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Chapter 2: Important Policies

Important Policy Highlights for Organizations

Below is a list of important University and Campus Activities policies. This is not an all-inclusive list but rather a highlight of policies with which student organizations tend to engage with most. As a student organization operating on campus, it is your responsibility to become familiar with all procedures at Cornell. Campus Activities does not determine what University Policies exist; instead, the office serves as stewards of the policies. If you have questions about a specific University Policy, please click on the policy, and in the top right corner, you will see which university office is the executive sponsor. 

Student Code of Conduct

Environmental Health and Safety

Contact: Ron Flynn at


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,


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.


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.


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.


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:


Cornell University Council on Hazing Prevention

Risk Management: Risk Guide


  • Cornell Insurance Requirements
  • Catering Service Provider
  • Drones
  • Events with Alcohol
  • Events with Athletic Activities
  • Internships
  • Inflatables
  • Preparing and Serving Food
  • Private Event Insurance
  • Student Travel/Trips
    • Independent (EO - external) Organizations cannot reserve University Fleet services.
    • Must follow the travel process, including travel the questionnaire and waivers.  
  • Volunteers

Campus Activities Policies



  • Complete the annual re-registration process by the deadline, or deactivation will occur (resulting in a loss of recognition and access to funding). This includes all the required training outlined by CA (such as Independent Organization and Treasurer Training 101). 
  • Must have three student officers and a full-time faculty/staff as an advisor.
  • Must have ten total club members (who are active full-time students).
  • Must have an updated and accurate constitution.
  • Work their way through the Funding Track Model. By successfully completing the Funding Tracks means your organization is on track to receive funding.
  • Maintain up-to-date and accurate rosters in CampusGroups of organization membership.
  • Must post their activities/events in CampusGroups.
  • Must follow the Universal Funding Guidelines
  • Must follow all University Policies, departmental policies (such as policies related to event/space usage), and building policies (such as postering and space usage). 
  • Are subject to policies changing or being updated throughout the semester or academic year (AY).

University Policy 3.2 Student Travel and Expenses

All student organization travel, domestic and international need to email to attain a waiver. Additionally, when emailing the Office of Risk Management and Insurance you must share with them details of the office campus event. Please visit this website to understand what event details are needed: Assumption of Risk and Release.

University Policy 3.16 External Organization Accounts

Cornell acts as a fiscal agent of certain external funds for Independent/External Organizations (EOs) only in limited circumstances as described in this policy. Cornell will authorize EO accounts and act as a fiscal agent only when there is a clear and reasonable justification.  The EO must support Cornell-related activity, or the account otherwise serves a mission-related purpose, as endorsed by the college or division and approved by the Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer or their delegate.

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 4.8 Alcohol and Other Drugs

Cornell University will assist members of the university community in understanding the risks associated with consuming alcohol, and the need to prevent the harm that results from its misuse and abuse. The university permits the purchase and use of alcoholic beverages under certain conditions, but expects individuals to take specific measures to help prevent alcohol abuse in its community. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, use, and/or sale of controlled substances or other illegal drugs is prohibited.

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 4.12 Data Stewardship and Custodianship

The university expects all stewards and custodians of its administrative data to manage, access, and utilize this data in a manner that is consistent with the university's need for security and confidentiality. Cornell University administrative functional areas must develop and maintain clear and consistent procedures for access to university administrative data, as appropriate.

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 5.2 Mass Email Approval

Cornell University employs consistent procedures for notification and processing mass electronic mailings to the following constituencies: faculty, staff (academic and nonacademic), students, and alumni. The university expects anyone sending mass electronic mailings to any or all of these constituencies to do so in accordance with the procedures outlined in this document.

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 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.