Current and past students weigh in on the November rule


Graphic by Kinsey Ratzman ’21

Graphic by Kinsey Ratzman ’21

The November Rule is an unspoken rule on campus that sophomores, juniors and seniors aren’t allowed to date first-years until November, but there has been speculation about exactly why it exists, when it expires and where it came from. 

The specifics of the November Rule have never been written down, which is part of the problem. Students can’t agree about whether it expires on Nov. 1, Nov. 30 or when Thanksgiving break ends. 

After polling a group of current students from all class years, 71 of them said that the November rule expires after Thanksgiving break. 44 students (34 of which were first-years) said that it expires on Nov. 1. Only five students said that the rule expires on Nov. 30.


“[I’ve] never heard of the [November] rule, don’t believe we had anything like that when I was at Mount Holyoke. There was an rule prohibiting professors/employees from dating students, but that rule was often broken.” -Elizabeth Smith ’98


“We had a similar rule [when I was a student] called the 3Fs. No first-years, friends or floormates. It was year-round. The first-year part was more relevant at the beginning of the year and the friends and floormates came up during housing lottery time.” -Alyssa Whitbeck Rose ’02


“I kind of thought [the November rule] was a joke.” -Shana Seligman ’21


“I’ve always felt kinda skeeved by [the November Rule]. Like everyone is in college. We’re adults. First-years are not helpless creatures. But I do agree that the concept is valid in that firsties should be given the opportunity to situate themselves in college before really jumping into an intense relationship of any sort. The implication of the November rule is that suddenly this population is fair game? Weird.” -Katie Carlson ’20


“I think it shouldn’t be a thing at all if you’re a sophomore interested in a first-years, but then again I don’t really know the specifics of the rule.” -Deanna Kalian ’20