The following message was sent to the Barnard community on April 22, 2019.
Dear Members of the Barnard Community,
I am writing to you as chair of the new Barnard Community Safety Group, which was announced in President Beilock’s letter to the community on Sunday, April 14, 2019.
In my own conversations with students, staff, and faculty, as well as what was said in the recent community listening sessions, I have heard a number of important issues relating to campus safety being raised.
The Barnard Community Safety Group seeks to foster continued discussions about these issues in an effort to move toward ensuring we are addressing areas in need of systemic change. Drawing different perspectives together will enable the Barnard community to work as a team to develop a shared sense of the meaning, mission, and practice of Public Safety at Barnard.
The Barnard Community Safety Group is an important part of the College’s commitment to examining the intersections of identity, civic life and social justice not just on our campus but also in the larger context of Columbia University, the dynamics of New York City, and the national and international climates so that we can create a place where all members of our community feel acknowledged and respected.
Below is the charge for the Barnard Community Safety Group, as well as the webpage where you can find additional information that will be updated as the Group’s membership is finalized and we develop our work further. The framework has been intentionally structured to allow the Group membership to determine a more specific agenda as we move forward.
Reporting to the President, this Group is charged with discussing broad issues related to campus safety, including concerns about racial and other forms of bias and their consequences, accessibility, and who feels welcome in different spaces, who does not and what we can do so all feel welcome. The Group is also charged with advising on improved structures for relationship building, training and community oversight. Using input from many different groups, identities, and constituencies, the evolving work of this group will be both strategic and tactical, conceptual and practical. Matters for the Group to address include:
- Providing opportunities for diverse voices to be heard and acknowledged in ongoing open sessions where people can share their personal experiences with matters of safety on our campus;
- Determining an overall philosophy of how to keep people safe on campus and how the current mission of public safety aligns with it;
- Considering the use of language in communications about campus safety;
- Reviewing the relationships between Public Safety and the community, particularly students, faculty, staff, and visitors of color;
- Recommending how current policies, procedures, and practices of Public Safety can be improved to meet the needs of the diverse populations on campus;
- Providing advice and input regarding Public Safety training curriculum and content;
- Providing advice and input regarding training and support for members of the community; and
- Developing clear and transparent procedures for when community members have concerns about the conduct of Public Safety staff.
The membership of the Barnard Community Safety Group includes a wide range of constituents, including students from all four class years; alumnae representation; faculty and Provost’s office representation; staff from a number of different departments; Public Safety representation, including the Executive Director for Public Safety; and the Vice President of Campus Services. (Names will be posted when finalized on the Community Safety Group page.)
You can contact the Barnard Community Safety Group via firstname.lastname@example.org; anonymous feedback can be sent via a form on the webpage (the gbear sign-in is only to verify that you are a member of the Barnard community; no personally identifiable information is collected).
I appreciate the candor and authenticity from those who have expressed themselves about these issues, and I am galvanized by our shared vision of a campus that is experienced by all community members as inclusive, welcoming, and safe.
Executive Director for Equity and Title IX Coordinator