Safety Tips and Alert System
Barnard's CARES staff are dedicated to providing a safe and secure environment conducive to learning for students, faculty, staff, and visitors on the Barnard College campus. In addition to providing security, fire safety and emergency management on campus, senior administrators of the Department conduct crime awareness seminars and personally assist students requiring police reporting, response, or other assistance. This page offers preparedness and safety information to help our community make informed decisions in the community and on line.
Campus is open for spring 2021 for members of the campus community who participate fully in the enhanced health and safety requirements, and attending to access and use that aligns with campus use planning that adheres to NY State guidance. Visit the College pandemic response site for the most up to date information.
Although much has changed about NYC since the start of the pandemic, the same safety practices that we have always recommended apply.
- Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. Don’t be distracted by constant cell phone or technology use while traveling.
- Plan your route ahead of time, this can help keep you attention on your surroundings.
- Walk with friends or in a group, if by yourself, keep others in sight
- Use well lit and well populated routes
- Limit distractions such as ear bud volume, texting while walking, etc.
- Trust your instincts, and change your route if you sense danger
- Be familiar with where are heading, check directions in advance of travels
- Have your cell phone with you, let someone know where you are headed and/or when to expect you
- Secure valuables (cash, cards, tech devices) in an inner pocket or within your bag
- Add value to your metro card at the start of your trip if you do not have a monthly pass so your card value can cover your return
- Look for the subway stations with the Green Bulbs at the entrance, these indicate stations open (a red bulb indicates exit only)
- Watch out for scams, in person, via email, and on the web, check the source of information, seek clarification if something sounds too good to be true
While out and about, remember bicycle safety:
Bike rack locations on Barnard's campus are located near the main entrance and inside the 119th Street gate (near the Diana Center). Additional locations on the Columbia University Campus.
Cable locks can be cut. If you need a bicycle lock, Columbia Public Safety offers discount Kryptonite Bike Locks at cost, Credit / Debit cards accepted. For more information or to set up an appointment to purchase, please email Columbia's Crime Prevention team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are several Blue Emergency Lights located throughout the Barnard campus and nearby affiliated campuses to provide immediate response to you if you need of help or if you feel threatened in any way. Call boxes have a red button and a blue light above the box. Look for the blue lights near campus buildings and in the lower level tunnels of Barnard buildings.
Red Lion safe haven locations
The Public and Community Safety Departments of Columbia, Barnard, and Teachers College collectively maintain Blue Light Emergency Call Boxes at locations within and surrounding the greater campus area. If you are in need of help or feel threatened in any way, use one of these call boxes which connect directly to Barnard's, Columbia's or TC's public safety departments..
Red Lion safe haven locations can be found online to learn more about participating businesses in the Morningside, Manhattanville, and Medical Center Columbia communities.
Safety as a Community
Help ensure your safety and support a safe community by being familiar with these recommended tips:
- When traveling in a group, and do not leave anyone behind. Always tell someone where you are going and when you are expected back. When meeting someone for the first time, go with a friend and meet in a public place.
- Exercise caution when walking about, especially after dark, late at night, and/or in areas unfamiliar to you. Use well-populated, well-lit streets. Know where you are, where you're headed, and how to get there.
- Listen to your instincts, if you feel uncomfortable, seek out a populated well lit area such as stepping into an open store or restaurant. In Morningside Heights, look for businesses that display the Red Lion logo in their window. If you enter these businesses, the merchant will assist you in phoning Columbia or Barnard's Public Safety or the police, and wait with you for security response.
- When using the subway, do not ride in the last car. Look for the white and black “zebra board” above the platform, which shows the location of the conductor’s car. Do not expose expensive items while in transit.
- Think twice before giving out your phone number, address, or email address to people you have recently met. Be cautious about giving out your birth date, social security number, or other information that can be used for identity theft.
If you are lost or without means to return to campus, call Community Safety at (212) 854-3362 and we will assist you in navigating your options. Make sure you save this campus phone number in your phone contacts directory for ease of use, if needed.
If you have questions or are in need of assistance, do not be afraid to ask for it. As residents of New York City, we live in one of the safest cities in the world. Using these safety tips will enhance your safety wherever you travel.
Transportation Options & Information
Barnard CARES Department is committed to ensuring a safe community and sends out emergency notifications via a text alert system when there is an immediate confirmed threat to the safety of our campus or involving a student. For off-campus incidents, and depending upon the circumstances, we may wait to gather as much detail as possible before sending out an alert, which allows us to avoid sharing inaccurate information.
Students are automatically enrolled in Barnard’s alert system utilizing the cell phone number that was provided to the College. Please visit myBarnard.edu to confirm that your cell phone number is correct or was provided in your student profile and for more information about how to ensure enrollment and troubleshoot issues.
Barnard students can also opt into Columbia University’s Public Safety text alert system by logging in with Columbia UNI to the Columbia SSOL. The link can be found under “Your Academic Records,” select “Text Message Enrollment.”
Because of our separate locations, these alerts will, on occasion, include information about incidents that are not in close proximity of Barnard’s campus. In some instances, you will receive messages from both Barnard and Columbia alert systems.