Campus Updates

Please visit the Campus Updates page for information on Mount Holyoke’s response to the global pandemic. The Opening the Gates website contains the plan for the fall semester. FAQs are being updated regularly.

Community Compact for Students

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

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 well-being, 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 current COVID-19 pandemic.

The College is committed to minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus, but that risk cannot be eliminated entirely. By returning to campus, students accept the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Through this community compact, we commit to being mutually accountable for following all 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. If we all work together to stay healthy, it increases the likelihood that students can remain on campus.

These rules and guidelines may be updated and revised as the College receives additional guidance from local, state and federal governments.

Mount Holyoke students must follow travel guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Students should not come to campus if feeling ill or exhibiting signs of any illness, and should wait until fully recovered before traveling to campus. In alignment with the current instruction for a 14-day quarantine when arriving in Massachusetts, the campus will quarantine together and students will not be permitted to leave campus for 14 days after their move-in day. All residential students will participate regardless of whether they traveled from a state currently exempted from the quarantine. 

Each student’s quarantine will begin at 12:00 a.m. the first day following arrival on campus. This is day one. Students will be given a COVID-19 test upon arrival, followed by a second test 3 to 5 days later. Students are expected to  be only in their residence hall, picking up a meal or spending time outside with appropriate physical distance on campus grounds at all times until two negative test results have been received. 

In support of the campus quarantine, all classes will be accessed remotely by all students —including residential students — from August 24 to 28, 2020. Additionally, most campus buildings, such as Kendall Sports & Dance Complex and the library, will be closed to students through August 30, 2020. Access to other buildings on campus will be limited until all students have finished their quarantine period.

Beginning August 31, the campus will open more broadly for residential students. All students must complete a full 14-day campus quarantine, however. 

Mount Holyoke will make available physically distanced small-cohort programming in the residence halls and will utilize outdoor space as much as possible. The fall move-in process and orientation programs will take place in a modified format.

In addition:

  • Students are asked to follow the state’s Safer-at-Home protocols for two weeks prior to arrival, if at all possible, to reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • Students will be able to move into the residence halls from August 18 to August 22, 2020. Exceptions to the move-in schedule will be made only in the most extenuating of circumstances. Please contact Marcella Runell Hall, Dean of Students, to request an exception.
  • Two individuals may assist with your move-in to your residence hall. Move-in reservations will last for a duration of 2 hours, after which guests must depart campus immediately. Those assisting with move-in must follow travel guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and observe all public health protocols, including wearing a mask at all times while on campus. Students are responsible for ensuring their move-in helpers are aware of and adhere to all instructions.
  • All meals will be grab-and-go for the fall semester.
  • Please remember it can be warm in western Massachusetts in August, and most residence halls do not have air conditioning. You might consider shipping or packing a window fan and/or a personal fan. Students can ship belongings to Mount Holyoke and/or use this service.

Students are required to: 

  • Self-monitor for the symptoms of COVID-19 and contact Health Services if you experience fever of 100.4º F (38º C) or higher, dry cough, difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and/or loss of taste or smell.
  • Participate in twice-weekly testing and contact tracing to preserve the wellness of the community. Respond to texts, emails and calls from contact tracers and answer all questions about contacts honestly and completely.
  • Report to Health Services any close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Participate in any mandatory sessions that review the expectations for living on campus.

  • 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.
  • Students may choose to return home to quarantine or isolate at their own expense, and their return to campus will require documentation and approval by Health Services. Room-and-board refunds will not normally be provided.

  • Practice physical distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from other community members at all times.  
  • Masks or cloth face coverings are required when in the presence of others and when outside of your personal room (including in classrooms, common rooms, the Dining Commons, Kendall, Blanchard, the library, etc.). You do not need to wear a mask when alone in your own room, when you are outside and more than 6 feet away from any other individual, or when you are washing your face or brushing your teeth in shared bathrooms.
  • Stay in your room if you feel ill or after exposure to someone who is ill, and contact Health Services to review your symptoms.
  • 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.
  • Please note, as previously communicated, the campus will be smoke- and tobacco-free as of August 1, 2020. Given that COVID-19 causes respiratory distress and concerns, smoking of any kind anywhere on campus is considered an honor code violation and can lead to your removal from campus housing and/or other consequences.

  • Residential students must stay within a 10-mile radius of campus unless participating in a College-sponsored activity. Should you request and receive approval from Student Life to depart campus for extenuating circumstances, you must follow all College and state guidelines for return, which currently call for a quarantine for at least 14 days if you leave and return to Massachusetts.
  • No guests are permitted in the residence halls. This prohibition includes overnight and daytime guests. Anyone who does not live in your residence hall is considered a guest.
  • Refrain from visiting any other residence halls except the one you live in. You can meet up with those living in other buildings in campus common spaces such as Blanchard.
  • Students must abide by limits on the size of groups or gatherings that can occur on campus or are defined by any particular space

  • Students are expected 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 your own residential space and shared common spaces clean and follow all posted cleaning/hygiene information in all buildings to which you may have access.

  • Students not living on campus may not visit any College facility that is not open to the general public, including residential buildings and the library. 
  • Students should monitor their health for COVID-related symptoms and seek appropriate evaluation and care if needed.
  • Flu shots are recommended.

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 the Honor Code Council complaint form. Please note that decisions made by the Honor Code Council will be final, given the public health and safety consequences of violations. A student who violates this compact may also be in violation of the Code of Ethical Conduct and, consequently, may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the College.

By signing below, I agree/acknowledge that:

  • I have read and understand the information included in this compact, agree to abide by them and understand that they 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 rules set forth in this compact, I will remove myself from campus and complete the semester remotely. I understand that, if I do not do this voluntarily, I may be subject to removal from residence by the College. I know that I may seek reasonable accommodations from AccessAbility Services, where applicable. If my requested accommodation(s) cannot be approved, I will follow the College’s expectations or I will make other housing arrangements. 
  • I understand that the violation of any of these guidelines or policies that put at risk the health and safety of others could result in removal from campus housing, in-person classes, or other outcomes.
  • In the event that Mount Holyoke College and/or the state determines that public health conditions warrant further de-densification of campus and/or a return to a fully remote environment, I will prepare for and fund my own personal travel home or will work with Student Life, as needed.
  • I understand that the College has adopted the following 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 needed. 

I acknowledge that Mount Holyoke College cannot eliminate the risk of illness during a global pandemic. I voluntarily accept the risks associated with in-person, on-campus study at this time.