Dear Barnard Community,

Today is one of the most difficult days in our College’s history. We are all grieving, and overwhelmed by the senseless tragedy that took Tess Majors from us. Last night, I spoke to many of you at the Furman Counseling Center, and heard and read so many tributes about Tess that continue to pour in from all corners of our community. Tess was a friend, peer, roommate, musician, writer, and beloved by so many family and friends.

Tonight, we will gather as a community in the Event Oval at the Diana Center at 7 p.m. to grieve Tess and support each other. Immediately following the gathering, food will be available throughout the Diana Center in lieu of Midnight Breakfast.

I have been in direct and constant communication with New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, who is working closely with Columbia and Barnard’s Public Safety teams during this on-going investigation so that we can provide our community with the most up-to-date and accurate information. At this time, police do not have any suspect(s) in custody. Although this incident happened off-campus in Morningside Park, Barnard and Columbia have additional public safety officers on duty today and throughout the weekend. Additionally, the NYPD has increased their presence in the area.

The days ahead present extraordinarily difficult and painful challenges. We expect that some students may feel unable to proceed with their exams and other work at this time. Provost Bell has reached out to the faculty to ensure that they are supporting students as needed. Students should feel free to reach out directly to their professors to make individualized arrangements.

The College is providing 24/7 support services to all of our students, faculty and staff. We encourage those in need to utilize the following services:

  • Furman Counseling Center: 100 Hewitt Hall, 212-854-2092
  • Dean of Studies Office: 105 Milbank Hall, 212-854-2024
  • After-hours psychological emergency line: 855-622-1903
  • International SOS for students who are abroad: +1-215-942-8478

Additionally, many offices are open for those looking for a place to gather. These include Beyond Barnard; Well-Woman; Residential Life and Housing; The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Student Life; Opportunity Programs; Dean of Studies Offices; Primary Care Health Services; International Student Services; Office of Equity and Title IX; and The Center for Accessibility Resources and Disability Services.

We remind everyone that Public Safety is staffed 24/7 and encourage you to reach out if you need assistance:

  • Public Safety non-emergency line: 212-854-3362
  • Public Safety emergency line: 212-854-6666

In addition, the Barnard shuttle service will run continuously every half hour until further notice. Barnard students may also ride on a Columbia University evening shuttle bus that makes stops between 108th and 125th Streets. Please call x43382 for schedule information.

For faculty and staff, a counselor from the College's Employee Assistance Program is on campus today in Milstein 001. Additional support is available at 800-448-4358 and

The outpouring of support for Tess has been a tremendous testament to Tess’ vibrant spirit. I am deeply grateful to those who have offered their support and condolences to our students and community members who are all mourning. I recognize the impact of Tess’ tragic death on everyone, please feel free to continue to share your thoughts with us at We will share condolences with Tess’ family.

Please take care of each other. Look out for each other. Hold Tess and the family in your thoughts and in your hearts. Honor Tess’ memory and be there for each other. I have always marveled at the strength and closeness of our community. Today and in the days ahead we need to rely on that more than ever.

With care,
Sian Leah Beilock, President