NARRATOR: The Office of New Student Programs welcomes you to the Cornell Family Orientation Video Information series. We've created this video series to provide information and connect you to the services, programming, and support available to Cornell students. In each installment, we will introduce you to the Cornell University staff and administrators who work closely with students. You will also hear student voices that will give you a closer look at the Cornell student experience.
At the conclusion of each video, you will find contact information so that you can follow up as needed. You are also welcome to reach out to the staff in New Student Programs. In this video about health and safety, we will introduce you to Sharon McMullen, the Assistant Vice President of Student and Campus Life for Health and Well-Being.
This session also features an overview of Cornell Health Services, and you will meet Cornell Health clinicians who provide medical and mental health care to students. They discuss their whole-person approach to supporting student health and provide information about COVID-19 safety precautions. Finally, the chief of the Cornell University Police describes the department's philosophy and work on campus and shares additional safety tips.
SHARON MCMULLEN: Hello, and welcome to families of new Cornellians from across the globe. I'm delighted to welcome you to the Cornell community. My name is Sharon McMullen. I'm assistant vice president of student and campus life for health and well-being, and I have the privilege to lead Cornell Health, a state-of-the-art college health center providing services to support students' physical and mental health and well-being through our Medical and Counseling and Psychological Services departments.
In addition, our Skorton Center for Health Initiatives works to promote positive culture change and to reduce risk through innovation in institutional leadership, education, research, and community engagement. Our Student Disability Services department works to ensure that all aspects of student life are accessible, equitable, and inclusive of individuals with disabilities.
Please check out our website at health.cornless.edu to see the many, many services and programs we provide to help your students live well to learn well. And I know that my colleagues from many of the departments in Cornell health will also be contributing to this orientation video for more details. I'd like to say a few words about access.
We strive to be accessible to your students when their needs arise. In addition to offering a robust suite of on-site services, our 24/7 phone consultation is available 365 days a year to ensure that students can connect with a health care provider and receive timely health advice and referrals when needed. We do all we can to make our services financially accessible to students. Coverage through both the student health insurance plan and the student health fee result in low out-of-pocket costs to students. You can find more information about financial accessibility on our website-- again health.cornell.edu.
As providers of medical and mental health care, we recognize the historical and systemic disparities that exist within these systems and within society at large. Our staff is committed to providing respectful, responsive care to all students. The COVID pandemic has served as a social X-ray, revealing fractures in society and acting as an inequality accelerator, widening health disparities among racial and cultural groups.
In the wake of racialized violence in our nation, I have so appreciated my Cornell Health colleagues' deep commitment to social justice and civil rights. We're reading as a unit Ibram Kennedy's book, How to Be an Antiracist, and engaging in many tough conversations in small and large groups. We're examining our services and challenging ourselves to address needs as they arise.
I've been very grateful for Cornell's new initiatives to promote racial justice announced by President Pollock on July 17. If ever your student experiences what feels like a barrier to seeking care at Cornell Health, I encourage them to be in touch by phone or email. We have patient advocates in every department, and I rely on candid student feedback to help us improve our systems and maintain our commitment to quality care.
Speaking of the pandemic, I'd like to share a few ways that Cornell Health has been preparing to provide care and services to your student during this unusual year. In January when we became aware of the novel coronavirus, as it was being called then, we quickly pulled together a leadership group to learn all that we could about the evolving situation and to stand up clinical services appropriate to the evolving outbreak.
By March, we had developed a telehealth service to allow for the continuity of medical and mental health care for students who had to precipitously leave campus in the middle of the spring semester. I've been deeply engaged in our institution's response to the pandemic for many months now, serving on the Committee for Teaching Reactivation Options as a member of the Health Consideration Subcommittee. And through that work, I've seen firsthand the shared commitment of colleagues from all corners of the institution to the health and safety of the student body.
My colleagues in Cornell Health and I have worked tirelessly to inform university reactivation plans with our evidence-based, medical, mental health, and public health expertise, and to ensure clinical services appropriate to the evolving needs. Please know that we are deeply connected to our excellent local health department as well as our local hospital system.
While there's no playbook for this type of situation, and it sometimes feels like we're building a plane in midair, I feel confident in our institution's principled approach of constantly re-evaluating circumstances and adjusting to meet evolving needs. Thank you for your time today, and again, welcome to Cornell.
MAN: Students have their own health center, Cornell Health, right on campus. All students are assigned their own medical provider, called a primary care provider, when they start at Cornell. You'll see your primary care provider or a member of the team if you get sick or injured or just want a general checkup. You can talk to your PCP about anything. They're your main point of contact who can connect you with specialists or other providers when needed.
WOMAN: With over 222 employees, Cornell Health offers lots of great services. You can get X-rays and lab work done or see a physical therapist or nutritionist. They also have their own pharmacy if you need to pick up medications or self-care supplies. If there's anything you need that Cornell Health doesn't offer, they'll help you find specialists in the area where you can get the care you need.
WOMAN: You can call Cornell Health or log to their secure patient portal, myCornellHealth, to find an appointment time that works with your class schedule. If it's easier to communicate with your provider in your native language, you can request to use Cornell Health's Language Line during your appointment, which is a telephone-based language translation service with more than 200 languages offered.
MAN: All of your care at Cornell Health is confidential, which means that your private health information isn't shared with anyone else. After an appointment or a trip to the pharmacy, your parents may see a generic Cornell Health charge on our bursar bill, but it's up to you how much you want to tell them about what the charge is for.
WOMAN: Lots of students also go to Cornell Health if they want to talk with a counselor. Cornell Health's Counseling and Psychological Services department, known as CAPS, has more than 40 counselors from diverse backgrounds. Their job is to meet with students who are struggling with anything from homesickness, culture shock, feeling like they don't fit in, to stress, sadness, and depression, and to help them feel the best they can so they can focus on their studies and enjoy life. Individual counseling is offered as well as group counseling.
WOMAN: Students who want to meet with a CAPS counselor can call or go online to schedule an appointment or stop by a Let's Talk site, where they can speak informally with a counselor any day of the week, Monday through Friday, at different campus locations. Let's Talk is free and confidential with no appointment necessary.
MAN: Anytime you have an urgent concern or are just unsure how to deal with a medical or mental health situation, you can also call Cornell Health 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When Cornell Health is closed, you will reach an on-call medical or mental health provider who can help you figure out what care is needed, and if necessary, can refer you to an urgent care provider nearby or to a local hospital.
MAN: In a life-threatening emergency, always call 9-1-1 first to call an ambulance or alert the police. This includes alcohol and mental health emergencies. For very serious injuries or illnesses, you will be taken by ambulance to the local hospital. Ambulance transports are for critical situations when care needs to be administered on the way there.
MAN: The healthier you are physically, mentally, and emotionally, the more you'll get out of your time at Cornell. Develop healthy habits to support your academic success. For example--
MAN: Make sure you get enough sleep. Try to aim for eight hours each night.
WOMAN: Eat well and find some time for exercise.
MAN: Find ways to connect with others. Join a team or a club. Feeling connected socially is an important part of taking care of your mental health.
WOMAN: Enjoy the natural beauty of the campus. Studies show that spending time in nature improves your mood and reduces stress.
MAN: Lots of students at Cornell don't drink, and most don't use other drugs either. But if you do drink, stick to beer to minimize the risks. And if you smoke or use e-cigarettes and want to quit, Cornell Health offers cessation supplies.
MAN: Get your flu shot every year. They're free at on-campus clinics each fall.
WOMAN: Learn to meditate. Meditation is an excellent stress reducer and can help you learn to focus and calm your mind. There are free guided meditation sessions on campus every day, Monday through Friday, called Let's Meditate.
MAN: Cornell Health's website has lots more tips and information to help you stay healthy so you can feel and do your best.
ANNE JONES: I'm Dr. Anne Jones, Medical Director at Cornell Health, and I want to warmly welcome you to the Cornell community during this fall semester. We at Cornell Health in the Medical department are committed to compassionate, empathic, and whole-person care here at our College Health Center at Cornell Health.
We know that physical health and mental health are integrated and interrelated, and we design our clinical services to ensure that each person is cared for with care, compassion, and empathy. We have used evidence-based protocols for many years and have focused our efforts on patient safety for decades. And now more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are ensuring that our care and our practice operations are designed to promote the best safe environment for both our staff and our patients.
There are many, many professionals in this department who work on many teams, and there is nothing in the work that we do where one person operates alone. We work together as a team with the inter-professional teams, the diverse representation of our staff to ensure that we have comprehensive care delivered to students at Cornell. And in the Medical department, that includes physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, administrative professionals, lab, pharmacy, and X-ray as well as nutrition, behavioral health, and physical therapy, all professionals working together to ensure that care needs are met when students need them and when they're ready to receive them.
And now I'd like to introduce you to my colleagues who work in those many roles and to let you know directly from them-- have them tell you about the care that they provide to students and the support that they provide as a team. Thank you.
KRISTI COFFELT: At Cornell Health, we are committed to making Cornell a healthy community by caring for each individual within it. We recognize that each student comes to us with a unique set of health care needs and goals, and we aim to provide an individualized experience that addresses those holistically.
That process begins with our trained clinical support staff, who are here to listen carefully to each student's needs, provide education about how to access care, including the broad scope of medical and mental health services offered at Cornell Health, and guide students for the services that best suit their health and wellness objectives.
Navigating the complex world of health care can be intimidating for college students, especially those who are away from home for the first time. Through our empathic, student-centered approach to customer service, we hope to empower students to build the skills they'll need to engage effectively in their own health care now and throughout their lives.
While we at Cornell Health have always welcomed our patients as partners in their own health care, as we face call the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we equip students to understand how to access care, take proactive, preventive measures to protect themselves, and advocate for their well-being. So if you're new to Cornell or just newly interested in what Cornell Health has to offer, we look forward to helping you stay healthy.
JESSICA MASSARO: Hi. My name is Jessica Massaro, and I'm a licensed clinical social worker by training and one of the behavioral health consultants here within the Medical Department at Cornell Health. We're so glad that you decided to join us here and wanted to take a moment to speak with you about how your health care remains the utmost priority despite the semester living a little bit different this year.
In my role, students are able to see me after being referred, typically by their primary care provider. BHCs, or Behavioral Health Consultants, see students typically for sleep concerns, stress management, mental health, sexual health concerns, tobacco cessation, or pretty much anything a student may be interested in addressing because we focus on integrated, whole-person holistic care within our medical department.
Although our BHC visits will predominantly be conducted through telehealth, you will still receive that same comprehensive service, resume visits, or phone visits if preferred, with each visit tailored to your specific, individualized need utilizing evidence-based practice. We work closely with our counseling colleagues as well as our medical colleagues, representing our shared values of providing supportive, empathic, and culturally affirming care.
ANNE JONES: As part of the COVID pandemic practice operations recommendations, we are limiting walk-in services at this time and ensuring that students are calling or accessing care through telehealth as much as possible. We're doing this to ensure that we're accurately triaging the needs of the campus community and only bringing students into the clinic who require in-person services or another diagnostic or therapeutic intervention.
As part of that plan, we have to ensure that the building is locked, but we do have door screeners who are located at the entrances to all of the buildings. And door screeners are conducting checks for symptoms, signs, and potential exposures of COVID to ensure that patients are routed through the building in the way that they need to be and also brought to appropriate testing as quickly as possible.
EDWARD KOPPEL: And we want to show to you what we're doing here at Cornell Health to make you feel confident that you can come here to get your medical care throughout the pandemic here, which we know has been really difficult for most of us. So I want to let you know, first of all, we're wearing our Personal Protective Equipment, which is PPE, to keep you safe and keep us safe as well. It includes face shields, N95 respirators, gloves, and gowns. And we make sure that we utilize this on every patient.
And we also have our patients wearing facemasks. Everybody wears facemasks in the building to keep the risk low for everybody. And we also have a new building that has state-of-the-art negative pressure rooms. These negative pressure rooms maintain the airflow that keeps the bacteria or virus, whatever is in the room, out of the building.
ANNE JONES: If a student in Ithaca has tested positive for COVID-19, here are some things to consider. They will be required to self-isolate for 14 days while they recover. Students who live on campus as well as students who live off campus and can't self-isolate where they are provided with isolation housing and meals.
Students are contacted each day by a Cornell Health nurse who will monitor their symptoms, provide consultation and care management by phone, and collaborate with the local hospital to provide care if needed. The Tompkins County Health Department is also in daily contact with those who have tested positive. For the most up-to-date information, visit covid.cornell.edu. This information will be available on the slides at the end of this presentation.
We have many health care items that are available at the pharmacy along with prescription medications that can be obtained there. There are over-the-counter items and self-care items that are available for smooth pickup at both the Ho Plaza entrance and also for curbside delivery at the level one loading dock entrance. And there, we'll have professionals who are able to bring medications or self-care items to students directly to avoid having to-- for the student to have to walk through the building, and again, to ensure proper safety and regulations while that is occurring.
SUSAN GEISLER: Hi. I'm Susan Geisler, Director of Cornell Physical Therapy. I just want to update you on our services during the COVID-19. We are currently in the clinic seeing post-operative patients and patients that we have to do manual or hands on. We are so fortunate that we are able to do many caring through telehealth. And I would say a great number of our visits are still in telehealth.
But if you do need to be seen in physical therapy, we are taking every precaution to avoid any transmission or any contact or any spread of COVID-19. You can see our space is pretty open. We have spaced out our treatment tables. We clean between all patients, and we're limiting patients to no more than three at a time within the clinic in order to space out.
TRACY SANGPRAKARN: I know that it's hard to see how much er care through all of this, but please know that we care deeply about your health, safety, and overall well-being.
ALECIA SUNDSMO: Hi. My name is Alecia Sundsmo, and I'm the director of Counseling and Psychological Services here at Cornell Health. I'm excited to give you a brief overview of our services and tell you a little bit about some of the changes we've been through as we've moved to a telehealth provision of service.
So here at CAPS, we have over 35 professionals who are working on behalf of the support of your students, making sure that they are given some of the treatment resources that they might need if they are struggling with their mental health as well as supporting their growth and development here at the institution. We are all here to promote the student success, and sometimes that is through supporting them through some normal developmental challenges as well as helping them with any mental illnesses that may arise during their time here.
Some of you may well be familiar with your students and mental health concerns that may pre-exist them coming to the university. But also, know that this is a common time for many mental health challenges to surface. Some of that, again, is related to some of the developmental needs that students have during this time as they first come off to college. They often are used to being extremely successful, and so some of those early challenges and even failures early on in their time here can just feel devastating.
And I hope that we can work together with you as families in support of students and continuing to promote that growth mindset and being able to learn from these challenges that come at them pretty early on in their academic career and help them really thrive through them. So here are some of the services that we offer in support of that. We have an initial appointment available for students within about one business day to make sure that they have rapid access to a mental health professional to consult about what's going on, get some tips and kind of a plan for care of what's next.
We do offer brief and short-term individual services if something ongoing is what they need. We also offer a wide variety of group programs, psychiatry services for students who might want medications in support of that, as well as some really awesome workshops and outreach programs where we can really meet students in a way to help promote their mental health and well-being through low-stigmatizing, really good access to programs like Let's Talk and other ways that they consult with us on a little more informal basis what they decide whether or not they may need some more ongoing care with us or in the community.
So we're really excited to offer you this breadth of services. I will introduce you to some of my staff here so that you can hear from them about their passion for their work and know that they have your students' best interest at heart in helping them be successful. This is an important challenge for families as they go through this developmental transition, and so we want to make sure that you know that in that, we are here to support you as well through the challenge. It is often the case that with health care laws and privacy laws, your students have transitioned to a place where they now have the right of privacy to their mental health care. However, that doesn't mean that we're not here for you as well to consult, even if we can't give you direct information about your student.
So do you want to just impress upon you, if you remember nothing else, that we are here to support you, to help you navigate the challenges. And please do continue to direct your students our way if it seems like they might be struggling with their mental health or need some additional support around how to be successful and thrive here at the institution. So with that, I'm going to turn the tables over to some of my colleagues here so that you can hear a little bit more about our services.
WAI-KWONG WONG: Hi. My name is Wai-Kwong Wong, and I'm the assistant director for Community-Based Services here on campus. I've been here over 20 years. I've seen, you know, probably more than my share of students over the time. And one of the challenges I've seen over that time, again and again, are students who are struggling, who are experiencing a lot of emotional or personal difficulties when they come in. We see this all the time-- students who are smart, motivated, dedicated students who want to do well, but they're struggling with various things, like depression, anxiety, all kinds of issues.
And as a result, they're having difficulty at school, socially, other areas, and they it just won't come in. People suggest they come in, and they just refuse. And overall, this is not something that's unique to Cornell. Less than a third of college students overall experiencing significant psychological distress actually seek counseling. And amongst teens of color, that number is even less. I think the numbers is only 28% of Latinx students, 26% of black students, and only 15% of Asian students actually seek counseling when they are in trouble.
And there are a lot of reasons why this might be. If you think about it, going to counseling is actually a pretty big ask. We're basically asking someone to open up to a total stranger and talk about personal problems. Stuff which might be painful, which might be embarrassing, which might be just intensely private.
And so I think it's a real challenge. But I do believe it takes a village to raise a college student. Counselors can be part of that village. And I think families are part of that village. Our professors, advisors-- we're all part of the village that can help a student get through on Cornell.
MAURICE HALTOM: So the main thing that parents can do is to be supportive and to be positive and to be encouraging and to minimize the degree to which there may be criticisms or accusations or anything that could cause a student to feel not supported, and also to develop and erect narratives that are counter-productive. A narrative, for example, could be that I'll never survive at Cornell. And I tell students, well, one thing we know for sure is that you would not be here if you were not capable, because Cornell is not in the business of admitting students who don't at least have the intellectual capacity as well as the capacity to handle this kind of stress. So let's get that out of the way.
Let's now look at the fact that you are here, you are capable. But now let's look at how we are thinking and how that thinking relates to how we feel physically, the kind of tensions we have. Do we have tremors? Do we have our body overheating? Do we have digestive issues? Do we have issues with regard to sleeping?
And so what parents can do is to take the edge off of the stress by ultimately being very, very open, very supportive, and very encouraging, and minimizing the extent to which there may be criticisms or doubts or an undermining of students' abilities.
KATHERINE GOLDBERG: I also am part of the Community Consultation and Intervention team, which helps align faculty and staff concerns around students and work as a real holding family around students that might not even know that they are in a place of challenge, but faculty and staff around them are concerned. And I want families to know that in addition to more traditional counseling services, we have a program called Let's Talk, which is and can be an anonymous drop-in consultation service where we as the CAPS counselors meet students where they are. Of course, pre-COVID, that meant being in all sorts of different buildings and spaces on campus to really see and students where they live and play and work.
Now, of course, it's online, so it's kind of a Let's Teletalk, which is even more accessible, actually, for a lot of students. And Let's Talk is a way to come in, chat with a counselor about whatever is going on. And there is no problem is too small or too big. And wherever that student is, whether it's stressed with their relationship, whether it's concern about an academic requirement, whether they're having issues in their housing, no matter what it is, that is the place to go.
Because that CAPS therapist in the Let's Talk session can then help that student assess, OK, is this something that is sufficient? This one chat in Let's Talk, I think, for many students, has really transformed their experience and helped them move forward. And they don't need or want anything else, and it's perfectly fine.
If that student in the course of that conversation at Let's Talk feels like, oh, wow, this actually wasn't so scary, and maybe it was really helpful to talk to someone, that's a great way to be connected to other people at CAPS in a more traditional way. So if you have a student, and you're hearing concerns as families, which you certainly may-- and it's so normal here-- and you're worried, I would really encourage you to say to your student, hey, I heard about this program called Let's Talk.
We have a website that will identify exactly what the schedule is and who the counselors are. If your student has a particular affinity for a counselor based on their bio, for example, you can even have that person try to find that therapist to talk to them. So the Let's Talk counselors, we love what we do. We participate in this program specifically because we believe in meeting students where they are and having them bring in whatever is on their mind because it's just so important to have someone to talk to.
Everybody needs help from time to time. So that's the messaging as well. No student is going to show up at college, especially in this environment of uncertainty, without stress and questions and worries. And they are all super duper normal, and we want students to come and talk to us about that.
CORY MYLER: A few things that seem to show up with some regularity are identity exploration. And I guess that's another thing that I really find heartening to work with people around. Cornell is lovely in lots of ways. The opportunities that Cornell provides are amazing. And it does tend to emphasize identity commitment. You've found a path. Now stay on it.
And that works very well for some students, and other students find that there's still a degree of exploration around their identity that they want to do. And it might be around their academic identity, or it might be around their relationship identity. So I think CAPS is a really valuable-- in a way, sort of a counterbalance to the commitment that the academic side of Cornell emphasizes where we can make a degree of space and safety for identity exploration. People can actually be curious about themselves, who they are. And I want to emphasize that if folks actually do take some time for that exploration and have that genuine curiosity about who they are and what they're into, then the academic stuff goes better.
The other thing that often shows up, especially for incoming students, is that often what worked in high school does not necessarily continue to work at Cornell. So they'll come to Cornell having succeeded at high school, having done really well, and of course, naturally, do the same thing, do what has worked. Now, sometimes it continues to work, but other times, it does not. And there's a requirement to find new ways of doing things.
SHEILA SINGH: Students often them don't have real deep relationships with each other and don't even know how to talk about deeper stuff. And so for many years, I have run groups at CAPS and brought students together in a confidential space where they don't have to worry so much about what the ramifications will be in their day-to-day lives of sharing. And they come together, and it affords them the opportunity to have-- many students have called them real conversations. These are the most real conversations I've ever had with people my own age and doing the same things I'm doing.
And then they learn what they take out of the group therapy room and apply it in their day-to-day lives to deepen their relationships and have that social connection that they really need. Because that's part of your safety net, is having other people out there who can bear your weight from time to time when you need them to.
APRIL CAMPANELLI: So I collaborate with other therapists, nutritionists, psychiatrists, and medical professionals to support students with disordered eating and body image concerns. The CHEP team also works to provide two different group therapy programs to students each semester. There's an introductory CHEP Education group that I run every semester, and there's also a CHEP Recovery group for students that are a little bit further along in their recovery so that they can get wraparound care from providers from different disciplines-- because as we know with disordered eating, that's super important-- but then also have a group therapy experience where they can relate to other students that may have had similar experiences and get that peer support and sense of community.
DAVID HONAN: Hi. My name is Dave Honan. I'm chief of the Cornell University Police, and we are the police department for the Cornell community, serving all of the law enforcement and community service needs of any traditional police department plus those specialized services that we have here at Cornell and any university would have. One thing important about our department is just to know who we are and our philosophy.
We serve as a vital link between those in need and the many resources, both on and off campus. I'm proud to lead this group of dedicated professionals who are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our diverse community of students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Our department promotes the concept that its employees are public safety service providers, and Cornell community members are our customers.
The Cornell Police continually strive to be the police department you can be proud of. We are committed to anti-biased and anti-racist policing and pledge to be partners to ensure all are treated with dignity and respect and to be here when you need us. If you ever have a question about concerns about our practices, policies, feel free to reach out to me or any of my staff at any time. We are on duty 24/7, 365 days a year.
In order to deliver the quality services that our community expects, we are an internationally accredited police department accredited by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. And we regularly train. And that's one thing I'm very proud of, is the amount of training and quality of training that we do here to make sure not only do we know the technical skills required to be the high-quality police department you want, but also the cultural skills to deliver those services the way our community expects.
Some of the services that we provide are regular patrol services. So you'll see somebody in a uniform much like my own out doing regular work that any police officer would be doing, but also providing services on campus, such as helping people find directions, responding to blue light phones, providing education. And certainly in the time of COVID right now, you'll see officers providing a little education about social distancing and facemasks when appropriate.
We also have plainclothes officers who are investigators. They handle our major crimes, dignitary protection, and some of the more complex investigations that we have here on campus. Our Investigations unit is also in charge of our lost and found. So if you ever lose something on campus, it will eventually make its way back to our police department in Barton Hall. And you can stop by there and see if it turns up. And if it's not there, you can fill out a card, and we'll help keep an eye out for it if we find it when we're doing our rounds on campus.
We also have full-time crime prevention officers that, in addition to providing education programming for almost any topic you can imagine, they also do consulting for any of our buildings and renovations on campus to make sure that they're designed and constructed in a safe manner to make sure our students, staff, and faculty are as safe as they can be while they're here.
We also run a 9-1-1 center. So when you call 607-255-1111, you'll be connected to our 9-1-1 center right here at Cornell. It does not go out to the county. And you'll have somebody that's Cornell-trained, that knows our campus, that knows our officers, knows where everything goes. But don't worry if you can't remember that number and you call 9-1-1 off a cell phone. Just advise them you're at Cornell, and you'd like to speak to the Cornell Police, and they'll transfer you over to our dispatch center to speak to one of our dispatchers here.
Our dispatcher is also-- [INAUDIBLE] one of the apps that we have. We do have a safety app. It's called Rave Guardian. I encourage you to go to our website at cupolice.cornell.edu to take a look at everything there, but also find a link to Rave Guardian. When you download the Rave Guardian, you can get information that you need for your safety. You can connect directly with my dispatch center.
You can also use that app to text or send photos, either with your name or anonymously, to the dispatch center. And you can also set up a virtual escort. So we used to provide a service where you could call, and somebody would walk with you wherever you're going. But in the days of COVID, people want to keep social distance.
So we've engaged with the Rave Guardian app to use the guardian piece of it. And you can set your guardians to be friends, family, and they can follow you while you're walking around campus. And if you set a timer, say you're going to be somewhere in 10 minutes, if you overrun that, your friends or family will be contacted that you've not arrived at your destination in time.
You can also set the Cornell Police as your guardian. The one thing you need to note is when you set us as your guardian during a virtual escort, we cannot see where you are. We can just see there is somebody using the app. We only can see a location or information once somebody overruns their expected arrival time. So there's more information on our website about the Rave Guardian app, but I encourage you to use it, and it's a fantastic way to connect with us.
One important safety thing that I need to discuss with everybody is gorge safety. They say Ithaca is gorgeous, and it certainly is. It's one of the things that drew me to this area. But the gorges, with all their beauty, can be extremely dangerous.
So if you're going to explore the gorges and take in the natural beauty, I really encourage you to follow all the safety rules, stay on marked trails, and do not swim in the gorges. It is very dangerous. There is a gorge safety website for more information, and you can find a map there that can show you where authorized swimming areas are. And that gorgesafety.cornell.edu.
We also have many blue light services. I already talked about our virtual blue light escort through the Rave Guardian, but we also have blue light buses, which are the TCAT buses that run in the evenings. You can use your Cornell ID to access those. And around campus, you'll see blue light phones everywhere.
All you have to do to access my dispatch center when you see a blue light phone is hit the button, and you're immediately connected to our dispatch center, who will know the location. And whether somebody talks or not, we will be sending an officer to that location to check. So it's a great way to connect with us, and it doesn't have to be for an emergency. You can use that phone anytime you need to connect with us. And connecting with us isn't just for police services. If you need information, if you need to be connected with another department, we're happy to be that connection between you and all the services that are available here at Cornell University.
Next, I'd like to introduce my deputy chief. Deputy Chief Anthony Bellamy is the deputy chief for Law Enforcement Services and Community Relations. And he is in charge of-- anytime you see somebody in a police uniform, they report to Deputy Chief Bellamy.
ANTHONY BELLAMY: Hello. Thank you, chief. [INAUDIBLE], my name is Anthony Bellamy. I am deputy chief here at Cornell University Police Department in charge of law enforcement operations and community engagement. And I'm excited that you're all coming here to Cornell in these trying times. And we're all going to work together to provide you a safe atmosphere.
All right. So since this is an exciting time for you and you may have a lot of questions or concerns, feel free to contact me with your ideas or concerns that may arise while you're here at the university. And you can reach the police department at 607-255-1111.
NARRATOR: Thank you for watching this installment of the Family Orientation Video Information series. We hope that you will join us for the other sessions in the series, which are listed here.
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The Office of New Student Programs created this six-part video series to educate and connect you to the services, programming, and support available to Cornell students. Each video is approximately 40 minutes long. In this video you will meet clinicians from Cornell Health and leaders from the Cornell University Police Department, who will discuss their whole-person approach to supporting the health and safety of Cornell students.