(Photo of Cornell's Arts Quad, courtesy of the university)

ITHACA, N.Y. –– In a letter to the campus community Thursday night, Provost Michael Kotlikoff and Vice President for Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi told the Cornell campus community the administration was making changes to move-in quarantine protocol ahead of the impending fall semester.

This is just the latest in what is sure to be a multitude of updates ahead of Cornell’s September start date as the university continues to push towards an in-person semester despite concerns from the larger community.

Cornell will no longer be providing accommodations for students traveling to Ithaca from within the United States to quarantine after move-in, according to the letter from Kotlikoff and Lombardi. That means students from any of the 34 states on the New York travel advisory list living on campus will have to find their own accommodations to quarantine for 14 days in New York prior to moving into their campus housing.

This is a change to the plan Cornell had originally laid out, as local hotel rooms were rented as part of a plan to allow for more oversight by the university ensuring that their students were actually quarantining and following protocol.

“Please know that we both understand and share in your frustration and very much regret the challenge this has posed in trying to finalize plans for the coming semester,” the letter states. “Despite these challenges, we continue to plan for a residential experience this fall and remain confident about our abilities to safely reactivate campus.”

Students unable to quarantine for 14 days in New York, or in a state not currently under the NYS travel advisory, are being asked to begin the semester online.

However, Cornell has made an exception to their new protocol –– students facing “personal hardship” who are unable to arrange their own quarantine accommodations, and cannot remain at their permanent residence while effectively engaging in online learning can request to quarantine on campus.

International students will still be provided with accommodations to quarantine by Cornell housing.

A behavioral compact for students to sign which holds them accountable to social distancing regulations is expected to come out in the coming weeks, and course pre-registration is slated for next week, meaning that Cornell does not expect to back out of in-person learning.

For students with questions about move-in and what to expect in the upcoming semester, Vice President Lombardi will host a forum on the topic on Friday, July 31 at 12:30 p.m.

“We continue to appreciate your patience and flexibility as we prepare to begin this extraordinary semester,” the letter concludes.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com