Visit Day

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This year (2013), admitted students will be arriving on the evening of 3/2 and will be staying until the evening of 3/4.

Venue Notes

Breakfast and Brunch

Statler Hotel

(Brad- 2013) Make sure to address dietary concerns of all students (ask in advance) particular concerns are

  • vegetarian
  • vegan
  • kosher/halal (we have a kosher dining hall, but this will have to be coordinated with Statler, if any prospective students have this requirement).

Great service, and they do everything for you, including signs to guide folks to the rear room. Reasonably formal, and makes us look good. However have to negotiate the entire menu early, try to find local foods:

  • unfiltered local cider rather than generic filtered juice
  • fresh squeezed rather than frozen orange / grapefruit juice
  • specify local maple syrup rather than generic sugar syrup
  • gimme coffee
  • piggery bacon
  • local dairy whipped cream (for pancakes or waffles)
  • ask them what local foods are available / in season
  • Make sure there is some protein as well as carbs, eggs, sausage, maybe quiche, as well as pancakes, muffins, bagels, coffee, tea, juice. Its going to be a long day. Beer at this event, while perhaps desired, doesn't always send the right message :).

Some other ideas:

  • make sure to recruit enough Cornell student volunteers so that there is at least one Cornell student at each table
  • make sure to get a good gender balance
  • if you are feeling particularly adventurous, try to label tables with broad research areas to get interest groups together
  • remember, we all know where this place is but they don't, make sure they have a map to the Statler AND where to go once inside!
    • They're staying at the Statler this year, so probably not such a big issue by brunch time...


  • Wear name-tags (name tags are appreciated by visitors too) and have at least 1/2 of the volunteers there 10-15 Minutes before the students arrive. Take turns guiding visitors to the dining room if it is not near the entrance.

Carriage House

Lunch and Dinner

  • Ale House - Does not take reservations.
  • Viva - Does not take reservations.


  • Johnson Museum (after dinner Sunday 2011). Usually good views, but it snowed pretty bad that year, so we couldn't see anything ;) Fairly expensive.
  • Big Red Barn (after dinner Sunday 2012). Very affordable (almost free if I remember correctly), so we had more money for food and other stuff. No spectacular views, although there are tables and board games.

Caterer Notes

  • The Big Red Barn is technically a Cornell dining location, so you'll need to use Cornell catering with the BRB (or bring your own food).

Activity Notes

Helen Newman Hall Bowling

Unknown if this has been tried before. Their website, when this wiki entry was written, lists that the lanes are closed on Sundays.

February 2013, I (Tom) asked about renting on Sunday for a private group. I was told that they only rent lanes on Sundays if the entire Bowling Center is rented out (for a large group event).

Campus Tours

  • Spring 2012 a brief tour was lead by the visit day czars.
  • In 2013, we hired 2 tour guides from the Office of Campus Information at $30 each. If you intend to do the same, be sure to let them know that the tour will be for potential GRADUATE students (not undergraduate students). The tour guides then made sure not to waste time on any undergraduate-specific information and simply gave us a really cool historic tour of Cornell, which included lots of interesting facts and myths about certain buildings and what-not. They told us the tour would last 45 minutes, but it only lasted 30 minutes. The cold weather may have had something to do with that. Overall, even though the tour is not CS-specific in any way, the tour was fun and recommended!

Lynah Rink Ice Skating

This was done during the Spring 2011 visit (if this author remembers correctly?). The website for Lynah Rink has a phone number for getting availabilities for ice time, but you have to physically go to the rink to reserve ice time.

Would probably be useful to talk to the Hockey Czars for help booking ice time. Jeff arranged it for the 2012 visit day.

Labs/spaces to visit

  • Systems
  • Graphics
  • Robotics
  • Measurement (one of only 3? spherical gantries in the world)
  • Creative Machines (Hod Lipson's lab)
  • Comp Bio (possibly show off one of the wet labs)

Tips and Afterthoughts

  • If doing an after dinner party on Sunday, hype it up a lot. In 2012 I don't think we hyped it up/bugged people enough, and had a fairly low turnout.
    • 2013: Yes! The more people that show up to this, the better! Also, don't forget NAME-TAGS!!!
  • Be prepared for snow. Or warm weather. March is unpredictable. There will be students from all over, some of them might not be aware of how cold it can get here, so having an extra coat/hat or two handy might be helpful.
  • Remind international students they'll need their passports if you plan on going to any bars.
  • It's possible there'll be students under 21, so have a backup plan if you're going to any bars.
  • Make sure to have one person on point for late flights/travel fails. Put their phone # in the hand-outs and keep them up-to-date so they can direct people as they get in. This job kind of sucks (may end up missing quite a bit), but it's really important.

Year Specific Notes

Visit Day 2014

Visit Day 2013

Visit Day 2012

See Also