Community Living Standards for Undergrads 2023-2024
Statement Of Principles
Cornell University is committed to the overall educational and personal development of its students. The unique experience of living in a residential community contributes greatly to such development. To facilitate this goal, the residential communities have established the Residential Community Standards and Responsibilities and Community Living Standards, that are consistent with the educational mission of Cornell University.
The Community Living Standards apply to all students in on campus residential communities within Housing & Residential Life (including First-Year residences, Second-Year residences, Program Houses, and Upper-Level communities) and the West Campus House System.
Students residing in the residential communities are responsible for becoming familiar and complying with these Community Living Standards and the terms of their Housing License, as well as community procedures, regulations, and standards specific to their residential community. Students are also responsible for complying with all other Cornell University rules, regulations, policies, and procedures contained in official Cornell University publications and announcements that may be issued from time to time, including the Cornell University Student Code of Conduct and Cornell University Policy 6.4: Prohibited Bias, Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual and Related Misconduct, as well as all local, state, and federal laws.
Housing & Residential Life and the West Campus House System reserves the right to review all alleged violations of the Community Living Standards. While it is the goal of the conduct process to educate students about the purpose and importance of abiding by these policies, outcomes will also be issued as appropriate and necessary to ensure continued and/or future adherence.
It is worth noting, while not part of the Community Living Standards, per the Housing License, students may be administratively removed from on campus residential housing or reassigned to another residential community when in the judgment of a representative of Housing & Residential Life or the West Campus House System the student has engaged in or threatened acts of misconduct such that their continued presence would endanger public order or property, threaten the personal safety or security of others (by acts of physical or mental harassment or other means) or be sufficiently disruptive as to adversely affect the ability of others to pursue their educational goals.
Residents are responsible for the Terms and Conditions of the Housing License, and any additional attestations for living on campus. Please note that where any additional attestations differ from the Community Living Standards outlined below the attestation overrides the Community Living Standards. The full Housing License can be found at: https://scl.cornell.edu/residential-life/housing/housing-details/rates-amenities-contracts/academic-year-housing-license-2023-2024. This includes responsibility for damage billing due to damages incurred to University property beyond normal wear and tear.
Any additional agreements, policies, and terms layer on top of the Community Living Standards and students are responsible for any agreements they sign in addition to the Community Living Standards outlined below.
Residential Community Living Standards and Responsibilities
To promote individual growth and to be their best selves, behavior should be considerate and respectful of other community members and the physical space. We encourage debate and discourse in the spirit of understanding and promote this freedom and responsibility. This understanding and responsibility includes respecting and being sensitive to the rights of others while not condoning messages or actions that promote hatred, intolerance, or violence.
Each resident is expected to:
- Respect the rights of others.
- Respect the property of individuals, groups, and Cornell University.
- Refrain from activities that interfere with the regular operation of Cornell University.
- Present identification upon the request of an authorized Cornell University official.
- Comply with reasonable requests from residential staff and University officials acting in the capacity of their positions.
Conduct Procedures for Alleged Violations of the Community Living Standards
Students have the following rights within the Community Living Standards conduct process:
- Notification of the Community Living Standards
- Timely process
- Confidentiality (consistent with law)
When an alleged violation of Community Living Standards occurs:
- It is the responsibility of each resident to respond to and meet with the Residence Hall Director (RHD), Area Coordinator (AC), or House Assistant Dean (HAD), in a timely manner. RHDs, ACs, and HADs are full-time professional staff members who live in the communities and manage the day-to-day operations, including supporting students and ensuring Community Living Standards are upheld. The meeting's purpose is for the student to respond to charges or to clarify the alleged violation.
- It is the student's responsibility to provide any necessary supporting documentation or witnesses on their behalf.
- Each student is responsible for keeping appointments. If the student does not attend a scheduled appointment, the appointment may proceed as scheduled with a review of the case and the issuance of educational outcomes as necessary and appropriate in the student’s absence. If there are emergency circumstances beyond the student’s control, advanced permission to postpone an appointment may be allowed.
- It is the responsibility of each resident to comply with University officials by surrendering, when asked by Cornell University staff members and/or law enforcement officials (such as Cornell University Police or Ithaca Police), any contraband materials and/or items.
- Complete and submit assigned educational outcomes by the assigned deadline
- Failure to complete may result in additional charges of violations of the Community Living Standards or referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
Charge of Alleged Violation
A complaint against a resident may be brought by another resident, a guest of a resident, a member of the Housing & Residential Life or West Campus House System (WCHS) staff, any affected parties, other administrative offices, or persons not affiliated with Cornell University.
Students wishing to make a complaint can speak with their Residence Hall Director (RHD), Area Coordinator (AC), House Assistant Dean (HAD), or representatives from Residential Life or the WCHS.
The RHD/AC, HAD, or a designee in their absence will investigate complaints of a violation of the Community Living Standards in a residential community.
Notification to Student
If the RHD/AC, HAD, or designee determines a student conduct meeting is warranted for the alleged violation(s) of Community Living Standards, the student will be notified of the meeting and specific charges.
Student Conduct Meeting
When the student meets with the RHD/AC, HAD, or their designee, the meeting will include the following steps:
Review of student’s rights and responsibilities
- Review of student conduct procedure
- Review of incident and alleged violations
- Fact-Finding discussion
- Determination of Responsibility - The RHD/AC, HAD, or designee will determine if a violation of the Community Living Standards occurred based on a “preponderance of evidence” standard (meaning, a policy violation is more likely than not, or, 51% likely vs. 49% unlikely to have occurred).
- Notification of Next Steps - If a student is found responsible for a violation, this includes a discussion exploring appropriate educational outcomes. Specific educational outcomes are assigned based on the incident's nature and the Community Living Standards violation(s). The student receives notification of assigned outcomes and relevant details such as due dates and instructions for completion.
The above process may sometimes extend over multiple meetings.
Educational outcomes may include and are not limited to community service, reflection or research papers, putting on a program in the community, making a bulletin board, letters of apology, referrals to other agencies for alcohol or other drug education, and/or status changes in your Housing License up to and including termination of your Housing License.
Appeals must be submitted in writing within five (5) days of the Student Conduct Meeting.
Students may submit an appeal under the following conditions:
the student’s rights as outlined in the conduct process were not met, or
- new information about the incident is available that may change the original outcome decision.
If the above conditions are not met, an appeal meeting will not be granted.
Appeals are addressed by an Assistant Director in Residential Life or two HADs in the WCHS (from Houses other than where the original incident was adjudicated). After meeting with the student to discuss the appeal, the student will receive notification in writing of the appeal outcome within five (5) business days of the meeting.
Students should be prepared to complete assigned outcomes according to the original due date if the appeal's decision does not change the original conduct meeting decision.
The conduct procedures for alleged Community Living Standards violation(s) are not considered part of a student’s Cornell University conduct record.
Student records pertaining to the Community Living Standards conduct process are retained internally by Housing & Residential Life and the WCHS and are referenced if subsequent allegations of violating the Community Living Standards occur.
All violations must be adjudicated in a timely manner from when received by Housing & Residential Life
Community Living Standards
Housing & Assignment Policies
A. Break Periods
Residents must comply with all directives from Housing & Residential Life related to breaks when housing facilities are closed.
- Residential communities are scheduled to open and close on specific dates; early arrivals and late departures are generally not allowed. Residents must make arrangements to move in or out by dates outlined in the Housing License: https://scl.cornell.edu/residential-life/housing/housing-details/rates-amenities-contracts/academic-year-housing-license-2022-2023. When exceptions are made, students may be charged additional fees based on an hourly or daily rate. During Winter Break all residential communities are closed except for the Jerome Holland International Living Center and Loving House, which is open depending on space availability and prior approval. Housing & Residential Life may designate other residential communities to remain open over the Winter Break.
- No one is permitted in the halls during closed break periods without written approval from Housing staff.
B. Census Report
It is important that Housing & Residential Life has an accurate account of who is living in which room to ensure correct billing and in case of emergencies/evacuations to ensure everyone is safely out of the building. The census report confirms the occupancy of each residential building.
All residents must participate in the census reporting throughout the academic year as directed by Housing and Residential Life.
C. Room Changes
Students must follow the proper room change process.
- Students must not change rooms until a room change application has been approved by Housing & Residential Life.
- Refusing to accept or impeding an effort by the Housing Office to make an assignment to a vacant space is prohibited.
- If a student switches rooms without permission, they may lose the right to live on campus, and will need to return to their original room assignment.
- Students may be required to move from their rooms in a designated amount of time as required by Housing & Residential Life or the WCHS to address health and safety.
D. Room Damages
Each resident is responsible for inspecting their room upon move-in. Any broken items or damages should be reported via a work order and an email to the professional staff member of the building. When vacating, any damages noted during the move-out inspection that were not reported and that are beyond reasonable wear and tear for the time the resident was assigned the space are the resident’s financial responsibility.
- Residents are responsible for any damages to their assigned room. If the responsible individual does not take responsibility for damage done in a room, the damage cost will be split among all residents in the room/suite/apartment.
- If a resident changes rooms or leaves the University, a staff member will inspect the room when it is vacated. Appeals to damage assessment may be made only by the resident following the damage appeal process (https://scl.cornell.edu/residential-life/housing/housing-details/room-inspection). Residents who fail to check out with a staff member forfeit the right to appeal any damage charges.
Fire Safety Policies
Fire Safety policies are subject to compliance changes and updates based on local and state regulated standards. Advance notice of changes/updates will be provided whenever possible.
A. Fire Safety Inspections
The University is subject to fire and safety inspections by various agencies. If a fine is incurred due to the student’s failure to comply with the terms of their Housing License or with any request from University staff, the student will be responsible for the fine.
- Any material in violation of the Community Living Standards is subject to confiscation during fire and safety inspections. Any material taken will be identified by room, kept by the RHD/AC/HAD, and will be available for collection on designated dates before University breaks. If items are not collected by the end of the semester, they will be disposed of.
- Students are responsible for presenting documentation of fire retardance compliance for items such as upholstered furniture, tapestries, etc.
- University safety plans can be reviewed online https://ehs.cornell.edu/campus-health-safety/fire-and-life-safety/fire-safety-plans.
B. Fire Drills
The University conducts periodic evacuation drills to practice education and safe exiting from buildings. Everyone must exit from the building when the fire alarm is activated and cannot re-enter the building until given permission by University personnel. Evacuation plans are posted at elevators, stairs, and exit points throughout the buildings. These plans will indicate means to exit the building safely. All persons should be familiar with the procedures for evacuating a building.
- Failure to evacuate during a fire alarm will result in a conduct meeting.
Residence and Room Environment
A. Bed Elevating
Homemade, rented lofts, or cinder blocks of any kind are not permitted in any residence hall, unless provided by SCL Facilities.
Beds cannot be placed directly under a sprinkler head or within 3 feet of the lowest point of a smoke or heat detector. If bunked beds are used in a room, the room shall have a minimum ceiling height of 7 feet and 6 inches. Beds also cannot cover more than 33% of the floor or exceed 36 square feet or obstruct any exit, window, door, heating equipment, or any other equipment that could create a fire hazard.
- Rooms with 3 or more beds that are bunked or lofted at the time of move-in must remain in the same place where they have been positioned.
- Beds cannot be lofted in 122 McGraw, Barbara McClintock Hall, Ecology House, Ganędagǫ: Hall, Hu Shih Hall, Ruth Bader Ginsberg Hall, Sheldon Court, Toni Morrison Hall, or Townhouse Apartments.
- Residents wishing to have their beds lofted, bunked, or raised must submit a Maintenance Request through SCL Facilities https://scl.cornell.edu/residential-life/housing/contact-us/place-maintenance-request. Requests for bed adjustments are accepted beginning September 1st.
B. Decorating Rooms
Resident rooms must be in the same condition upon departure, as they were upon arrival. Room damages or decorating violations will be assessed and charged against the resident(s) responsible. If a responsible party does not come forward, the damage bill will be split among all residents of the room.
No more than one 8.5-inch by 11-inch sheet of paper, per resident, is allowed on the outside of a room door.
- Pictures, posters, and other materials must be hung from picture moldings, tack strips, or bulletin boards only. Nails, tacks, screws, tape, glue, and other adhesives may not be used on walls, ceilings, wardrobes, woodwork, doors, or furniture. Note- many products that claim not to remove paint or damages surface, still cause damage when removed.
- Wallpaper of any kind is not allowed on walls or doors including contact or “removable” wallpaper.
- Natural evergreen trees, wreaths, and boughs are prohibited. Artificial plants are also not allowed. Metal trees are acceptable, with illumination by spot or reflective lights only. All winter seasonal decorations must be removed prior to leaving for the intersession break.
- Decorative strands of lights are permitted with an Underwriter's Laboratories label or listing (UL) but should not be adhered to any walls or ceiling.
- Alterations (including but not limited to painting) to a room/apartment or to any University property within a room/apartment or common area is prohibited.
- Hanging or extending anything outside the windows is prohibited.
- Internal cables may not be spliced and run to individual rooms.
- Objects may not block the windows.
- Hanging or posting anything on ceilings is prohibited.
- Hanging anything from sprinkler pipes or any part of the fire sprinkler system is prohibited.
- Tapestries, cloths/sheets, plastic signs, and flags may not be hung in student rooms unless treated with an approved fire-retardant product which shall be applied by an approved 3rd party vendor with documentation before items can be brought in and used in any residential room.
- No more than ten percent of the wall can be covered by decorations in compliance with fire code.
- Windows in all resident rooms come already equipped with drapes, shades, or blinds. Residents may not hang their own window treatments in their rooms, unless material is fire rated and labeled as such (certification must be on file with the SCL Facilities Office).
- Maintenance in resident rooms and common areas may only be completed by authorized staff.
C. Health and Safety
Residents must keep rooms in a sanitary condition. Food must be put away in closed containers. Rooms should be clean of any food scraps or crumbs that could attract insects/rodents. Food not stored correctly attracts pests into the buildings and rooms.
- If a resident's room needs to be accessed by a University Official (for example: emergency maintenance, pest control, medical situations, or fire safety inspections), residents may be required to remove excess items from their floor and furniture tops. Twenty-four-hour advance notification will be given whenever possible. Failure to complete the requested tasks could result in residents being charged for the tasks to be completed by SCL Facilities or any fees associated with rescheduling the work, as well as conduct action.
D. Non-University Furniture/Appliances
Due to the risk of fire or nuisance/false fire alarms, the following items are not permitted in the residence halls (additional items may be added based on Cornell Fire Marshal direction).
- Air conditioners are prohibited, unless provided by SCL Facilities for SDS approved accommodations.
- Portable washing machines and dishwashers are prohibited.
- Stand-alone microwaves are prohibited in individual rooms; residents may use the microwave in their building's shared kitchen instead. The exception is in the Townhouse Apartments, where residents may bring a microwave for use in their apartment kitchen.
- Appliances with immersion coils, water heaters without automatic shutoffs, and exposed coils (such as space heaters) are prohibited in the residence halls unless provided by Student and Campus Life Facilities (hereafter referred to as SCL Facilities).
- Appliances with open heating elements (including but not limited to toasters and toaster ovens).
- Air fryers.
- Lamps with open halogen or fluorescent bulbs.
- Any upholstered furniture that does not meet the requirements noted in the Fire Code of NYS or California, as documented by a factory attached tag. If furniture does not have a factory attached tag documenting compliance, documentation from the manufacturer must be provided or items must be treated with an approved fire-retardant product which shall be applied by an approved 3rd party vendor with documentation before items can be brought in and used in any residential room.
- Approved Furniture/Appliances
- Minifridges are allowed in resident rooms provided they do not draw more than 7.3 amps [700 watts] to start and 1.5 amps while running.
- A “microfridge” (combined microwave and minifridge) is permitted when rented from the University-approved vendor and must be plugged directly into the wall.
- Appliances with self-contained, thermostatically controlled heating elements with automatic shut off may be used in kitchenettes only.
- Coffee makers with automatic shutoff may be used in resident rooms or kitchenettes.
- Only electrical equipment and accessories identified with the Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) label are allowed.
- “Octopus/spider” lamps may be used provided they are LED type and bulb wattage does not exceed the lamp’s UL listing.
E. University Furniture
All furnishings provided by the University, including desks, dressers, wardrobes, tables, chairs, couches, bed ends, bed springs, and mattress, must remain in the room/suite/apartment unless authorized by SCL Facilities.
University furniture may not be removed from the resident room, lounge, kitchen, etc. where it is designated to be.
A. Compost, Recycling, and Landfill
Residents must collect all trash, compost, and recyclable materials using the receptacles provided in their room, or community area in the case of compost, and take these materials on a regular basis to floor or building trash and recycling containers.
No personal trash may be left in bathrooms, common areas, suite common areas, hallways, or outside of room doors.
- Bodily fluids and biohazards are not permitted in trash and recycling containers.
B. Building Egress
Egress access must always be safe and passable, including in corridors, stairwells, lounges, other common and living spaces. In resident rooms, state and city regulations require a clear path from the bed to the door, as well as a minimum of 36 inches between the door and any other item in the room.
Safety & Security
1. Prohibited Actions
Certain actions are prohibited as they pose a safety risk or security risk to our communities. These actions could cause damage to the buildings or bypass the security systems we have in place to keep residents safe. If you see any of these actions, please report them to a staff member to ensure the safety of our communities.
- Residents and guests are not permitted on roofs, ledges, overhangs, or balconies accessed through a window.
- Climbing the exterior of buildings is prohibited.
- Removing window screens is prohibited.
- Throwing items out of windows or from balconies is prohibited.
- Antennae, flags, or other materials cannot be hung from the exterior of buildings, without written approval from HRL/WCHS.
- Tampering with or non-emergency use of the Blue Light or Elevator emergency buttons is prohibited.
- Use of windows for entering or exiting the building is prohibited.
- No one may prop open or enter residential communities through propped doors as this jeopardizes the security of the building.
- Residents may not provide access for another person unless they are the host for that person.
- To ensure safe egress, personal items cannot be left in hallways or stairwells.
- Fire Safety
- Use of open flame is prohibited.
- Tampering with fire extinguishers, sprinklers, fire and emergency doors, pull stations, and other fire safety equipment is prohibited.
- Tampering with smoke detectors, including blocking, covering, or removing is prohibited.
- Destruction/damage to exit signage is prohibited.
- Falsely reporting a fire verbally or by falsely pulling the fire alarm/pull station is prohibited.
- Everyone must evacuate when an alarm sounds in the building.
- Everyone must follow evacuation procedures during an emergency or an alarm.
- Objects may be no closer than 18 inches to the ceiling or to any fire safety device (such as sprinklers or smoke detectors).
- Outlet strips cannot be plugged into each other (creating a “chain”).
- Resident room doors cannot be propped open if they are designed to automatically shut.
- Hall Sports
- Playing sports and using sports equipment is prohibited in all residential communities. Playing sports includes, but is not limited to, gymnastics, running, wrestling, dribbling, etc. Sports equipment includes, but is not limited to, basketballs, bikes, Frisbees, hacky sacks, toy guns (water, nerf, dart, paintball, etc.), scooters, skates, skateboards, sticks, balls for throwing/kicking, gloves, etc.
- Operating drones or similar devices within any residence halls is prohibited.
- Any damage caused by hall sports will be billed to the responsible resident(s).
- Keys and Access Cards
- Keys must not be duplicated or loaned.
- Residential Life/WCHS staff and Service Center/House Office staff will not provide entry to a room for anyone other than a resident of that room, including parents, friends, guests, and/or other individuals. Exceptions may only be made in case of emergency as determined by a Residential Life or WCHS professional staff member.
- Residents are responsible for their building and room keys. Residence hall exterior doors are always locked.
- Cornell University Police will not unlock doors for residents.
- Occupancy Limits
Due to Fire Code and the ability to quickly evacuate there are occupancy limits on all spaces. Communal spaces have occupancy signs denoting the occupancy for those spaces. For residential rooms please follow the outlined occupancy below:
- Private rooms - within a resident’s assigned room the occupancy limit (including room owners) is as follows. Single room 2 people, double room 4 people, triple room 6 people.
- Suite common areas - In buildings where the suite has a common area appropriate for social gatherings (furnished to allow for people to socialize/gather) maximum occupancy is equal to the number of residents able to live in that suite. Example 7-person suite, suite common area occupancy limit is 7 people.
- Townhouse apartment common areas – due to the Townhouse apartments having a larger common area (living room, dining room, kitchen), the occupancy limit for the Townhouse apartment common areas is 12 people.
*Note that if the room door is open to the public area of the building the room is no longer considered private and those present must abide by rules related to public conduct.
2. Prohibited Items
Due to concerns for the safety of everyone in our communities, certain items are prohibited in the residence halls. These items could pose fire safety risks, health and safety risks, or other risks to the building and the residents.
- Possession or use of barbells and other weight-lifting equipment is prohibited except in designated areas. Small weights under 30 lbs. may be used.
- Pull up bars are prohibited and may not be used in doorways, closets, or other residential areas.
- Fire Safety
- Use or storage of fireworks of any kind is prohibited.
- Storing flammable substances (gasoline, propane, charcoal, lighter fluid, etc.) is prohibited.
- Candles (wick or wickless) and incense are not allowed.
- Extension cords and multi-plug adapters are prohibited (this includes bed risers with integrated electrical outlets). An outlet strip with a breaker switch identified with an Underwriter’s Laboratories label or listing (UL) is allowed.
- Floor lamps must have the required wattage light bulbs and cannot exceed what is stated on the lamp’s UL label. The UL and wattage labels are commonly found on the shade or near the outlet for the light bulb.
- Hazardous Materials
- Dangerous and/or hazardous materials are prohibited in residential communities (strong acids or bases, other caustic or corrosive materials).
- The storage of bodily fluids is prohibited in residential communities. Bodily fluids must be disposed of in the proper waste removal system.
- Motorized Vehicles
- Storing or parking motorized vehicles in residential communities is not permitted. Please see Commuter and Parking Services website https://fcs.cornell.edu/services/parking-transportation for polices about motorized vehicles (Motorcycles, Motor Scooters, and Mopeds).
- Pools, hot tubs, and waterbeds
- Waterbeds and hot tubs are prohibited.
- Pools are not allowed in any internal residential space.
Possession of firearms (including but not limited to rifles, shotguns, BB guns, ammunition, paintball guns), explosives, knives (including but not limited to swords, bayonets, and machetes), or other dangerous weapons, instruments, or substances are prohibited in University residence halls. Possession of such weapons might be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and therefore may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
- Residents who need to have a weapon on campus (e.g., members of the skeet team, hunters) must register and store their weapons with Cornell University Police in G-2 Barton Hall. Residents will have twenty-four-hour access to these weapons.
University Residence Policies
Cornell University strives to create a community conducive to furthering academic and personal growth, as well as the safety and general well-being of all members of the community. While alcohol is a widely accepted part of American college culture, students under the age of 21 may not consume or possess alcohol in University housing. Students who are of legal age may drink in their rooms or in the rooms of people who are also 21 or older and where everyone in the room is also 21 years old or older.
Kegs, beer balls, and other similar beverage containers commonly used to serve multiple individuals are prohibited.
- Alcohol paraphernalia (such as empty containers, flasks, or funnels) is prohibited, except in rooms where all assigned persons are 21 or older
- Public intoxication by an individual under 21, whether or not disruptive to the community, will be subject to conduct action.
- Public intoxication by an individual 21 years old or older that causes a disruption to the community will be subject to conduct action.
- Possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited in any common areas (such as lounges, kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, laundry rooms, outdoors).
- A person 21 or older may not consume alcohol in any residence hall room/suite, including suite common rooms, unless all present are 21 or older.
- A person under 21 may not be in a room where alcohol is present.
- If an underage student is found drinking alcohol in a room in which they do not reside, the resident(s) of that room may be held equally responsible for permitting the violation to occur.
- No alcohol (possession or consumption) is allowed in Akwe:kon.
B. Animals in Residence
In accordance with federal law, Cornell University allows qualified residents to have a Service or Emotional Support Animals (ESA) in the residence halls. Residents must first contact Student Disability Services (SDS) (https://sds.cornell.edu/) for approval. SDS will provide assistance in navigating the approval process, including selection of housing. Approval from SDS must be finalized before ESAs can be brought to campus.
- Emotional Support Animal
An ESA is an animal that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. ESAs are distinct from service animals. ESAs must always remain in the owner's assigned room unless it is taken directly outside of the building.
- Service Animal
NYS Human Rights Law defines a service animal as “any animal that has been trained or is being trained, by a qualified person, to aid or guide a person with a disability” and that “persons qualified to train dogs to aid and guide persons with a disability, while engaged in such training activities, shall have the same rights and privileges set forth for persons with a disability.”
A pet is an animal, other than a fish for this policy, kept for companionship and does not assist an individual with disabilities or act as an approved emotional support animal.
- Emotional Support Animal
- Policies for Animals in Residence
- Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals
- Care and Management
- Students will create a personalized plan with SDS that considers the student's need and care for the animal.
- Animals must be in the care of their owner at all times.
- When the owner is not in the room, animals should be crated or in a secure enclosure.
- Personal or property damage caused by a Service Animal or ESA is the responsibility of their owner.
- Removal of Approved Animal
- Housing and Residential Life and West Campus Housing Systems staff work with Student Disability Services when there are concerns about the health and well-being of the animal or harm to individuals or property have been reported.
- Care and Management
- Fish tanks are allowed if they are 10 U.S. gallons or less and all residents of the room/suite/apartment agree to have a fish tank in the space.
- Only fish are allowed. Poisonous or flesh-eating fish are prohibited (e.g. piranhas and sharks).
- All appropriate precautions must be taken to ensure that the electrical connection to the fish tank is safe, and that other potential hazards have been properly addressed.
- Maintenance of the fish and tank, including over break periods, must be ensured.
- The University is not responsible for any loss of fish.
- Pets in Ecology House
- Beginning Fall 2023, new pets will not be approved in Ecology House. Those Ecology House residents who have approved pets during the 2022-2023 academic year can return with their previously approved pets for the 2023-2024 academic year. Beginning Fall 2024, Ecology House will then follow the policy consistent with the rest of the on-campus housing.
- Arrangements should be made in advance for the care and feeding of pets during breaks and/or any anticipated time away. Keys cannot be shared with others and permission cannot be granted for a non-room owner to enter the room if the room owner is not present. Please note that for most pets automatic feeders are not appropriate for absences of a month, such as over winter break.
- Residents keeping pets must comply with all aspects of the University Pet Policy.
- Pets may not be left in the residence hall during breaks where the resident is not present.
- Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals
C. Bicycles and Other Personal Electronic Modes of Transportation
Proper registration and storage of bicycles and other personal electric modes of transportation is key to protecting your property and providing a safe space for everyone in the community. Due to the risk of fire, all battery-powered modes of transportation, except ADA assistance devices, are prohibited in University residences.
All personal electronic (battery-powered) modes of recreational transport, including but not limited to e-bikes, e-scooters, e-skateboards, and hoverboards are prohibited from being charged or stored in any University residential building outside of Bike Rooms.
- Electronic modes of recreational transport can be stored and charged in Bike Rooms located in the residence halls.
- All bicycles must be registered on campus at https://fcs.cornell.edu/bike-registration-form.
- Bicycles may not be stored in resident rooms, except fold-up bicycles if they do not impede egress.
- Bicycles cannot be left in alcoves, hallways, stairwells, or common areas. They will be confiscated and turned over to Cornell University Police.
- Any bicycles found in bicycle rooms or on bicycle racks after Commencement will be handled in the following manner:
- The bicycle will be removed (the lock will be cut if necessary) and taken to the Lost and Found in Barton Hall.
- If the bicycle is registered with the University, Cornell University Police will contact the owner via a registered letter to their permanent address.
- If the bicycle is not retrieved from the Lost and Found within one year, it will be entered in the Tompkins County Police Auction.
D. Cannabis and other Controlled Substances
While New York State has legalized the recreational use of cannabis for adults over the age of 21, Cornell University is subject to federal laws (per the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug Free Workplace Act) that expressly prohibit the possession, use or distribution of cannabis on University property, including all residential communities. While the University prefers to handle a student's use of any controlled substance on an individual counseling and medical-care basis, such treatment does not offer immunity from local, state, and federal law.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is prohibited, whether or not it is being used for use or consumption of drugs.
- A person may not be knowingly in the presence of illegal drugs and drugs prohibited on campus.
E. Commercial Business
Commercial businesses are not permitted in residential communities or on the grounds surrounding them. Some exceptions are possible for programming events where a vendor's presence is a key component. The Director of University Relations and SCL Marketing and Communications must authorize such events and an Event Registration Form must be filed.
Residents may not use their room, telephone, data lines, or wireless connection for profit-making purposes.
F. Common Area Usage
Bike rooms, lounges, meeting rooms, lobbies, hallways, elevators, entryways, stairwells, bathrooms, and kitchens in residence halls are areas held "in common" among the residents. They are not open to the public. Misuse, damage or leaving unclean of common areas may result in them being closed.
Entering a closed space is prohibited.
- It is the residents’ responsibility to keep lounges and common areas clean and to return furniture to its proper location.
- Vomit and other bodily fluids in common areas is the responsibility of the community. Individuals responsible should take proper measures to clean the area. Contact the staff member on call to receive a clean-up kit. Failure to do so may result in individual or common area damage charges.
- Bathrooms that are cleaned by Building Care staff must be cleared of personal belongings, except where cubbies and racks are provided.
- Furniture cannot be removed from any common area.
- No one may sleep in public spaces in the building.
- Decorating common areas requires approval of residential staff and must comply with all Fire Safety policies.
- Personal property may not be left in common areas.
- Lost or abandoned items of value will be turned over to Cornell University Police in Barton Hall (607-255-1111) or Service Centers. After the waiting period prescribed by law, the item(s) will be entered in the Tompkins County Police Auction.
- Clothing must be removed from laundry machines in a timely manner. It is strongly recommended that residents remain in the immediate area while doing laundry. The University is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
- Only bicycles may be stored in bike rooms and all bicycles must be secured with a lock.
- To reserve common areas, contact the RHD/AC or West Campus House Office and follow guidelines in place for a given community. The sponsoring residents are responsible for any damage and clean up after an event.
- Behavior in common areas should conform to the community's standards. Loud, offensive, or lewd behavior or language directed at anyone (including staff) is not acceptable. Residents should exercise good judgment and demonstrate consideration of others when using common areas.
- Balconies will be opened by residential staff as weather permits. Balconies must be used respectfully, or they will be closed. Inappropriate behavior including, but not limited to, moving furniture onto balconies, smoking on balconies, throwing items from balconies, or storing food on balconies is prohibited.
G. Cooking and Community Kitchens
Cooking in the residence halls can be a great activity to bring people together, but it can also create unsafe and unsanitary conditions for the community if not done in a manner that respects all members of the community.
Cooking is prohibited in hallways, bathrooms, and lounges.
- Must remain present while using the kitchen equipment.
- Shared kitchens must be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
- Food stored in common area refrigerators must be removed by the owner regularly.
- Residents must clean up after using the kitchen (dirty dishes should not be left behind, counters should be wiped down).
- Food and personal items must be removed from common area kitchens and refrigerators by the owner before moving out at the end of their Housing License.
Gambling for the exchange of money, property, or services of any form is prohibited.
- Raffles for fundraising purposes are not permitted.
I. Guest and Hosting Responsibility
To provide a safe living environment for residents of our on-campus residential communities all visitors, guests, and hosts must adhere to policies outlined below:
- A visitor is defined as a Cornell student who is not an assigned resident of the residential community or house being visited. As a Cornell student, visitors are still responsible for their actions and may be held accountable for their actions under University policies.
- A guest is defined as a non-Cornell associated individual.
- A host is defined as a resident who is assigned to the room being visited.
- Visitors and guests to a building may not enter the building without being escorted by the resident (host) they are visiting.
- Hosts are responsible for and may be held accountable for the behaviors of their visitors and guests.
- Hosts must receive permission from roommates before having overnight visitors or guests
- Overnight visitors and guests are only permitted for up to 3 nights in a seven (7) day period.
- Overnight guests under the age of 18 must be registered with Housing & Residential Life or West Campus House Office
- Visitors and guests may be asked to leave at any time if other roommates do not wish to have visitors or guests.
- Overnight visitors and guests may not sleep in common spaces (such as lounges, suite common rooms, always, or laundry rooms).
- No room keys or temporary access cards will be issued or given to visitors or guests, and hosts/residents may not give their keys or ID card to anyone else for the visitor/guest to enter a room and/or residence hall.
J. Smoking and Vaping
The health of all members of our community is a priority. Smoking (including cigarettes, hookahs, pipes, etc.) and vaping in residential communities can have serious health impacts on the residents who live there and therefore is prohibited in all University residential communities.
Smoking and vaping in any residential space is prohibited.
- You must be at least 25 feet away from any building to smoke or vape, including all doors, windows, awnings, or other building features, or where it is otherwise posted.
If a student wishes to paint a mural, they must contact the RHD/AC/HAD to receive a request form and guidelines.
All submissions must include a full-color drawing with the mural request form.
- A request for a mural to be painted needs to be submitted to the RHD/AC/HAD by April 15th. The RHD/AC or HAD will notify the student(s) if the mural is approved.
- When a mural is approved, the mural will be shared with SCL Facilities Office no later than the last week in April.
- The mural must be completed no later than the first day of final exams in May.
- Failure to follow the guidelines, receive approval, or complete the mural will result in charges to the student(s) for repainting of the wall.
The following guidelines must be observed when seeking to post advertisements in North Campus and South Campus residence halls:
Non-Residential Life (University registered or non-profit organizations) flyers or announcements may only be posted with the permission of Housing & Residential Life.
- All flyers must be taken to the Housing & Residential Life Office at 1501 Clara Dickson Hall for approval before they are posted. Poster approval and stamping can be received between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
- Non-Residential Life organizations must leave approved posters at the Housing & Residential Life Office, where professional staff will retrieve them for posting. Allow seven (7) days prior to the event for posting.
- Flyers and announcements may be posted on designated spaces only. Residence hall staff will monitor bulletin boards for inappropriate usage. Any materials lacking the name of a sponsoring group or appropriate approval stamp will be removed and discarded.
- Posters should be 8.5"x11" in size. Accommodations will be made for posters up to 17"x24"; organizations should realize that this size will limit the quantity approved for posting.
- Chalking is not allowed on outside walls of buildings or other vertical surfaces, stairwells, doors, glass surfaces, windows, or under archways.
- Non-Cornell organizations or groups are NOT permitted to post in the residence halls.
- Postings are not allowed on outside walls of buildings, lighting fixtures, sidewalks, stairwells and stairwell doors, and glass/windows on doors.
The following guidelines must by observed when seeking to post advertisements in the West Campus House System:
House staff will post flyers at the discretion of the House leadership and will monitor bulletin boards for inappropriate usage.
- Flyers should be dropped off at the House Office.
- Allow seven (7) days, prior to the event, for posting.
- Any materials lacking the name of a sponsoring group or that are posted without approval of the House leadership will be removed and discarded.
- Posters and common area bulletin boards may not be defaced or inappropriately removed.
- Chalking is not allowed on outside walls of buildings or other vertical surfaces, stairwells, doors, glass surfaces, windows, or under archways.
M. Quiet and Courtesy Hours
The University strives to provide its residents with a living environment that is conducive to learning. Residents and their guests/visitors are expected to respect the rights of others regarding quiet for studying, sleeping, and individual lifestyle choices. During quiet hours, the noise level must not prevent others from sleeping or studying. During courtesy hours residents and guests are expected to limit the amount of noise when requested by others.
Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day.
- As a guideline sound that can be heard from two doors away when your door is closed is too loud at any time of day.
- Quiet hours are Sunday-Thursday beginning at 11pm, Friday and Saturday beginning at midnight. Monday- Friday end at 7:30am, Friday and Saturday end at 9am.
- During quiet hours, amplified sound, loud talking in hallways, and other noise or behavior that might prevent others from sleeping or studying is prohibited.
- During Quiet Hours noise that can be heard from one door away with your door closed is defined as too loud.
N. Restroom/Facilities Use Guidelines
In keeping with the University’s policy of nondiscrimination and the commitment to inclusion, the University allows students, staff, faculty, and visitors to use the restroom or facility that corresponds to their gender identity*. In addition, the University maintains several universal restrooms across campus to address restroom facility access not necessarily related to gender identity, such as access for parents with children and other attendants/caregivers. These facilities are all-gender, accessible spaces, which may include amenities for families such as baby changing stations.
*Gender identity refers to an individual’s internal sense of gender. A person’s gender identity may be different from or the same as the person’s sex assigned at birth.
Other Important Campus Policy Resources
The following Cornell University rules, regulations, policies, and procedures also apply in residential communities. Students who have alleged violations will be referred by Residential Life or WCHS staff to the appropriate governing offices. Students are responsible for making themselves knowledgeable about any campus rule or policy that may apply to them based on use or agreement of the individual even if not listed here specifically. For example, campus parking regulations.