Student participation in the governance of the College and in shaping student life on campus is a time-honored tradition at Barnard. College committees, on which students, faculty, and administrators serve, recommend policy and procedural changes in such areas as curriculum, housing, and student life. Students are the majority members on Honor Board and Judicial Council. Two students serve as representatives to the Board of Trustees.
All Barnard students are members of the Student Government Association, which elects a representative government and sponsors extracurricular activities and special events reflecting the range of cultural, political, pre-professional, and academic interests of the student body. These groups, more than 80 in all, include theatre and vocal music groups, ethnic organizations, language clubs, community service groups, and yearbook staff. The student newspaper, Barnard Bulletin, is published bi-weekly. Students with a variety of talents collaborate to produce Autumn and Spring Festivals featuring concerts, theatre and dance performances, art exhibitions, and social events.
Cooperation among Barnard and Columbia groups is common. The majority of clubs and organizations have both Barnard and Columbia student members. Religious organizations and activities with headquarters on the Columbia University campus encompass nearly every faith and are open to all Barnard students. Urban New York, a joint Barnard-Columbia program, offers unique opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to experience together the cultural, political, and social life of the city at no cost!
The Columbia University/Barnard College Athletic Consortium (Division I of the NCAA) sponsors 16 women’s varsity teams, including archery, basketball, cross country, fencing, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, squash, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, volleyball and rowing. The Athletic Consortium is just one of three in the nation and the only one on a Division I level. Students at Barnard College along with women enrolled at the undergraduate divisions of Columbia University have the opportunity to compete on all university-wide teams. Scheduled competition includes the Ivy League, the metropolitan area, the Eastern region, and national tournaments. Individuals and teams have the opportunity to advance to regional and national competition within the ECAC and NCAA.
For students interested in less competitive programs, the Physical Education Department offers an extensive program of intramurals and recreation. The program features badminton, basketball, floor hockey, indoor soccer, volleyball, open gym time, recreational swimming, sports clubs, open weight room hours, and special events.
Barnard facilities include a swimming pool, the LeFrak Gymnasium, locker rooms, running track, fencing, dance and wellness studios, and a weight room in Barnard Hall, as well as access to tennis courts just one block away in Riverside Park. Barnard students have access to all recreational and athletic facilities of the University as well. The Dodge Fitness Center at Columbia includes the Levien Gymnasium, with a seating capacity of 3,499; the eight-lane Uris Swimming Center; 17 squash and handball courts; a well-equipped training room; and locker rooms and sauna. Women’s intercollegiate and club teams also use outdoor facilities at Baker Field, a 26-acre complex at the northern tip of Manhattan that includes 20,000-seat Wien Stadium with a new synthetic surface, an eight-lane, all-weather NCAA-regulation running track, and practice fields. There are seven composition tennis courts with a tennis clubhouse, a soccer stadium, a softball field, facilities for rowing, and a spacious field house.
The Honor Code, instituted at Barnard in 1912, governs all aspects of academic life and is enforced by an Honor Board that has a membership of students and faculty members, advised by the Dean of Studies Office. The Judicial Council of undergraduates, faculty, and administrators recommends disciplinary action for non-academic offenses and acts on appeals of academic disciplinary sanctions determined by the Honor Board. A more complete explanation of the system may be found in the Student Handbook.
Each student who registers at Barnard agrees to maintain the Honor Code, which states:
We, the students of Barnard College, resolve to uphold the honor of the College by refraining from every form of dishonesty in our academic life. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, or to use any papers or books not authorized by the instructor, or to present oral or written work that is not entirely our own, except in such a way as may be approved by the instructor. We consider it dishonest to remove without authorization, alter, or deface library and other academic materials. We pledge to do all that is in our power to create a spirit of honesty and honor for its own sake.
Library regulations and independent study courses are also governed by the code. Policies and regulations concerning student conduct are recommended by student, faculty, and administrative committees to the appropriate administrators, the President, and the Board of Trustees. Hearing and appeal procedures are also outlined in the Student Handbook.
Enrollment in the College, award of academic credit, and conferral of the degree are subject to disciplinary powers vested by the Barnard Board of Trustees in appropriate officers of instruction, administration, and in College committees.