Cornell Quaranzine

November 2, 2020

Dear Community,

This semester is a truly challenging time to be a college student. And while Cornell students have navigated significant challenges at various points throughout history, this year will certainly be remembered long into the future. Here you are—more than half way through the fall—having carefully moved through each day and responding to the best of your abilities. And while it is hard work, you are doing it!

As individuals and as a community, we will continue to face the ongoing uncertainties of COVID-19, extreme weather events due to climate change, political and racial violence in the U.S. and across the globe, and implications related to the pending results of the current U.S. election. In order to manage these multiple points of stress, it will be imperative that we continue to care for ourselves and for one another. Remember: it can be helpful to focus on the things you can control (like exercising your right to vote), connect with others in spaces of support, and do what you can, alone or with others, to cultivate a sense of hope within your circles of influence.

Wherever you are on the stress continuum (from wearing pajamas for 3 days straight, to perfecting your art as a Zen master), there are likely others at Cornell who are feeling like you do. We are here for you… with lots of suggestions in this week's Quaranzine to support your overall health and well-being!

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Performing Acts of Kindness Can Boost Both Physical Health and Happiness Levels, Study Finds

According to new research published by the American Psychological Association:

“Prosocial behavior—altruism, cooperation, trust, and compassion—are all necessary ingredients of a harmonious and well-functioning society,” said lead author Bryant P.H. Hui, PhD, a research assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong. “It is part of the shared culture of humankind, and our analysis shows that it also contributes to mental and physical health.”

Read more:

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Coping with Election Week - Special Wellness Workshops

Monday, November 2- Friday, November 6

Register here Once you have registered, you will be emailed the Zoom links to each of the sessions below.

Monday, Nov 2 at 3 pm: Meditation for Mental and Physical Relaxation
Join Ruth Merle-Doyle for a 30-minute guided meditation to ease the tension of the mind and body. All levels of experience welcome, especially beginner or anyone who feels stressed to their limits.

Tuesday, Nov 3 at 9 am: Meditation for Riding Out the Storm
Join this 20-minute meditation, provided by Kerry Howell, on election day, to claim a few moments of self-care to re-ground yourself and find a sense of peace and calm in the eye of a storm.

Wednesday, Nov 4 at noon: De-Stress Desk Stretches
Join Jeremy Stewart from Cornell Wellness for an interactive zoom workshop where you will have the opportunity to relax some muscle groups and body areas that get cranky when we start to feel stressed. Take 30-minutes out of your day to move and release build up tension through a series stretches shown to help relax the mind and body.

Thursday, Nov 5 at noon: Meditation for Acceptance
No matter your political affiliation, who won or lost, if you voted independent or with a primary party, here we are now. Right now, right here. Join Keri Johnson, Wellness & Fitness Specialist, to help bring you back to homeostasis. During this session, we will find our individual, new centers of existence, while internally identifying what we can control, and what we cannot. From there we will explore ways to alter, adapt, and accept these new times ahead.

Friday, Nov 6 at 1 pm: Compassion Meditation
Join Ruth Merle-Doyle for a 30-minute compassion meditation. We will use our time to focus on breath and softening of the body, mind and spirit while we use compassionate mantra to wish ourselves and others freedom from distress and anxiety. All levels of experience welcome, especially beginner or anyone who feels stressed to their limits.

Contact Ruth Merle-Doyle, Cornell Wellness staff, with any questions or concerns.

Post-Election Events for Graduate and Professional Students and Postdocs

The 2020 U.S. election cycle has been historically divisive. Many people, including graduate students and postdocs, have felt elevated levels of stress, concern, and anxiety due to the uncertainty and to this year’s many additional stressors. The Graduate School and our partners are offering the following programs to support the mental health and well-being of community members during what continues to be an extraordinary and unprecedented time.

Feeling stress or anxiety around Election 2020?

Zoom into "Elect & Reflect" to get some support for your mental and spiritual wellbeing.

Throughout the days on both 11/3 and 11/4, Let's Meditate! guides, CURW Chaplains, and members of the Dean of Students team will host a virtual space inviting you to reflect, meditate, and get some perspective. Guided reflection/meditation spaces will happen at select times on these dates between 9am-5pm and last for 15 minutes. Open to all members of the Cornell community. Log on to the "Elect & Reflect" zoom room here

OR see the schedule and log-in here:

Co-sponsored by Cornell Health, the Office of the Dean of Students, and Cornell United Religious Work.

Use this IDP Guide for Civil Discourse Across Social Identities and/or Political Lines

IDP 2020 Election Guide: Best practices when discussing emotionally heavy topics that impact differently across social identity groups
When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress. Then other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and endorphins come into play too. The endorphins act as a mild pain reliever, whereas the serotonin is an antidepressant. One study even suggests that smiling can help us recover faster from stress and reduce our heart rate. In fact, it might even be worth your while to fake a smile and see where it gets you. There’s been some evidence that forcing a smile can still bring you a boost in your mood and happiness level.

It turns out the benefits of smiling aren’t just limited to yourself — it can also affect those around you too. The reward center of our brain is activated and it makes us feel a little better when we receive smile from someone else. Plus, one Swedish study suggests that we can’t help but react with a smile of our own when we see someone smiling — so it’s an all-out infectious loop of happiness.

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Let's Keep COVID Down!

With the change of season, shorter days and cooler temps, more people will naturally be spending more time indoors. Public health behavioral recommendations to keep COVID low are more important than ever! So, be that trendsetter and wear your mask indoors, practice "safer six" and get a flu shot if you haven't already done so.

New Downtown COVID Testing Site - Especially for Graduate & Professional Students

· On Friday, Oct. 23, the university opened a new downtown testing site at 130 E. Seneca Street (across from the Ithaca Commons at the intersection of Seneca and Tioga Streets). The new site is designed primarily to support testing for graduate and professional students living nearby or who are not regularly reporting to campus.

· Scheduling for the site is available in the Daily Check portal and will operate four days per week, Friday to Monday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The university testing team will monitor usage and adjust operational days and times when necessary.


Sign Choir

Sign Choir meets every Thursday from 6-7pm on Zoom to learn ASL vocabulary and pop songs translated into ASL. No experience is necessary and everyone is welcome!

Click here to attend event.

Sponsored by CUDAP - Cornell University Deaf Awareness Project.

CAPS Drop-In (Virtual) Workshops


Tuesday November 3rd, 3:00-4:00

Zehra Kaya, PhD


Wednesday November 4th, 2:00-3:00

Karen Williams, PhD


Thursday November 5th, 2:00-3:00

Wai-Kwong Wong, PhD


Thursday November 5th, 3:30-4:30

Thaddeus Bates, LMSW

Talk/Test Resources

If you find yourself struggling or in need of someone to talk to, know that you are not alone.

The following resources are here to support you:

Cornell Resources

  • Cornell Health phone consultation (24/7): 607-255-5155

  • EARS peer counselors phone consultation 3-11pm M-F; 7-11pm S/S: 607-255-3277

Ithaca Resources (24/7)

National Talk-Lines (24/7)

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

  • Trevor Project hotline (LGBTQ+): 866-488-7386

  • LGBT+ National Hotline: 888-843-4564

  • TransLifeline: 877-565-8860

National Text/Chat Services

  • National Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741

  • Steve Fund crisis text line: Text STEVE to 741741 (connects you to a counselor of color)

  • Trevor Project text line (LGBTQ+): Text START to 678678

National Suicide Prevention "Lifeline CHAT" service:

Get in Touch