Julia Nagel/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Cornell students in Ithaca must take between two and three surveillance tests a week, depending on University policy.

March 30, 2021

Cornell to Crack Down on Missed Surveillance Tests, Restricting Access to Canvas and Campus

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As virus transmission on campus has increased throughout March, Cornell announced Tuesday afternoon that students who miss their surveillance tests within 24 hours will lose access to Canvas, Wi-Fi and campus buildings.

The announcement marks some of the strictest repercussions for missing regular surveillance tests yet, as the University responds to rising cases and “a pattern of testing non-compliance among a subset of our students,” Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life, wrote in the email.

“This behavior, which endangers our community and risks compromising in-person teaching and student activities, will not be tolerated,” the email read. 

Starting later this week, students who do not complete their scheduled surveillance test within 24 hours will face a hold on all enrollment transactions, meaning students will be blocked from Canvas and cannot download course materials, submit assignments or take exams. Faculty will not offer course materials, make-ups or extensions for missed assignments. 

Students who miss their surveillance tests will also lose access to campus and residential Wi-Fi. Only Cornell Health, Cayuga Health and Daily Check will remain available. 

If students miss an assigned test after the April 5 drop deadline, Cornell will not guarantee that their college or school will approve a late drop or grade option change. Students with active enrollment holds during pre-enrollment for the fall 2021 semester will not be able to choose courses. 

Continuing current Cornell policy, the email reiterated that students would also lose access to campus facilities, blocked from entering academic buildings, study spaces and libraries.  

For Cornell to lift these restrictions, students must complete a surveillance test immediately and sign up through their Daily Check. 

The email emphasized that restoring access can take between 12 to 24 hours, and academic advisers and deans have no control over it — urging students to complete their testing on their assigned surveillance test date to avoid these consequences.

“The best way to avoid serious interruptions to your academic activities is to get tested on each of your assigned test days,” the email read. “It is unfortunate that the good work of many is being overshadowed by a small cohort of students who refuse to take the necessary measures to keep our campus safe.”