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Cornell announces Student Behavioral Compact

Vice President for Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi sent the following message to students on the Ithaca campus Aug. 5:

As you read in President Pollack’s statement earlier today, the university has implemented a clear set of expectations for student behavior to minimize transmission of COVID-19 during the coming academic year. We must acknowledge the impact that this virus can inflict on our community and our shared responsibility to promote public health and to do all we can to protect those who are most vulnerable. The Cornell Student Behavioral Compact is now available through the Re-entry Checklist.

The Behavioral Compact has three important components:

  1. A COVID-19 educational training course that you must complete that explains Cornell’s public health approach to prevention and the emerging research and concepts underlying it.
  2. A brief quiz that you must pass.
  3. Your formal attestation of the Behavioral Compact once you have reviewed it in its entirety.

In earlier communications, it was indicated that only students returning to Ithaca this fall needed to attest to the Behavioral Compact. We are now requiring all students to complete the COVID-19 educational training and to attest to the Behavioral Compact before you can enroll in classes, since the compact is applicable for the entire academic year. Course enrollment is set to open in late August. If you do not attest to the Behavioral Compact, whether or not you will be in Ithaca this fall, you will not be permitted to enroll in classes or to participate in university activities.

We all have an obligation to follow closely the standards articulated in the Behavioral Compact, and those who do not will be held accountable. Let me be clear: the health and safety of our community depend on our ability to follow the Behavioral Compact, and we will be firm in our expectations for compliance. Those who choose not to do so may face separation from the university. The Cornell Compact Compliance Team will hold individuals and groups accountable, using levels of intervention and discipline proportional to each context. We must all take this situation seriously, both in following these guidelines and in our approach to enforcement – all for the safety of our community.

I realize you may have questions about the Behavioral Compact and its impact on your student experience. We will be discussing the Behavioral Compact and its overall implications for health and wellness, as well as accountability, at our next student and parent forum, Thursday, August 6, at 6 p.m. EDT. Registration is required. Please join me and other university leaders for this important discussion.

I want to again acknowledge the difficulty, yet importance, of adhering to Cornell’s and New York state’s public health expectations. I very much believe that we will, collectively, make our well-being a priority as we begin this year under exceptional circumstances. Cornellians have, in times of crisis, always come together, and we need to do so now more than ever.

Media Contact

Abby Butler