Housing & Dining
Whether you are new to the Cornell family or have returned for another semester, campus feels different this fall, with important modifications to residential and student life. Residence halls are limited to single- and double-occupancy rooms, and dining options have been modified to provide to-go service, touchless payment methods, physical distancing and enhanced sanitation.
Who is permitted in residence halls? Can other Cornell students visit my residence hall or room?
Only students and certain staff members are permitted in residence halls during the fall semester. Any person who is a member of the Cornell campus community, such as a student who has participated in arrival and surveillance testing, and has completed the re-entry checklist and submitted that day's Daily Check, may enter residential buildings and even student rooms if invited.
- Students must have explicit permission from their roommates and/or suitemates before a guest will be permitted in shared space. Please see the Shared Living Space During COVID-19 video for ideas on how to engage roommates in these important discussions.
- The maximum number of individuals allowed in any residence hall room at a time is the number of individuals assigned to that room plus one. The maximum number of individuals allowed in suite common areas is the number of individuals assigned to that suite. If a room door is open to the common area, then that room is considered part of the common area.
- Guests who are not residents in that building must use a public restroom in the building, and not the restrooms assigned to specific residents. Guests must be escorted by the resident to the public restroom.
- All students and their guests, including overnight guests, are subject to guest and escort terms of the House Rules and Community Standards, Housing Terms & Conditions, and special circumstance terms related to COVID-19.
As stated in the university's travel and visitor policy, visitors, including parents, other family members and alumni, will not be permitted in campus facilities, including residence halls. Students may visit other residence halls. Students are responsible for adhering to the guest policy as stipulated in the Cornell Behavioral Compact.
How can my family or friends who are not Cornell students visit me on campus?
Cornell has implemented significant restrictions on visitors as a way to de-densify campus and prevent individuals from unknowingly bringing COVID-19 into the community. According to the current Cornell travel and visitor policy, no individual (friend, family member, or other guest) may enter Cornell campus facilities (i.e. residence halls, dining facilities, libraries, community centers, academic buildings, etc.) unless they are a current student, staff, or faculty member approved to be on campus.
Only certain outdoor spaces (i.e. the trail around Beebe Lake and the Botanic Gardens) at Cornell are open to visitors and guests at this time. Cornell’s mask and physical distancing policy must be followed by students, faculty, staff and visitors. Please check prior to visiting any specific site to understand if the location you want to visit is open and accessible to the public.
All travelers and visitors must follow CDC guidelines and New York State travel policies. Additionally, visitors must adhere to the New York State Travel Advisory which requires all travelers coming from states with significant rates of transmission of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of their last contact and complete the Traveler Health Form. Visitors from these states are not permitted on campus until the end of the 14-day quarantine period.
Are friends or family allowed to visit students elsewhere in Ithaca?
Yes, however all travelers and visitors must follow CDC guidelines and New York State travel policies. Additionally, visitors must adhere to the New York State Travel Advisory which requires all travelers coming from states with significant rates of transmission of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of their last contact and complete the Traveler Health Form.
How can I receive additional belongings or items for my on-campus room?
Students living on campus can arrange to have items shipped to their campus address and picked up at their assigned service center. If family or friends bring items to campus, the student can meet them in a parking lot close to their residence hall (parking restrictions apply). Visitors who are not included in Cornell's arrival and surveillance testing program (or are otherwise approved per policy) should stay with their vehicle and under no circumstances are permitted inside Cornell-owned housing.
In addition, visitors must adhere to the New York State Travel Advisory which requires all travelers coming from states with significant rates of transmission of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of their last contact and complete the Traveler Health Form. Visitors from these states are not permitted on campus until the end of the 14-day quarantine period.
When is fall departure and how can I schedule my departure time?
The housing period for the first part of the fall semester ends Nov. 29 at 10 a.m. Undergraduate students living on campus have received guidance from Cornell Housing with detailed instructions for departing campus, including how to access the housing portal and schedule a departure date. Departure dates and times are available from Nov. 14 through Nov. 29, to allow for staggered departure and to accommodate student travel arrangements. Students should be prepared to depart campus within 24 hours of their last semifinal exam, and the deadline to schedule departures is 11:59 p.m., Oct. 22. If you do not register your departure travel, you will continue to receive Daily Check reminders and will be responsible for your surveillance tests, and any subsequent warnings for missed tests for any time period you are believed to be in Ithaca.
For undergraduate students who cannot return home and need to stay on campus beyond Nov. 29, you must apply to stay on campus through the housing portal and complete a special contract for housing and dining by Thursday, Oct. 22, at 11:59 p.m.
Students living in university-owned co-ops and/or sorority/fraternity housing will soon be provided with a similar process, both for departure and for staying in their current housing beyond Nov. 29.
Graduate students may remain in on-campus housing; however, if you plan to travel, you must register your travel through the Daily Check system and will be responsible for any quarantine protocols upon return.
If I plan to return for the spring semester, can I leave my belongings in my room?
If you are planning to return for the spring semester, you may leave your personal belongings in your room as you’ll be returning to the same space. We do ask that you tidy up your room prior to your departure by picking up all of your belongings off the floor. Your room will be inspected during the break by Facilities Management team members and Fire Safety inspectors. Please note that you will be required to turn in your room keys before departing (if not staying for the Fall 2 session or beyond), and your card access will be turned off until you return for the spring.
Can my parents come to campus to pick me up?
Parents may come to campus to pick up their students during their scheduled departure day and time as long as they observe Cornell’s travel and visitor policies. As was the case during fall move-in, parents, families and visitors are NOT permitted in campus buildings including, and especially, residence halls.
If I am in isolation or quarantine, what should I do about fall departure?
Any students in isolation or quarantine for any reason are recommended to remain in isolation or quarantine for medical and public health reasons. As you make departure plans, be mindful that, if you are in quarantine or isolation at the time of your intended departure, the Tompkins County Health Department may require you to remain in isolation or quarantine until you are deemed safe to travel.
I won’t be able to leave my on-campus residence before Thanksgiving break. What are my options?
We realize that it will be impractical for some student residents to leave campus prior to the Thanksgiving holiday break. Special contract periods for on-campus housing and dining are available for the Fall Part 2 period (from Thanksgiving through Dec. 22) and for the Winter period (from Dec. 22 through the start of the spring semester). Apply through the Housing Portal by 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 22.
For both options, an all access meal plan is included in your housing charges. Please be aware that the Fall Part 2 contract period may be covered in your Fall 2020 financial aid distribution. However, since classes are not in session during the Winter period, financial aid is not available. The special terms and license related to COVID-19 remain in place for the entire academic year, as well as the Behavioral Compact and travel and visitor policies.
How is dining different for the fall 2020 semester?
Consistent with New York state guidelines for dining, and to ensure proper physical distancing, all dining halls are providing to-go service, touchless payment methods are in place and overall sanitation will continue to be an utmost priority. Limited in-person dining options are available using OpenTable. Visit Cornell Dining for additional details.
Will the university provide food delivery if students are placed in quarantine or isolation housing? Will there be additional costs for food delivery?
Students who are placed in quarantine or isolation housing will be provided food delivery at no additional cost.