One week later than expected, Cornell emailed move-in dates and COVID-19 testing time slots to students planning to live on campus this fall early Friday evening.
Cornell Housing was slated to send the information Aug. 7, as announced July 30. Even after the announcement, many students were unable to access their housing portal accounts due to a high volume of users — they were only able to access it after subsequent attempts.
The staggered move-in process will take place over six days — Aug. 23, 24, 25, 27, 29 and 31 — to account for testing and quarantining of all students.
Along with their designated move-in date and time, students who log into the Cornell Housing Portal can find information about changing their time slot if they have an unavoidable conflict.
According to the housing portal, students who wish to switch their slot to Aug. 27, 29 or 31 can select from a schedule of available timings. Those who need to move in on Aug. 23, 24 or 25 must email email@example.com to provide their expected arrival date and time.
For students living in a double or quad, the housing portal notes that only one student is permitted to arrive on Aug. 23 or 24, and the other roommate must move-in on Aug. 25 or later.
A few hours after Cornell released move-in information, Housing and Residential Life sent an email to students slated to arrive on Aug. 25, 27 or 29, explaining further details of their arrival.
Depending on their mode of transportation, these students are expected to proceed directly to one of two COVID-19 testing sites. Students arriving in a personal vehicle should report to Livestock Pavilion at 48 Judd Falls Road, while those arriving by other means, such as public transit, report to Robert Purcell Community Center. These testing sites are new additions to Cornell’s arrival testing program, which had only included the Fischell Band Center since July 16.
Then, they must pick up their boxed meals and go to their assigned hotel room for an overnight quarantine as they await test results. Cornell will provide a shuttle service to each hotel for students who don’t arrive in a personal vehicle.
The email did not specify the hotels in which students will quarantine.
Upon a negative test, students will be shuttled back to their residence halls to check-in and move in their belongings. Belongings are limited to what students can carry themselves — two large suitcases and a backpack. Friends and family members will not be allowed to enter campus buildings or hotel rooms due to health measures.
Students arriving on Aug. 23, 24 or 31 are expected to receive additional arrival details by midnight on Friday.
Instruction for all students is still expected to begin on Sep. 2. The newly updated academic calendar notes that residential instruction will conclude after a period of semi-final exams from Nov. 17 to Nov. 24, after which students are expected to transition home and complete the remainder of the semester online.
Although course modalities and meeting times have been added to the fall 2020 class roster, students have not yet received information regarding enrollment dates.
In an Aug. 7 email to students, Cornell Housing and Residential Life attributed the delay in communicating move-in information to making arrangements for students struggling to meet New York State’s quarantine mandate.
Cornell’s commitment to a hybrid semester comes at a time when many colleges are reversing their plans to bring students back on campus. Columbia University was the latest of the Ivy League to backtrack its reopening plan, opting for an entirely virtual semester due to New York State’s quarantine restrictions on students from 31 states.