Oct 31, 2020  
2017–2018 Student Handbook 
2017–2018 Student Handbook [ARCHIVED]

Campus Life

For the duration of your studies, The Culinary Institute of America is the focal point of your life. That’s why we offer many opportunities to make your stay with us as fulfilling and enjoyable as possible. We encourage you to positively contribute to extracurricular life on campus. This section details campus life and the various services available to you.

Campus Life

Student Affairs Division and Staff

The staff of student affairs is available as resources for issues, concerns, or problems that may arise as you progress through your college experience. The staff is prepared to assist in solving problems directly or in making appropriate referrals. Issues affecting the quality of student life, discipline, personal safety, alcohol/drug awareness, and student interactions are examples of reasons to visit our student affairs staff. We are committed to helping you be successful, so feel free to come in and see us if you have any issue you wish to discuss. The following offices and staff will assist you with your student affairs needs at each campus:

New York

Student Affairs Office, Student Commons Room 236

Residence Life Office, Student Commons Room 221

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Student Commons Room 218

Student Health Services, Roth Hall, lower level

Student Activities, Recreation, and Athletics, Student Commons Room 014

International Student Affairs, Student Commons Room 200


Student Affairs Assistant

Director—Student Affairs and Administrative Services

Residence Hall Director and Housing Coordinator

Assistant Director—Student Affairs

Student Life Coordinator


Student Services Manager

Student Relations Coordiantor

Student Services Specialist

Director of Education

Student Affairs Mission

Student Affairs is dedicated to encouraging your individual growth and development both in and out of the classroom. We strive to provide a holistic educational experience so you can become more self-actualized, leading to balance, ethical conduct, and responsible citizenry. Five cornerstones direct our philosophy:

  1. foster student wellness, health, and safety
  2. cultivate an empowered, diverse, engaged campus community
  3. advance co-curricular student learning
  4. support student retention and success
  5. create an outstanding student experience.

Wellness Philosophy

The Student Affairs Division endorses an important wellness philosophy to CIA students. This wellness model is used on many college campuses and is the framework for a healthy lifestyle that includes the balance of physical, intellectual, emotional, social, occupational, and spiritual well-being. We hope you will learn the framework of such a lifestyle and begin your wellness journey while at the CIA. We also hope these concepts will stay with you throughout your life.

Student Affairs Office

The Student Affairs Office is comprised of staff to act as resources for issues, concerns, problems, or dilemmas that may arise as you progress through your college experience. As a clearinghouse, the staff is prepared to assist in solving problems directly or in making appropriate referrals. Issues affecting the quality of student life, discipline, personal safety, alcohol/drug awareness, and student interactions are examples of reasons to visit the Student Affairs Office staff. We are committed to helping you be successful, so feel free to come in and see us if you have any issue you wish to discuss.

The following staff make up the Student Affairs Office:

New York

Associate Vice President—Dean of Student Affairs

Associate Dean—Student Affairs

Associate Dean—Campus Life and Student Development


Manager—Student Engagement

Executive Assistant

Student Affairs Assistant


Director—Student Affairs and Administrative Services

Assistant Director—Student Affairs



Student Services Manager



The ombudsman is available to listen, explain college policies, and assist you in addressing concerns or difficult situations related to academic or campus life. As a member of the Student Affairs staff, this individual advocates for students and can help you navigate the CIA’s culture and the day-to-day issues as you progress through your program. In addition, the ombudsman acts as an advisor to the group leaders.

Group Leaders

Group leaders are among the most important pieces of the education system at the CIA. Elected during freshman year and then once again after externship, group leaders act as “coaches of their teams.” They are the liaisons between their group mates and the faculty. They meet often with instructors, hold group meetings, administer surveys and evaluations, relay mail messages, and represent the group on campus.

The benefits of leading a group are substantial. There is the value of the leadership experience, the chance to master managerial skills, and a feeling of personal satisfaction and pride from successfully steering your group through the curriculum. There is great worth in exchanging ideas, experiences, and information with the most visible student leaders at the college. This position will also help strengthen your relationship with the faculty and staff. Additionally, your worth as a culinary professional will be greatly enhanced. The leadership and managerial skills you will gain from being a group leader are exactly what prospective employers are looking for in dedicated and capable employees.

Students should expect their group leader to be a motivator, facilitator, organizer, troubleshooter, and, most of all, a good communicator.

Group leaders may be expected to attend a monthly meeting with key staff to bring forward student issues for discussion and resolution, as well as learn about important campus news.


All degree students participate in an orientation. The first three days encompass individual sessions geared to help you understand the policies and procedures of the CIA as well as all the educational resources to help you become a successful student. During this time current students serving in the role of orientation leaders will be available to assist new students with their transition to the CIA. The next two days are spent becoming familiar with your culinary kitchen or baking and pastry bakeshop and the beginnings of your curriculum.

In addition, all new students are required to complete two online programs within the first two weeks of their arrival on campus. These programs concentrate on two topics: alcohol abuse education and prevention, as well as sexual assault education and prevention. Students are informed of this requirement on the first day of the orientation program. The goal is 100% compliance with this requirement and a passing grade of 70%.

Certificate program students participate in a one-day, intensive orientation to the CIA campus, student services, policies, and procedures.

Faculty Office Hours

All faculty members hold regularly scheduled office hours to provide you with the opportunity outside of the classrooms or kitchens to discuss any concerns. These office hours are for all CIA students, not just for students in an instructor’s class. Many instructors use office hours to talk to students about performance in class, learning strategies, externship possibilities, or career opportunities.

International Students

The following offices assist international students with regulatory and required documentation and act as the designated school officials:

New York

International Student Affairs Office, Student Commons Room 200

Office Hours: 10 a.m.—4 p.m Monday through Friday


Student Affairs Assistant

Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.—5 p.m Monday through Friday


Director of Education

Office Hours: 8 a.m.—4 p.m Monday through Friday

In New York, you will attend an international student information session during orientation. For all campuses, upon arrival, you must bring your passport, visa, Form I-20, and confirmation of your health insurance coverage. These documents are required for us to register you in the SEVIS system as an enrolled full-time student. As an F-1 student, you are required to have medical insurance while in the U.S. (You may also wish to secure dental coverage.) You must obtain a medical insurance plan before you leave home or arrive on campus that will cover your health costs in this country. If you do need coverage, speak to the manager of international student services at the New York campus (845-451-1531), who can provide advice on optional medical plans. If you’re an international student taking a vacation period or other leave from the United States, you’ll need to obtain the signature of the designated school official on page 2 of the current Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) prior to leaving in order to re-enter the U.S. Advise the International Student Affairs Office at least one week prior to your departure from the United States so the office can provide this signature.

International students are responsible for themselves and their families with regard to immigration and visa laws. CIA staff will provide assistance and advisement where possible, but ultimately, you are responsible for knowing and complying with the laws of the United States, your home country, and the laws of the countries to which you travel while you are a CIA student.

International students who hold an F-1 student visa and are enrolled in any of our degree programs may:

  • Work on campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week in a non-work study approved position, subject to job availability.
  • Complete the required externship in the U.S. with authorization by the designated school official. Employment authorization is job-specific. You must bring your externship agreement and the I-20 form to the International Student Affairs Office.
  • Accept part-time employment off campus after nine months of full-time study with authorization from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) via the application process. The time worked will be deducted from post-completion employment.
  • Accept full-time employment after completion of studies with authorization from the DHS via the application process for up to 12 months. The employment authorization takes 90 days to process.

You must have a Social Security card to work in the U.S. in all of the above situations. The Social Security card is for authorized paid employment only. You must obtain an on-campus job or externship before submitting an application in person to the Social Security Office located at:

New York 332 Main St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
California 1850 Soscol Avenue, Suite 102 in Napa, CA 94559
Texas Room 701, 7th Floor, 727 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78206

A complete explanation of the Social Security process will be provided from the designated school offical when you stop by to register work authorization in the SEVIS system. The process of obtaining a Social Security card can take up to 3 weeks from the date of submission.

International students who hold an M-1 visa and are enrolled in any certificate program may not work in the U.S. at any time during the program. Students may apply for employment authorization after completion of studies based on one month of employment for every four months of study.

International students can receive advice and assistance from the designated school official listed above or by contacting the International Student Affairs Office at the New York Campus (845-451-1531). These individuals help to promote an atmosphere of mutual understanding and cultural exchange and help students adjust to their new environment. The International Student Affairs Office is located in the Student Commons, room 200.

Veteran Students

Veteran students remain an important part of the college community, just as when the CIA was founded to support returning World War II veterans. If you are a veteran, please use the resources available to you—student support offices stand ready to assist you, from orientation to graduation. Whether you’re a resident or commuter, consider becoming a part of the Veterans Association and Auxiliary student organization on campus. This can help you meet fellow veterans and get involved in social activities and community events.

If you are seeking information about local Veterans Affairs (VA) services for health care, visit:

New York  www.hudsonvalley.va.gov
California http://www.countyofnapa.org/Pages/DepartmentContent.aspx?id=4294970718
Texas www.southtexas.va.gov

The Veterans Services Committee is a college-wide group that meets to monitor the experience of student veterans on campus, and initiates new processes to improve their experience at the CIA. You can contact us at veteranscommittee@culinary.edu and a member of the committee will reach out to you to follow up and/or invite you to meet to discuss your situation.

Student Commons—NY

The CIA’s Student Commons offers students state-of-the-art dining, athletic, and recreational facilities. You can muscle inside for a lay-up on one of two official-size basketball courts which are easily converted for volleyball, dodgeball, and other sports activities. Enjoy a run on our indoor (1⁄12-mile) jogging track that encircles the courts from above. Or, take in a game on either of our two racquetball courts. You’ll also find various aerobic and fitness programs such as: Spinning®, cardio firm, running club, yoga, Latin rhythm dance, kayaking classes, and much more. Swim a few laps in the six-lane pool or pump iron with the free-weights or resistance machines in the fitness room. The Student Commons also has a game room, student/faculty/staff locker rooms, Student Government Association/club meeting areas, a multi-purpose room, and a banquet kitchen. A variety of fitness and recreational programs and wellness services are scheduled throughout the year and are open to all students. Students may bring two guests (must be 18 years of age or older) with them per visit to use the recreation center area of the Student Commons. All guests must produce identification and register. Students are responsible for their guests’ behavior.

The Egg

Located in the Student Commons, The Egg is an extraordinary area that serves all your dining needs, and is also a great place to hang out, relax, and have some fun. You’ll have a wide variety of dining choices at The Line, The Café, and a foodservice concept designed and operated by bachelor’s degree students. Other features include a microbrewery that will serve as a classroom and production facility for the campus, a stage for entertainment events, and a marketplace featuring a variety of fresh, seasonal foods and beverages for purchase.

Rec Center Staff

Eight professional staff members oversee and supervise the sports and activities at the Student Commons with the help of a student staff. They will gladly assist you in achieving your fitness and recreational goals.

Intercollegiate Athletics

There are currently five intercollegiate sports programs offered in soccer, basketball, tennis, cross-country, and volleyball. The CIA competes in the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC), which includes coed teams from similar-sized colleges in the Northeast, from Albany (north) to Long Island (south) to Syracuse (west). If you are interested in an intercollegiate sport, contact any professional member of the Student Activities, Recreation, and Athletics staff.

Intramural Sports

CIA students have an array of intramural sports to choose from. Among the listings are: flag football, basketball, softball, floor hockey, volleyball, and dodge ball. Tournaments are also held throughout the year in tennis, billiards, table tennis, weight lifting, and racquetball. Inquire at the front desk for information on sports schedules and seasonal offerings.

Outdoor Facilities

Our outdoor athletic and recreational facilities include softball and soccer fields as well as two tennis courts.

CHOPT (Chefs Harnessing Outdoor Pursuits Together)

CHOPT is an advisory committee that works with the Student Activities Office to plan, schedule, and implement outdoor recreational activities. This advisory group gives students a leadership and decision-making role in outdoor programming for the entire student body. The students involved are passionate about planning outdoor activities that promote health, stress relief, and camaraderie to the campus community. If you’re interested in becoming involved, speak with the CIA senior coordinator of aquatics, athletics, and outdoor recreation.

Student Activities Office—NY

The Student Activities Office, located in the Student Commons, offers a variety of events to enhance your leisure time. These may include performances by bands, comics, and other entertainers; bus trips to regional attractions or sporting events; cooking competitions; casino nights; and dances. We welcome your suggestions. Stop by or give us a call at 845-451-1400.

Clubs and Organizations

We encourage you to take advantage of a number of on-campus student clubs to pursue personal interests, meet other students, and hone professional skills. There are many benefits to being involved in student organizations. In general, such students achieve higher grades, develop better leadership and organizational skills, have more friends, and feel more connected to the college. The following clubs were active at the time of publication:

  • Alliance
  • Bacchus Wine Society
  • Baking & Pastry Arts Society
  • BBQ Club
  • Black Culinarian Society
  • Brew Club
  • Catholics at the Culinary
  • Chefs for Health and Wellness (CHEW)
  • Culinary Christian Fellowship
  • Culinary Science Club
  • Digital Media Club
  • Eta Sigma Delta Honor Society
  • Fromage Friends
  • Global Cultures Club
  • Jewish Culture & Community Club
  • Korean Student Association
  • La Papillote (newspaper)
  • Mixology Club
  • SkillsUSA
  • Slow Food USA
  • Table Top Gaming
  • Veterans Association and Auxiliary

To join one of these organizations, or if you are interested in forming a new club, please contact the Student Activities Office.

Student Government Association—NY

The Student Government Association democratically represents the CIA student community and acts as your official voice in decisions affecting campus life. The SGA holds bi-monthly meetings on Wednesdays at 9:15 p.m. The meetings begin in open session and students are invited to share their suggestions and concerns. The Student Government Association may be reached by e-mail at SGA@cia.culinary.edu or through CIA Main Menu.

The SGA has open elections to fill voting positions on the Executive Council. These consist of:

  • President
  • Executive Vice President
  • Baking & Pastry Arts AOS Senators (2)
  • Culinary Arts AOS Senators (2)
  • Bachelor’s Student Representatives (2)

Additionally, the Executive Council appoints other non-voting members to fulfill specific support roles:

  • Student Representatives (5)
  • Secretary
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Organizational Finance Manager

Please contact the SGA to find out the specific duties, qualifications, and procedures for elections/appointments.

SPICE (Student Programming Igniting Campus Entertainment)

CIA students have the ability to select, plan, and stage many campus activities and programs through SPICE. This group has brought comedians, hypnotists, magicians, and musical acts to campus. Members are empowered to be creative and think outside the box in selecting acts and programs that their fellow students will enjoy and will enhance the student community at the CIA. If you’re a student in good standing, you are eligible to join SPICE—just come to a meeting!

Campus Newspaper—NY

La Papillote (French for “the paper”) is the newspaper of our campus community. The paper is owned by The Culinary Institute of America, which ultimately holds final editorial review, and is distributed free every three weeks. Its primary purposes are to inform the college community; to educate students in writing, journalism, and editorial skills; to celebrate graduation; and to provide a forum for civil discussion and expression. We invite all students to contribute material for publication. Contact the editor at lapapillote@cia.culinary.edu to discuss your content ideas.

We make every effort to apply the principles of ethical journalism and ensure a publication that is accurate, responsible, and fair. The college reserves the right to not print submissions that fail to align with the paper’s objectives and standards, and to print its response to content that presents a substantial critique of college policy or actions.

Bulletin Boards—NY

Bulletin boards are available for student notices and are located throughout the campus. Do not fasten notices to windows, doors, moldings, woodwork, or walls.

If you would like to display CIA event or club notices, you can neatly post them on:

  1. Any bulletin board in Roth Hall.
  2. Bulletin boards in the Student Recreation Center

Notices posted on the bulletin boards in the residence halls must be approved through the Residence Life Office.

Any “for sale/for rent” advertisements may be posted on the mailroom bulletin board.

Posters can’t be larger than 14 by 18 inches and must clearly state the sponsoring organization of the event or message. Contact the Student Activities Office for additional information and policies related to advertising materials on campus and guidelines for campaigning in student elections.

Student Activities—CA

We encourage you to take advantage of on-campus student activities at Greystone to pursue your personal interests, meet other students, and hone your professional skills. There are many benefits to being involved in student activities. In general, involved students achieve higher grades, develop better leadership and organizational skills, have more friends, and feel more connected to the college.

All student activities outside of Residence Life are organized through the Student Programming Involvement and Community Engagement (SPICE) board, which meets every Monday evening in the Ventura Center. All students are welcome to attend these meetings to present ideas for upcoming activities and events. Once an event is approved through SPICE, information will be advertised on the Grapevine, the CIA Main Menu, the Ventura Center PowerPoint, and table tents. A calendar of events can also be found on CIA Main Menu under Campus and Student Life > The Grapevine—Greystone. When appropriate, signups will be posted on the CIA Main Menu. Only current CIA students, faculty, and staff are permitted to take part in these activities. For more information about current activities or starting new activities, contact the student life coordinator.

Organizing a Student Event—CA

If you would like to organize an event on campus, the planning process should begin well in advance of the anticipated event date. Please see the student life coordinator in the Education Office for more information.

Student Clubs—TX

We encourage you to take advantage of on-campus student clubs to pursue your personal interests, meet other students, and hone your professional skills. Signups and information about the changing slate of clubs are posted in the library, and a calendar of campus events is available on CIA Main Menu, the student web portal. Only current CIA students, faculty, and staff are permitted to take part in student clubs. In addition, all active clubs must keep minutes and have a faculty or staff advisor. For more information about current clubs, or to learn more about starting a new club, contact the student relations coordinator, student services manager, student services specialist, or CIA Main Menu.