Senior Days, Housing Deadlines, Study Abroad

May 7, 2021

Dear Cornell students,

It’s hard to believe we’re just one week away from the last day of classes! My team in Campus Activities, along with Student and Campus Life partners, look forward to helping you finish the year strong by bringing you fun events to keep you connected and active. I hope you also continue to take part in the many outdoor activities offered on North Campus through May 16, including canoeing on Beebe Lake, rappelling at Schoellkopf, games on Rawlings Green and more.

Graduating seniors are invited to save the date for Senior Days on May 26-28 (more below). Please note that Senior Days events are for Class of 2021 undergraduates who are approved to be on campus and follow surveillance testing guidelines. Remember to check the Commencement website for updates and Convocation news.

This has been a year filled with challenges and changes, but you’ve still made it a great one, Cornellians. I hope you find time in the coming weeks to make some new memories with your friends.


Karli Buday
Director of Campus Activities

End of Semester and Commencement Information

Commencement checklist launching soon

All graduates who plan to participate in Senior Days and/or any Commencement ceremonies are required to complete the checklist for compliance with NY state public health and event guidelines. Graduates should look for an email from the Office of Commencement and review updates to the Commencement website in the coming days.

Senior Days

The Cornell Senior Days Committee and Campus Activities invite undergraduate students who are graduating in May 2021 to join their peers for Senior Days from May 26-28. Events will look different this year, but we are excited to offer a full schedule of free in-person and virtual events with a few paid events. There will be opportunities to pick up free 2021 graduation apparel at certain events.

To ensure all events are safe, public health wristbands will be distributed to 2021 graduating seniors who are cleared to participate in Senior Days events. To participate in events, graduating seniors must either be fully vaccinated and have submitted proof of vaccination or receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to the events. Certain testing locations will be distributing the public health wristbands. More information on wristbands and Senior Days events will be shared within the next week.

Senior Convocation

Convocation is a traditional event usually held during Commencement weekend where a notable speaker is selected by the Senior Class. This year, the Class of 2021 will hear from a series of speakers in a new virtual format. This year’s primary Convocation speaker will be announced on May 13 at 6 p.m. The virtual event will be released to view on May 28 at 8:30 p.m. Information on how to access the virtual event will be shared within the next few weeks.

Post-graduation planning

Are you a senior graduating in May or August 2021? We’d love to know your post-graduation plans, whether they include employment, graduate school, time off or something else. Take a few minutes and fill out the post-graduate survey (requires NetID login). If you’re unsure what you’ll be doing, Career Services offers a variety of ways to connect for personalized advice – we’re open all summer and serve alumni!

End-of-year celebrations

Set yourself up for a successful exam week, Senior Week and Commencement by focusing on your health and safety. Keep practicing COVID-19 prevention strategies and celebrate events like Virtual Slope Day with your pod (housemates or roommates) or outdoors in small groups. Know how to recognize and respond to an alcohol emergency. Find more tips for celebrating safely.

Class of 2024 and transfer students: Share your memories

As the semester ends, the Tatkon Center wants to hear your favorite memories from your first year at Cornell. What was meaningful, fun, eye-opening or exciting? Share your experience — anonymized responses will be featured in the Tatkon Center’s final newsletter of the semester.

Housing & Dining

On-campus housing

It’s time to plan for moving out of campus and the potential need for summer on-campus housing. Spring semester housing ends May 26 at 10 a.m. Log in to the Housing Portal to select your departure date and move-out timeslot, or apply for summer housing by 5 p.m. on May 14. For more information, visit the moving out and summer housing pages.

BRBs expire at the end of the spring semester

Cornell Dining’s declining debit accounts, Big Red Bucks (BRBs), operate on an academic year basis, thus any unused funds expire at the spring semester’s end. Remember, students can use BRBs to buy your meals at any campus dining rooms (if you’re out of meal swipes) or for food, drinks or snacks at any Cornell Dining retail cafés or convenience stores, the Ice Cream Bike or Hot Dog Cart and vending machines that take BRBs.


Fall 2021 and spring 2022 study abroad

The Office of Global Learning will publish spring 2022 study abroad program opportunities on Experience Cornell by the end of May. Applications will open in June and close in September or October, depending on the program. Interested students and families should continue to check the Education Abroad website for fall 2021 updates and information on spring 2022 programs.

Student and Exchange Visitor Program guidance continued for 2021–22 academic year

As of April 26, the U.S. government expanded the National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) for COVID-19-related Proclamations to permit students from Brazil, China, Iran and South Africa to travel to the U.S. for programs beginning after August 1. There are existing NIEs for Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland. U.S. visa appointments are also open in China as of May 4.

Thank a professor

Did you have a professor this semester who went the extra mile? Perhaps they worked to create an inclusive learning environment, made class especially interesting or engaging or gave you important advice at the right time. Use the Thank a Professor Program to let them know that you appreciate their contributions to your learning. Submissions are accepted until the end of the day today, May 7.

Finish the semester strong

The Learning Strategies Center tutors have great tips about what and how they study as they prepare for the end of the semester, including a homestretch calendar to plan for final exams and projects. Now is also an excellent time to review the LSC’s resources on effective studying and time and stress management.

Cornell Store feedback

We want to hear from you! All current students are invited to participate in a five-minute, anonymous survey on ways to foster more inclusive, sustainable course material options for students. If you provide your contact information in the survey, you will be entered to win one of three $50 gift cards to the Cornell Store. If you have any feedback or questions about the survey, please contact

Library research

Plan ahead for summer library research by reviewing upcoming interruptions and changes to essential library services including borrowing, Borrow Direct, Interlibrary Loan and Hathi Trust Emergency Temporary Access Services (ETAS).

Enroll in online summer classes

Students can take regular Cornell courses online, study with university faculty and earn up to 15 credits during the entire Summer Session (June-August). Online enrollment for courses is open through July 12, and the first three-week session begins June 1. View courses and enroll now.

Fall 2021 courses

The fall 2021 course roster is now available, and undergraduate pre-enrollment for the fall semester begins on Monday, May 10. Check your enrollment appointment time in Student Center under the Enrollment Dates tab and review any other enrollment holds you may have. The guide to fall 2021 enrollment provides helpful tips to successfully pre-enroll. Don’t forget: Students must attest to the Classes and Campus Activities Statement in order to participate in pre-enrollment.

Health, Wellness & Recreation

Get outdoors, Cornell!

Stay active and connected with free weekly programming on North Campus through May 16. All events are drop-in; however, you may be asked to wait or return at another time if event capacity has been reached. All students must wear masks and maintain physical distancing.

Managing end-of-semester stress

It’s normal to feel more stressed than usual at this time of year. The good news, though, is that there are many ways to keep stress in check so you can function at your best. Find tips for managing stress, along with resources if you need support, on Cornell Health’s website.

Free outdoor yoga

Recharge for the end of the semester with free outdoor yoga sessions on the Arts Quad, May 9 and 16 from 6-7 p.m. (weather permitting). No registration is required; bring your own mat or towel.

Reduced Fitness Centers and pool hours

The Cornell Fitness Centers and Helen Newman pool will have reduced hours beginning May 17. All Virtual Group Fitness Classes are free during the reduced schedule from May 17-28.

On-campus vaccination clinics

Cornell hosted its first on-campus vaccination clinic April 23, in partnership with Cayuga Health System and the Tompkins County Health Department, where 650 members of the campus community received first doses of the vaccine. A second on-campus vaccination opportunity was hosted yesterday, May 6. Review the Tompkins County Health Department website for more local vaccination opportunities between now and the end of the semester.

Public Service & Engagement

Fundraiser for medical supplies

Our hearts are with Cornellians currently in India and South Asia, or with family or friends in the region, as those regions wrestle with a surging COVID-19 outbreak. If you’re able, consider supporting this international aid effort led by South Asian students, including Cornellians.

Apply for the summer Serve in Place Fund

The Serve in Place Fund provides up to $1,000 to students participating in community-engaged learning projects over the summer. Students can use funding to support the project itself or as a personal stipend. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through July 15.

Additional Resources