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. Students will have full access to all college internet and MHCTV services. 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.

All returning students participate in our yearly 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? Can I 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 Involvement. From the many evening lecture series, 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 5 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 ground floor rooms have windows?

All of the student rooms have windows. Many of the residence halls are designed in such a way that the ground floor 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 break, January Term (Intersession) and March break. Domestic and international students whose permanent address is abroad 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 limited or 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 Resident Advisor (RA) or Residential Fellow (RF). They have a master key to your residence hall and can help to unlock your door. In the event that the RA or RF is not available, please contact Public Safety and Service at ext. 2304 to have an officer unlock your room. Please note that the RAs and RFs 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 Public Safety and Service immediately at 413-538-2304. 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 1 for those students entering in the fall (after January 1 for spring admits). They should be addressed to your attention at your campus 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 my.mtholyoke.


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. Limited meals and minimal campus services are available. Residence halls are open only for international students whose permanent address is abroad and domestic students with a hardship preventing them from going home. There is a $250.00 fee to stay on campus during December break.

Is housing available during the summer?

A limited amount of summer housing is available for current students. Housing 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. There is a Five College Credit Union and Bank of America ATM in the Blanchard Community Center. 

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?

Members of the Office of Residential Life are located in two offices. The Area Coordinators and the Associate Director are located on the ground floor of Safford Hall. The Director and Administrative Assistant are located in the Division of Student Life Suite (Blanchard 205) in the Blanchard Community 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 room configuration.

Will I have a roommate?

All new students, sophomores, and 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 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.

When will I find out about my room assignment?

Housing information for new fall semester incoming students will be emailed to your Mount Holyoke email account in late-July. Students who submit a late housing application will be notified 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 incoming 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 Resident 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?

For the fall 2021 semester, trunk rooms will not be available to on-campus students. Students that registered for on campus storage when the campus closed in March 2020 can email should they have additional questions about retrieving their belongings.

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.

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. Mount Holyoke College students living on campus in college resident halls have access to MHCTV. Service is automatically available – simply log into the XFINTY On Campus portal using your Mount Holyoke College email credentials. Access is tied to residential student status, so once you move out of a residence hall, you will no longer have access to the XFINTY On Campus portal. For more information on MHCTV visit Auxiliary Services.  

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.

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 emotional support animals that are registered through the AccessAbility Services office.

Housing Selection FAQ

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. Please note that selection times are released in Eastern Standard Time. If you believe you will not be able to select your own room you can request a proxy.

How do I get a single?

As with all of our processes priority for singles go to seniors. Not every member of the senior class will be able to get a single. Any singles left after the Housing Lottery will be put into the summer housing process. Students may file a Room Change Request Form (after Lottery is completed) to try for a single. Filing a room change request form is not a guarantee your request will be granted.

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.

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. 

What is the reason I am not eligible?

Please contact the office listed to figure out the reason you are not eligible. Holds can be from the Dean of Studies Office, Health Services, Counseling Services and Student Financial Services. Please note that having only a hold from Financial Services will not prevent you from participating in the housing lottery. Students with an "N" from Dean of Studies, Health Services, Counseling Services will not be able to opt-in to any of the housing lotteries. The Office of Residential Life does not have additional information about these holds and cannot remove them for you.

I got into an LLC but want an apartment or suite

Apartments and suites are not available for the 2021-2022 academic year.

You must make a decision if you would like to participate in an apartment/suite lottery or be in the Living-Learning Community (LLC). If you participate in the apartment/suite lottery you will be removed from the Living-Learning Community lottery.

My friend and I forgot to create a roommate group

You can attempt to both pick the same room if you have both opted into the same lottery. However, there is no way for you to hold that space open for your intended roommate. We suggest you both select during the latest selection time between the roommates to increase your chances of selecting the same space.

Can I opt into a process after the deadline?

No you cannot opt into a process once the opt in deadline has passed.

How do I apply for a housing accommodation?

Students need to apply for housing accommodations through AccessAbility Services.

I have an accommodation when will I get my room?

Students approved for Housing Accommodations must fill out the Housing Accommodation Request Form (HARF) each year to notify AccessAbility Services and Residential Life that they wish to use their accommodation(s) in the coming academic year. Students will receive an email from AccessAbility Services when the HARF opens. This email will contain the date that the HARF closes. AccessAbility Services and Residential Life meet shortly after the HARF closes to review housing accommodations.

If a student has completed the HARF by the deadline, Residential Life will be in touch with the student’s next steps, either participation in a lottery or notification of their placement.

AccessAbility will send out an email when the HARF reopens, after the rest of campus goes through the housing selection process. This will allow anyone who missed the first deadline, was approved for housing accommodations after the first deadline, and incoming students to request housing accommodations for the coming academic year. This email will contain the date that the HARF closes. AccessAbility Services and Residential Life meet to review housing accommodations. Residential Life will notify students of their placement.

Do I select housing if I am abroad in the Fall?

If you will be studying abroad in the Fall semester, please do not participate in any housing lotteries in the previous Spring semester. You will be emailed by the Office of Residential Life while you are aboard about filling out a Housing Request/ Room Change Request Form for the Spring semester.

Why don’t I see a particular room in the lottery?

If a particular room does not appear in any housing lottery, this means the room is unavailable. This may occur for many reasons including that there may be a facilities concern, it may have already been selected, or is held for summer placements.