Mission and Function

Student Life enhances the educational mission of Barnard College by engaging students outside of the classroom through programs, events, leadership opportunities, and dialogues. Our intention is to relate the classroom with students' lived experiences, fostering identity and leadership development in a dynamic and multifaceted environment. We believe that co-curricular engagement is an important complement to classroom experiences. Through our approach, we provide students with tools, resources, and experiences to assist them in the ways they navigate their lives. As student affairs practitioners, we value equity-based models, critical thinking, shared experiences, community participation, and self-care practices. Through engagement with our office and our programs, students will have access to wide-ranging experiences and multiple perspectives, allowing them to be more engaged citizens of our global community.


Principles of Practice

Our work is grounded in social justice principles and intersectionality as means for honoring the dynamic and complex identities of our students, addressing concerns around campus climate, and fostering a shared responsibility for action and change. We understand intersectionality as means to recognize both our students’ multiple/simultaneous identities, as well as the ways that systems of oppression intersect,impacting social structures and individual experiences. We approach social justice as both process and product, and it is one that requires constant attention. We provide multiple entry points for individuals and groups, recognizing students’ varying familiarity with social justice education; and we use a curricular model that builds on cumulative knowledge and lived experience. Finally, this informs our both/and approach: we offer support and advocacy for marginalized communities AND work to address social inequities that are the cause of marginalization and discrimination.


Partnership Agreement

Student Life holds itself to:

Student Life expects students to:


  • Provide co-curricular experiences that are vital to a liberal arts education.


  • Create spaces for students to explore multiple and intersecting identities.


  • Develop leadership and life skills through student employment, programs, retreats, workshops, and committees that are focused on holistic student development.


  • Foster relationships and sense of community across campus.


  • Support students by advising the Student Leadership Collective, student clubs and organizations, and providing individual student consultations.


  • Provide support and referrals to address students’ needs and concerns.


  • Welcome feedback, suggestions, and new ideas.


  • Actively participate in programs offered by Student Life, as well as SGA, GBB, McAC, student clubs and organizations, and other campus initiatives.


  • Be respectful of people’s identities, experiences, and perspectives.


  • Utilize campus resources and seek support from Student Life as student leaders and when planning programs and events.


  • Be open to new perspectives and experiences. Challenge one’s self to stretch, learn, and grow.


  • Reflect on experiences and bring new ideas and suggestions to Student Life.


  • Be familiar with and follow Barnard College, Student Life, and Student Government policies and procedures.