any such claim is made, I will indemnify and defend Mount Holyoke College with respect to any such claim.