Undergraduate Connection

September 25, 2020

Dear Cornellians,

As we continue to navigate the complexities of campus life this semester, the Campus Activities Office, in partnership with student organizations and university departments, has worked to provide a full semester of events to help you connect with the Cornell community, whether you’re in Ithaca or away. It is important to take time to get involved in campus organizations and activities, connect with your peers and take full advantage of the Cornell student experience.

I encourage you to explore the opportunities available to you in the message below. Try something new, be open to new ways to engage with each other, and expand your interests this semester!


Jenny Loeffelman

Assistant Vice President, Student and Campus Life

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Fall Updates Virtual Forum – Sept. 30, 4 p.m. EDT
    Students and parents are encouraged to attend a virtual forum on Wednesday to hear more about what’s to come this fall.
  • New York Voter Registration Deadline – Oct. 9
    The Andrew Goodman Foundation has created a portal with everything Cornell students need to vote in November.

COVID-19 Updates

Fall and winter housing and dining

We realize that it will be impractical for some student residents to leave campus prior to the Thanksgiving holiday break. On-campus housing and dining will be available for the periods from Thanksgiving through Dec. 21 and from Dec. 21 until the start of the spring semester. Applications will be available Oct. 5 on the Housing Portal.

Please note:

  • Remaining in on-campus housing will require a meal plan.
  • Fall 2020 financial aid covers Thanksgiving through Dec. 21. It does not cover Winter Break, as classes will not be in session.

Cornell’s COVID-19 testing featured on GMA

On Wednesday, Good Morning America reported on Cornell’s campus reactivation and COVID-19 testing program. The segment features interviews with Provost Michael Kotlikoff, Professor Peter Frazier and Human Ecology student Moriah Adeghe ’21.

Surveillance testing

If you miss a required surveillance test, you now will see a warning banner on your Daily Check which will notify you of required actions to avoid consequences.

On-campus guests and visitors

Only current students, faculty and staff who are approved to be on campus are allowed to enter campus facilities. Students may visit other residence halls, but are responsible for adhering to the guest policy stipulated in the behavioral compact. Visitors, such as family members and friends who are not Cornell students, are not allowed to enter residence halls or campus facilities. Please review and continue to abide by Cornell’s travel and visitor policy (PDF) so that we can keep our campus healthy this semester.

Registering personal travel, spring study abroad

All students must register any personal travel outside of the Ithaca area, which can be done in the Daily Check tool. Students traveling outside of the area for two weeks or more must consult with Student and Campus Life before their departure. Undergraduate students are prohibited from traveling for Cornell-related research or scholarship until further notice. This extends to spring 2021 study abroad opportunities, including virtual programs. Students who applied to study abroad in spring 2021 will be contacted about submitting a new application for the next available term.

Staying Healthy

Flu vaccination clinics on campus

This fall, per the university’s Behavioral Compact, flu vaccination is required for Ithaca-based students as part of the university’s public health strategy to fight COVID-19. Vaccination is free and offered at on-campus clinics through Oct. 24.

Coping during COVID-19

Cornell Health offers tips and resources to support your mental health, including a new hour-long Life Hacks: College Edition course, designed specifically for the challenges of this time.

Mental health support

For students in need of professional mental health support, CAPS provides “Let’s Talk” drop-in consultation, skills-based workshops, individual counseling and group counseling. Need to talk to someone right now? Call Cornell Health 24/7 (607-255-5155) to speak with a licensed therapist from Cornell Health’s on-call service.

A collage of students wearing masks.

Watch: We asked our COVID-19 Peer Ambassadors to send a message of support to their friends and campus community as we all navigate this unique semester. We can do this, Cornell!

Upcoming Events

  • Free Speech and ‘Cancel Culture’ (Oct. 1)
    Join Masha Gessen and John McWhorter for a conversation about free speech in the age of ‘cancel culture.’
  • StayHomecoming 2020: Spirit Week (Oct. 5-8)
    Get ready for StayHomecoming with virtual Cornell-themed events and in-person mask giveaways. Details will be added to Campus Groups early next week.
  • Fall Religious Observances
    Visit the Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making website for information about spiritual resources and religious observance accommodations available this fall.

Housing & Dining

Addressing food insecurity

This year has brought the topic of food insecurity into broader awareness, but it’s something Cornell has been working on for a long time. Two of our most effective programs are Swipe Out Hunger and the Cornell Food Pantry:

  • With Swipe Out Hunger, Cornell students have the opportunity to donate one of their bonus meals each semester to a Swipe Out Hunger fund, which will be distributed to their fellow students who are in need.
  • Located at 109 McGraw Place, the Cornell Food Pantry makes free, confidential access to food and personal care items available to Cornell undergraduate and graduate students, as well as Cornell staff and faculty.

Give your input on NCRE furniture selection

We want to hear your input about wardrobes, bedroom desks and study space options for the North Campus Residential Expansion. Keep an eye on Student and Campus Life social media for more opportunities to give feedback on potential furniture and finishes.


Library spaces for studying, online classes

Students can reserve socially distanced, quiet study spaces in different library locations. Make your reservations through Chatter. See more updates on the Cornell University Library website.

Learning Strategies Center

Whether your courses are online or in-person, the Learning Strategies Center can help you get and stay organized and maximize your learning. The LSC’s support courses, tutoring, study-partner matching, and resources on time management, learning online, and how to study are free to all undergraduates.

Wellness & Recreation

Free virtual ZUMBA® and yoga classes

Free, virtual ZUMBA® and yoga classes are available to all members of the Cornell community through a partnership between Cornell Fitness Centers and Cornell Minds Matter. Classes are being offered weekly through mid-December. Join through the CFC Virtual Classes webpage.

Cornell Intramural Sports geocaching

Geocaching is an outdoor activity that is similar to treasure hunting. For more information and a full listing of rules and how to register, please visit the Intramural Sports Rules webpage.

Public Service & Engagement

Present at the Community Engagement Showcase

Applications due Sept. 30

The online Community Engagement Showcase celebrates community-engaged learning across Cornell. Apply to present your project to students, faculty, staff and community partners at the fall showcase on Nov. 2.

Foundations of Community-Engaged Leadership

Mondays and Thursdays, Oct. 5-22, 3-4 p.m

Through this series of workshops, readings and dialogues, students meet action-oriented peers and gain the tools they need to collaborate with communities and pursue social change.

Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Awards

Applications due Oct. 15

The Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Awards recognize and honor students who have had significant involvement in community service by providing support for their projects, which address a community’s social needs or problems. Each of the three projects selected will receive $2,500.

Additional Resources