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img May 30, 201812:45 pmimg 1 Comments

Dean Avis Hinkson

Earlier today, members of the Barnard community were notified that Dean Avis Hinkson, BC ’84, will be stepping down from her post later this summer. Starting on August 1, she will be the new Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Pomona College, where she has previously held positions. In Hinkson’s place, Executive Director of Residence Life and Housing Alicia Lawrence and Dean of Studies Natalie Friedman will together assume the responsibilities of Dean of the College.

In a community-wide email announcing this change, President Sian Beilock lauded Hinkson’s achievements as a “tireless advocate” for Barnard students, particularly her work regarding Title IX, DACA and undocumented students, and changes in Convocation. Other notable incidents documented here on Bwog include her addition of extra guest swipes in meal plans, her appearances at SGA meetings, and her statements on Barnard’s housing guarantee agreement. We will best remember her, however, for her literally thousands of emails and her gif-heavy “Office Minute” videos.

Barnard will begin the search for Hinkson’s replacement this summer. Beilock noted that the administration will be “incorporating input from faculty, staff, students, and alumnae in this important process,” but has not yet announced a process for facilitating such input.

Beilock’s message concludes: “Please join me in thanking Avis for her extraordinary service to Barnard and in wishing her much success at Pomona and with all that lies ahead.”

Read President Beilock’s full email after the jump



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img November 19, 20144:07 pmimg 6 Comments

"Meeting people for the sake of meeting people"

Meeting people for the sake of meeting people

At this week’s SGA meeting, hot topics included alumnae relations and diversity, and Dean Hinkson made an appearance. Passionate politico Joe Milholland was there to get you the scoop.

At the Monday night SGA meeting, Barnard’s Dean of the College Avis Hinkson was the administrative guest. The council members of SGA asked her about general topics of student life at Barnard. While she declared many of her answers to be off-the-record (her justification was that there was no official agenda and she wanted a “casual, candid” conversation with SGA’s membership) she did provide a few clarifications on administrative actions.

On the subject of the recent Barnard town hall on alumnae-student interactions, students said they want to have Constellation Dinners on campus, and, instead of focusing on the purely job-search aspect of alumnae interactions, SGA President Julia Qian wants to allow students and alumnae to “meet people just for the sake of meeting people.” According to Qian, the notes from the town hall are being shared among the committee, and concrete plans will come from the Alumnae Association of Barnard College.

  • Hinkson also clarified that Dean of the Barnard Library and Academic Information Services Lisa Norberg is stepping down because she is starting a 501c. Hinkson did not comment on sexual assault policy or trans student admission.
  • There’s a survey for the Barnard student body about diversity at
  • There will be a senior class open mike at Sulzberger Plaza on November 23 at 8pm.
  • The Medalist Committee, which goes over nominations for commencement speakers and medalists, has 3 faculty members, 4 students members, 2 trustees members, DSpar as the chair, and two admin guests, according to President Qian.

Editor’s Note November 21 12:15 pm: The reasons for Dean Hinkson’s request for her answers to be off-the-record were previously misunderstood and have been corrected in this post.  Also, it was previously written that Dean Hinkson suggested Constellation Dinners and “meeting people for the sake of meeting people.”  The former suggestion was actually made by students, and the latter was made by SGA President Julia Qian.  We have made these corrections in the post.

Not just networking via Shutterstock



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img August 17, 201211:56 pmimg 47 Comments

Update, 2:30 am: We read the email a few times, talked to some tipsters, and came to the following conclusions:

  • The policy for returning students was changed in February, before any of the stuff that Dean Hinkson mentions as unexpectedly causing the shortage. The deadline for study abroad, yield numbers (which show how many new freshmen there will be), and the housing lottery (which shows how many returning students there will be) all occur in March, April, or May, months which come after February.
  • Accepting fewer freshwomen is good, but doesn’t affect the amount of housing for upperclasswomen. Last year, Barnard admitted a record number of froshbears and they had to convert a bunch of study lounges into 4-person rooms just to house all of them. There are now sophomores who need upperclass housing, and who will become juniors, and so on. This is a problem that will continue to grow unless Barnard significantly changes their admission habits, or starts buying more real estate.
  • If Barnard was really concerned about the upperclass housing shortage, they could have accepted fewer transfers. By the time transfers were being admitted, Barnard should already have known about the record number of sophomores, high freshman yield, and lack of students studying abroad. So why admit 70 transfers they can’t house?

Barnard students just received the following email from Dean Hinkson, timestamped at 11:40 pm, addressing the housing crisis:

Dear Students,

I am writing to you with a detailed update about the on-campus housing situation. For those of you who have been directly impacted by the housing shortage, specifically readmitted students, new transfers, continuing students on the waitlist, and Plimpton residents whose rooms and suites were converted to house an additional resident, I want to personally express my appreciation for your understanding and flexibility while working with the Office of Residential Life and apologize for the inconvenience and anxiety that this has caused you and your families.

Numbers and reasons, below.



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img April 28, 20122:31 pmimg 82 Comments

Early this morning, Barnard students received an email from Dean Hinkson announcing that they’ll have a chance to see Obama speak. Those interested can enter a lottery by filling out an online survey, and will be notified if they’re selected by May 7th.

Dear Barnard Student,

With all the excitement about having President Obama speak at Barnard’s 2012 Commencement, I’d like to offer you the opportunity to put your name in a lottery for a ticket to attend the Ceremony on May 14th. Please complete the survey to participate. The Lottery will close on Wednesday May 2nd at 5pm. Winners will be notified via email by Monday May 7th.

These tickets will not be transferable to any one else, may not be sold and on-campus housing will not be extended for this reason. Students who give or sell these tickets to another person will be sanctioned to the extent of expulsion.

Hope you win,
Dean Hinkson



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img October 26, 20103:45 pmimg 84 Comments

So Barnard has a new Dean, and her name is Avis Hinkson. I mean, that’s a name. We’ve got PrezBo and MiMoo, we had Double D, we’ve got DSpar. Now it’s Hinkson’s turn. Whoever leaves the best suggestion wins some fancy beer from Milano and a Morningside pastry of your choosing (like a dozen Nussbaum black and white cookies). And… go!



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img October 26, 20102:37 pmimg 18 Comments

President Debora Spar of Barnard College just announced that the College’s next dean will be Avis Hinkson, ’84. She will be taking up her duties starting February 14, 2011. In an email sent to students today, Spar called Hinkson, who has served for the past six years as UC Berkeley’s Director of the Office of Undergraduate Advising, someone who can “[build] on Dean Denburg’s legacy.” DSpar’s full email is after the jump.




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img May 30, 201810:22 pmimg 1 Comments

On May 3, in the Barnard administration’s annual “tuition and fees” update email, COO Robert Goldberg and (soon-to-be-departing) Dean of the College Avis Hinkson informed students that there would be “several important changes” to Barnard’s meal plan. These changes, the email read, “resulted from discussions with students” and were purportedly intended to “address the issue of food insecurity.”

The email went on to describe these changes. First, rather than having a set amount of guest swipes, Barnard students will be able to swipe in guests up to the total number of swipes in their plans (which is how Columbia meal plans currently operate). Second, Barnard students will have 24-hour access to JJ’s place. And third, meal plan options will be “consolidated,” and students will be able to add points and swipes throughout the semester in small increments.

This initial message did not outline the actual, new consolidated meal plans or their costs. However, students were quick to find these new plans on Barnard’s tuition and fees page and point out issues these changes pose. Last year, Barnard offered about 15 different meal plans, including the Platinum Plan for first-years, Quad Upperclass Plan for upperclassmen living in the first-year dorms and Hewitt, and three “Basic” and “Convenience” plans for other upperclassmen and commuters. All of these plans, except for the Platinum and Quad Upperclass plans, cost under $1,000 per semester. (As of the writing of this post, all of these old plans are still visible on the Dining at Barnard website.)

Read about the new options and students’ concerns after the jump



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img May 07, 20189:10 pmimg 0 Comments

Buthell looking good despite it smelling like no one in it has showered for 3 days.

We’ve finally reached the end of the semester! After doing Field Notes for the entire 2017-2018 year, the messiness of Bwog Staff’s weekend is finally coming to a close. Here are this weekend’s highlights, from free bleeding to finals despair. If you have any stories you would like to be added to this week’s Field Notes, email us at and we will add it!

Bwog in the City:

  • Spent the money I collected in my douchebag jar on groceries for a wholesome dinner with my friends.
  • Went to Suite for the second time ever and last time for my first year.
  • Got flirted with by men at Suite (unfortunately).
  • Babysat for the last time this semester and it felt very freeing.
  • Best friend came into town for a glorious 24 hrs so we ate all the food and saw HAIM!!!
  • Decided to get Mexican food at midnight then went to South Ferry where we got stuck on the train both there and back because of the #MTA.
  • Went to my old college for closure and to increase my superiority complex over my former classmates.
  • Slept on the floor of Penn Station while waiting for the Amtrak.
  • Went to a Mets game and saw Yoenis Cespedes pick at his butt.
  • Went to see the RBG movie at a bougie theater in midtown where the seats recline and even have adjustable FOOT RESTS.
  • Went to yoga high. Aligned my chakras.
  • Stayed in the city for a day longer than I needed to so that I could go to a #Marx200 party in Brooklyn, but everyone I was planning on going with bailed at the last minute due to finals. Decided to just stay in and catch up on Better Call Saul. (Night well spent.)
  • Went out driving alone at 10:30 at night with no destination in mind. Ended up skinny-dipping in a public lake—my first time doing that sober!
  • Went to Book of Mormon with my roommate to celebrate a year of living together and not killing each other.

Finals drama found here.



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img May 01, 20181:30 pmimg 0 Comments

Free at last.

Missed the last SGA meeting of the semester last night? No fear! Barnard Bureau Chief Dassi Karp was there. She reports back on college budget changes, meal plans, and what will almost certainly not be the last advancement in the CUAD divestment discussion. Also, zines.

Last night’s Barnard Student Government Association meeting was the last of the semester, but that didn’t stop Rep Council from getting stuff done. Chief Operating Officer Robert Goldberg, VP Finance Eileen DiBenedetto, and VP Campus Services Gail Beltrone joined SGA to talk about the budget for the upcoming year.

If you’d like to understand how Barnard’s budget works, you can read about the last time SGA had this discussion. Or the time before that. Surprisingly, though, the presentation was actually pretty informative.

what Dassi learned…



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img March 05, 20183:51 pmimg 66 Comments

The Quad courtyard, protected by the Chastity gates.

On Sunday, the Barnard community received an email from Dean of the College Avis Hinkson reporting on an intrusion in the Quad by a Columbia student earlier that morning. Hinkson explained that “a Columbia student who had signed in as a guest of a Barnard student entered the room of another student, without permission and in the nude. The student awoke and became alarmed by his presence. The intruder ran but was detained by Barnard Public Safety, and the police were engaged.”

The student was later arrested on grounds of criminal mischief and taken to the police station at the 26th precinct. According to public records obtained from the NYPD, he has been identified as 19 year old Clay Watson, a first-year at Columbia College and a member of the heavyweight rowing team. This is Watson’s first arrest.

Witnesses report that around 4 am, the intruder came into the lounge on the fourth floor of Sulzberger Hall with a towel covering his genitals, ran around the room, then back out into the hallway. A few seconds later, an unidentified Barnard student began complaining that he had urinated on the floor of her room. The NYPD also noted that he damaged the door of the room as he was leaving.

We have reached out to Columbia Athletics and the Barnard Administration for statements, and we will update the post when we receive them.

UPDATE, 3:58pm: We have received a response from the Barnard Administration. At this time, they are unable to release more information because of the “ongoing investigation.”

UPDATE, 9:20pm: We have received a response from Columbia Athletics, saying that they are still in the process of investigating the incident, but that the “alleged behavior” will not be tolerated.

Full text of the Athletics statement after the jump



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img February 28, 20183:37 pmimg 21 Comments

The original Facebook post.

Around 4 pm on Tuesday, February 27, NYPD arrested GS student Shlomo Fingerer in Barnard Hall. Later that evening, a photo was posted to the Barnard Class of 2021 Facebook page, asking about the reason behind the arrest. A student commented that the man being arrested in the photo was a friend of theirs who suffers from a medical condition; they speculated that the reason Shlomo refused to get into an ambulance was because he,“loses awareness of where he is and can’t control his actions.” The post has since been removed from the page at the request of the student who commented. Also, a different commenter noted that Barnard students were not notified of the police presence on campus, as is usual protocol in such situations.

On Wednesday, Fingerer posted on Facebook explaining his condition: “Seizures make me sleepwalk. I am totally unconscious and unresponsive. I look like someone in a total daze.” While studying in Lefrak, he wrote, he experienced a seizure. Later he awoke to find himself under arrest. It appears, he continues, that he went to Hewitt Dining Hall and was asked to leave but did not respond. Public Safety and the NYPD were called (unknown by whom) and Fingerer was removed from Hewitt. He was then arrested for trespassing, and NYPD transported Fingerer to a holding cell off campus.

According to Fingerer’s Facebook post, the head chef at Hewitt, Frank Pulgiano, claimed that he felt threatened because of the way Fingerer was clenching his fork; he allegedly refused to put it down, and it had to be physically removed from his hand.

Fingerer says in his Facebook post that he was told he can no longer step foot on Barnard’s campus, despite being a Columbia student and paying “$1,500 for a class in Barnard this semester.” If he does, he will be charged with trespassing, issued a $1,000 fine, and possibly sentenced to one year in prison. In his post, Fingerer writes, “Any seizure that I have, and I have two a week, I can sleepwalk onto Barnard campus, which is right across the street.” Additionally, because he keeps kosher and Hewitt is one of the few dining halls with kosher options, Fingerer claims that not being allowed on Barnard’s campus severely restricts his dining options.

In an update to his post, Fingerer added that he may now be facing homelessness because of his arrest. According to Columbia Facilities, they have received complaints from students and parents who feel unsafe with him in his building.

Barnard has since released a statement saying, “With the utmost concern for the safety of our community, on Tuesday evening, Aramark staff and Public Safety responded to a university student who was exhibiting threatening behavior and they called NYPD. Subsequently the student informed us his behavior was a result of a medical condition. Barnard will always work with members of our community who have medical needs. The College will never take legal action or ban a student from our facilities solely because of a medical condition.”

A number of students have begun an email campaign targeting Barnard employees who deal with disabilities and discipline. These faculty members range from Barnard Human Resources to a Title IX representative to the Barnard representative for Aramark to President Beilock.

Edit, 2/28/18, 10 pm: The title of the post has been changed from “GS Student Arrested In Barnard Hall Yesterday” to “GS Student Had Seizure In Barnard Hall, Arrested By NYPD,” in order to better reflect the events described by the contents of the post.

Edit, 2/28/18, 10:45 pm: Members of the Barnard community received an email from Dean Hinkson at 10:41 pm on 2/28/2018 regarding the incident described above. In the email, she referenced action being taken by “Columbia counterparts” and indicated that Barnard “will work with them to ensure the student’s well-being.” She also noted that Barnard is not pursuing legal action against Fingerer, that they “are working with Aramark to see that the charge that was filed against the student is dropped,” and that he is not banned from campus or Hewitt Dining Hall.

In accordance with many of the demands being made by students earlier in the day for next steps, the email also stated that Barnard is “looking at how we can collaborate more closely with Columbia’s Office of Disability Services” and “reviewing our response to this incident to ensure it comported with our values, as well as our policies and procedures.”

The full text of the email can be read below.

Full email after the cut



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img February 23, 20187:30 pmimg 0 Comments

A photo from Columbia Dining’s feedback page

Are you totally confused–and frustrated–by Barnard’s guest swipe policy for Columbia dining halls? So were we. Bwoggers Sarah Dahl and Lucy Danger did some investigating to find out the truth about guest swipes. We hope this information helps you.

Barnard students weren’t allowed to swipe guests into dining halls until this year, when emails from administrators informed us that the policy had changed.

An April 25, 2017 email to Barnard students from interim president Rob Goldberg and Dean Avis Hinkson announcing the tuition and fees for 2017-2018, noted that “in response to student concerns about food insecurity, and to encourage community building, there will be additional ‘guest’ swipes added for all meal plans.”

Another email to Barnard students from Vice President for Campus Services Gail Beltrone on September 8, 2017, announces, “This year, the College added guest swipes onto meal plans.”

But the guest swipes aren’t available on all meal plans. According to

“Guest Meals are included with certain meal plans and can be used at any on campus location that accepts meal swipes. Guest Meals are included with the following meal plans:
Platinum Plan – 6 guest swipes/semester, Upper Class Quad – 5 guest swipes/semester, Basic 1 – 4 guest swipes/semester, Basic 2 – 3 guest swipes/semester, Basic 3 – 2 guest swipes/semester.”

This policy was confirmed in an email from Lauren Scocozza, Barnard Food Service Director, who also noted that guest swipes “can be used at Columbia Dining halls so long as the dining hall accepts meal swipes.” Ms. Scocozza also noted that these guest swipes are “in addition to the meals included in the meal plans listed.”

What did Columbia have to say?



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img February 22, 20181:03 pmimg 4 Comments

In an email sent out this morning, President Beilock and Dean Hinkson announced that Olympic soccer gold medalist and activist Abby Wambach will be the speaker at Barnard’s 2018 Commencement, which will take place on May 16 in Radio City Music Hall. Wambach, alongside delivering the keynote address, has also received the Barnard Medal of Distinction.

Barnard has also awarded three other individuals with the medal, including: Katherine Johnson, pioneering mathematician and computer scientist featured in Hidden Figures; Rhea Suh ’92, environmental policy expert; Anna Quindlen ’74, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Barnard Board Chair.

The full announcement email has been included below.

Dear Barnard Seniors and Barnard Community,

It is our pleasure to announce the distinguished speaker and medalists for Commencement 2018. We are honored that Abby Wambach, soccer star, Olympic gold medalist, and activist, will deliver the keynote address and receive the Barnard Medal of Distinction. In addition to being the all-time leading scorer in international soccer history with 184 career goals, Abby has led the fight for pay equity for women and has been a strong advocate for gender rights and, more specifically, the rights of the LGBTQ community. Like many Barnard students, faculty and alumnae, Abby has used her career success to advance issues of importance for women and for society as a whole.

Joining our speaker and medalist, Abby Wambach, will be three other medalists who, through their lives and work, embody Barnard’s commitment to academic excellence and to making a difference in the world. The medalists are: Katherine Johnson, acclaimed mathematician, computer scientist, and one of the three history-making women in the book and feature film Hidden Figures; Rhea Suh ’92, environmental policy expert and president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Barnard Board Chair Emerita Anna Quindlen ’74, distinguished author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Thanks are due to the Medalist Committee for their help in selecting our honorees, as well as to those who participated in the Commencement speaker conversations.

Read full bios of the medalists at:

Barnard’s 126th Commencement will take place on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at 4:00 p.m., at Radio City Music Hall. Before the ceremony, the Class of 2018 will gather on campus for a celebratory reception with friends, family, and faculty. Bus transportation to Radio City Music Hall will be provided for all graduates, departing from Barnard at 2:30 p.m.

The University Commencement will also take place on the morning of Wednesday, May 16. More information and updates about both Commencement ceremonies will be posted over the next several weeks at

We very much look forward to celebrating the spectacular achievements of the Barnard Class of 2018 on Wednesday, May 16.


Sian Leah Beilock

Avis Hinkson
Dean of the College

Abby Wambach via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 3.0],



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img January 30, 201811:40 amimg 0 Comments

Courtesy of Caroline’s Instagram.

Following the tragic death of Barnard senior Caroline Montgomery over winter break, her family has decided to host a memorial gathering this evening at the school. According to Dean Avis Hinkson, “The program will feature several speakers and an opportunity to share memories of Caroline”.

The service will take place in the James Room, on the fourth floor of Barnard Hall, from 6-7 pm.





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img January 20, 20183:30 pmimg 0 Comments

Almost there…

Earlier this month, Dean Avis Hinkson informed students that the construction of the forthcoming Milstein Center would be moving to the lawn, temporarily closing the North-South walkway that has become Barnard’s main thoroughfare. Although Dean Hinkson stated that the closings should only last for a few minutes at a time, they’re still an inconvenience, as is the suggested route of going up and down Broadway to reach your classes at Altschul, Diana, and Milbank. To circumvent this, here are some proposed alternative routes:

  • Parkour off of Sulz Tower/rest of the Quad
  • Drones
  • Stealing the bulldozer and driving down Broadway
  • Pull an Uber driver and go down Claremont even though the GPS says Broadway
  • Apparate
  • Break into the tunnels
  • Naruto run


Milstein Center Update via

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