Student Event Parking and Safety Planning

The professional staff in the Office of Student Programs is available to help you to refine your event related needs for parking and safety details, and assist as a liaison putting you in touch with the appropriate staff members of the Campus Police and Parking Office to accomplish your goals.

We are fortunate at Mount Holyoke to have a Campus Police department and parking office that are dedicated to working hard in support of our academic, cultural and social events. In their mission statement they write,

"The goal of the Campus Police is to aide departments in making arrangements for events so visitors to our campus feel like the institution as a whole is supporting their event and that they are welcome on our campus. Failure to plan ahead can result in ticketing of guests, buildings being locked and services being unavailable which can negatively affect your visitors’ impressions of your event and of the College."


Event Sponsors are responsible for considering guest parking needs, and for publicizing that information when appropriate. For events anticipating significant off campus attendees on nights or weekends, or if more than five vehicles are expected for any event during weekday business hours the Parking Office (x2514) can assist you in finding appropriate parking options. Please contact them a minimum of two weeks in advance. It is especially important to consider arrangements for any presenters or performers who will be a part of your event.  You also need to remember that there may be multiple events occurring on campus; coordinating with the Parking Office will reduce anxiety caused by multiple groups assuming their visitors have sole access to any particular parking area on campus.

Visitors Attending an Event on Campus: If the event is after 5:00pm or on a weekend, guests may park in any faculty or staff parking space as long as the vehicle will not be on campus between the hours of 7:00am and 5:00pm Monday - Friday.  Events occurring Monday-Friday 8am-5pm have very limited parking options in the central campus area as this is the peak use time for faculty and staff parking. Several marked 'visitor' spots are available throughout campus, as well as marked peripheral visitor parking options on Lower Lake Road, at the Equestrian Center off Park St, in the Gorse Lot off Morgan St and (conditions permitting) in the grass lot on the corner of Rt 116 & Morgan St.

Visitors on campus Overnight/Weekdays: If a guest vehicle is on campus between the hours of 7:00am and 5:00pm Monday - Friday, the vehicle must be registered, and will be assigned to the Gorse or Equestrian Center Parking Lots to assure spaces are available for faculty and staff vehicles. If the visitor arrives after 5:00pm Friday and will be staying on Campus past 7:00am on Monday morning, they may park in a faculty/staff space in the Torrey Lot until 9:00am, allowing time to come to the Parking Office when it opens at 8:30am

Safety & Security at Events

Many of the details of safely and responsibly staffing your events are outlined in more detail on the Large Events Policy page and in the Event Captains briefings with the Student Programs Event Coordinator, but in addition to those student staff responsibilities there are also some events that require additional Campus Police and/or Security officers. These are considered on a case by case basis when events are registered, and security requirements are ultimately at the discretion of our Campus Police department.

Some Basics

  • Event Sponsors are expected to maintain a safe event and notify Campus Police of any incidents and/or problems that occur or situations that seem potentially unsafe.
  • Sponsors must not allow room fire capacities to be exceeded, nor any fire equipment to be tampered with, nor any fire exits to be obstructed.
  • Campus Police staffing of an event might include any or all of the following: Officer "walk-throughs", one or more on-site officers dedicated to the event, EMT's, Parking Staff, or Fire Safety Staff.
  • Student groups may request additional officers for the safety of their events. Please discuss your needs when registering your event.
  • If, in the opinion of a Campus Police supervisor, additional officers need to be assigned to an ongoing event as a result of incident(s) or safety concerns occurring while the event is in progress, the sponsor will be responsible for the additional costs.

Costs to  Event Sponsors

The Campus Police department will determine the appropriate security staffing for events based on previous experience and the information you have provided in your Reservation Request and Event Registration Forms. Large and/or complex events may require additional communication. Your group may incur charges for the required security.

Campus Police Officers are assigned as needed to an event at a cost to Event Sponsors of $35/hr. Generally event officer detail will begin 1/2hr. to 1hr. prior to an events start time, and continue until the event is fully closed down.

Campus Police staff is required at any event with over 50 people expected to attend and at any event where alcohol is served. Officers are automatically scheduled for security, safety and parking. Groups and individuals sponsoring events are encouraged to contact Student Programs at least 14 business days prior to the event to discuss specific security needs.

Building Access and other Event "Urgencies"

It is the responsibility of event planners to make sure they have scheduled campus spaces for the times that they need access to a space.  Proper reservations trigger the communication of building access information to the responsible offices. Likewise, Event Sponsors are responsible to have student staff in the venues during the hours for which they have reserved the space. Campus Police cannot be called in to provide access to individual rooms, classrooms, offices or spaces that have not been properly reserved. If your event was properly registered and an error in the system left your room locked after the scheduled time, call the Campus Police dispatcher at x2304 to request assistance.