Student Code of Conduct

The standards of conduct articulated in Cornell University’s Campus Code of Conduct (Code) reflect the principles of the entire Cornell community. The checks and balances in the disciplinary system ensure Code enforcement remains true to these principles. Additionally, the Code relies on Cornell University Policy 6.4, Prohibited Discrimination, Protected-Status Harassment, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Assault and Violence  to provide the procedures to resolve sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations, which also has checks and balances consistent with the Code’s principles. It is up to each individual community member to understand the principles to ensure that our shared living-learning environment meets our community standards.

In November 2017, President Pollack asked the University Assembly (UA) to take a holistic look at the Campus Code of Conduct. The president encouraged the UA to work with her Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate to examine specific substantive concerns, such as the definition of harassment, and to address the overriding concerns that the Code is too legalistic, punitive, unreadable and, in some cases, even inconsistent.
The following spring (of 2018), a set of recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate further spoke to the need for significant modifications to Code. The new Student Code of Conduct and Procedures, approved by the Cornell University Board of Trustees in December of 2020, is a synthesis of those drafts, further enhanced by significant community input. As such, it represents the culmination of several years of work by the campus community.

Cornell University Core Values:
In 2019, the university adopted a set of core values that will serve as the foundation for a more equitable and inclusive atmosphere for all Cornell campuses.

Purposeful Discovery

We value the process of discovery through learning, teaching, scholarship, and innovation to advance the University’s mission, in all cases striving with integrity for excellence and purpose. The search for and the dissemination of knowledge are tightly linked: as A. D. White noted, “The power of discovering truth and the power of imparting it are almost invariably found together.”
Free and Open Inquiry and Expression
We are a community whose very purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. We value free and open inquiry and expression—tenets that underlie academic freedom—even of ideas some may consider wrong or offensive. Inherent in this commitment is the corollary freedom to engage in reasoned opposition to messages to which one objects.
A Community of Belonging
As a university founded to be a place where “…any person can find instruction…,” we value diversity and inclusion, and we strive to be a welcoming, caring, and equitable community where students, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn, innovate, and work in an environment of respect, and feel empowered to engage in any community conversation.
Exploration across Boundaries
Ezra Cornell embraced a vision that we would be a place to “…find instruction in any study.” To that end, we value the importance of all academic disciplines and celebrate the power of connections among them.
Changing Lives through Public Engagement
As the land-grant institution of New York, with our main campus within the ancestral homelands of the Cayuga Nation and a long history of national and international connections, we value engagement in our community, our state, and the broader world, learning about their needs and strengths, and applying the knowledge we create for the benefit of society.
Respect for the Natural Environment
We value our role in advancing solutions for a sustainable future and we recognize the close relationship between people and the Earth, acting in ways to live and work sustainably.