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Cornell University

Student Organization FAQs, Policies, & Resources

This page includes frequently asked questions, important policies, and resources that can be helpful for student organization leaders.
 

General Organization Support

Fully registered and approved organizations **Required to reserve space and host events**

  • Only student organizations that are fully registered and approved can reserve space and host events.

  • To see if your organization is approved, please visit the CampusGroups student organization directory.
    • Orange = Pending (started registration but have not finished)
    • Blue = Group has not yet started the registration
  • Review the Registration Process page for details on the process for returning and new organizations.

Funding guidelines and opportunities for programs and events

Leadership development opportunities for individuals and student organizations

  • The Campus Activities office facilitates a workshop series each semester for students looking to further develop their skills as a leader. Click here to see the schedule for this semester and sign up!

Conducting community service as a student organization

  • If your organization would like to plan a service initiative in the local community, you are encouraged to consult with the David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement (previously known as the Public Service Center).
  • Staff are available to consult on potential community partners, potential sources of project funding, existing opportunities for involvement as well as individual and group leadership opportunities, and risk management practices, etc.
  • Email einhorncenter@cornell.edu

Club Sports and physical activity organizations

Traveling as an organization

Student Organization Membership

Maintaining up-to-date rosters of membership

  • All student organizations must have updated and accurate rosters of members within CampusGroups. There are two ways to complete this:

On leave, part-time, or otherwise "inactive" students as organization members

  • If a student is currently “not active” or “not enrolled full time” for any reason, including, but not limited to, a health leave, academic leave, or any other kind of leave, they cannot participate in a student organization on any level. There are a few reasons for this, with the main reason being the need for a student to focus on their own health/journey of wellness (either academic, mental, physical, emotional, etc.).
  • Students can resume within the organization once the student is fully enrolled and considered an “active” student. 

Event Planning & Reserving Space

Registering events and meetings

Reserving space on campus

  • Only student organizations that are fully registered and approved can reserve space.
  • Most space reservations are through Scheduling@Cornell. Some spaces must be reserved directly through a space manager depending on the building/department rules.

Reserving tables for your organization in Willard Straight Hall

Event Planning Support

The Campus Events office website offers resources and support specifically with questions around event planning and management on campus.

Contact: Joe Scaffido at events@cornell.edu

Important Resources for Registered Student Organizations

Cornell Branding Resources & Guidelines

Mental Health at Cornell

Health and well-being are foundational to success at Cornell and the Mental Health website is here to serve as a central source of information on these topics. Access the website to find resources for self-care, tips to support a successful academic year, guidance for students supporting peers and so much more.

Reporting an Incident

For non-emergency incidents within your student organization, you can use Cornell's reporting tool here. This includes incidents of bias, hazing, sexual misconduct, and more. When you complete this form, the appropriate resources on campus will be notified.

SHARE | Sexual Harassment and Assault - Response and Education

SHARE provides important and timely information to the Cornell community about sexual harassment, assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, gender discrimination, and other related forms of violence. Click here to learn more about SHARE and the resources they provide.

Important Policy Highlights for Organizations

Current COVID-19 Guidance

Student Code of Conduct

Environmental Health and Safety

Contact: Ron Flynn at rmf9@cornell.edu

Website: https://ehs.cornell.edu/campus-health-safety/event-management/event-safety

The Cornell University Department of Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) works with Cornell faculty, staff and students to help ensure that special events on campus are organized and run safely.  All registered events require University Events Team (UET) approval using the 25Live Scheduling System.  EHS personnel will work with you to review and approve events for items such as:

  • Locations and occupancy limitations
  • Event layout, setup and egress
  • Activities and decorations
  • EHS staffing requirements
  • Emergency medical staffing requirements
  • Applicable municipal permits

Hazing Policy, Cornell University Student Code of Conduct

Dear Registered Student Organization Officers and Advisors,

PLEASE REVIEW WITH ALL MEMBERS OF YOUR ORGANIZATION THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT HAZING:

90% of Cornell students believe it’s never okay to humiliate or intimidate new group members. However, you may be surprised to learn that some club traditions—including activities you may never have thought to question—actually fit the university definition of hazing (see details below) and can be referred to the Office of the Judicial Administrator for review and sanctioning. It is up to you to make sure your members do not engage in hazing or other unacceptable activities throughout the year.

PREVENTION:

As a student leader (or as an advisor), you must take proactive steps to ensure members of your organization feel welcome and safe. Learn all you can about hazing and help others to understand that what may seem fun or non-threatening for some members may be experienced as physically or emotionally harmful to others. Even simple pranks and jokes can rise to the category of hazing if not considered carefully.

  • Please review and consider this list of activities for ideas on replacing questionable and/or potentially problematic traditions and to help safeguard the health and well-being of your members.
  • If you need help understanding the issues or brainstorming options, you may request a free Cornell hazing prevention program for yourself and your group members.

DEFINITION:

Hazing is a violation of the Campus Code of Conduct and is defined as follows by Cornell:

HAZING: To haze another person, regardless of the person's consent to participate. Hazing means an act that, as an explicit or implicit condition for initiation to, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group or organization, (1) could be seen by a reasonable person as endangering the physical health of an individual or as causing mental distress to an individual through, for example, humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning treatment, (2) destroys or removes public or private property, (3) involves the consumption of alcohol or drugs, or the consumption of other substances to excess, or (4) violates any University policy.

  • Please note that “informed consent” does not apply to hazing. Activities can be considered hazing regardless of a person or group’s “consent” to participate.
  • Registered organizations and their officers are referred to the Office of the Judicial Administrator for any alleged hazing incident.
  • Detailed descriptions of previous campus hazing violations can be viewed on Cornell’s Hazing website.

REPORTING:

It is up to you to ensure your group members are aware of how to report hazing violations. Any student subjected to hazing or who has knowledge of anyone else being hazed should immediately report the incident:

Sincerely,

Cornell University Council on Hazing Prevention

Risk Management: Risk Guide

Contact:risk_mgmt@cornell.edu

Website: https://www.risk.cornell.edu/risk-guidance/

  • Cornell Insurance Requirements
  • Catering Service Provider
  • Drones
  • Events with Alcohol
  • Events with Athletic Activities
  • Internships
  • Inflatables
  • Preparing and Serving Food
  • Private Event Insurance
  • Volunteers

Risk Management: Working with Minors

University Policy 4.3 Sales Activities On Campus

For the convenience of its community, Cornell University allows limited sales to be conducted on its campus in ways that are consistent with the university’s mission, take account of off-campus businesses, and comply with applicable laws and regulations.

University Policy 4.10 Use of Cornell's Name, Logos, Trademarks, and Insignias

Cornell has adopted certain authorization procedures to ensure that the university and its campuses and units are presented to the public in a consistent, coherent manner and that university resources are expended efficiently and effectively in alignment with brand guidelines. Cornell University allows the use of its name, and its logos, trademarks, insignias, and other indicia only with permission, as set forth in the principles and procedures of this policy.

Registered student organizations are eligible to use the Cornell University name in their organization name for publicity, uniforms, or other purposes, as determined by university brand guidelines regarding the use of the Cornell name, logo, and artwork, and subject to approval through University Relations.

Examples of the proper way to use the university name can be found on the university brand guidelines website.

University Policy 4.11 Establishing a New University-Related Subsidiary or Affiliated Corporation

The university imposes tight controls on the creation of subsidiary and affiliated corporations in order to exercise responsible stewardship over the university's tangible and intangible assets, to manage risk exposure, and to facilitate compliance with reporting and other legal requirements.

University Policy 4.16 Social Media Accounts

The university recognizes the value of social media platforms for a range of business goals and must balance its support of social media with the preservation of Cornell's brand identity, integrity, and reputation. As described in this policy, Cornell authorizes the creation and use of university social media accounts, provided their use is professional, protects the reputation and brand of the university, and complies with Cornell policies and applicable laws and regulations.

University Policy 4.18 Political Campaign Activity

Cornell University supports freedom of thought and expression by members of its community. Cornell encourages faculty, staff, and students to be full participants in the civic process, including communicating with policymakers on issues of importance and contributing time and money to the candidates of their choice as private citizens, using their own resources. These activities must be done in a personal capacity, and not imply in any way that the university supports, opposes, or otherwise endorses any candidate for public office.

University Policy 5.6 Recording and Registration of Domain Names

When creating a new domain in a diverse university environment like Cornell's, most often it's important to include your college or department's name to help people associate a project or service with the unit that sponsors it. Units such as colleges, schools, and administrative departments have their own three-part domain names, such as library.cornell.edu. This policy provides the criteria for three-part domains, the method for requesting three-part domains, and alternatives.

University Policy 5.12 Web Accessibility Standards

Cornell University is committed to providing an environment in which all people have an equal opportunity to participate in the university’s programs, activities, and services. To support this environment, all new, newly added or redesigned university web content, web pages, web functionality, websites, and web applications must be made accessible to people with disabilities to the standard prescribed by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA, except where doing so would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens.

When fundamental alteration or undue burden applies, equally effective alternative means of access must be provided so that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the same benefits and services. 

University Policy 6.3 Consensual Relationships

Romantic or sexual relationships between students or postgraduates (as defined by this policy) and faculty members, staff members, or others in positions of authority over them are prohibited whenever those relationships have the potential to interfere with an individual’s right or ability to pursue academic, training, research, or professional interests.

University Policy 6.4 Prohibited Bias, Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual and Related Misconduct

Cornell University is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and respectful learning, living, and working environment for its students, faculty, and staff and does not discriminate on the basis of protected status, including sex, in the education programs and activities it operates. Admission and employment are included in the requirement not to discriminate in the education program or activity that Cornell University operates. To this end, through this policy, the university provides means to address bias, discrimination, harassment, and sexual and related misconduct.

University Policy 8.8 Minors at Cornell University

Cornell is committed to providing a safe environment for minors who participate in programs covered by this policy (Covered Programs). These programs are operated both by University departments and operations, as well as third-party camp and activity operators licensing the use of University Property, and involve the participation of Minors drawn from locations throughout the United States and the world.