Crime & Safety
The cooperation and involvement of all community members is essential for making the campus safe. All students, faculty, and staff should be alert at all times; immediately report malfunctions and suspicious persons or activity; be sure that doors are locked when leaving rooms or buildings; and take common sense precautions. Since over 90% of Cornell students live on campus, student cooperation and support are especially important. The College cannot be responsible for accidents, personal injury, damage to property or loss of personal property.
Everyone is requested to be aware of the following:
Exterior doors of buildings should never be propped open.
Room doors should be locked at night and when the student leaves, even for a short period of time.
Residents should ask visitors to identify themselves before allowing access to the building or to their rooms.
Keys should be carried at all times and never copied or loaned to others.
Cars should be parked in lighted areas and kept locked at all times. Valuables should be concealed or locked in the trunk.
Individuals who are behaving suspiciously should be immediately reported to campus safety staff.
Students should request an escort if they feel unsafe walking from a parking lot or between buildings. Campus Safety is available for those who wish an escort. Dial x4299 or 895-4299 from an off-campus phone.
Window shades or shutters should be drawn or closed at night, especially when room lights are on.
Valuable items such as stereos, cameras, computers, and televisions should be permanently marked for identification.
Students should avoid areas that are isolated or not well lit.
Safety Resource and Response
In addition to 24 hour per day presence by Campus Safety staff, there is a Student Affairs staff member on call every evening and throughout the weekends to help mitigate or respond to incidents involving students. Also, three Residence Life staff members live in apartments inside the residence halls. And, nearly every residence hall floor is staffed with a Resident Assistant. These staff members are trained to respond to an array of emergencies including interpersonal conflicts, health emergencies, fires, and missing person reports.
Campus community members play an important role in their own safety. Periodic reminders are sent via e-mail and provided through Resident Assistants to encourage personal safety habits like locking room doors, not walking alone in dark areas, and reporting suspicious behavior.
There are exterior phones near the main entrance of every residence hall. There are numerous emergency phones on campus and in parking lots that ring directly to Campus Safety when activated. This summer, cameras will be installed in several parking lots to improve our surveillance of activity.
Residence halls are locked from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Residents of each building have a unique key or access card to enter the building they reside in when it is locked.
When a threat to the college community is realized, an immediate alert is issued via the new Ram-Alert text messaging system and email with instructions about campus safety. Additionally, e-mail to all students, faculty, and staff, campus notices and other forms of communication will be used to provide accurate information about an incident and alleviate fears.
Support and the Goal of Prevention
All institutions share the same goal of preventing incidents of violence from happening. In this vein, providing support to students, obtaining accurate information about concerns, and acting appropriately on that information is essential.
Cornell’s Health and Counseling Centers offer free services to students. The Counseling Center, staffed with a full-time licensed psychologist and a part-time licensed counselor, provides general counseling to students and readily refers students with long-term, inpatient, or other specialized issues to area agencies and clinicians. The staff also conducts outreach and awareness programs.
Cornell requires students to carry health insurance and offers a supplemental program which could be used to access some mental health care outside of the campus. Also, simple processes are in place to accommodate students who may need to drop a course or temporarily leave the college to handle mental or medical health concerns.
Regarding students with potential behavioral issues, we want to learn as much as we can and as soon as we can, from the individual student and his or her parents, other students, parents, faculty, staff, and so on. The Dean of Students manages an early warning system that encourages community members to share information that concerns them. These could include academic, emotional, psychological, social adjustment, or relationship issues. This process is managed very carefully and situations are handled fairly for all parties involved. We take all information seriously, investigate concerns, and intervene when necessary to assist the student in question with having a safe and successful Cornell experience. Cornell operates in accordance with the federal Cleary Act.
If it is determined that a student cannot function in a healthy manner in the college environment, or there is concrete knowledge that a student’s behavior is a threat to himself or others, the College will make an informed decision and act to protect the safety of the student and others. Our response will be because of the threat, not because of who the person is, when or where the behavior happened, or if it might be related to a mental illness.
Admittedly, on all college campuses there are student behaviors some might consider weird or even scary. However, we urge people not to judge others based on stereotypes. Prejudicial actions associated with race, nationality, appearance, mental health, or other personal attributes will not be tolerated.