Dear Barnard Community,

I write today on the topic of personal safety and public transportation. There has been recent coverage of New York City’s new subway safety plan as a response to an uptick in incidents in subway stations, platforms, and subway cars throughout the City. This is timely as we resume increased activities throughout the City given the current stage of the pandemic. I would also like to take this opportunity to review the College’s safety resources.

Be Alert, Stay in Communication - BASIC Safety is both an individual and community effort. Awareness of surroundings and available resources is a critical prevention tool available to each of us. When using public transportation, simple measures such as (i) looking for the subway entrances with the Green Bulbs, which indicate an entry point versus a Red Bulb which is an exit only, (ii) seeking out subway cars by the conductor which are indicated by the ‘zebra’ striped bar that the conductor points to when pulling into a station and (iii) pre-loading an NYC transit app such as MY MTA to check routes and times, are valuable in protecting yourself and those you are traveling with.

There are also other transportation resources available by the College and the University.  We encourage you to familiarize yourself with those as well as the following safety resources which can be found on the CARES website:

In addition, Columbia Public Safety recently shared with the University community this useful recorded resource related to safety on public transportation.

CARES Safety Contacts

Our non-emergency Response Team can be reached at (212) 854-3362 for general campus assistance and resource referral. This line may be answered by Community Safety during the overnight hours.

For immediate assistance for emergencies or if you are in danger on campus, call (212) 854-6666. Community Safety staff are present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As we begin to enjoy longer hours of daylight and look forward to warming temperatures, please Be Alert, Stay in Communication for safety.

Be well,

Amy Zavadil
Associate Vice President, Community Accountability, Response & Emergency Services