Jason Wu/Sun Senior Editor

The Brooks school offers a new curriculum, but students in the school have faced issues with some of Cornell's student services.

November 30, 2023

Brooks First-Years Face Logistical Difficulties in Accessing Student Services

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First-years enrolled in Cornell’s new undergraduate college, the Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, have reported not being counted as enrolled students when attempting to partake in on-campus opportunities. 

The 73 first-year students who are the first to undertake the public policy school’s new curriculum have found themselves facing issues when attempting to register for various school academic requirements, including the swim test and enrolling in minors. During the recent Student Assembly election, several Brooks students said they failed to receive ballots to vote for freshman representative. Eeshaan Chaudhuri ’27 has experienced numerous mix-ups such as difficulties when taking the university-required swim test. 

“When I swiped my ID, my name didn’t pop up,” Chaudhuri said. “They had to take out a notebook to write down my net ID as well as my first and last name. [After the swim test, I was] puzzled. I am a student here.”

Anna Cecilia Fierro ’27, a Brooks first-year, also experienced challenges at the swim test. 

“The lady at the table that was set up next to the pool asked me to give her my ID. I did and she said that I did not show up in the system, but that she could just put me in,” Fierro said. 

In addition to difficulties with the swim test, Fierro struggled with obtaining a business minor through the SC Johnson College of Business, with an error message that read “Ineligible: Your major does not qualify for this minor” despite the business minor being open to all Cornell undergraduates except students enrolled in the Nolan School, Dyson and Operations Research and Information Engineering. 

Fierro said she worried what implications not being in the system might have in other areas of campus life.

“I began to realize that this was a pattern that would happen everywhere,” Fierro said after her experience with the swim test. 

Christie Avgar, Brooks Assistant Dean of Enrollment and Student Services, told The Sun the administration has made all necessary changes for the new school to be functioning in Cornell’s systems.

“When creating a new school, many behind-the-scenes system updates need to occur at the University level and the school/college level,” Avgar said. “We have made all the necessary updates to University-wide systems, such as StudentCenter, to support Brooks students.” 

Despite the mix-ups some Brooks students have reported facing, Chaudhuri reported many opportunities open to students in the new college. 

“One of the very first things I joined was the tech policy institute here at Brooks,” Chaudhuri said. “The Tech Policy Institute has given me unparalleled opportunities to meet and work with industry leaders across the globe.”

Along with the new opportunities Brooks students have received, the school has established a new administrative staff that would be equipped to handle any registration-related issues first-years experience. 

“The Brooks Student Services team is available to help with specific advising questions, including academic policies and procedures, requirements, course registration, transfer credit, study abroad, minor selection, exploring change of major and student support services,” Avgar said. 

Kira Tretiak ’27 is a Sun contributor and can be reached at [email protected].