Residence Life FAQ

General FAQ

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.

I don't get along with my roommate, what can I do?

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.

How's the social life/Are parties allowed in rooms

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.

Do basements rooms have windows?

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.

Are we allowed in rooms during vacation breaks?

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 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.

Are overnight guests, cats, toasters etc. allowed?

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.

College FAQ (New Students)

May I look at my room over the summer?

Because the residence halls are either being used for summer conferences or under renovation, we do not allow access to student rooms. Regrettably, we do not have detailed information such as window size, closet size, and open floor area for each residence hall room. See our online floor plans for a rough idea of your room dimensions. Students usually wait until opening day to purchase decorative items such as curtains, area rugs, etc. The opening day orientation schedule is designed to provide time for family shopping trips. There are several local discount retailers in the area. During the academic year, the College provides a weekly shuttle to area shopping centers.

Can I arrive early?

Unfortunately, the College is not prepared for students to arrive early. Residential rooms will not be ready prior to the start of the semester, unless a student is approved as an early arrival for athletics or a pre-Orientation program. Please be sure to review our opening and closing dates for arrival and departure dates.

What is a OneCard?

The OneCard is an all-access card to the campus: It serves as a residence hall key, your meal card, your MHCXpress Card, and your library card. Select local businesses also honor the MHCXpress Card. You will receive your OneCard during the first few days of Orientation.

How should I ship my belongings?

Belongings should be shipped after August 15 for those students entering in the fall (after January 1 for spring admits). They should be addressed to your attention at your Blanchard Campus Center address. All boxes shipped will be stored by Auxiliary Services. Students may pick them up when they arrive on campus.

What will my mailing address be?

Mount Holyoke Auxiliary Services provides an on campus mailing address for each student. 

The student address format is as follows:

    Student Name
    50 College Street MHC ####
    South Hadley, MA 01075-1461

    (#### = Mailstop number)
    Students can find the Mailstop number on their Profile Page in MyMountHolyoke.


Where do I get my mail?

Students pick up mail, boxes and packages at Auxiliary Services. There is no delivery to residence halls.

Do I have to leave my room during vacations?

All residence halls remain open for the November and March break periods. Meals are not served and minimal campus services are available. All residence halls close for December break. Creighton Hall is the only hall open for December break and is open only for international students whose permanent address is abroad.  Safford Hall will be used if overflow housing is needed over December break. Creighton Hall residents who do not meet the criteria to stay for December break will be required to lend their rooms to students who must stay.

Is housing available during the summer?

A limited amount of summer housing is available for current students. Rental fees are set every spring.  Single and double-occupancy rooms are used.  There is a mandatory meal plan and a minimal level of campus services are available.

Where can I bank?

Peoples Bank is located directly across from the College in the Village Commons. TD Bank and Bank of America are located down Route 116.

Can I bring my car?

First year students are allowed to bring their cars to campus. Students should contact the Parking Office at 413-538-2514.

My question hasn't been answered by the FAQs

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Residential Life at 413-538-2088 or send us an email.

Where is the Office of Residential Life?

The Office of Residential Life is located in the Division of Student Life suite in 205 Blanchard Campus Center. 

Room FAQ (New Students)

Will I get a single?

Unfortunately, the College does not have singles available for first- and second-year students. As a new student, you should anticipate living in a double or triple room configuration.

Will I have a roommate?

All new students, sophomores, and some juniors are paired with a roommate(s). These matches are based on living preferences you provided us on the New Student Housing Request Form. Contact information for your roommate(s) is provided in your housing assignment email. We encourage roommates to touch base before arrival to get to know each other and coordinate large items such as refrigerators, televisions and decorations. This is also a great opportunity to talk about living preferences such as bunking the beds, intended class schedule or majors, and living patterns. The Office of Residential Life provides a roommate starter kit to aid in the discussion.

When will I find out about my room assignment?

Housing assignments for all new fall semester incoming students will be emailed to your Mount Holyoke email account in early August. For all spring admitted students, housing assignments will be emailed in January.

How are rooms and roommates assigned?

Students are housed using the preferences provided on the New Student Housing Request Form. This is a manual process in which the staff reviews the information on the form to make roommate matches. Students are matched as closely as we can in the areas room environment, study habits, cleanliness, noise, and guests.

In many cases, it’s not possible to make an identical match in all areas. In these instances, we prioritize compatibility with rest/room environment over study habits and social life. We strongly recommend honesty when completing these forms. The Office of Residential Life does not factor in personal values or demographic information such as race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. when making housing assignments.

All first year students are randomly assigned to a building and are not able to request a specific building for placement.

I am not happy with my room assignment.

There is no space for change after the housing assignments are processed. The residence halls are usually at capacity until the middle of the semester. We encourage all students to engage in conversation and compromise as they adjust to their new roommate and living situation. Should a living situation become extremely difficult, residents should speak with their floor Community Advisor to discuss mediation strategies. Students should contact their building Area Coordinator if the matter is not appropriate for a peer mediator. All residents have the opportunity to complete a room change for the next semester. These assignment changes are completed in between semesters through the room change request process.

What does my room come with?

Each student is provided a desk, desk chair, dresser, bookcase, standard twin bed, and a mirror. The College requires all room furniture to remain in the student room. Please plan accordingly when purchasing larger items to personalize your space. Student rooms also come with a closet and/or wardrobe. There are several spaces in which students are asked to share closets.

Will I have my own closet or wardrobe?

The number of closets in a room does not dictate the occupancy size of the room.  Some rooms have large walk-in closets for each student while others have closets that students are expected to share.  Additional wardrobes have been added to any rooms where they will fit as needed, but you might have to negotiate sharing a closet with a roommate or roommates, so please prepare for this possibility and talk to them about shared space.

What size is my bed?

All beds are standard twin. Mount Holyoke College does not provide extra long beds.

Are there curtains in my room?

Students must supply their own curtains and curtain rods with the exception of those students living in MacGregor and Ham Halls. Clutch shades are provided in all halls. Regrettably, we do not have detailed information such as window size for each residence hall room. Many students will wait until their arrival to purchase decorative items. There are several local discount retailers in the area. During the academic year, the College provides a weekly shuttle to area shopping centers.

Is my room carpeted?

Residence hall rooms have either hardwood floors or linoleum. If students wish to have a carpet in their room they must bring one with them. Regrettably, we do not have detailed information such as open floor area for each residence hall room. See our online floor plans for a rough idea of your room dimensions

What should I bring?

Mount Holyoke encourages all students to make themselves at home. Students should feel free to personalize their space. We do have a suggested list of essential items students should bring to campus. Please refer to our packing list of room essentials and our fire safety policies on fire hazards to avoid bringing to campus.

What is not allowed in my room?

Because of fire laws, students may not have electric blankets, air conditioners, space heaters, candles, lofts, or incense, etc. Please refer to the packing/shopping list for a list of prohibited items.

Is there storage on campus?

The College provides storage for the academic year only. These storage spaces are our trunk rooms in the residence hall basements. The trunk rooms are designed to provide storage for those extras in one’s room that make it too close for comfort. Trunk room space is available to all current Mount Holyoke residential students. Trunk room space is a community resource and available on a first come, first move basis. Access to the trunk room can be arranged through your Senior Community Advisor.  There is no summer storage at Mount Holyoke. The College works with several local storage companies to provide accessible and affordable options for our students.

We encourage students to seek off-campus options, as our storage facilities are not secured or climate controlled. The College does not have property insurance for student possessions. The College accepts no responsibility for anything stored in the basements, and things may be inadvertently removed and discarded, misplaced, stolen, or subject to other accidental damage or loss.

Can I get cable in my room?

Every residence hall room has a cable television outlet. Students can apply for service through Auxiliary Services at 413-538-3111.

Is there internet access in my room?

All residence hall rooms have Internet access. Students should contact the Mount Holyoke College Help Desk at 413-538-2600 for specific details.

How do I find out my phone number?

If you would like dialtone in your room, you will need to apply for phone service at Auxiliary Services once you are on campus. A telephone number will be assigned to you at that time.  You will need to provide us with the residence hall, room and jack number that you are requesting to activate.

Can I have a pet?

For the health and safety of all residents, we only allow fish that can be safely and humanely contained in a tank/bowl of five gallons or less in the residence hall. Any other pets are strictly prohibited.  The only exceptions to this are service animals and assistance animals that are registered through the AccessAbility Services office.

Housing Lottery

How are selection times assigned?

Selection times are assigned randomly within each class year. Although Residence allows us to assign selection times by a large number of factors, including GPA and credit hours earned, we are not using those features.

What should I do if I’m studying abroad?

The beauty of a fully online process is that you can do it anywhere you have internet access.  You are able to log in to the Residence system from any computer at your selection time and select then.

I'm a junior, where are there junior singles?

Residential Life does not hold singles specifically for juniors.  Juniors have a better chance of obtaining a single in buildings where there is a high number of singles(i.e. 1837, Mandelles, and Prospect)

What happens if I am not cleared on time?

Students who are not cleared in time to participate in the housing lottery will be housed over the summer once they are cleared.  The Office of Residential Life will contact these students, as they will need to submit a Housing Request Form by June 1st in order to be placed in a residential space.

My roommate is not cleared, can I hold the space?

No, we do not hold spaces for students who are not eligible to participate in the housing lottery. 

I'm a sophomore, how do I get a single?

Sophomores are not eligible to sign into singles during the Housing Lottery.  As with all of our processes priority for singles go to Seniors first and than Juniors.  Any singles left after the Housing Lottery will be put into the summer housing process.  Sophomores may file a Room Change Request Form (after Lottery is completed and due by June 1st) to try for a single.  Filing a room change request form is not a guarantee your request will be granted.

Can I make a moving group with my friends?

The new system does allow for roommate groups, which is a group you and your friends can form in order to live in the same room, apartment or suite.  It must be the same size as the space you are trying to get into.  For example, if you want to live in a Creighton quad suite, you must have four people in your group.  If you want to live in a double, your group should have two.  Students trying to get a single room should not form groups.

We encourage you to coordinate and talk to friends ahead of time if you are interested in selecting the same building.  We are also happy to work with students over the summer to change assignments if we are able to, to accommodate requests to live near a friend, in another building, etc.