Ask a Dean Category: Student Life

Is there a mailing list, website, or calendar where I can find out about upcoming talks?

Dear Deans, I have had the chance to hear some really cool speakers while here at Cornell. I wish, though, that it was easier to find out about interesting speakers outside my discipline. My undergrad had a monthly forum with outside speakers (Bryan Stevenson, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Hillary Clinton, Doris Kearns Goodwin…) and weekly forums with…

Why are we still being charged the semesterly Student Activity Fee?

Hi Deans, I’m wondering why we’re still being charged the semesterly Student Activity Fee when there’s been a noted lack of activities on campus this semester. Surely the cost of running virtual events and the moratorium on expensing food/refreshments for those student groups that do meet for allowed in-person events cannot compare to what it…

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…