LINDSEY BRAY: Hello, Cornell families. Welcome. So glad to have you joining us today. I'm Lindsey Bray. I'm the Director of Parent and Family Programs here at Cornell University. My office serves as a central resource for all of our Cornell parents and families, and we offer a variety of events and services for you all, including our Becoming Big Red Cornell First Year Family Conversation series.
So thank you so much for joining us live or watching the recording later. If you have any questions during the session, please use the Q&A function to submit those. We are unable to unmute any of our attendees to ask questions. And we'll do our best to answer all of your questions during our time here.
So we will also be including links in the chat for any of the resources that we mention. And if you're watching this later, they'll be included in the description as well.
So again, welcome. Thank you so much for joining us today. So our topic for this week is living and dining at Cornell. So we're going to discuss the logistics of what it means to live on campus, a brief overview of move-in, because we do have a more in-depth one coming later in the summer for you all a little closer to time, kind of what to bring, what not to bring to campus, the community of living on campus, along with future options, meal plans, and dining on our campus.
So we've got a lot to cover today with our guests. So today with us we have Kristen Loparco, who is our Director of Housing. Abby Priehs, the Director of Residential Life. And Karen Brown, our Senior Director of Campus Life, Marketing, and Communication. Kristen, Abby, Karen, thank you so much for joining us. Excited to have you all here today and answer our questions from our Parent Week.
They have lots of housing questions for very obvious reasons. So we're going to get started with Kristen. Can you tell us a little bit about housing? So our students received their housing assignments earlier this month. Can you give us a little bit of an overview of what housing looks like at Cornell?
KRISTEN LOPARCO: And I'll probably ping to Abby if we're talking about residential communities and what life looks like at Cornell. But as far as the housing pieces, students have received their housing assignments. The deadline to sign the housing contract or the housing license is coming up here shortly, the 25th of June. So folks want to make sure that they have that deadline on the calendar.
It is also important to note, please have your students sign the license if they are interested in a swap, and I can address that in a bit. But the license does need to be signed in order to participate in that process.
And [AUDIO OUT] arrival to campus early in July, so that information will include everything about the arrival of where to go to pick up the keys, where to go to pick up the Cornell ID card, kind of what that arrival process and move-in process looks like for the residence halls.
So that's kind of specific to arriving to campus and more of that-- like I said, more of that information will be available early July. Are there-- is there anything specific people want to know about? Many students-- they've all received their housing assignments, so they could have been placed into a first-year residence hall. They could have been placed into a program house. So really, all the communities.
And if Abby wants to speak a little bit to that piece. But each community has its own vibrance and is run by a professional staff and student staff. And so Abby, I'll let [AUDIO OUT]
LINDSEY BRAY: Yeah, Abby, we'll turn it over to you. Tell us a little bit about what it means to live on campus at Cornell.
ABBY PRIEHS: So to further elaborate based on Kristen's descriptions, we do have a variety of options for our students throughout the campus. They're located on North, South, and West Campus.
And so these all have either the thematic part, which we call our program houses, which are these living, learning communities that are either theme-based based on interest or identity-based, sort of to create community. There are portions of sections of campus that are primarily for our first-year students, others who are for our second-year students.
As many of you probably know, we have a two-year residency requirement, so our first and second-year students need to live on campus for their first two years. And we really believe that this is helping them most with their transition and success while they're with us at Cornell. And all those types of buildings and their nuances are also available on our website so if you wanted to know about each of the specific ones and the buildings that they-- or the students that they host in those buildings that live there.
And so fourth, what we do-- we have changed in the past few years where it used to be that North Campus was considered first-your housing and South Campus and West was upper division students, and that is not the case anymore. And so we have really expanded our offerings for students in both the returning and first-year experience, so they are all over campus, except for South, which tends to-- and West, which tends to be just returning students. So you would see that at the second year and above.
So those give you a lot of different options, but we have many of them. And they all vary in size. Some have as small as 20-something students up to 500-and-something students. So it really depends on the size of the building and those experiences where they have.
LINDSEY BRAY: You mentioned the two-year live on requirement for our family-- or for our students. Can you tell us a little bit and our parents a little bit more about that requirement and the importance of that really for our students?
ABBY PRIEHS: Yep, absolutely. We're really excited about this. This is actually just coming into its full life because it was just changed a few years ago. Not only were we seeing more success for our students when they lived with us longer, particularly in those developmental first and second years-- because there's a lot of transition going on, right? And not having to worry about setting up utilities or not having to worry about transport off campus once they leave and go back to their apartments or wherever that might be.
But what we have seen also is that the research tells us that for our students, by living on campus their GPAs are higher. They have transitioned-- sort of the social emotional transition is better for them when they're on campus as opposed to off. They are exposed to lots of different people that they probably wouldn't get to live in an environment like this, which we find extremely beneficial for their development, as they get to know people who maybe grew up in different parts of the world or had a different family structure, or whatever that might be.
And there's a lot of research to show how much they gain from that on top of the fact that we have full-time staff that are available 24/7 throughout the entire academic year. And so no matter the time if something happens or if there's a crisis or a situation, we always have staff available that students can find us.
And so not only do we have Resident Advisors or RAs that are located on the floors where the students live where they are sort of seen as sort of college-age resource mentors of sorts, but we also have full-time staff who live in. And these are people who are highly trained, both at the student staff and the full-time staff, to be there to help students in their transition here at Cornell.
LINDSEY BRAY: Really great. And that's helpful for our families to know why it is that this two-year requirement is so important for our students to help them along the way. So one of the questions as well too, you mentioned program houses. And so can you talk a little bit about what those are and how they might be a little bit different than another residential hall?
ABBY PRIEHS: As I mentioned, these are living, learning communities where there might be a focus on a general interest. So you might have students who are interested in art or in music or different creative performance, that kind of thing. So they have those abilities to live in those kind of communities with people who have some of those similar interests, which really helps them build relationships and connections in those spaces just really based on that from the get-go.
We also have identity theme building. So if you are a student who is part of an underrepresented group, you might choose to live there because your transition to Cornell might look different than other students. And helping you find community in those spaces is really beneficial. And so we've created those spaces as well based for our Latinx students, those who identify as Black or African American. And that's been something that's been really beneficial.
We have also an LGBT community as well for our students. And so they found that not only living in the residence hall community is really helpful, but also finding people that they can connect to on a different level, kind of go from the get-go has been really helpful for them. And so those program houses are based on that.
And all of this has been generated out of student interest. So those were not necessarily based on the staff at Cornell saying, we need these kind of houses or we need these kind of communities, but this is really based on students telling us what they wanted, and those were created from there.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's so important too, you know? So we really want our students and our families to know, this is really based on what students want as well as part of this too.
So kind of getting-- as well, one of the questions we always get from families too is about faculty interaction in the residence halls. Can you tell us a little bit about if that's an option and how that might work?
ABBY PRIEHS: Yes. So yes, this is actually an experience that all students can have across all of the halls. We do have a specific faculty learning program called Faculty and Residents who actually live in the buildings with the students. So that's their full-time residence. They live there with their families. They are a part of the programming structure and the connection to the staff.
And they provide a number of opportunities to connect. They have them in their homes. They might have them come over for coffee, talk about some kind of academic-related interest, that kind of thing. And so those are all located in all of our first-year buildings.
The rest of the buildings actually also have what we call faculty fellows or community fellows. And so those are also people who are faculty and staff at Cornell who have a particular interest in those buildings and connecting with those students. And so that's a really unique opportunity for them to get to know the faculty outside the classroom and see that they are real people who care about them, and really also want to assist in their transition to Cornell, and all the things that they can provide in their expertise.
We have asked them, can you talk to students about how to utilize office hours or their faculty, or are there different interests that you have, which they can connect on on an academic end? So that's been a really beneficial experience for our students as they get to connect to those faculty and staff who care about their transition as well, and they choose to live with them in the buildings.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's great. Such a unique opportunity for our students. So as we're kind of talking about housing, there's obviously a lot of questions around, what does a residence hall look like? So could we talk a little bit about those options?
Obviously, each of our halls are a little bit different, but let's talk a little bit about those options for our students. They've been assigned their housing. Is there a way for them to see a video or view it in person or anything like that to kind of helps them get a sense of, what's included, what's not included as they're planning this summer? Kristen, do you want to take that one, or--
KRISTEN LOPARCO: [INAUDIBLE] And I might have some help from Karen who can definitely talk about our marketing piece. So we do not do touring of individual buildings. So families and students during a tour, if you're coming to campus and participating in our campus tours, you would not be able to visit the inside of a residence halls, as we are utilizing them all summer for camps, right? We've got camps, conferences. We are 24/7 busy here on this campus. But I'm going to pass it to Karen to talk a little bit about what we have available online for you to be able to view.
KAREN BROWN: Thanks, Kristen. So we do have a number of students-- student-led tours of our facilities that are on our YouTube channel, and they're really fun to watch, and they're very exciting. And we'll have some more up the summer. We're excited about that as well. So we've hired some folks to come in and do some tours where we can get into rooms that are not otherwise occupied by our conference guests and our summer camp guests, and just try to show the ethos of the buildings and what it looks like if you set up your room here.
So we'll also be working on getting some kind of diagrams related to the floor plans. We can't show floor plans on our website due to some of our restrictions on campus, but we can kind of show that a triple looks like this, and the beds are set up this way. And so those will be online shortly, and folks will be able to tour virtually that way, I think.
And then we're trying to get some drone footage too so you can just see the lay of the campus, and especially North Campus and what it looks like, and just how pretty it is during the summertime. So if you're going to visit, please come here. It's so pretty here during the summertime.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's so true. It is beautiful during the summer. And in the fall. All the seasons, right? It's beautiful all the seasons. Well, that's really great to know. Our families were very interested in that and understanding that process, so that'll be really helpful for them as they're planning-- planning this summer as well.
So Kristen, you mentioned just a little bit, but can we talk a little bit about move-in and times? And how is that working for our students to pick their times or to know their move-in day?
KRISTEN LOPARCO: Absolutely. So we will be releasing time slot sign-up in early July when we release all of our arrival information. In the interim, we do suggest looking at our website because we do have a wonderful page that is up that gives you the schedule of buildings. So that's really what you're going to go by. It's that you will be able to pick your time and day based off of the building schedule.
Many of our buildings, especially first-year buildings, our larger first-year buildings are available both days, Monday and Tuesday. Many are not, right? Some are just a one-day move-in, so I'd really just pay attention to that. So you can go ahead and make your plans now based off of that schedule. And then as soon as we release the time slot sign-up, you'll be able to actually-- your student will actually be able to go in and select the time of arrival.
They're basically half-hour increments. And what we are stressing also, as you will see, the information we'll be releasing we'll talk about arrival and a place-- a different place off campus that you'll be picking up keys and IDs. So you'll want to arrive at least an hour prior to your time slot.
LINDSEY BRAY: That is incredibly helpful for our families as they're planning out their summers and getting ready. We do have some of our students who are, whether they're international or maybe they're doing some of our pre-orientation programming. Can you speak a little bit about how that might be a little bit different and maybe if they're going to get different communication or where that might come from too?
KRISTEN LOPARCO: So Prepare students-- so specifically Prepare students who are participating in the Prepare, our international students, they will be receiving a lot of information directly from Prepare. But we'll also be communicating with them because their arrival will be a specific day, which will be Sunday the 13th during a specific time frame. So I would just watch for an email-- emails from housing and emails from Prepare with more information around arrival on that particular day.
Those students would also not-- would either not be selecting a time slot or would be selecting a pre-arrival time slot. So we'll have that information in the template as well.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's really good to know as they're planning those early. There is obviously also the question when it comes to move-in if a family has a conflict or would like to move in early. What if any options are available to request?
KRISTEN LOPARCO: So early arrival is very limited. Obviously, if there are conflicts students are able to select in the portal when they're selecting their time slots. They will be able to select on the following pages an exception request, and we will be processing those. If you're not able to make your specific day and time, we will work to accommodate you.
Early arrivals are very limited, but if it does need to happen, I would just go ahead and have your student, once that opens, submit an exception, and we'll work through that with you and your student.
LINDSEY BRAY: As we're talking as well, there's always-- families always kind of have the question of, how are housing assignments made? Can you speak to that and just a general overview of how those are made?
KRISTEN LOPARCO: Housing assignments for first year students are made randomly by auto allocation based off of preference. So when students submit their housing application, they preference communities, or they would also preference-- and they can preference in order by single, double, triple. So we would take all of those preferences, and we put it into an auto allocation in our housing system, and that is how we make housing assignments.
So if a student requested an all-female residence hall, we would do our best to place them there based off of that preference. If students preferenced a specific program house, they would go into that particular program house, provided we have space for the amount of applications. And for all students who request a residence hall, just a first-year experience, all of those applications were taken and auto assigned randomly.
And now, housing assignments do look different as your student progresses as a rise in self-selection process that we will begin advertising for in the fall. So students will be getting more information pertaining to that. And that is a general room selection for rising sophomores, so for current first-year students, which is a lottery process. But again, it's a self-selection, so we'll talk a lot more about that in the fall.
LINDSEY BRAY: And that's really good to know as-- thank you for that-- as our parents are planning and knowing-- and understanding the system as well along the way so they have a better understanding of that. And that selection process for future years too comes up very quickly, so we're always excited as our students stay on with us as well.
So talking a little bit more about move-in, are there resources available as our families are planning this summer with their students of maybe what they should bring and what they shouldn't bring? I don't know if Kirsten or Karen want to take this who might be-- or even Abby, [INAUDIBLE] might be easy. [LAUGHS]
KRISTEN LOPARCO: Certainly. So yes, there are. Everything is on our website. So I would absolutely use our website as kind of your main resource. We will be sending information linking to the websites as well, again, in early July. But our website does have a specific move-in selection-- section-- that's sort of [INAUDIBLE] section with what to bring, what not to bring, so please do review that.
There are larger items, right? It's really important for folks to understand that air conditioners are not allowed. Most of our-- or air filter-- or any air filtration. We do have a few that are, like some of our newer buildings, so that is important to note.
It also is important to note that the majority of our residence halls are also carpeted. So I always like to point this out because if there are concerns around air conditioning and carpet and there are medical conditions to make sure that you're reaching out to Student Disability Services to talk through that about what that [AUDIO OUT] is there anything you wanted to add?
KAREN BROWN: I think-- I'd also like to add that we contract with a student-run agency called Big Red Shipping and Storage. And it's a great resource if you want to just ship items that will go directly to your room prior to arrival. It'll be waiting there for you. Don't have to worry about bringing it and pulling it out of your van or car, and it'll be in your space.
We also have a great partnership with our Cornell Store team and DormCo that have a variety of options for things that your student might like to have in their room. We can also get those placed in the room prior to arrival so you don't have to worry about bringing those things.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's a really wonderful resource that we're able to provide where it's just-- it's there when they arrive. We'll make sure and put links over there and those dates. That would be the biggest thing is make sure and if you want to order anything, order it by that date.
So as well as part of this too-- and as I said, families will get in a little bit more nitty gritty into our move-in later in the summer as you're preparing more. But as our parents are preparing, can one of you give us a brief overview of what move-in looks like for our families who have never done a college move-in before?
KRISTEN LOPARCO: Sure. I'll start. And then of course, Abby and Karen, if you'd like to contribute, please do. So for new students, we will start the move-in, again, an hour-- at least an hour ahead of your selected time slot, and you will start at the Ithaca-- the Shops at Ithaca Mall.
And that's where students will check in. They'll receive their keys, their ID card, lots of other orientation information, meal cards for your visit, right? A lot of pertinent information.
Then what will happen is we'll direct you to A lot, which is going to be the car holding queue for move-in. So once you arrive to A lot, which is on Cornell campus, there'll be a team, a move-in team there to greet you to put you into your residence hall move-in queues. And then you'll be dispatched and sent to your move-in unloading location, which will be very close to the hall that your student's moving into.
So from there, your student will sign out bins. The cars will be unloaded. We'll ask one person, guest, to stay with the vehicle. Once the car is unloaded, that person will then drive the car to our designated parking locations, which will be mostly on Central and a little bit further than Central Campus to park for the day.
And then we will offer shuttles. We'll have shuttles running continuously to shuttle people back to North Campus. Shuttles will be also be available for orientation if you're going to Kennedy Hall and various places like that. So that is the basic rundown of what you would experience that day.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's really great. We appreciate that for our families to understand the system and how it's all going to work. So as we get into-- we talked a little bit about what it means to live in the halls, but the other important part that our families always are concerned about is food and where their student is going to eat.
Karen, I would love to talk with you a little bit about dining and those meal plans. So many of our families have checked out their student's to-do list for them, and they've seen on there that students have that unlimited meal plan. Can you tell them a little bit about what that looks like, what is all included? It says unlimited, but what's included in that, and how that works for students.
KAREN BROWN: Absolutely. The food here is great. I can personally attest to that. As part of our residential-- our two-year residential requirement that we have, we also require meal plans for students who live in on-campus housing. That unlimited plan will be automatically assigned to all students who are moving in this fall. And based on where students will be assigned in their buildings, there may be an opportunity to change it.
But the unlimited meal plan is designed to help with food insecurity issues and make sure that students have access to healthy meals throughout the day. And the unlimited portion of it is that they can eat in any of our 10 all you care to eat residential dining rooms as many times as they want to throughout the day.
And using our reusable container program can take meals with them, can make sure that if they're on Central Campus and they don't feel like they have time to get back in enough time during the day between classes, then they have a meal that they can take with them. It also comes with the Big Red Bucks.
The unlimited meal plan was designed to replace a lower meal plan that we used to have for the same price, and it's covered by financial aid, which is very, very important for everyone to be able to do that. The Big Red Bucks can be used in any of our 20 cafes and coffeehouses to purchase a salad or a sandwich or just a latte or whatever a student might want during that period.
And for those students who have special dietary needs, we have a great team led by Michelle Nardi, our registered dietician and nutritionist, who can help guide students or design meal plans for them, or make sure that they have access to what they need based on, do they need gluten-free? Do they need-- are they vegans? Are they vegetarians?
Let's help students to find those resources on campus where they can meet. And she's ready with her team to meet with students and make those choices and decisions a little bit easier for everybody.
We have a wonderful all you care to eat facility in Risley residential dining that is gluten-free, tree nut-free, peanut-free facility that students find-- well, it's very popular, but students find it very easy to navigate those things there knowing that we're certified there in that facility.
And there are just-- there are options all over campus. We have kosher meals. We have halal meals. We have just about anything that you can think of, I think. So I think you'll find the meal plan to be really, really helpful.
LINDSEY BRAY: Yeah, I would agree. The dining options on campus have been really wonderful to get to check out, and there's always something for everybody. And really do try and make sure that all of our students are enjoying themselves while they're here on campus. As families are kind of thinking about this, just to clarify this is the only option for our first-year students, correct?
KAREN BROWN: Correct. It is the only option for the first-year students at this point, unless something changes with their building designation. And most of the time, that's not going to happen, so yeah. So when students are transfers, they might experience something different. Maybe they'll be in a different part of campus and they can reduce to a different meal plan or they swap out to something that might be different. But yeah, we will automatically enroll students in the unlimited meal plan.
LINDSEY BRAY: Perfect. So your student can never complain about never having enough food because there's always options all over campus early and late as well. So you mentioned to-go boxes as well. And so we've had a few questions in the chat around fridges in the residence halls. So can we talk a little bit about what that might look like and what options are for that? I don't know if Karen or Kristen want to jump in on that one.
KRISTEN LOPARCO: Sure. So we do have a preferred vendor for MicroFridges. That information is also on our website and will also be included in our move-in information as well, MicroFridge. So students are able to rent a MicroFridge, which is a combination of a microwave and refrigerator. So that is a great option to rent that for the year.
We do suggest that as students are able to bring small micro-- micro-- I'm sorry. They're able to bring small refrigerators within specific designations of square feet and cubic inches, and that is also on the website to make sure that you have the correct size.
However, microwaves are not allowed. So those are prohibited in rooms. So I would highly encourage, if your student is looking for something, if they eat a lot of oatmeal or eat a lot of things that need to be microwaved in the morning or at night to have a snack, I would definitely recommend renting a MicroFridge. And that's something they would probably want to talk to their roommate about if they're in a double or a triple to see-- I've seen students have more than one, but that's certainly something to think about of trying to coordinate what students are bringing.
ABBY PRIEHS: I will say as an aside, if you don't believe that your student knows how to properly operate a microwave, [LAUGHS] we would highly encourage you to show them how to do that before they come. And I only say that as a laughable thing, but very much a reality, because our students tend to set off the fire alarms in the buildings because they're not totally sure how to use their microwaves quite yet.
And so that will-- as they use that, they will probably not make a lot of friends if they send out a bunch of people at 3 o'clock in the morning because they didn't put water in their Easy Mac. So just a thing for you to chat with your students about.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's a really good point. A few things to make sure your student knows how to do. The other one of that, which I'd love to talk about, is laundry. So can one of you talk a little bit about the laundry services available in the residence halls? What's available? And are there other laundry services that might be available? And something else they might need to learn this summer too.
KRISTEN LOPARCO: Yeah, absolutely. So each residence hall does have a laundry facility which houses-- depending on which residence hall you're in, anywhere from three and up of washing machines and dryers. We currently-- and we'll send more information about this of how to add money. We suggest not adding money now and waiting until we send you more information in early July or even until you arrive on campus, just because we are in the process of working through a laundry system change.
So there could be multiple ways to add money to a student's laundry account, depending on what building your student's living in, whether it's app-based, whether it would need to be downloaded on a smartphone or a tablet, or whether it's controlled by the Cornell ID. And so we'll keep you posted on that. We'll have more information in the coming months of how to proceed with that based off of where your student's living. But for now, I would not worry about adding laundry funds. We will tell you how to do that.
LINDSEY BRAY: But do you make sure your student knows how to do laundry. [LAUGHS] Another one. We don't-- another one. Do not overflow the washer or burn anything, or something like that. So one of those key adulting skills for our students.
One of the-- one of the other questions that we've had around the halls is, do any of them have any kitchens, or are there communal fridges or communal microwaves where-- as they're kind of thinking through their options?
ABBY PRIEHS: Those are available in almost every building. Most of the buildings have communal kitchens as well as an oven and refrigerator storage. We will say this, though. [LAUGHS] It's really important that the student doesn't put anything in there specifically just for them that they wouldn't be sad if someone decided to gobble it up themselves. So while we always try to-- you and I know this. We work in an office where you share a fridge. Sometimes there's a risk that someone might take it. And many of these kitchens will also have pots and pans and some different things like that that students can then use to make things on their own.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's really helpful to know is there as they're planning. And some of our students can bring a full set of dishes and pots and pans if they want, or you can just bring the bare basics and use a fork and a paper plate. All sorts of options out there for our students and what they want to do.
So as we're kind of thinking and helping our families plan, we mentioned a little bit about moving forward through the year. So Abby, can you tell us a little bit about what that break looks like? So when students go home, whether it's fall break or that larger winter break or even spring break, what does housing look like at this point for our students, and what do they need to do in terms of that?
ABBY PRIEHS: So during the academic year, there is only one point where we actually fully close most of the residence halls, and that's during winter break. We are completely open during fall break, spring break, because we know we have a lot of students who aren't able to go somewhere for a variety of reasons, and so we remain open.
For those students who are looking for winter break housing options during that about month period, we have that information for them to know about what that cost might be. And they have the whole entire process put up there about how they go ahead and register for that.
It's important that as you review the contract-- the dates are on the website-- about when we close the buildings. Some students, it creeps up on them and they forget, and then they plan flights and they do stuff after we've already closed. So it's really important that as you think about those things because we know that sometimes if you're flying or those kinds of things, they can get pretty expensive. So we want to make sure that students are preparing for what that looks like and what possibly they're going to need, particularly when we are closed mostly during the winter break.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's really helpful for our students to know as well. And I think Karen mentioned too about that sophomore year housing. Can you tell families a little bit about that process and when students might need to be aware of thinking about that next year for them as they're getting ready for that?
KRISTEN LOPARCO: I think it's super important for everyone to understand that students can stay with us all four years, and we have room for that. And we love to welcome juniors and seniors into our housing that may not automatically think of that as an option.
But we have a ton of sophomore housing, and it's still part of the residential requirement. And we're excited to welcome students to stay in on-campus housing in those spaces or to apply to stay in affiliated housing, which could be in the Greek system or one of our co-ops or one of the Center for Jewish Living and those spaces.
So we have plenty of on-campus space available for rising sophomores. And we're starting right now, actually, to figure out how to communicate all of that to our rising sophomores that will be living with us in the fall so that they know well in advance what deadlines and ideas are for their coming years.
LINDSEY BRAY: And that is helpful as families are planning and getting that next step so they're not signing a housing lease off campus for that second year. As well for transfers, just want to confirm that because there's been a couple of questions around that as well. So they also have a two-year live-on requirement as well for our transfer students, correct?
KRISTEN LOPARCO: So fall transfers have a one-year residential requirement. So it would be the first two semesters that they're with us or thereabouts. And spring transfers that come in in the spring would be that semester they're with us and then the following year.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's a helpful clarification for our families. Thank you so much for that one. So as we kind of wrap up today, one of the questions I always love to ask our panelists is, what are the-- what are the real things that you would wish our parents and families would know as they're kind of helping their student prepare to come to Cornell for the next few years?
So Karen, I would like to start with you, if you wouldn't mind. Are there any pieces of advice that you would give, whether it's about housing and dining or just in general about Cornell?
KAREN BROWN: I think what's really important to us is that when we send out information to students and parents that folks are really paying attention to it and getting to us if they have questions early on so that we're not scrambling at the last minute to try to overcome some obstacle while they're trying to move in. And if we can address it before they arrive, then that would be great.
LINDSEY BRAY: And Kristen, do you have a piece of advice for our families as they're helping their students?
KRISTEN LOPARCO: Same. [LAUGHS] Please-- I think it's important to please do have students read and pay attention to the emails and the communications that we send, and to also not be afraid to reach out, right? We have-- I have a team of really caring and talented people, as well as Abby, the Res Life team. So that goes for all of us in Housing and Residential Life, as well as Karen who also oversees one of our popular emails as well.
Email us. Call us. Come and see us. Utilize us. We're here as a resource. We want if you have [AUDIO OUT]
--questions, ask them, right? There should never be a, I'm not sure. I don't know. If you don't know, ask us. We've got lots of [AUDIO OUT] so never be afraid to reach out.
LINDSEY BRAY: And that's a great point. Always-- so you can always reach out. And Abby, last but certainly not least.
ABBY PRIEHS: So I will also reiterate what Kristen said about their connection and asking questions and reaching out. Whether it's your first student or your 10th who might have gone to college, that transition can look different for each of them. And so while they think they have it figured out, sometimes they don't. And it's OK to say I don't, and I need help. And we just-- we want to hear from them and find out how we can assist them in being as successful as possible at Cornell while they're with us.
One thing I will say is that however you-- we ask families to start talking about communication plans with their students. So many times, that was not a conversation that you had until after they're already here.
And so what will happen is you'll think you're going to talk to them three, four times a day and text them and FaceTime, or whatever it might be, and they only want to talk to you once a week. And so there's definitely a difference in that connection point because they're like, I'm at school. I'm doing my thing. And you're worried about them because they're away from you maybe for the first time for an extended period.
So we really encourage families to have those conversations with them because we know that you might worry if you don't hear from them. And it can be everything from them going to Starbucks for coffee or talking to a friend or their phone have been-- didn't have no battery life. So if you haven't figured that out yet, have that conversation. Know that it might change.
And also know when they're calling you, many times-- we want to be a partner with you in all of this. And when they're calling you, sometimes because you're their family, you're hearing worst case scenario. And so really helping to sort of advise them through what they can do to take ownership of any kind of transition or challenges that they're facing and how to navigate that process.
So we really-- at the end of these four years, we really want to make sure that they will be these full-fledged, functioning adults who can do all of this on their own. And so the more you can help in the advisement piece of helping them navigate that, but also encouraging them to reach out on their own and ask [INAUDIBLE] help really helps them with their transition from the beginning.
LINDSEY BRAY: And that's such great points for our families as they're thinking through this summer, and really those conversations. And have those early with your student to remind them of your expectations and those communications and things like that with them. So thank you for sharing that so much.
So we are going to wrap up, kind of come to the end. We are going to answer as many of your questions in the Q&A. So we're going to stick around and answer those.
But just thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you, Abby and Kristen and Karen, for taking your time to answer our family's questions. These are such important topics to our families. They always really want to make sure that their student has that roof over their head, is happy and healthy, and yummy food in their bellies. So we appreciate you taking that time and understanding all of their concerns, so thank you so much.
So for our families, this session has been recorded. We will have this up on our website, our Becoming Big Red website for you in about five to 10 business days to get it up there for you, so if you need a refresher later on or need to ask any questions along the way. We'll also link it in one of our next editions of our newsletter too.
But I do hope you all can join us for our next one. So we've got three in a row. So next week, we've got another one coming up about our Cornell logistics. So that's going to be about books, parking, transportation, paying that bill, those other big things that we know our families also want to know about.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to my office, email@example.com, or you can always check out our website as well. So thank you all so much for joining us. We really appreciate it, and we'll see you next week.
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The Becoming Big Red: Cornell First-Year Families Conversation Series is hosted by the Cornell University Office of Parent & Family Programs. Our topic is Living and Dining at Cornell. Joined by Kristen Loparco, Director of Housing, Abby Preihs, the Director of Residential Life, and Karen Brown, Senior Director of Campus Life Marketing and Communications, we discussed living on campus, the benefits, housing options, dining options and student requirements.