Orientation Schedule

Image of Orientation Leaders outside North Rockefeller Hall.

Fall Orientation 2016 starts on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 for international students and Friday, September 2, 2016 for all new students.  

Spring Orientation 2017 Schedule will post in the mid-fall. 

Please check in for locations, peer planned social events and an ever expanding comprehensive schedule to welcome YOU to MHC!

Wednesday, August 31

International students arrive

Welcome Tent and Family Resource Fair
10:00 am–3:00 pm
Lantern Green

Orientation leaders and International Student Organizing Committee (ISOC) members will meet international students arriving at Bradley International Airport. All other new international students should check in at the Welcome Tent for room keys, Orientation schedules, and a resource fair for students and families.

Campus Tours
2:00–5:00 pm
Blanchard 227

International Student Organizing Committee (ISOC) members will take groups of new international students on tours of campus. Learn more about where things happen at MHC. Please sign up for a tour in the Welcome Lounge in 227 Blanchard.

AccessAbility Services Welcome Session
3:00–3:30 pm
Blanchard Great Room

AccessAbility Services Staff and peer mentors along with other campus community members welcome new students and families with introductory remarks.

AccessAbility Services Parent Session
3:45-5:00 pm
Blanchard Great Room

Presentation for parents on supporting your student through the transition to college and managing well-being as a college student. Followed by group discussion. Food will be provided.

AccessAbility Services Pizza Party
3:45-5:00 pm
Blanchard Cafe

Get to know your peer mentor and other students in your group while hanging out and enjoying pizza and more.

AccessAbility Ice Cream Social
5:15-6:600 pm
Blanchard Great Room

Mingle and make your own ice cream sundae.

Dessert Social
7:30–9:00 pm
Blanchard Great Room

Stop by for great desserts, music, and conversation with new and returning international students, and meet Acting President Sonya Stephens and Dean of Students Marcella Runell Hall among others.

Thursday, September 1

Mandatory PPD Test for International Students
9:00 am–noon
Health Center

All new international students are required to have a PPD skin test for tuberculosis before beginning their studies at MHC. Students will be in assigned groups for the PPD test. Meet your group at 8:45 am in front of Blanchard Campus Center.

Information Session for International Parents
9:00–10:30 am
Gamble Auditorium

AccessAbility Services Accessing Accommodations
10:00-11:30 am
Dwight 101

Learn the differences between accommodations in high school and college, specific accommodations and services available at MHC, and important policies and procedures to receive disability supports.

AccessAbility Services Self-Advocacy Bootcamp

1:00-2:30 pm
Shattuck 102

This students-only event focuses on learning and practices for improving communication with professors, peers, parents, and others.

AccessAbility Services Dollars and Sense

1:00-2:30 pm
Dwight 101

This panel is geared toward parents and provides information on tuition, course credits, academic and non-academic leaves, financial aid, and the refund policy.

Immigration Regulations and Student Work Clearance (mandatory)

1:30–3:30 pm
Gamble Auditorium

Review of immigration regulations that apply to foreign citizens studying in the U.S. This is a very important meeting and attendance is required. New students who plan to work on campus will also complete required forms during this session (I-9 and federal/state tax forms). Bring your passport and I-20 form (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students).

AccessAbility Services Resource Rally

3:00-4:00 pm
New York Room, Mary Woolley Hall

Find out about resources on campus and meet the wonderful staff from key departments who will support your transition to campus.

Transitions Abroad for International Students
3:30–4:30 pm
Gamble Auditorium

Join Donna Van Handle, the dean of international students, Marcella Runell Hall, the dean of students, Orientation leaders, and members of the International Student Organizing Committee (ISOC) for answers to pressing questions and a discussion of life at MHC and in the United States.

Shopping Trip to Hampshire Mall
6:30–9:00 pm
meet at Blanchard Circle

Take this opportunity to purchase bed linens, pillows, and those odds and ends that did not fit into your suitcase. Students will be in assigned groups for the shopping trip. Meet your group at 5:45 pm at Blanchard Circle.

Friday, September 2

Domestic Students Arrive

Welcome Tent and Family Resource Fair 
8:00 am–noon 
Skinner Green

Room keys, Orientation schedules, breakfast, and a resource fair for new students and families.

Student Financial Services Session for International Students 
9:00–10:00 am 
Gamble Auditorium

Representatives from Student Financial Services will explain financial aid and the regulations concerning Global Loans. Students will fill out required paperwork. If you are not on financial aid and don’t have a Global Loan, you have some free time.

Tours of Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) 
10:00 am–5:00 pm
Williston Atrium

Experience our beautiful buildings and receive an introduction to library and technology resources and services. Join us to make a button, write on the “Ask LITS” wall, or grab a cup of coffee from Rao’s.

Check-In and Welcome for Frances Perkins Scholars 
10:30–11:30 am 
Dickinson Hall living room

Gather as a group before the President's welcome to learn about Orientation programming. Upperclass FPs will be on hand to answer questions, connect new and returning students, and help you make plans that pique your interest and needs for the rest of Orientation.

President’s Welcome 
11:30 am–noon 
Gettell Amphitheater

Words of welcome from Acting President Sonya Stephens. Opening Day BBQ for New Students and Families noon–1:30 pm Skinner Green Academic Advising (mandatory) 1:30–5:00 pm Faculty offices

Academic Advising
1:30–5:00 pm 
Faculty Offices

Student life and academic professionals discuss your student’s transition into college life at MHC.

Parent and Family Orientation
1:30–5:00 pm 
Chapin Auditorium

Student life and academic professionals discuss your student’s transition into college life at MHC.

Money Matters: Paying for College
3:00–5:00 pm
New York Room, Mary Woolley Hall

Meet with Student Financial Services staff to review billing policies, educational financing options, the financial aid renewal process and other topics important for financial success at MHC!

Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) Family Welcoming Reception 

3:00–5:00 pm
Williston Library, Stimson Room

We invite you to enjoy refreshments and learn about library and technology resources that are key to student success at Mount Holyoke.

President’s Reception for New Students and Families
5:00–6:00 pm
President’s Garden

Acting President Sonya Stephens welcomes new students and families.

Parent and Family Orientation Concludes

Dinner for Transfer Students
6:00–7:00 pm
Jenkins Room Admission Center

Meet your fellow transfer students as well as members of the administration.

Meet Your Res Life Staff (mandatory)
8:00–9:00 pm
Your Residence Hall

Students will meet in the common areas of their residence halls to get to know their staff and fellow first-year students. Then they will walk over together to enjoy the movie Dirty Dancing under the stars!

Movie Under the Stars: Dirty Dancing
9:00 pm
Gettell Amphitheatre

Come join your fellow new students and cheer when “nobody puts Baby in the corner” because “Baby’s starting Mount Holyoke in the fall”!

Saturday, September 3

College 101 (mandatory)
9:30–11:30 am
Chapin Auditorium

Join the Dean of Students and your Orientation Leaders to learn about social and academic life at MHC. A fun-filled session of community building, MHC facts, and insider tips on how to navigate your new college world.

Mandatory PPD Test Reading for International Students
noon–2:00 pm
Health Center

All new international students are required to have their PPD skin tests for tuberculosis read during this time period. Students will again be in their assigned groups for the PPD test reading. Meet your group at 11:45 am in front of Blanchard Campus Center.

Gender 101 (mandatory)
1:30–3:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium

Stay tuned for details.

Storytelling in Social Justice (mandatory)
3:30–5:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium

Stay tuned for details.

Dessert at the Cultural Centers
6:00–8:00 pm
Cultural centers

Students will have an opportunity to enjoy great food, games, and activities while visiting each Cultural Center in order learn more about the resources, programs, and affiliated cultural organizations in each cultural center.

Res Life 101 (mandatory)
8:00–9:00 pm
Your residence hall

Students will learn more about the policies and procedures of the halls and get to know their buildings and spend more time with their fellow new students and staff.

First Saturday!
9:00–11:00 pm
Skinner Green

Come meet your fellow new students as you enjoy a summer night with music, food—and so much more!

Sunday, September 4

Student Employment Work Clearance and Dining Services Scheduling Meeting
9:00 am–noon
Hooker Auditorium

Paperwork required for student employment and Dining Services student worker dining hall schedules.

Flourishing 101 (mandatory)
12:30– 3:00pm
Chapin Auditorium

A relaxing afternoon of fun to learn ways to take care of yourself as you begin life at MHC through yoga, Zumba, guided walks, and more. Stay tuned for details.

Communication, Accountability, and Sexual Respect in our Community (mandatory)
3:30 –5:00 pm

A powerful theater piece designed to educate and start a dialogue about sexual violence prevention on our campus. The performance contains a series of vignettes with examples of consent conversations, bystander strategies, and stories of support for both survivors and those who have perpetuated violence. These fictional stories are written and performed by Five College students and staff. The cast and crew consist of sexual violence survivors, allies, consent educators, trauma counselors, and safer sex educators. Large group discussions will follow the performance.

Kickin’ it with Campus Police! (mandatory)
7:00–8:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium

Members of Campus Police host this information session on the resources and supports available in this fun and interactive session.

Mount Holyoke Traditions: Your First M&Cs (mandatory)
9:00–11:00 pm
Atrium, Williston Library

Learn the history of MHC’s most delicious tradition—Milk and Crackers (a.k.a., Hot Chocolate and Cookies). Socialize with classmates and library staff, enjoy some cookies, and pick up your LITS bag with goodies in it.

Monday, September 5

Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) Frances Perkins Scholars Welcoming Reception
10:00–10:30 am
Williston Library, Stimson Room

Enjoy refreshments with librarians and technologists and learn about resources and services that will help you succeed at Mount Holyoke.

Common-Read Experience (mandatory)
10:30 am–noon
Chapin Auditorium

Stay tuned for details.

[Not so] Secrets of Academic Success (mandatory)
1:30–3:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium

This session will cover academic resources, keys to transitioning to MHC academics, general academic success tips, and a reflection on the kind of learner you are.

Tours of Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS)
3:00–5:00 pm
Williston Library, Atrium

Experience our beautiful buildings and receive an introduction to library and technology resources and services. Join us to make a button, write on the “Ask LITS” wall, or grab a cup of coffee from Rao’s.

Student Financial Services (SFS) Game of Life
3:00–5:00 pm
Blanchard Great Room

Based on the classic board game, the SFS Game of Life is a fun financial literacy activity that provides an introduction to the skills and knowledge you will need to be prepared for financial wellness at MHC and beyond. Stop by to see how you will fare when you choose a career, calculate your salary and taxes, build a budget of monthly expenses and take a spin on Life’s “wheel of fortune!” Prizes for winners and Student Financial Services staff will be on hand to provide assistance and answer questions.

Introduction to the CDC, Student Employment, Nexus, and The Lynk
3:00–4:00 pm
Gamble Auditorium

We will introduce career development services and resources for students, and discuss student employment and JobX (the student employment database). Join us to learn more about opportunities that await you as a Mount Holyoke student, including Nexus, internships, and the many avenues to pursuing your goals through The Lynk.

A Spiritual Gathering of Welcome
3:00–5:00 pm
Abbey Memorial Chapel

All new, transfer, and returning students are welcome to join us for a rich celebration of our faith traditions and varied forms of spiritual gifts that represent Mount Holyoke College.

Keynote Speaker 
7:00–8:00 pm
Gamble Auditorium

Stay tuned for details.

Orientation 101 
8:30–10:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium

Join in a tradition that helps you get acquainted with the ins and outs of life at MHC. The only prerequisite is a sense of humor. This is a spirited (and loud!) event with a great deal of cheering as the returning students welcome you into the community.

Tuesday, September 6

11:30 am–12:30 pm
Gettell Amphitheater

Join Acting President Sonya Stephens for a ceremony marking the official opening of the academic year.

Convocation Picnic
12:30–1:30 pm
Skinner Green

Museum Mania
2:00–3:00 pm
Art Museum Lobby & Gamble A/B Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

Try our renowned treasure hunt. Explore the museum's collection and be the first on campus to see our newly installed special exhibitions celebrating our 140th anniversary. Everyone gets a free poster. The first three students to complete the hunt win other great prizes. Treasure hunt at 2:00 pm. Prizes, refreshments, and info about the museum's collection and programs at 2:30 pm sharp in Gamble Auditorium. Students unable to attend this event may stop by the museum between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm until September 9 to pick up a poster and museum information.

Mandatory Foreign National Information System (FNIS) Session for International Students
2:00–5:00 pm
Kendade Computer Lab (Kendade 06) and 618 Library

Rob Roll, Sue O’Neill, both from Student Financial Services, and Dean of International Students Donna Van Handle and Jenny Medina, immigration specialist in the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives, will guide you through a computer program so that each of you can enter the various visa statuses you have had when in the US. All new international students must attend. Bring your current and previous passports and original travel documents (I-20 or DS-2019). The process will go much faster if you bring a listing of all of your visa statuses and all of the dates that you entered and exited the United States while in each status. Meet your assigned group at 1:30 pm in front of the library.

Welcome Reception for New and Returning FPs
4:00–5:30 pm
Dickinson Hall lawn (weather permitting); living room (if not)

Enjoy the company of your fellow FPs as you get ready for the start of classes.

Backstage Tour
4:00 pm
Lobby of Rooke Theatre

Join the theatre department for a tour of the facility, meet the faculty, staff, and student reps.  We will discuss auditions, performances, classes and the 2016-17 season, and volunteer possibilities.  Refreshments will be served.

Honor Code Ceremony (mandatory)
7:00–8:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium

Dining Services Student Worker Meeting
8:15–9:30 pm
Dining halls

General orientation and training in your respective dining halls.

Wednesday, September 7

Classes Begin

Dance Department Information Meeting
6:30–7:30 pm
Kendall Hall Studio Theater

What are the goals of the Dance Department? What will you accomplish as a dance major? How does the Five College Dance Department function? Who are the faculty? When are auditions? What are the performing opportunities? How will studying dance challenge your mind and body, and engage critical, analytical thinking? Learn the answers to these questions and more. Meet the dance faculty, guest artists, and staff. Learn about the department’s courses, audition dates, performing opportunities, and choreographic residencies. Connect with current dance majors and minors. Join the department’s email list and get involved!

Thursday, September 8

Aware Today: Rethinking Your Drinking
2:30–4:30 pm
Skinner Green

Come test your knowledge about ways to reduce your risks. Build on skills to assess and help yourself and others to become Aware Today Alive Tomorrow. This event will feature interactive stations staffed by peer health educators and include an opportunity to drive a golf cart on Skinner Green wearing Fatal Vision Goggles, which simulate driving at .08 percent blood alcohol content. All participants get a free tee shirt.

Saturday, September 10

Home Sports Events
noon–4:00 pm
Athletic Fields

Come support your fellow Lyons the first weekend of the school year! soccer game and tennis match start at noon and a field hockey game starts at 2:00 pm. All events at the Kendall Athletic Complex.

Friday, September 23

Social Security Session
12:30–4:30 pm
Blanchard 318

All new international students who are on work study and work on campus and all new international students who have a Global Loan from Student Financial Services must apply for a Social Security card. Staff from the Holyoke Social Security office will process applications. Bring your passport and original travel documents (I-20 or DS-2019), and a letter from your on-campus employer. More information is available on the MHC website.