Fitness centers & recreation, athletics, group gatherings

Sept. 29, 2020

Dear Cornellians,

Over the last several weeks, we have demonstrated that, with vigilance and determination, it is possible for a university to have an on-campus student experience in the face of COVID-19. We have stepped up to the difficult challenge, modifying our daily lives and remaining focused on the impacts of our collective actions. We still have a long road ahead before we can declare success, but as I’ve said before: I believe in you, and I believe in us.

It is in this spirit that I am pleased to announce new opportunities for us to connect and engage with one another this semester. Even with these modifications to campus life, our public health guidelines must still be followed at all times, including maintaining physical distance of 6 feet or more and wearing a face covering.

Beginning today, Sept. 29, the following new activities are available:

Athletics: Student-athletes and coaching staff can begin up to one hour per day of weight training and conditioning, as well as virtual team meetings. Group sizes may not exceed 10 students. Additional details and safety information will be provided directly from Athletics. All students should be aware that we may need to limit public access to some of our outdoor athletics facilities as a result of this change.

Intramural and Club Sports: Open field time for club sports will be available on Jessup Field for one-on-one or two-on-two noncontact recreational activity. Open field times will be monitored by staff and will be available Monday-Thursday from 5-10 p.m. and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. Organized practices, scrimmages and competitions are not permitted. Club sport leaders will receive a message from Campus Activities and the Club Sports Council with detailed information. Some intramural sports will also begin today for outdoor one-on-one and two-on-two activities.

Recreation Spaces: Jessup Field and sand volleyball courts are now open for students for one-on-one and two-on-two noncontact recreational activities. Alumni Fields and the Kane Sports Complex outdoor track are open for individual fitness activity. Faculty and staff approved to be on campus may continue to use Alumni Fields and the Kane outdoor track for individual fitness activity. The Kane outdoor track is available daily from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All safety guidelines are posted on-site.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 5, the following new activities will be available if our campus circumstances do not change:

Fitness Centers and Climbing Wall: Noyes and Teagle Hall Fitness Centers, as well as the Lindseth Climbing Center, will be open to students on a limited basis. You can also continue to stay active with virtual fitness classes, and we encourage you to enjoy the fall weather and utilize open outdoor spaces designated for physical fitness.

Student Organizations: For registered student organizations, small group gatherings of 10 or fewer may begin with careful planning. All events must be registered in CampusGroups, and attendance must be taken by the sponsoring organization. Each person attending an in-person activity must “check-in” and “check-out” within CampusGroups. Information on how to reserve space on campus will be communicated to registered student organizations from Campus Activities. Please review how to create an event and how to track attendance in advance of making any reservations.

These are exciting changes to life on campus, but they require us to remain dedicated and committed to preserving the health of our community as we make these modifications. In-person connections are an important part of our individual and collective wellbeing, and our diligence in engaging responsibly will ensure that we can benefit from these connections for the remainder of the semester.

Finally, be sure to save the date for next week’s StayHomecoming Spirit Week, featuring exciting in-person and virtual events. This is a great opportunity for students in Ithaca or studying remotely to connect, engage and build community.

To those of you in Ithaca, I thank you, again, for doing your part to keep our community healthy, and for continuing to follow our travel and visitor policies.


Ryan Lombardi
Vice President for Student & Campus Life

P.S. Please join me and a few of my colleagues for a student and family forum on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. EDT to hear more about these changes and other campus updates.