Especially for Residential Staff

This page is for staff in Residential & New Student Programs and the West Campus House System. As staff member, you are a natural advocate for health and well-being. We are grateful for your partnership!

Residential staff are in a unique position to:

  • shape a healthy living/learning environment

  • encourage students to get timely care and assistance

  • connect with Cornell Health to get information, facilitate a connection, provide feedback, or offer consultation/advice

Share resources with residents

For over 20  years, we have helped hundreds of GCAs and RAs share current information about health topics such as sleep, stress, sexual health, sexual violence, alcohol and other drugs, and more.  

Please become familiar with our:

  • Health Campaigns & Materials: "Passive programs" in the form of bulletin boards, bathroom stall readers, and posters,helps establish a climate of wellness, caring, and mutual accountability within your living space  

  • Fact Sheet Library: You can help direct residents / community members to  information on a dozens of popular health topics

  • Programming for Students: Program planning & technical assistance is available through the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives

Assist students in distress

Staff members who live in and/or work with students in a campus (or another Cornell-related) residence are essential to our student support network. Part of the role of Residential staff is to notice students exhibiting early warning signs of distress, and to respond by engaging them in conversation, and offering support and resources.

Student stressors (e.g., noise, lack of sleep, erratic nutrition, roommate challenges) and symptoms (e.g. use of alcohol or other drugs, isolation, binging / purging) are often exhibited within their "home environment." Residential staff are in a unique position to offer:

  • a sense of supportive community (e.g., care and concern, limits and boundaries, refuge and encouragement, and guidance in the unfolding process of student development

  • health advocacy (e.g., validate the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, illness and injury prevention, and value of early intervention/treatment when problems arise)

  • knowledge of resources (e.g., options for getting help & support). Residential staff are not expected to take on the role of therapist or counselor, but are encouraged to refer students, and/or to consult and collaborate with others when unsure about how best to support a resident.

  • connection with a Patient Advocate at Cornell Health