Frequently Asked Questions

What will my residence hall room look like?
Room size and style vary across the residence halls. In our centennial halls, residents enjoy the older Victorian style rooms. These rooms tend to be smaller but have more variety and character. The centennial halls surround Skinner Green and are near the Blanchard Campus Center. Some of our residence halls are more modern. Residents of the modern halls enjoy a similar graciousness in décor but the hall layout is uniform. Positioned along Upper and Lower Lake, the modern halls have larger room sizes.

All rooms come with a bed, mattress, desk, desk chair, and dresser. Student rooms also have a computer jack. Cable television is also available for purchase. While actual pictures of rooms are not available, floor plans are available to help you get a sense of what your space will look like. 

We encourage students to add those creative touches to make them have a “home-like” feel. As you make your decorative plans, we also encourage you to review our list of approved decorations.

How are roommates determined?
As a new student, the Office of Residential Life will determine your housing assignment and roommate(s) match. We pair students based on the criteria you provide in the areas we know are most critical and often challenging, such as sleeping habits and expectations around guests. The residence halls serve many functions. For this reason, the office prioritizes rest above study and social life. Our goal is to strike a balance among a handful of priorities to make matches where students can live together comfortably. As a new student, you can request a specific roommate or you can choose to be paired by us.  About 15-20% of new first year students choose their own roommate.

All returning students participate in our yearly spring lottery. This is a process where students choose their residence hall, room assignment, and roommate.

What should I do if I don’t get along with my roommate or another student in my community?
We encourage you to be open and honest about your needs and communicate these needs whenever you are in conflict with someone in the community. It has been our experience that early conversation about differences resolves most problems. If you need help framing this conversation or a resolution is not readily found, you can seek the advice of the Residential Life student staff members. Each floor and building has an assigned student staff member who is trained to specifically deal with conflict and tensions that often arises in a residential community. When matters are more complex or multiple resolution attempts have occurred, the staff will refer you to an Area Coordinator in the Office of Residential Life. The Area Coordinators (ACs) are full-time, live-in professional staff available to advise, support, and assist students during their transition to college.

What is the social life like? Can I have a party in my room?
Like all college campuses, Mount Holyoke enjoys an active and vibrant social life. Campus events and programs are sponsored by student organizations with the support of our Office of Student Programs. From the many evening lecture series, Taboo dialogues, to parties and lectures, there is much happening on campus. In addition to campus programs, the Residential Life staff host programs and socials within the residence halls. These are more intimate programs to promote a sense of community within the hall. Residents are encouraged to be an active part of the residence hall activity planning. 

Residents are also allowed to organize events in their room. Room parties are expected to be small in nature with no more than 10 or so guests. When your room is not the right space for your event, residents have the option to host an event in their residence hall common space. Any social event in the residence hall must adhere to campus policies, community standards, and building quiet hours.

I am assigned to a basement room will I have a window?
All of the student rooms have windows. Many of the residence halls are designed in such a way that the basement level is actually a garden level. This means rooms are not below ground and students can access their rooms directly without the use of elevator or stairs.

Can I stay in my room during vacation breaks for the college?
Students are eligible to stay in their rooms during October Break, November/Thanksgiving Break, January Term (Intersession) and Spring Break. Domestic and International students whose permanent address is abroad (not including Canada or Mexico) have the option to remain on campus during December Break.  The College will remain open at these times, but key services, such as campus dining and the health center, may be closed.

Can I change my room assignment?
In the event that you would like to change their room during the middle of the semester, you should speak with your Area Coordinator (AC). Moving mid-semester is a complex process. Your AC will work with you to make sure a move is the best option to resolve a conflict. The name of your AC is listed on our In Hall Staff listing. 

If you desire to change rooms between semesters, you should file a Room Change Request form. Not all students are approved to move, and there is unfortunately no guarantee that a request can be granted based upon room type availability. 

What should I do if I’m locked out of my room?
The Office of Residential Life encourages students to lock doors and keep their room keys with them at all times. In the event that you do become locked out, please try to connect with your Community Advisor (CA) or Senior Community Advisor (SCA).  They have a master key to your residence hall and can help to unlock your door. In the event that the CA or SCA is not available, please contact Campus Police at ext. 2304 to have an officer unlock your room for a fee of $15 per lockout. Please note that the CAs and SCAs are only able to unlock doors upon their availability and will post signs to inform students of their schedule.  

What if there is an emergency in my residence hall?
If you encounter an emergency, please call Campus Police immediately at 1-911. In cases of emergency, please respond to the requests by all College officials and student staff in your residence hall. The College regards all fire alarms as a serious matter, even when during a drill. To ensure the safety of all members of the community, we ask that students adhere to all policies and procedures to maintain a safe atmosphere. In the event of other campus emergencies, the College will notify students through appropriate channels.

Can I have an overnight guest? What about a cat? Can I have a toaster?
In order to maintain a safe and respectful residential community, the Office of Residential Life has policies and community expectations for all students living in the residence hall.

What can I recycle in my residence hall?
The College offers many recycling services for items such as paper, cans, bottles, batteries, and inkjet/laser printer cartridges. The Office of Residential Life encourages all students to participate in the campus campaign for Environmental Stewardship.