Mount Holyoke College makes available the opportunity for students to host small, community friendly events in the Common Spaces of Residence Halls, like hall bonding activities, holiday gatherings, game nights, TV & sports viewing, etc. that won’t be comfortable or, let’s face it, as much fun in the cramped space of a res hall room. If you think your program or party ambitions are too large for a Common Space, or you need campus services, or if you are trying to host an event with bartending as part of the event please talk with Student Programs about other options on campus.
ALL individual student-planned events, other than these smaller in-hall happenings must register through the Office of Student Programs with an ERF (Event Registration Form).
All registered student organization planned events, even those through the Common Space Reservations, must register through the Office of Student Programs using the ERF, unless the intention is for a meeting of 35 people or less. The ERF must be submitted at least 14 days in advance, so your Common Space request should be submitted at minimum 16 days in advance.
Spaces are reservable by individuals or student orgs for meetings, rehearsals, study groups, etc, but they are not intended for weekly/regular reservations so that the space remains available to more varied usage. If you need regular weekly meeting space, consider a room on campus that is not overly popular, and make a Request for Campus Space online.
Common Space Requests will be approved if the space is available and the request meets these criteria:
- Two Mount Holyoke residents must sign on as the RESPONSIBLE HOSTS. At least one of the Hosts must be a resident of the hall in which the event is being held.
- All events must adhere to College, state, and municipal fire safety standards.
- Based on risk management review and in line with best practices and policies at peer institutions, no alcohol may be served or consumed in any campus venue unless compliance with MHC policies and state and federal laws can reasonably be assured. Alcohol service by students to students in Residence Hall common areas does not meet this standard and cannot be responsibly approved. Students seeking to host social events with alcohol service may do so by registering their event with the Office of Student Programs where provisions can be made for college-employed TIPS trained bartenders to offer beer and/or wine service to those of legal age with proper identification in a licensed campus facility.
- The hosts are also responsible to inform all guests of MHC policies and community standards and must actively work to uphold these standards.
- Common Space event reservations cannot be approved during quiet hours (this includes daily quiet hours as well as 24 hour quiet hours during final exams.)
- Weekday gatherings must end by the time quiet hours begin, typically 10:00 pm. Weekend gatherings must end by 1:00 am, at which point guests must be dispersed, food and beverage service stopped, music turned off and cleanup begun. Cleanup can continue past 1 am as necessary.
- Hosts are responsible for not exceeding the 50 person maximum (inclusive of the hosts, and others helping to make the event happen). Use of posts on Facebook, your room door or by yelling “I’m having a party” down your hallway, might make this harder for you to be compliant. If more than 50 attendees (including random people) arrive, it is the hosts’ responsibility to disperse them until the total attendance is under 50 total or to shut the event down if the 50 person maximum capacity cannot be maintained. Hosts must be diligent in watching the capacity at all times.
- Plan your finances ahead of time. Hosts can not charge guests for admission, food, entertainment or beverages.
- Music must be played at a reasonable level to maintain a considerate environment in your hall, and neighboring halls.
- For the duration of the event and clean up period, both hosts are responsible for upholding all college policies and laws. Hosts may also be held responsible for any property damage in the hall caused by any attendee.
- The hosts are responsible for event clean up and restoring the lounge/living room to its original condition.
- Residence Hall Kitchens ("Golden Pears") are not reservable.
- Events that do not adhere to the Common Space reservation guidelines and/or policies will be shut down by any member of the Campus Police, Residential Life Professional or Student Staff, the Professional Staff On Call, or other college administrators or staff.
- Any violation of policies in conjunction with your gathering can result in sanctions against the hosts as individuals, in addition to other non-compliant individuals.
Once you understand the guidelines, you are ready to complete the Common Space Reservation Request Form. Please allow for two business days for the desired building's Area Coordinator to process your request.