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Cornell University is committed to providing a safe environment for children and youth who participate in camps, programs, activities, and events.  In order to foster a safe environment faculty, staff, students, and volunteers will have a criminal background check and sex offender search completed before beginning work or volunteering with children and youth.

CYS Background Screening Applies to

  • Cornell University-affiliated staff members, faculty, or volunteers who provide custody, care, and supervision of children and youth in a university-sponsored camp, program, activity, and/or event either in person or virtually.

  • All student organizations and clubs working with children and youth either in person or virtually. 

  • Third-party camps, programs, activities, or events contracted through a Cornell University Sponsoring Office.


  • New York State-defined camps require an annual background check for Program Staff.

  • When camps, programs, activities, and events do not meet the NYS definition of a camp:

    • University employees will have an initial criminal background check and sex offender search prior to working with minors

    • Volunteers in a camp, program, activity, or event require a background check annually.

Background Check Completed By

  • University employees' background checks are completed by Cornell University Human Resources.

  • University volunteers' background checks are completed by the Children and Youth Safety office.

  • Third-party staff background checks are completed by the third-party.

  • For Camps (defined by NYS), New York State and counties Department of Health may enforce and conduct their own requirements for background checks under the Public Health Law through NYS systems.  

Background Check Clearance

  • When there are no criminal convictions noted in the background check report, the Program Staff may proceed.

  • When a criminal conviction is noted, the Program Staff will be requested to complete the Conviction Related Questionnaire. The questionnaire responses and background check report will be reviewed with the appropriate university officials for participation decision.