Cornell welcomes new, returning students to campus

Aug. 14 will kick off a week of welcome events for students and their families, as thousands of students move back to campus and the newest Cornellians begin living on campus for the first time.

Of Cornell’s more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students, nearly 8,400 will move to campus residence halls, program houses and co-op communities Aug. 14-18. New students will move in Aug. 14-15. Returning students will join them Aug. 16-18.

This year Cornell Housing and Residential Life has instituted a new move-in protocol. Students and their families will receive specific instructions and individualized move-in plans at the Shops at Ithaca Mall and then will make their way to campus. This protocol will help ensure campus traffic flows steadily and will simplify parking, allowing students to park close to residence halls.

Nearly 400 employee and student volunteers will be on hand to help students – and their families – with the move-in process. They will put in more than 500 shifts total and more than 23,000 hours to offer students their campus knowledge and assistance.

There are several resources available for new students and their families, including New Student Orientation and Family Orientation.

“Building off our Becoming Big Red: Cornell First-Year Families Newsletter and Conversation Series that began in May, families will have the opportunity to learn more about their student’s college and get to know campus,” said Lindsey Bray, director of Parent and Family Programs. “We will host four sessions for families of new students, featuring university and Student and Campus Life leadership, focusing on resources and programming that can assist their student while at Cornell.”

Other spotlight events include the Big Red Welcome Fest on Ho Plaza. This resource fair enables students to get to know important offices from across campus and receive complimentary passes for them and their family members at Cornell Dining eateries. A Family Welcome Reception takes place Aug. 14; a Coffee Social follows on Aug. 15. These informal social gatherings in the Willard Straight Hall Student Union offer families the chance to meet other Cornell families as well as Student and Campus Life leadership.

The annual New Student Orientation provides students with in-depth programming, the chance to meet new people and the opportunity to learn about various resources for support, engagement, growth and belonging across campus, said Emilee Saigh, assistant director of New Student Orientation at the Tatkon Center for New Students.

“Through a variety of required and optional programs, students have the opportunity to create a schedule that suits their needs and gets them plugged into campus from their first moments here,” she said.

The student-led Tatkon Orientation Lead Team has planned social events for students to enjoy every night during their first week. They include the annual First-Year Festival – a carnival-themed event featuring inflatables, carnival games, Cornell-themed giveaways, free food and more.

“We’re especially excited to cap off Orientation Week this year with New Student Convocation,” Saigh said.

Convocation will have a pep rally feel, she said, with speeches from President Martha E. Pollack, Vice President for Student and Campus Live Ryan Lombardi and the Student Assembly President Patrick Kuehl, and will be emceed by Dean of Students Marla Love, with performances from the Big Red Marching Band and Cornell Cheer, followed by a celebration on the Crescent Lot.

After move-in and orientation, the annual Weeks of Welcome, for all students, runs Aug. 19 to Sept. 10. Hosted by Student and Campus Life and numerous campus partners, the celebration includes events, meetings, workshops and resources from across campus in one place, on the Arts Quad. From giveaways to student employment fairs and opportunities to get involved in clubs and other activities, the Weeks of Welcome allow students to immerse themselves in the college and Cornell experience before the academic year begins.

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Stephen D’Angelo is assistant director of communications for Student and Campus Life.

Media Contact

Lindsey Knewstub