The mission of Cornell University’s Student Support and Advocacy Services is to assist students in navigating difficult life events and crisis situations that have the potential to impact their ability to be successful in and out of the classroom. Previously known as Care and Crisis Services, the newly reimagined office utilizes a student-centered and individualized approach to holistically support and empower undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
Positioned within the Office of the Dean of Students, in Student and Campus Life, the office serves as the central point of contact for students, families, and community members, and collaborates with campus partners to holistically support students through a trauma-informed lens, as they navigate challenging and distressing life circumstances.
“The Office of the Dean of Students functions as advocates and supporters of students and their Cornell experience,” said Marla Love, Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students. “Student Support and Advocacy Services embodies our purpose in their work as facilitators, guides, and connectors when students are experiencing situations where support is critical and needed.”
Greta Kenney, senior associate dean of students for student support and advocacy services, said the office has been doing important work for a long time. “For many years, though, it’s been behind-the-scenes, and this reimagining is, in part, about making the work more visible—putting it out there, so students and the broader Cornell community know we’re a resource.”
The office recently launched a new website, which it hopes will help increase visibility of its resources and focus areas, which include campus-wide student support and crisis response services. Case management consists of building 1-on-1 helping relationships with students while coaching them toward resources, self-care, and self-advocacy.
Students can also get connected to Day-time support by walking in the office at 200 Willard Straight Hall or calling the office at 607-254-8598. After-hour support is available from an Administrator On-Call (previously called Crisis Managers) for students who are navigating high-level and time sensitive distressing situations.
“There are trends we’re seeing nationally – including at Cornell – that college students’ mental health challenges are up, while resiliency and sense of belonging may be down,” Kenney said. “One positive that we’re seeing, I believe, is an increase in students seeking out …….