The following information will help you prepare for the 2016-2017 academic year spring closing (most information is also applicable to any student who is checking out of a room mid-year). More information will be added as it becomes available. If you have questions that are not addressed here, please contact our office.

Closing dates

Students must vacate their residence hall room at the time indicated:

  • Thursday, May 11, 2017: All non-graduating students must be checked out of their room for summer break by 11 a.m. Students staying in summer housing for the entire summer will stay in their current room until they receive additional directions from Residence Life (learn more about summer housing options).
  • Sunday, May 14, 2016: All residence halls close and all students must be checked out of their rooms by 6 p.m.

The Residence Life office occasionally gets requests for students wanting to stay later than the dates listed above. Selected students deemed essential for closing the residence halls and/or for Commencement are permitted to check out by the second closing. In each of these cases, the supervising department will cover all housing and meal plan expenses for the student(s).

Students not with a sponsoring department should expect that the above dates reflect the latest that they can check out of the residence halls. Staff members from housekeeping, facilities and residence life are preparing for commencement and are unable to accommodate late stay requests from individuals not with a sponsoring department. If extenuating circumstances exist that the student believes would warrant a later move-out, then the student should contact their appropriate assistant director. If an exception is made, the student would be charged a daily late stay fee for housing expenses; the student would not have an active meal plan and so would need to pay out of pocket to eat in the dining hall. Students should make summer housing leases with the above dates in mind.

A resident who has a sibling graduating this year from Cornell College will be approved to stay through Sunday; however, that student will not have an active meal plan and so would need to pay out of pocket to eat in the dining hall after breakfast on Thursday.

Checkout procedures

To ensure a smooth checkout, please refer the following checklist:

  1. Sign up: Sign up with your current RA or apartment and house manager for a time to check out of your room.
  2. Remove personal items: Personal belongings such as couches, desks, carpet and boxes must be removed from student rooms prior to checkout. These items may not be left in the hallway. Personal refrigerators must be removed from campus; because they contain harmful chemicals, refrigerators may not be disposed of in landfills (and consequently cannot be left in trash closets or in dumpsters). Organizations that can recycle refrigerators and televisions include Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency, CSG Appliance Recycling and Best Buy (Best Buy currently accepts many televisions but does not accept refrigerators); many organizations charge a small disposal fee. If you have food or other items in the community refrigerator or cupboards in your building, please remove those items prior to checkout.
  3. Remove trash: Take all garbage to the dumpster provided outside of the buildings (residents may be charged for garbage piled in hallways, in the garbage rooms or left in student rooms).
  4. Remove tape: Completely remove tape and other adhesives from walls, doors and windows (tape removal is the most common damage charge at checkout).
  5. Rearrange furniture: The furniture in the room must be in the same condition and arrangement as when you checked into the room. All college furniture must be in the room and correctly assembled. Drawers and cupboards should be emptied and wiped down. Residents with modular furniture will need to return the modular furniture to its original configuration. Extra pins should be returned to the RA Office.
  6. Clean: You must sweep and, if necessary, mop your floor before checking out.
  7. Secure your room: Close and lock all windows and your room door prior to departure.
  8. Return keys: At your checkout appointment, turn in your keys to your RA or apartment and house manager. The role of the residence life staff member at checkout is to collect keys. RAs and building managers are not responsible for assessing damage charges, nor can they provide assurances that a student will not be charged for damages. The best assurance is to return the room to its original condition.


A limited supply of boxes is available at the Hilltop Café. Students interested in these should ask at the register in the dining hall. Though a supply is available, there will not be enough to meet every student's needs. As such, students are still encouraged to explore other options (like asking family to bring some from home or using reusable plastic totes).

Dumpsters and donation drop-off

The College will place additional dumpsters around campus. All trash closets will be locked when these dumpsters are in place, and so all trash should be taken to the dumpsters. In addition, the College will designate locations to take donatable items (clothes, food, etc.).

Dumpsters are tentatively scheduled to be placed in the following locations:

  • In front of Pfeiffer Hall
  • In the Smith Hall parking lot
  • In front of Merner Hall
  • In front of Olin Hall
  • In the Russell Hall parking lot
  • In front of Bowman-Carter Hall

A large donation truck will be available in front of Merner Hall.  An additional donation van will be available outside of Tarr Hall through Friday, May 12 and then will be moved to Russell Hall for Saturday, May 13 and Sunday May 14.

Please remember to remove all items from the residence halls. Trash should be taken to the dumpsters and donatable items should be taken to the trucks. At no time should anyone enter dumpsters on campus to retrieve discarded items. Residents of a building may be charged if items (including trash) are left in the halls. For a list of items that can be donated, please refer to Goodwill's website.

Late check-out

Only graduating seniors, summer housing residents staying for the entire summer and students who are authorized by the Residence Life Office may stay past the initial residence hall closing deadline (please refer to our list of important dates for those specific dates and times). Students who do not move out within the appropriate timeframe will be assessed a $25.00 fine for failing to follow checkout procedures and an additional $25.00 fine for each hour past the deadline.

Storage (including storage pods)

All residence hall storage rooms will be emptied over the summer. Storage of personal property on campus over the summer is not possible. Refer to a list of off-campus storage companies compiled by the Information Desk. It is each student's responsibility to arrange for storage of his or her belongings. We recommend that several students share a storage unit to help maximize space usage and save money. The availability of storage units is limited in the area, so do not hesitate to coordinate storage early.

Also, Cornell College occasionally receives requests from students who want to use commercial storage pods as a means of moving their things in or out. The College can permit a limited number of storage pods to be stationed on campus. Requests will be honored in the order in which they are received. Refer to our information on storage pods for complete details.

Damage to student rooms

Staff from Facilities Services and Residence Life will inspect student rooms after the halls close to determine necessary repairs and assess damage and cleaning fees as appropriate. Room damages are billed to student accounts through Business Services. Refer to list of approximate damage charges as determined by Facilities Services. Costs include materials, labor and overhead.

Damage to common areas

Residents of a floor or residence hall are responsible for damage done to the common areas of their residence hall. A common area is one generally used by, or available to, all residents of the hall. These areas include, but are not necessarily limited to, kitchens, lounge areas, bathrooms, hallways, laundry rooms and stairways. If damage occurs to property located on a floor or in a common area, the Residence Life Office will attempt to determine who is responsible for the damage. In the event that an individual cannot be identified, costs of the repair/replacement will be assessed to residents of the floor and building involved. Residence hall damages are billed to student accounts through Business Services.

Excessive cleaning cost from garbage and furniture left behind in the hallways, storage rooms and lounges is considered common area damage and will be charged to all members of the floor. As noted above, refrigerators cannot be left in trash closets or in dumpsters. A disposal fee will be charged to residents for any refrigerator left in a trash closet or in a dumpster.

Parking during move-out

On Wednesday, April 26:

  • Parking spaces immediately behind Merner and Olin (O-lot north row) will close to accommodate a dumpster and truck for donations for discarding of your belongings. If you are parked in these spaces, please move your vehicle to any other open student lot on campus by 6 p.m. on this date.

On Tuesday, May 9:

  • The remaining parking  spaces behind Merner and Olin (O-lot south side) will close to allow for move-out traffic flow on Wednesday, May 10. If you are parked in these spaces, please move your vehicle to any other open student lot on campus by 6 p.m. on this date. These parking spaces will re-open on Thursday, May 11 at 2 p.m. and close at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 13 for move out following Commencement.

On Friday, May 12:

  • All student vehicles must be removed from the Russell Hall (M-lot) by 6 p.m.
  • Those vehicles may be moved to any other open student lot on campus.
  • The Russell Hall parking lot will temporarily reopen from 9 a.m. until noon and 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 13 and from noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 14. During those times only vehicles with a move-out pass (obtained from Residence Life) will be allowed to use this lot.

On Saturday, May 13:

  • All student vehicles must be removed from D-Lot (facilities) by 6 p.m.
  • All student vehicles must be removed from S-Lot (front lot of Sports Center) by 6 p.m.
  •  If you are parked in either of these lots, please move your vehicle by 6 p.m. on this date to A-lot (Sports Center North Lot), J-lot (Smith Hall Lot), F-lot (Along College Blvd N) or E-lot( Across from Armstrong House).

By Monday, May 15:

  • All students with a vehicle staying on campus over the summer must have their vehicle registered with Campus Safety for summer parking (learn more about summer parking).

General tips and expectations related to parking during move-out:

  • Parking is not permitted in any of the following areas: (1) on the grass, with the exception of designated area in from of Pfeiffer, Dows and Tarr; (2) in fire lanes; or (3) in reserved parking spaces or handicap parking spaces without proper authorization.
  • 15-minute parking spaces are for use for 15 minutes only.
  • Do not leave vehicles unlocked at anytime.
  • Do not leave items next to your vehicle or open rooms unattended.
  • Keep serial numbers and descriptions (or pictures) of valuable items in a safe place.
  • Parking or driving is not permitted on the Ped Mall (except in designated areas near Bowman-Carter Hall).
  • All students leaving campus must take their vehicle with them. No summer storage/parking is permitted. Any vehicle left abandoned will be towed off campus at the owner's expense.

Meal plans

Meal plans will end on Thursday, May 11 after breakfast. Between lunch on Thursday, May 11 and brunch on Sunday, May 14, the only students who will be permitted to use their meal plan are those for whom a department is paying for their meals (graduating seniors and those non-graduating seniors who are working for a department to help with Commencement and/or closing). Students for whom a department is paying for their meals will be restricted to one meal per meal period; no carry-out options will be available.

Summer residents and other students who are on campus will be able to pay out of pocket to eat in the dining hall but will not be permitted to use their meal plan.

Flex dollars that come with the 14 meal plan will expire at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10; the declining balance dollars that a student adds to his or her own card roll over to next year. Users who register their meal plan account can check their flex dollars balance.

Hilltop Café:

  • Beginning with dinner on Wednesday, May 10, the dining hall will switch to special hours through dinner on Saturday, May 13. The only meal served on Sunday, May 14 will be the special graduation lunch. Refer to Dining Services website for the block break schedule.

Zamora's Market:

Computer access

The Law Hall computer lab will close at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 11. Refer to Information Technology's website for more details. The Cole Library will have modified hours during Commencement Weekend. Refer to the library's website for hours.

Getting to and from the airport

If you will be traveling and don't have a car, you can refer to a list of transportation suggestions compiled by the the Thomas Commons Information Desk. You will find the College's electronic need a ride board as well as information on commercial transportation opportunities.