Orientation Schedule

Image of Orientation Leaders outside North Rockefeller Hall.

Spring Orientation 2017 starts on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 for international and AccessAbility pre-Orientation students and Thursday, January 19, 2017 for all new students.  

Spring Orientation 2017 Schedule will post in the early December.

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–10:00 pm
Woolley Circle

Orientation leaders and International Student Organizing Committee (ISOC) members will meet international students arriving at Bradley International Airport. All other new international and AccessAbility pre-orientation 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 Tent.

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
5:15-6:00 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.

Thursday, September 1

Mandatory Foreign National Information System (FNIS) Session for International Students

9:00 am–noon
Kendade Computer Lab (Kendade 006) and 619 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 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 8:30 am in front of Blanchard Campus Center.

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 8:30 am in front of Blanchard Campus Center.

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
Kendade Atrium

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

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

Join Donna Van Handle, the dean of international 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 
Woolley Circle

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.

Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) Open House
10:00 am–5:00 pm
Atrium, WIlliston Library

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 
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall

Words of welcome from Acting President Sonya Stephens.

Opening Day BBQ for New Students and Families
Noon-1:30 pm 
Skinner Green

Rain location: Dining halls

Academic Advising  (mandatory)

1:30–5:00 pm 
Faculty Offices

Students meet with their academic advisors.

Parent and Family Orientation
1:30–3:00 pm 
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall and various locations throughout campus

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!

Curriculum to Careers: Learning by Doing at MHC
3:00–5:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium

At Mount Holyoke College, students have many opportunities to connect academic work with professional development through focused experiential learning. This process often starts during the first year on campus, as students  learn more about possible paths for building experience and explore options that interest them. This session will provide examples of classroom innovations, internships, research, student employment, and other ways that students can learn by doing at Mount Holyoke.

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

3:00–5:00 pm
Williston Library Reading Room

We invite you to enjoy refreshments and learn about library and technology resources that are key to student success at Mount Holyoke. Alex Wirth-Cauchon (CIO and executive director of LITS) will say a few words at 3:30 and 4:30, but you can stop by anytime to ask questions and have a treat or two!

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. Cancelled if raining.

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”! Rain location: Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall.

Saturday, September 3

College 101 (mandatory)
9:30–11:30 am
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall

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
11:30 am–1:30 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

Students will learn about basic concepts of gender identity, and will develop the skills of gender etiquette that will be important during and after their time at Mount Holyoke College.

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's living room

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 pm–midnight
Chapin Auditorium

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

8:30am - 11:30am
Hooker Auditorium

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

Flourishing 101 (mandatory)
1:00PM - 3:30PM
Chapin Auditorium followed by various locations throughout campus

A relaxing afternoon of fun to learn ways to take care of yourself as you begin life at MHC through a session for all students in Chapin Auditorium followed by concurrent workshops throughout campus.  Please see workshop listings below (all new students registered for workshops over the summer):

Co-Accountant Project: Do you have big goals and dreams for your first year at Mount Holyoke? Want a hand keeping yourself on track with them, even when things get busy and stressful? Come learn about the Co-Accountant Project, a fun and accessible intention-setting and accountability tool, that provides a way to go after what you really want, in a sustained and connected way. Come learn some great tools and skills, and set yourself up for success this year! (New York Room, Mary Wooley Hall, maximum 80 people)

Don't be a Mess #StressLess: Got Stress? We can help! Come learn the tips and tricks of the trade to manage your college feels. What does stress look like? How do I say no and prevent over-commitment? Come rock the Wheel of Wellness to win prizes and more. (Cassani Lounge, Shattuck, maximum 20 people)

Drumming Circle: Come release pent-up energy with an upbeat drumming circle. We will have the opportunity to engage with one another through creating powerful beats and rhythms. No experience required! (Betty Shabazz Cultural House, maximum 20 people)

Gentle Yoga: Gentle yoga focuses on mindful movement while staying connected to what keeps us grounded - the breath. This class will provide you with the space to slow down in order to allow the body to stretch, open up, and unwind with a comforting flow of postures. No experience necessary. (Studio 2, Kendall Sports & Dance Complex, maximum 60 people)

Guided Walk: Join us for a guided nature walk on a campus that is consistently rated as one of the most scenic in the country. On this peaceful walk, we will circle the much-loved Upper Lake and explore the beautiful Talcott Greenhouse, where you may pick up your first year plant. At the end of the session, there will be time for journaling in the gardens in and around Talcott Greenhouse. You will receive a complimentary Mount Holyoke College journal to keep during and after the workshop! (Around campus, maximum 30 people)

Peaceful Conversation with Eliot House: Eliot House is Mount Holyoke College's center of religious and spiritual life. Sit back in our comfy couches, snack on the famous Chef Jeff's cookies, and enjoy a great conversation around a topic of interest. We will explore what gives meaning to our lives, will receive a walk-through tour of Mount Holyoke's beautiful Japanese Tea House, and will discover the campus's sacred spaces. (Lounge, Eliot House, maximum 60 people)

Put on your Dancing Shoes: This workshop is an introduction to the principles of latin dancing. We will focus on basic body rhythms inherent in Bomba y Plena, Merengue, and Bachata. No dance experience required. (Pratt 109, maximum 30 people)

Restorative Yoga: This yoga workshop aims to cultivate peace of mind for a healthy body. We will be guided through a supported practice with the use of blankets, bolsters, and straps to ensure we are comfortable, safe, and relaxed during extended holds. This practice has healing effects which are ideal for yogis of all levels. (Pratt 305, maximum 60 people)

Self-Care Plans: Erica Weathers of counseling services will facilitate a workshop to promote resiliency through self-care.We will learn the components of self-care and will put together our own self-care plans using various art supplies! (Kendade Atrium, maximum 50 people)

Self-Massage & Pressure Points: Self-massage and pressure point stimulation are exercises that have been practiced by many cultures around the globe for thousands of years! We will learn techniques that focus on deep relaxation, and empowered healing of the body and soul. (Stimson Room, Library, maximum 30 people)

Sleep Masks: In this workshop, we will create relaxing sleep masks to take with us, while also receiving useful tips and tricks on getting a good night's sleep while at Mount Holyoke College! (Conference room, Health Center, maximum 15 people)

Vision Board Making: A vision board is a collage of images, pictures, and affirmations of your dreams, goals, and things that make you happy. These beautiful craft projects will be visual positive affirmations personalized by you, and are perfect to hang in your dorm room! (Information Commons, Library, maximum 30 people)

Watercolor Card Making: Do you love to make art? Come create some beautiful note cards using watercolors - no experience or artistic ability is required! We'll also write a few notes so you can send in the mail a random act of kindness, and make someone's day. We will provide all art supplies, and postage for the notes! (Library Atrium, maximum 30 people)

Yoga Flow: In this energetic yoga practice, we will expand our knowledge beyond the basics while focusing on proper alignment. We will learn modifications and variations throughout class, while using movement to warm up the entire body. No experience required! (Studio 3, Kendall Sports & Dance Complex, maximum 60 people)

Zumba: Zumba is a high energy, dance-based fitness program designed to get your heart pumping while integrating international rhythms. Zumba is easy to follow and everyone is welcome. Get your Zumba on! (Blanchard Great Room, maximum 60 people)

Communication, Accountability, and Sexual Respect in our Community (mandatory)

4:00 - 5:30PM
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall

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.

Health and Safety 101 (mandatory)
7:30–9:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall

Members of Campus Police and representatives from the Health Center 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
Reading Room & Atrium, Williston Library

Learn the history of MHC’s most delicious tradition—Milk and Cookies (in Mary Lyon's day, it was Crackers). Socialize with classmates and staff from Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS), enjoy some cookies, and get your very own class tote bag!

Monday, September 5

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

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

On Pop Culture, Race, and Politics: The Way We Talk About Things with Jay Smooth (mandatory)
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall

In this talk, socio-political pundit Jay Smooth, popular vlogger behind "The Ill Doctrine," discusses everything from present day politics and social justice to music, media, and culture. Smooth also delves into the oftentimes tricky discussion of race, specifically how we talk about race and racism as a culture, sharing thought-provoking, humorous, and entertaining suggestions for expanding our worldview on the subject. This session is for new Mount Holyoke students only.

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

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.

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.

College Songs Workshop
3:00–4:00 pm
McCulloch Auditorium, Pratt Hall

Join members of the Mount Holyoke choral ensembles as we teach you traditional Mount Holyoke songs - the Alma Mater, the Goodnight Song, and maybe even the Drinking Song! It's also a fantastic opportunity to chat with current MHC students involved in music and specifically choral singing at Mount Holyoke.

Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) Tours & Open House

3:00–5:00 pm
Atrium, Williston Library

Join us for a guided tour of our beautiful buildings and an introduction to the many library and technology resources and services we offer. When you’re finished exploring the building, stick around to play board games, 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.

Charting Your Journey at MHC
4:00–5:00 pm
Gamble Auditorium

Are you looking to impact MHC and the greater community?  Even if you know you want to make a change, you may not know how to begin, and that is okay! If so, come to this session to hear the voices and stories of seven Mount Holyoke students, how they became involved in the community. They will likely inspire you for your Mount Holyoke journey!

On Pop Culture, Race, and Politics: The Way We Talk About Things
7:00-8:00 pm
Gamble Auditorium

In this talk, socio-political pundit Jay Smooth, popular vlogger behind "The Ill Doctrine," discusses everything from present day politics and social justice to music, media, and culture. Smooth also delves into the oftentimes tricky discussion of race, specifically how we talk about race and racism as a culture, sharing thought-provoking, humorous, and entertaining suggestions for expanding our worldview on the subject. This session is open to the Five -College community.

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

Academic Fair
9:00-11:00 am
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall

Class of 2020 Picture
11:15 am
Gettell Amphitheater


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

Rain location: Dining halls

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 7 to pick up a poster and museum information.

Welcome Reception for New and Returning FPs
4:00–5:30 pm
Dickinson Hall Lawn

Enjoy the company of your fellow FPs as you get ready for the start of classes. Rain location: Dickinson Hall living room.

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, Mary Woolley Hall

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.

Rain location: Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall

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.