Ask a Dean Category: Student Life

Can international students travel abroad over winter break and are there specific disadvantages to doing so?

Hello Deans, I’m writing an email to ask some questions about international students’ travel after Thanksgiving. Can international students with F1 visas travel abroad from the end of November (when school goes online) until the end of the winter break? I understand that it’s strongly discouraged, but I want to clearly ask if it’s legally…

How can I find out about the petition process and the different reduced testing frequencies that will be available?

Dear Deans:  Cornell’s Surveillance Testing program says a petition process for graduate research degree students to qualify for reduced testing frequency will be available in early September. How can I find out about the petition process and the different reduced testing frequencies that will be available? -Curious About Surveillance Response Dear Curious About Surveillance: Thank…

Can you consider posting the following mental health resource?

Dear Grad School Deans, The following might be a useful service if someone is feeling stressed/lonely. You could consider including it in the weekly announcements. Good alternate resource if people can’t get an appointment with Cornell Counseling. I used it yesterday and it was helpful. (There are enough disclaimers before the start of the call…

What should grad students’ expectations be of the TGIF schedule throughout the semester?

Hello Deans, I am in total support of the university’s measures to take good care of all its collaborators with respect to the spread of COVID-19, but I’m concerned about the implications to BRB’s TGIFs. What should our – grad students’ – expectations be about the maintenance of TGIF’s schedule throughout the semester? Best regards,…

Can the country-specific language be removed from the original COVID-19 Ask a Dean message?

Dear Dean, I recently came across this post when searching for information about COVID-19 on the Cornell website. I find the wording of the original Ask a Dean message may infer an unnecessary and incorrect correlation between COVID-19 and the Chinese students who study at Cornell University. This may consequently result in misinformation to other…

In response to the recent anti-Asian and anti-Chinese views, what specific steps is Cornell taking to ensure the integrity of anti-discrimination policies?

Dear Deans, I had a question for the Ask a Dean column. I am submitting because it concerns an event that really every graduate student had an opportunity to experience, since it was in the newsletter—although so far I am not sure how many of my colleagues will have seen it by the time I…

What are grad students supposed to eat when campus dining is closed?

Dear Deans, What are grad students supposed to eat outside of the standard academic calendar? Considering 35 percent of the student population is graduate students, it would be nice if even 35 percent of the dining options were open for normal hours. I’m sure this would benefit faculty/staff too since this time is not considered…

How can we assure ourselves a parking place on campus?

Dear Deans, My fellow graduate students and some staff in our labs pay over $750 a year for access to the parking lots labeled ‘SC’ (the only permit available to us). This academic year, the parking situation has been absolutely untenable; arriving after ~9:30am (or leaving and coming back) makes it impossible to find a…