Sexual Assault Policy

It is the policy of Barnard College that all forms of sexual assault are unacceptable, and we strongly support efforts to eliminate its occurrence and to discipline offenders.

Barnard College and Columbia University provide a wide array of programs and resources aimed at the prevention of sexual assault and the support and care of victims/survivors. These include educational workshops for students, training for residential life, student affairs, and security personnel, and counseling and other services through our various Health Services departments. Other programs are offered throughout the school year by student groups, including peer counseling, support, and referrals available at the Columbia/Barnard Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center (RC/AVSC) located in Hewitt Hall, 105 and in Lerner 7. Call 212-854-HELP for access to 24-hour Advocacy support, a confidential resource. In addition, there are numerous community resources available. A list of these programs and resources are available on the Primary Care Health Services webpage, the Barnard Title IX & Equity page, and in other generally available Barnard and Columbia publications.

Information on the policies and procedures of Columbia University concerning personal safety and sexual assault can be found on the Columbia University sexual respect webpage.

If a Barnard student has been raped or sexually assaulted, there are many resources available to her. If a victim of sexual assault feels she is still in physical danger, she may contact Barnard Public Safety or the police. The Barnard Public Safety Department can also contact other staff as requested or appropriate.  A request for an advocate can also be made as described above.

It is particularly important to get appropriate medical care at a hospital emergency room as soon as possible. As part of the exam the doctor will also do evidence collection. However, showering, bathing, and douching all decrease the likelihood that evidence may be collected, as does a delay from the time of the assault to the hospital visit.

A hospital visit is highly recommended in the immediate aftermath of a rape or sexual assault because of special services the hospital can provide a victim. However, medical treatment and counseling are also available at Barnard’s Primary Care Health Services. If it is closed, the clinician-on-call can be reached at 855-622-1903.

If a student wishes to report the sexual assault to the police, the Executive Director for Equity or Public Safety can assist her.  The New York Police Department Sex Crimes Hotline is 212-335-9373.

Barnard and Columbia students who are accused of committing a sexual assault are subject to a University-wide Gender-Based Misconduct disciplinary system.  A complete description of the University-wide policy is available from the Gender-Based Misconduct office OR it can be downloaded from Columbia's website.  Barnard College policy and procedures are found Barnard's Title IX and Equity webpage.

For students found reponsible of a violation of Gender-Based Misconduct policy, the University may impose any one or more of the following sanctions on a student determined to have violated the Policy:

• Reprimand/warning

• Changing the respondent’s academic schedule

• Disciplinary probation

• Revocation of honors or awards

• Restricting access to University facilities or activities (in­cluding student activities and campus organizations)

• Community service

• Issuing a “no contact” order to the respondent or requiring that such an order remain in place

• Moving the respondent’s residence

• Dismissal or restriction from University employment

• Removal from student housing

• Suspension (limited time or indefinite)

• Expulsion

• Revocation of degree

In addition to any other sanction (except where the sanction is expulsion or revocation of a degree), the University will require any student determined to be responsible for a violation of the Policy to receive appropriate education and/or training related to the gender-based misconduct violation at issue. The Univer­sity may also recommend counseling or other support services for the student.

In addition, students who experience sexual or gender-based misconduct may seek accommodation from the College.  The Barnard Executive Director for Equity or the Gender-Based Misconduct Office, in consultation with the Dean, will determine appropriate measures based upon the individual request. Potential ongoing accommodations may include the following:

  • Providing an escort for the individual
  • Moving the individual’s residence
  • Changing the individual’s academic schedule
  • Adjusting the individual’s work schedule
  • Allowing the individual to withdraw from or retake a class without penalty.
  • Providing access to tutoring or other academic support, such as extra time to complete or re-take a class