MHC students at the summit of Mount Holyoke, 2018.

Student Life and Engagement

Student engagement through cocurricular activities 

At Mount Holyoke, students have a number of avenues for getting involved and furthering their engagement in areas of personal passion and interest within the College and in local communities. Mount Holyoke provides these avenues through a range of cocurricular activities, and views these opportunities as an important aspect of a college education that introduces students to new ideas, perspectives and experiences

Co-curricular involvement for individual students can build organizational and leadership skills that are transferable to life beyond Mount Holyoke College. In addition, co-curricular opportunities are a great way to connect to other students and members of the College community and to put what has been learned in the classroom into action.

There are a number of ways for students to connect to cocurricular offerings, including:

  • Center for Career Development
  • Division of Student Life
  • The Lynk
  • McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives
  • Office of Student Involvement
  • Weissman Center for Leadership, including the Community-based Learning program
  • Fellowships at Mount Holyoke

Office of Student Involvement

The Office of Student Involvement provides students with opportunities for leadership, service and engagement, and serves as a hub for connecting them to cocurricular activities. Student Involvement is a great entry point for those seeking opportunities that fit their interests, skills and goals or who are not sure where to start. The office offers a number of ways to get started:

Fall and spring involvement fairs 

The Office of Student Involvement holds an involvement fair on Skinner Green in the fall and in Chapin Auditorium in the spring, where representatives of 120 or more student organizations, along with various campus offices, are available for students to talk to and gather more information. 

Online organization directory

Students can contact specific organizations through the complete listing of recognized student organizations. The wide range of organizations for undergraduate students includes academic, a cappella, club sports, cultural, live music and radio, peer education, political, pre-professional, religious and spiritual, student activism, and student publications.

In-person involvement advising

Students can stop by the Office of Student Involvement, located in Blanchard 327, to set up an appointment with one of the staff. Find out more about how to get involved.

Student Government Association (SGA)

The Student Government Association, which is known as SGA, is an active leadership group that represents the entire student body in dialogue with College administration and faculty on issues that affect the student body. The SGA leadership comprises an executive board voted in by the undergraduate student body; a senate that comprises representatives from residence halls, students living off campus and student organizations; and committees formed by the SGA or College community.

Class boards and traditions

Each year undergraduate students elect a class board to administer the social program and governing needs of their class. Each class board is responsible for carrying on some of the most important Mount Holyoke traditions. Below is a list of many of those traditions that are organized by the class boards.

See the complete list of College traditions.

Bigs and Little from 2016

Siblings for life. Tracing its origins back to the early 1900s, the program pairs up a junior (the “Big”) with an incoming first-year (the “Little”).

Students celebrating during DisOrientation 2017

DisOrientation is an ever-evolving tradition, but at its core it serves to build camaraderie between seniors and first-year students.

Photo of elfing gifts outside a door

A first-year and sophomore based tradition. First-year students receive small gifts over the course of the week from a sophomore ‘Elf.’

Campus programming policies

Many student groups and individual students sponsor educational and social events for the campus and surrounding community. Examples include but are not limited to festivals, performances, speakers, cultural dinners, parties and conferences held by recognized student organizations, student committees, and more. All Mount Holyoke student-sponsored events and programs that occur on campus must follow the student event policy and procedures, as maintained by the Office of Student Involvement. These events must also comply with Event Services registration policies and guidelines. For more information about these policies, including funding through the SGA Ways and Means Committee, refer to the Student Organization Handbook.

It is important to note that the Office of Student Involvement, on behalf of the College:

  • Reserves the right to modify or cancel an event if the policy and procedures have not been followed.
  • May invoke the ability to change venues, require the event to be ticketed, etc., contingent on the circumstances of the event.
  • Will, as needed, connect to any paid vendors, speakers, performers, etc., and/or their agent prior to the event. 
  • Share information with campus partners such as Event Services, Media Services, Public Safety & Service, Five Colleges, etc.
  • Reserves the right to do so without permission from the student organizer. 

Students should also note that they, or their organizing group, may be held accountable for additional costs associated with the event, including but not limited to audiovisual equipment, facility setup, catering, rentals, security, etc.

Related policies

Health on campus