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Community Development

We define community in many ways,
all inter-related. 

Where we are 

Because of our location, Barnard College seeks to be a ‘good neighbor.’ Our constituencies do not, however, limit their activity to this relatively narrow sphere, but rather work all over the City.  This kind of ‘wide net’ approach mirrors community work in the early 20th century when Barnard students regularly fanned out across New York to work in settlement houses, often spending nights there.  More recently current Barnard students also extend the reach of our community far beyond upper Broadway – to the other NYC boroughs, other states, and indeed all over the world.

Who we are 

Barnard’s community is comprised of diverse, multi-generational constituent groups: students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumnae, all distinct yet inter-related.  As part of Columbia, Barnard students participate in all aspects of University life, including countless student-driven community activities; faculty and staff also participate in Columbia Community Service (CCS) that supports dozens of area non-profits.   

What we do 

As educators, Barnard embraces an educational philosophy that is as inclusive as it is rigorous.  In addition to its bedrock commitment to educating promising women, the College has historically reached out to other students who may be stymied by access and/or achievement gap issues, as well as stereotype threat (“girls are bad at math and science”).  The College thus offers, both on campus and through its partnerships with many organizations, an array of enrichment programs and activities designed to ensure a healthy college-bound/science-interested/graduate school) ‘pipeline,’ i.e. one filled with a diverse population of students striving to reach their potential.

How we allocate institutional resources including facilities rentals 

Barnard participates in many community partnerships and initiatives, and has historically provided resources including funds,  facilities, and time.  This includes annual contributions and organized volunteer opportunities to area organizations (Morningside Area Alliance, Community Impact, The Friends of Morningside Park, The Friends of Riverside Park, The Broadway Mall Group, The Cathedral of St John the Divine’s ACT summer camp program, Tompkins Hall, the Learning Center).  Each year we run a bike-a-thon to raise funds for CCS.

How and to whom our constituencies allocate personal resources

The vast number of interests of the Barnard community reflects our diversity on every level.  Students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumnae – all have their passions and it is impossible to inventory the multifaceted community-based activities in which these thousands of people are engaged.  We can, however, characterize some general categories:  research collaborations with scientific and educational organizations and schools; volunteering, contributing financially, and/or offering expertise/time to a wealth of nonprofits.


  • To support, encourage, assess, and develop collaborations between Barnard College and many on and off campus constituencies in accord with the mission of the College and the available resources of the College.
  • To maximize the College’s effectiveness throughout the City and particularly in the Morningside Heights and Harlem communities by providing technical/educational expertise, student workers/volunteers, and financial support when possible. 


  • To build relationships with community organizations and institutions.
  • To support Barnard-initiated programs by collaborating with community groups or individuals and thus broadening their impact throughout the greater New York area.
  • To assess and review partnership/collaboration requests that come to the attention of the Vice President for Community Development to determine benefit and viability of community outreach initiative.