Cornell to cover security fees for student events

Cornell’s Division of Student and Campus Life is making it easier for student organizations to plan and manage events.

The division announced April 30 that, in an effort to remove financial barriers and to encourage the free flow of ideas, security fees for most student organizations and student-sponsored events will be eliminated. The university will cover these costs up to $8,000 per event.

“This will allow student groups to have large and small events to promote the free exchange of ideas, which is a hallmark of our university,” said Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life. “Recognized fraternities and sororities without chapter houses will also be able to hold events in university-owned buildings without a security fee.”

The university’s $8,000-per-event contribution should fulfill the needs of most events, he said, as security for recent events that included high-profile speakers and protests cost less than that amount.

Lombardi said student organizations must meet the following parameters:

  • Registered student organizations and recognized fraternities and sororities planning events in university-owned buildings must follow all event management requirements within the established time frames, including registering events using an event registration form.
  • This new process will cover the cost of Cornell-provided security only. Any outside security required by a speaker or entertainer will not be covered.
  • Student groups that sponsor large events will continue to pay for security and crowd management, as they have in the past. These groups include the Slope Day Programming Board, Cornell Concert Commission, Senior Convocation and the Cornell University Program Board.

In addition to the elimination of security fees, the event management responsibilities currently handled by Campus Activities will be moved to the Conference and Event Services team. This will allow event experts to work on large and more complex events and will give event planners easier access to tools and resources needed for more successful events. 

“It will also allow the Campus Activities team to focus on shaping student organizations, training advisers, providing leadership development and celebrating student success, which will enrich the co-curricular experience for our students,” Lombardi said.

Another change: The tool students currently use to register and administer their organizations, OrgSync, will be replaced with a new tool this summer. The new tool will be easier to use, will work better on mobile devices and will include new features requested by students, Lombardi said. More information, including training opportunities for students, will be announced in the coming months to ensure organizations are registered properly, he said.

“Each year students plan hundreds of events that drive meaningful change and impactful conversations. With these additional changes in place, I believe the student experience outside the classroom will be further enhanced,” Lombardi said. “Thank you to the many student leaders and organizations who provided feedback on this important process.”

These changes follow other improvements announced in February. The previous improvements included reducing the time frame for filing an event registration form, more support for student organizers, and improvements to the technology used to reserve rooms throughout campus.

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John Carberry