Behavioral Compact, Roommate Selection, Public Safety Survey

February 12, 2021

Dear Cornell families,

It has been wonderful seeing many of your students on campus as we start the spring semester. Whether your student is here with us in Ithaca or studying remotely, I wish you all a successful start to the spring semester.

Your student recently received the message below and I am asking you today for your continued partnership in helping us to keep our campus and surrounding communities healthy and safe. As you connect with your student, please remind them of the role they play in our efforts to offer an on-campus experience. Their continued diligence and the cooperation of our entire campus are the keys to our success again this semester.


Ryan Lombardi

Dear Cornellians,

I hope you have had a successful first week of classes, whether you are on campus or participating remotely. It’s great to see so many of you back on campus, but, remember, in order for us to safely remain open this semester, we all must work together in following public health and safety guidelines and holding one another accountable to do the same.

You have heard this many times before, but I want to be clear: the Behavioral Compact that you attested to plays a vital role in keeping each of you, our campus and surrounding communities safe. Just as in the fall, the compact will be enforced and infractions will result in varying levels of consequences.

I have great confidence that we can again do what’s right this semester. Every choice we make today and throughout the semester impacts our community. I believe in all of you, and I believe in us. Now is not the time to let your guard down — let’s keep focused for one more semester and all do our part to keep our campus safe. Let’s do it again, Cornellians.


Ryan Lombardi
Vice President for Student and Campus Life

P.S. Join me and other university leaders at our next Student and Family Forum on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. EST to learn more about what’s to come this spring.

Key Dates & Reminders

  • Feb. 13 and Feb. 14: Virtual ClubFest Spring 2021
    Register to attend and learn more about on-campus organizations.
  • Feb. 23: Student and Family Forum Join university leaders for an update on the spring semester, including information on COVID-19, in-person campus activities, tips for remote learning and staying well mentally. The forum will be recorded and questions are welcome in advance. Registration required.
  • Feb. 24: Spring Career Fair Meet employers and learn about full-time and summer internship opportunities. Learn how to sign up and register for the fair and employer sessions in advance.
  • Through Feb. 28: Weeks of Welcome Connect with fellow students as you settle in for the spring semester.
  • Paid sick leave for student employees A recent change in New York state law establishes the right to paid sick leave for all individuals who receive an IRS form W-2 from a private sector entity in New York, regardless of industry, occupation, part-time status and overtime exempt status. Undergraduate students in hourly paid positions may be eligible for this benefit. Consult Interim Policy 6.9, Time Away from Work: Sick Leave (New York State) (PDF) for more information, or contact with further questions.

Welcome back, students

A few familiar faces in the Cornell community help kick off the semester and encourage students to continue to follow public health guidelines.

COVID-19 Updates

Travel policy remains in effect throughout semester

As a reminder, students are expected to remain in the Ithaca area throughout the semester. If you have an extenuating circumstance that necessitates travel outside the region, you must submit a travel request through the Daily Check at least 48 hours in advance.

Visitors are prohibited in campus buildings

No individuals (friends, family members or other outside visitors) may enter Cornell campus facilities, including residence halls, unless they are a current student, staff or faculty member who is approved to be on campus in the Daily Check. Visitors are only permitted (PDF)to access outdoor public spaces at this time.

Safely sharing a living space

Now is the perfect time to make sure you’re on the same page as your roommates or housemates regarding COVID-19 precautions. Find tips for having productive conversations and setting mutual guidelines in this video by the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives.

Reporting COVID-19 concerns

Cornell takes reports of conduct that violates the Behavioral Compact or requirements of the Tompkins County Health Department very seriously. Members of the Cornell and greater Ithaca community may report compact violations and COVID-19 concerns confidentially.

Campus Life

Wellness with the Cornell Hip Hop Collection and DJ ha-MEEN

Watch an interview with Ben Ortiz, curator of the Cornell Hip Hop Collection, as he discusses the impact of hip hop culture on health. Ortiz, who is also known as DJ ha-MEEN, will be spinning music on Feb. 17 from 3-5 p.m. to educate the community about these topics. Learn more and register on the Cornell Wellness website.

Soup & Hope speaker series goes online

Cornell’s beloved Soup & Hope lunchtime speaker series will be offered via Zoom this season, with six speakers – including students, staff, faculty and other community members. The next speaker will be Dr. Martin Stallone '98, president and CEO of Cayuga Medical Center, on Feb. 25. Learn more and register on the Soup & Hope website.

Sorority and fraternity recruitment delayed

Sorority and fraternity virtual recruitment has been delayed due to the increase of COVID-19 cases on campus. Please visit the Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Help us reimagine campus safety and security
Public Safety Survey

Open to all Ithaca campus students, faculty and staff. Check your Cornell email for your unique survey link; all responses are secure and confidential.

Housing & Dining

Dining on campus for spring 2021

Cornell Dining eateries have reopened for the semester, including the brand-new Martha’s Café. Chefs and managers are bringing back some menu favorites, planning the return of house dinners on West Campus and adding cultural diversity, culinary tradition and seasonal freshness to spring menus. Check to see what’s open near you, to explore upcoming menus, to reserve your dine-in seat or takeout time slot at OpenTable and to order your satellite meal pickup options or your café favorites ahead of time using GET Order.

Planning for fall 2021 housing

As the spring semester begins, it’s also time to consider housing for the 2021-2022 academic year. The deadline has been extended to March 6 to sign up for housing selection. Read more about the general room selection and continued occupancy processes on the housing website.

Roommate selection

Join the Residential Student Congress and housing team for Demystifying Room and Roommate Selection with a “speed friending” component on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.


Spring textbooks

This semester, students will purchase course materials through contactless shopping. Simply place your order online; you may pick up your order at The Cornell Store or have it shipped to any destination. Many courses also offer digital textbook options. Log in to the Cornell Store website to view your personalized booklist by schedule or view required and optional materials by course. Note: not all courses materials are fully displayed, and textbook requirements may change due to updates in course delivery.

Office of Global Learning

International students can contact the Office of Global Learning for advice and support. Students can also refer to the FAQs for Cornell’s international community for answers to questions about visa status, travel and the spring 2021 semester.

Summer online learning opportunities for high school students in your family

Applications are now open for Cornell’s Precollege Summer Program, which offers high school students the chance to study online with Cornell faculty, earn credits and get a head start on preparing for college admissions. Deadlines vary, beginning May 17, and limited financial aid is available. For more information, see online courses for high school students or contact

Health, Wellness & Recreation

Let’s Meditate series

Join a 30-minute guided mindfulness meditation session each Thursday, facilitated by Cornell Wellness. These sessions are suitable for anyone, whether you are a beginner or at an advanced level. Learn more about other meditation sessions on the Cornell Health website.

Guided muscle relaxation

Learn to release your stress in a 30-minute guided muscle relaxation session led by Kerry Howell of Cornell Wellness on Feb. 18 at 11 a.m.

Sleep: Make it your super power

Want to improve your sleep? Enroll in Refresh, Cornell Health’s online, eight-week sleep program, for evidence-based information and strategies. The self-help program is open to undergraduate, graduate and professional students and requires 20 minutes per week. Enroll in Refresh by Sunday, Feb. 14 to participate in the program beginning Feb. 15.

Spring counseling groups announced

Cornell Health’s CAPS-led counseling groups are now open and accepting new members. Topics include anxiety, grief and mindfulness (among others), with groups especially for women, students of color, LGBTQ+ students and students on the autism spectrum.

Fitness classes and memberships

Virtual group fitness classes are currently available for free until Feb. 14. For more information about the schedule and class types, visit the Cornell Fitness Center website. Students can now also sign up for unlimited access to virtual group fitness classes. Memberships are required for classes that begin on Feb. 15. Additionally, the Fitness Center concierge service is now available for students seeking guidance on personal fitness habits to boost overall self-care.

Intramural activities

Participate in NCAA bracketology and see how your predictions stack up against others’ in the competition. Register by Feb. 17 to participate.

Wednesday night trivia competitions begin Feb. 17. Students can join the stream to participate each week, and no registration is required.

Flu vaccination deadline

Students must get vaccinated or apply for an exemption by Feb. 15.

Public Service & Engagement

Foundations of Community-Engaged Leadership

In this three-week intensive series, students can connect with a cohort of action-oriented students and prepare to participate in Cornell’s rich ecosystem of community-engaged learning and social change.

Emergency fund to support Latinx students at Cornell

The emergency fund provides grants of up to $500 to undergraduate students with necessary emergency expenses incurred during the fall or spring semesters that cannot be funded by other means. For application details and to apply, contact Juliette Corazon, Latinx Student Success Office advisor. Students can also visit the Office of Financial Aid for emergency fund resources at Cornell.

Explore ways to help

The Public Service Center maintains a diverse listing of volunteer opportunities, many of which are virtual.

Additional Resources

Connect Safely Cornellians. Live Smarter