The following email was sent to Barnard students on December 9, 2018:

Dear Barnard Students:

We regret to inform you of an incident that occurred early yesterday morning on the Columbia University campus in which a group of mostly black students (many from Barnard) were verbally harassed by a Columbia student advocating racist beliefs. This hateful speech and reprehensible behavior, which is under investigation, is an act of aggression and racism that affects the entire University community and goes against everything that we believe in and stand for. We unequivocally denounce white supremacy, both language and violence.

The safety of Barnard's students is our top priority. We are in contact with our students involved and have offered the College's full support and available resources. Barnard champions inclusiveness and is committed to ensuring a safe, respectful, and welcoming place for each and every member of our community, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or national origin.

Please know that we are working with Columbia University who is investigating the incident, and we remain readily available for those who need support (please see Columbia's email to students below). We are hosting a listening session tomorrow night, Monday, Dec. 10, at 5 p.m. in Weber Lounge in Reid Hall. Additional assistance for Barnard students can also be found on our website at student resources.


Alicia Lawrence
Co-Interim Dean

Natalie Friedman
Co-Interim Dean



SUBJECT: Denouncing racism on campus

Dear Undergraduate Students,

We write to you to unequivocally denounce a deeply disturbing racially charged incident involving Columbia undergraduates that took place in front of Butler Library and JJ’s Place early this morning.

Many of you have heard about or seen the alarming footage online, which includes painful language directed toward students of color in our community. Although we cannot comment on the proceedings, this incident is already under investigation by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, and we want to assure you that it will be investigated thoroughly, beginning with interviews of witnesses.

We are alarmed at the rise of incidents of racism and hate speech in our world today. It is more important than ever that we continually demonstrate our core values and restate our commitment to a diverse, inclusive community on campus. At Columbia, we stand firmly against white supremacist language and violence. As we said last week, our community will not waver in its support for those of any faith, race, gender, sexual orientation, background or identity.

We understand this may be a difficult time for you and your classmates. Members of our on-call team began to provide individual support as soon as we learned of the incident. If you need support this evening, please reach out to your RA, who will connect you to additional resources as necessary.

All undergraduate students are invited to an open reflection space tomorrow night, Monday, December 10, 6-8 p.m. in 505 Lerner Hall, hosted by Multicultural Affairs, for students to be in community with each other. Additional areas of support will be announced as we are able to plan. 

Our collective work toward peace, respect and understanding must continue, both within our community and society at large.


Mary C. Boyce
Dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

Lisa Rosen-Metsch
Dean of the School of General Studies

James J. Valentini
Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education