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Cornell University

Sorority/Fraternity Residence Terms and Conditions 2023-2024

Cornell University Sorority and Fraternity Life
Sorority/Fraternity Residence LicenseTerms and Conditions: 2023-2024

This Sorority/Fraternity Residence License (“SFR License”) is a legal and binding agreement that creates a revocable license for you to occupy a Sorority/Fraternity Residence, subject to these Terms and Conditions: 2023-2024 (“Terms and Conditions”). The Terms and Conditions are part of your Sorority/Fraternity Residence License, and any references to “SFR License” expressly includes all provisions of the Terms and Conditions. The SFR License is not a lease, and does not create a landlord-tenant relationship between you and the University.

I. Effective Date

Your SFR License is legally binding as soon as it is signed by you and approved by the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer, and approved by Sorority and Fraternity Life (“SFL”), and continues for the entire Term.

II. Compliance with license terms and rules and regulations

Your occupancy of University housing is subject at all times to your compliance with the provisions of the SFR License, the Student Code of Conduct, all applicable University policies (expressly including but not limited to Policy 6.4: Prohibited Bias, Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual and Related Misconduct), and all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations. You also agree to comply with any other rules and regulations as the University may from time to time issue for the welfare of the community or for the general convenience or comfort of residents, as well as any rules and regulations established by the Sorority/Fraternity Residence Officer.

III. Eligibility 

To be eligible to live in a University-owned Sorority/Fraternity Residence, you must be currently registered as full time (minimum 12 credit hours) and maintain active status in a Cornell University academic-year special program; be participating in a University internship program; be an authorized employee/research assistant for a Cornell staff person/department; or be a University student employee authorized by Student and Campus Life (“SCL”) to live in University Housing. You must also remain current on all financial obligations to the University. The University reserves the right to require you to provide verification of your eligibility status that is satisfactory to the University in its sole discretion.

IV. Occupancy

  1. You may occupy your assigned housing beginning no earlier than 8:00 a.m. on August 13, 2023, through May 18, 2024 (the “Term”). Dates subject to change. The term for graduating seniors extends until May 26th.

  2. You may request permission to exceed the occupancy period for a limited time from the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer, subject to the approval of SFL. There may be a daily charge of occupancy before or after the occupancy period. All residents are required to vacate their University housing by 10:00 a.m. on the last day of the Term.
  3. Your room will be assigned to you by the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer, and you agree to occupy the room assigned. You may request a room change only within the Sorority/Fraternity Residence you reside in. Any room change must be approved by your Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer, subject to the approval of Sorority and Fraternity Life, and may result in a fee.
  4. Your assigned housing may only be occupied by you and any roommates assigned to the unit by the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer and the University. You may not permit anyone not duly assigned or approved by the Sorority/Fraternity Residence Officer and the University to share any part of your assigned housing or attempt to assign or transfer your assigned housing to anyone else. You may not prevent another student from occupying a shared housing assignment.
  5. If you fail to occupy your assigned housing, or if you vacate your assigned housing during the Term, you continue to be liable for your University housing charges for the entire Term unless you qualify for a cancellation of your SFR License as provided in Section V below.
  6. The University reserves the right to change the occupancy period due to unforeseen circumstances, alterations in the academic calendar year, or emergencies, including but not limited to pandemics, epidemics, and other public health matters.

V. License Cancellations

The SFR License is binding for the entire Term and cannot be canceled except under the following circumstances:

  1. If you withdraw or take a voluntary leave of absence from the University during the Term;

  2. If you are granted a medical withdrawal or leave, or an academic internship, graduation or study in absentia during the Term, or you decide not to attend the University and provide SFL, 541 Willard Straight Hall, with written notice prior to August 1 (for fall semester) or December 15 (for spring semester). Written verification will be required;
  3. If the University determines that there are adequate other grounds for cancellation.
  4. Contract releases for any other reason than those listed in above may be granted, but only under exceptional circumstances. Contract releases due to exceptional circumstances will be determined by, and are at the sole discretion of, the University. You must submit a written petition to the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer. All approved contract releases due to exceptional circumstances will result in a cancellation fee of $800. You will receive a prorated refund of any prepaid housing fees, less any applicable fees or charges.

  VI. Payments 

  1. You agree to pay all required fees, charges, and penalties associated with your assigned housing.

  2. Room payments: You will be bursar billed for 1/2 the room rate in July and 1/2 the room rate in December. All other fees, charges, and penalties related to your assigned housing, including but not limited to cancellation fees, room change fees, and any charges for losses, damages, and other costs you cause the University to incur will be charged to your University bursar account.
  3. The Office of the Bursar’s policies on payment of finance charges for late payments and other penalties for failure to make timely payments apply. See

VII. License revocations and housing reassignment

  1. The University may immediately revoke your SFR License, reassign you to other University housing, and/or pursue disciplinary action in its sole discretion, if:
    1. You fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the SFR License, including but not limited to the requirements of Section II, Compliance;
    2. You engage in or threaten acts or behavior that in the University’s sole opinion, may endanger public order or property, threaten the personal safety or security of yourself or others (by acts of physical or mental harassment, self-harm, or other means) or disrupt other students;
    3. You refuse an evaluation by Counseling and Psychological Services staff, following your hospitalization for psychiatric reasons;
    4. You cease to meet the eligibility requirements in Section III;
    5. You are suspended or expelled from sorority/fraternity membership by either the local chapter or national organization;
    6. You make a materially false statement in your housing application; or
    7. You fail to comply with any conditions imposed now or in the future on continuing use of the property as a sorority/fraternity residence pursuant to University policy or disciplinary procedure, which conditions are incorporated into and made a part of this license; or
    8. For other good cause as determined in the University’s sole discretion.
      If your SFR License is revoked under 1. a – h, you will continue to be liable for all housing charges and fees for the entire Term; no refund will be provided unless the University decides to waive said charges and fees in its sole discretion. You will also be charged an $800 revocation fee. The University also may refuse to allow you to occupy any University housing in the future.
  2. The University further reserves the right to terminate your SFR License or reassign you to other University housing based on:
    1. Damage to your assigned housing that results in it being unfit for occupancy, in the University’s sole opinion;
    2. To prepare for or to conduct renovation, repair, construction, or demolition;
    3. To respond to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies, including but not limited to epidemics or other public health and safety reasons.

      If your SFR License is revoked under 2. a–c, you may be entitled to a pro-rata refund of your housing charges paid as of the date you vacate, at the University’s sole discretion.
  3. In addition, the University, in its sole and absolute discretion, reserves the right to immediately terminate your SFR License or reassign you to other University housing if i) the University revokes recognition of the Sorority/Fraternity licensed to occupy the property or ii) the University terminates the Sorority’s or Fraternity’s use of the property.
  4. If you are reassigned to different University housing in lieu of License revocation, for any reason, you will remain liable for all housing charges and fees for the entire Term. You will not be entitled to moving expenses or any other kind of compensation or refund.

VIII. Right of Entry

  1. You must notify SFL and the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer if you plan to arrive after the first day of classes for your school or college. Otherwise, your license may be canceled without further notice and you may be subject to a cancellation fee.
  2. The University reserves the right to enter your assigned housing at any time, without notice, included but not limited to in times of emergency; to make repairs; for housekeeping purposes, to inspect for compliance with health, fire, or building codes; enforcement of University policies or regulations; for law enforcement purposes, or for any other health, safety, or security purpose as determined by the University in its sole discretion.

 IX. Remaining occupants of rooms where vacancies occur

  1. When vacancies occur, the University and the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer reserve the right to show rooms and assign new occupants to fill the vacancies. With the permission of SFL and the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer, any remaining occupants may be granted one of the following options:
    1. Select a replacement to fill the vacancy provided that the replacement is eligible under the Residential Policy (, and provided that the new occupant signs a license within seven days after the vacancy occurs.
    2. Pay an amount to be determined by Sorority and Fraternity Life and the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer for continued use of the room at reduced capacity. This option and any extension of this option will be contingent upon current space requirements.
  2. The University and or the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer also reserves the right to reassign the remaining occupant or occupants of a room to different accommodations. The University is not liable for any moving costs or other expenses you may incur as a result of reassignment. 

X. Resident Responsibilities

  1. 1. Check-In and Check-Out Requirements
    1. Each Sorority/Fraternity Residence will be responsible for a plan to check in and check out residents. You agree to comply with your Chapter’s requirements.
    2. If you leave behind any personal property in your room or in the Sorority/Fraternity  

      Residence after your license ends, without prior permission, the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer or the University reserves the right to sell or otherwise dispose of it without further notice.
  2. Damages. 
    1. You are liable for any damage or loss you cause to your assigned housing (including furnishings), the Sorority/Fraternity Residence, or any other University facility. You must immediately report any such damage or loss to your Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer. Any costs associated with damage or loss you cause will be assessed by the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer and will be deducted from your damage deposit and/or billed to your bursar account.  
  3. Room Painting: You may not paint common areas or your room. Some exceptions may be made for special circumstances with prior approval.
  4. Commercial Activities: No commercial business or activity may be conducted in or from any room or University-owned Sorority/Fraternity Residence. Using Sorority/Fraternity Residence telephones, Internet, or wireless connections for profit-making purposes is also prohibited. If you violate this provision and the University incurs tax liability as a result, then in addition to University’s other rights and remedies under this SFR License, you will be responsible for the costs of such taxes.
  5. Room Care: You are responsible for room or house cleaning, removing waste materials regularly, placing recyclable materials in the designated containers, and maintaining satisfactory sanitation and life safety standards as determined by SFL in conjunction with Cornell's Department of Environmental Health and Safety. Cleaning equipment and materials are provided by the Sorority/Fraternity Residence.
  6. Removal of Furnishings
    1. You may not remove furnishings provided by the University or Sorority/Fraternity Residence without the permission of the Sorority/Fraternity Residence officer or SFL. If you do, you will be charged to have them moved back to their proper location. 
    2. Unauthorized removal of furnishings from the building constitutes theft and the persons responsible will be subject to administrative action and/or prosecution under the Student Code of Conduct or municipal or state law.
  7. Noise and Other Disruptive Behavior:  You and your guests may not make excessive noise or otherwise disrupt the Sorority/Fraternity Residence or adversely affect other residents, or the Sorority/Fraternity Residence neighbors.
  8. Guests
    1. You may have guests for short stays but all guests must comply with the Sorority/Fraternity Residence rules, other University rules and regulations (including but not limited to the Student Code of Conduct), and all applicable laws. Any violation may be handled by the Sorority/Fraternity, Sorority and Fraternity Life, the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, or other University Code enforcement office, or law enforcement officials, as applicable. You are responsible for the behavior of your guests and for any damage they do.
  9. Prohibited Belongings
    1. Due to their excessive weight, waterbeds, and hot tubs are prohibited.
  10. Food Storage
    1. Residents who store food in their rooms do so at their own risk. All food must be kept in tightly closed containers to help ensure effective pest control.
  11. Soliciting
    1. Soliciting, canvassing, and leafleting are prohibited in Sorority/Fraternity Residences.
  12. Exterior Aerials and Antennae
    1. You may not place exterior aerials, antennae, flags, or other display materials on the Sorority/Fraternity Residence or extend them from the Sorority/Fraternity Residence. You may not splice internal cables and run them into a room.
  13. Weapons.
    1. Possession or use of rifles, shotguns, pistols, and other firearms or ammunition, archery equipment, gunpowder, fireworks, air rifles, air pistols, or any other dangerous instruments is prohibited anyplace on University property, including the Sorority/Fraternity Residence.
  14. Smoking, Tobacco Use, and Electronic Cigarettes
    1. Smoking is not permitted in your assigned housing or in any other portion of the Sorority/Fraternity Residence, including common areas.  Smoking is only permitted outside at least 25 feet from any University building. The use of electronic cigarettes and hookahs in your assigned housing or inside any University building is prohibited.
  15. Drugs and Alcoholic Beverages
    1. You and your guests must obey federal, state, and local regulations and all University policies on alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs. (See Student Code of Conduct, Recognition Policy for Sorority and Fraternity Life Social Policy). 

XI. Pets

  1. Students residing in University-owned Sorority/Fraternity Residences are prohibited from having pets in their rooms, with the exception of fish that are in tanks no larger than 10 gallons. If you violate this condition or the University Pets on Campus Policy, the pet may be confiscated and you may be subject to disciplinary action, in addition to the University’s other remedies under the SFR License.

  2. If you violate this condition, the pet may be confiscated and you may be subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct, in addition to the University’s other remedies under the SFR License.
  3. Service animals (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act) are permitted in University housing. Emotional support animals are permitted in University housing if approved by Student Disability Services as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. Residents with service animals or approved emotional support animals must comply with Policy 2.8: Pets on Campus.

 XII. Refrigerators and other electrical appliances

  1. Only vibrating-compressor-type refrigerators drawing no more than three amps to start and one and a half amps while running are permitted in bedrooms.  During any official University recess in which the Sorority/Fraternity Residence will be closed for more than four days, you must remove all food from your refrigerator, disconnect it, and leave the door open.  All other electrical devices must be turned off during any official recess.
  2. Fire-safety requirements prohibit cooking in the Sorority/Fraternity Residence except in designated kitchens. Coffeepots, popcorn poppers, and automatic toasters that include self-contained thermostatically controlled heating elements are the only food-preparation appliances that may be used in your room. Any electrical cooking appliance not thermostatically controlled is prohibited anywhere in the Sorority/Fraternity Residence and will be confiscated.
  3. You may use electrical devices such as radios, computers, printers, hair dryers, razors, and clocks provided they are plugged into outlets in your room and do not exceed the amperage limits of the circuits in the room. Spider lamps and halogen lamps are prohibited.
  4. Constructing computer connections between rooms is prohibited as is running an electrical cord from your assigned housing to a corridor outlet.  You may not splice internal cables and run them into a room/apartment. 

XIII. Fire & Life Safety

  1. You and your guests must immediately evacuate the building and follow all residence staff directions if a fire alarm sounds. You are responsible for knowing where the fire alarm boxes are located in your building. Fire extinguishers are for use by trained personnel only.
  2. The University is subject to fire and safety inspections by various agencies. If the University incurs a fine as a result of your failure to comply with the terms of your SFR License or with any request from residence staff or other University staff, you will be responsible for payment of the fine.
  3. You must not store hazardous, explosive or flammable substances in any portion of the Sorority/Fraternity Residence. The use or storage of candles, incense, and/or any other source of ignition in your assigned housing is prohibited.
  4. You may not hang anything from sprinkler pipes or any part of the fire sprinkler system.
  5. You must not activate false alarms, interfere with the proper functioning of the fire-alarm system, or tamper with or remove smoke detectors, fire hoses, extinguishers, or fire-fighting equipment. Violators may be subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct or state or local law. Activating a false alarm is a Class A misdemeanor and can result in a one-year jail term and/or a $10000 fine for the first offense.

XIV. Liability; Renter's Insurance

  1. The University is not liable or otherwise responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage to your personal property or vehicle occurring anywhere on University property, whether caused by fire, water, steam, the elements, insufficient heat, loss or surges of electricity, theft, the actions of third persons, or any other reason. Your personal property is not covered by University insurance. The University strongly encourages all occupants to obtain renter’s insurance.

  2. Your personal property is not covered by University insurance.  You should carry your own insurance protection against loss of or damage to your personal property.

XV. Force Majeure 

The University assumes no responsibility for failure to perform any terms or conditions of this Housing License due to fire, earthquake, flood, act of Nature, weather events, strikes, work stoppages or other labor disturbances, riots or civil commotions, litigation, war or other acts of any foreign nation, terrorism, epidemics, pandemics, power of governments or governmental agencies or authorities, national emergencies, or any other cause that is beyond the control of the University, regardless whether such a cause is similar or dissimilar to the foregoing examples, and regardless as to whether the subject event or cause was conceivable or foreseeable.

XVI. Miscellaneous 

  1. Execution of the SFR License is not a commitment of admission to or continued enrollment in the University.
  2. Any waiver by the University of its rights under this SFR License shall not be deemed a continuing waiver.
  3. If any provision of this SFR License shall be found to be invalid, the remaining provisions hereof shall continue in full force and effect.
  4. This SFR License represents the complete agreement between you and the University regarding your University housing and supersedes any prior contracts or understandings, whether oral or written. It may not be amended in any way without the prior written permission of the University in each instance.
  5. The SFR License is subject to the laws of the State of New York, without regard to conflicts of laws or principles. You agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the federal and state courts in Tompkins County, New York State, for the resolution of any disputes arising under the SFR License.