During times of crisis, Parent Family Programs strives to keep families informed. In emergency situations, the Cornell Emergency Management office disperses information throughout the community, and Parent and Family Programs will work to relay that information to families.
The first line of communication in the event of an emergency is the CornellALERT system. The system provides updates to students, faculty and staff via text messages, email and app. Visitors, guests and families can sign up to receive text messages.
The Campus Emergency Updates page will provide more details if on-campus services are disrupted.
Notification of Families
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the University reserves the right to notify families in emergency situations to protect the health and safety of students and others. This may include instances where a student presents a serious risk of harm to self and/or others; hospitalization or hospital transport; official report of a missing student; or serious mental health concerns. In addition, the University may notify parents of students under age 21 in cases of serious or repeated violations of laws or policies regarding alcohol or other drugs.
Cornell University recognizes that individual instances guide decisions regarding family notification, depending on the nature and severity of the situation. Although students are encouraged to maintain ongoing communication with their families, the University reserves the right to notify families directly and/or to ensure that they have been satisfactorily informed in circumstances such as those listed above. University staff will attempt to communicate with the student before contacting a family member in order to discuss the possible benefits and challenges of notification. The Dean of Students or designees use professional judgment when determining whether notifying parents or guardians is essential and benefits student welfare.
The University Statements page provides an archive of statements by Cornell leaders addressing matters of importance to the university community.