Not-so 'top secret' orientation provides host of activities for new students


Though the orientation booklet looks like a "Mission: Impossible" top-secret file, it's no secret that thousands of new students will descend on campus Friday for orientation, Aug. 22-27.

In addition to such required events for freshmen as registration and the infamous swim test, students also can choose from a vast array of activities before classes begin Aug. 28. Special events tailored to transfer students and graduate students are also offered throughout Orientation Week.

Among the events offered this week:

  • Students can take their families to meet President David Skorton under the big tent on Rawlings Green, Aug. 22, 4-5 p.m. Later that evening, freshmen can join their orientation leaders and other students from their colleges at First Night, starting at 10 p.m. on the North Campus quads.
  • New Student Convocation, the official welcome from Skorton and student body leaders, will take place Saturday at 8:45 a.m. in Schoellkopf Field.
  • First-year students will participate in the New Student Reading Project book panel Sunday, 3:30-5 p.m. in Barton Hall. That evening starting at 5:30 p.m., students are invited to the North Campus Block Party in Donlon Circle, hosted by Campus Life.
  • The Big Red Blowout will take place Monday starting at 10 p.m. in Schoellkopf Field. The sports-themed event will introduce new students to Cornell's many sports teams, and students can learn cheers and songs.
  • On Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Carol Tatkon Center, Room 3330, students can learn about smart budgeting and how to make money go further as they learn to live away from home.
  • Opportunities for service through the Cornell Public Service center will be the focus of an event Wednesday, 1-2 p.m., in 200 Barnes Hall.

For a complete orientation guide, go to

Traffic and parking Aug. 22

With 3,500 new students and their families arriving on campus Aug. 22, commuter and parking-services officials urge people to avoid driving on campus and arranging deliveries on that day, if possible. They also remind everyone that:

  • Campus Road and North and West Campus areas will be extremely congested.
  • Jessup Road will be open only for move-in traffic.
  • A Lot parking area will be open only for new students and their families. Permit holders will be notified of alternate parking.
  • Use of TCAT buses is encouraged.

For the latest information, visit the Special Conditions page.

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