Updates From The Barnard Title IX And Equity Office

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This afternoon Barnard College sent students a summary of changes made to the Policy against Discrimination and Harassment. One update is that any case of gender-based misconduct with allegations charged against a Barnard student will now be handled through the Barnard Title IX office. The process for obtaining legal assistance and appealing a case has also been updated.

The full text of the email is included below:

Dear Members of the Barnard Community,

With the beginning of the new academic year almost upon us, we are writing with an update on two important developments from the College’s Title IX and Equity Office. As always, our aim is to maintain a respectful learning and working environment and to ensure the health and safety of every member of the Barnard community.

First, the College has updated our Policy against Discrimination and Harassment and related gender-based misconduct procedures. These updates reflect changes in New York State law, passed in early July, as well as ongoing efforts to strengthen the support that we provide to all Barnard students.

The primary procedural change is that the investigation and adjudication processes for gender-based misconduct involving Barnard students will now be managed fully by Barnard’s Title IX and Equity Office. The affiliation of the respondent (whether Barnard, Columbia University, or another institution) will determine the procedures that govern the investigation and adjudication of each matter. What this means is that for cases where the respondent (or accused) is Barnard-affiliated, Barnard’s Title IX and Equity Office will wholly manage the matter. This includes cases that occur between two Barnard students, as well as those that involve allegations against a Barnard student by another member of the University community.

For cases where a Barnard student is the complainant (or accuser) and the respondent is an affiliate of another institution, Barnard’s Title IX and Equity Office will support our student through the other institution’s process from beginning to end. It is important to note that anyone who believes they have been subjected to sex or gender-based discrimination or harassment of any kind is encouraged to report the incident to Barnard Title IX Coordinator Amy Zavadil (, who will respond promptly, provide care for the affected student, and take whatever next steps are appropriate.

Within the updated procedures, there are two key items of note. First, all members of the community will be given the right to an advisor or advocate of their choice. For students who request it, the College will provide access to an attorney at no cost. In addition, members of the community who are subject to an adverse decision will be afforded the right to appeal to a trained three-person appeals panel.

These are just a few highlights. We urge you to take a look at the full policy and procedures, as well as resource information, all of which are available at

The other initiative we have been working on this summer addresses prevention. With the input and assistance of students and staff, we have created a new ongoing campaign called Being Barnard. Drawing from programming offered by the Furman Counseling Center, Primary Health Care Services, Well Woman, Student Life, Residential Life, the Title IX and Equity Office, and other students, staff, and faculty, Being Barnard will comprehensively aid students in identifying available education programs across five main categories: wellness, relationships, social identities and social power, intervention, and violence education.

Throughout the year, these programs will provide opportunities to gain knowledge, develop skills, and engage in discussion in a variety of ways that appeal to the full spectrum of students’ needs, interests, and styles of engagement. You will be hearing much more about Being Barnard throughout the year, and we look forward to your input and feedback as we expand our offerings.

These two initiatives are just part of the College’s ongoing effort to provide education, support and resources that address the difficult issue of sexual violence on college campuses. We are greatly appreciative of the strong relationship we enjoy with our University partners in this endeavor and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively on all matters related to the health and wellness of our community.

It goes without saying that the College’s leadership is fully committed to the health, rights, and safety of our students, and, as always, we maintain zero tolerance for violence or discrimination of any kind. If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out directly to the Title IX and Equity Office at 212-854-0037.

Best wishes for a successful year ahead.


Debora Spar

Avis Hinkson
Dean of the College

Gates via Barnard

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1 Comment

  1. hmmm

    I am certain that there are important improvements that this office will make-- but I must note the ironic, Orwellian culture that we seem to live in. Not to hate on Barnard too much-- but it is an institution that is intrinsically unequal-- and now they will more strenously investigate exaggerated inequities while most definitely ignoring the most obvious one staring them directly in the face, because it is against cultural norms to recognize it.

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