Gender-neutral Barnard

Following the Thanksgiving break, Barnard Bwogger Dassi Karp is back with updates from the latest SGA meeting. This weeks focal point resolved around providing various support mechanisms for trans and gender-questioning individuals on campus.

At this week’s Rep Council meeting, Barnard’s Student Government Association continued with its goal of reaching out to student groups and administrators on campus to increase communication, dialogue, and see how they can all work together to support students. For the first time this semester, neither of the visiting groups were strictly Barnard-affiliated (I know, you just spent all of Thanksgiving break explaining that Barnard is one of the four undergraduate colleges of Columbia University, look we even play on the same sports teams and take classes together. But you also explained that the relationship is ungodly complicated, I’m sure). While clubs at Columbia are certainly open to Barnard students, SGA has tended to invite groups incorporated under the Governing Board at Barnard (GBB), and not the Student Governing Board (SGB) at Columbia. Nevertheless, the groups who sent representatives to last night’s meeting are relevant to Barnard students, and they had interesting information to share.

First, Ben Regas spoke, representing Proud Colors, a campus group that supports and promotes the needs of queer and trans- students of color on campus. Currently, the group is mostly discussion based, but they are also looking to host some events next semester. Regas explained that the group had trouble attracting Barnard members and booking Barnard space, and asked SGA for help with that. He seemed grateful to be invited to speak, saying that “this is a first for us.”

Next, Levi Craske spoke about GendeRevolution, a support and advocacy group for trans and gender-questioning people at Columbia and Barnard. Craske explained that while GendeRev’s board had a mix of Columbia and Barnard students, general membership of the groups is mostly made up of GS, CC, and SEAS students. Craske asked for help sharing events and news with Barnard students. They also spoke about hosting GenderF*ck, the group’s annual queer, body-positive underwear party at Barnard earlier this month. Craske said that the group had some issues with Barnard events management, especially over issues of gender-neutral bathrooms. They expressed doubt that SGA could do anything about this, but agreed that increasing the discussion on campus on this topic could be a positive step. In response to a question about Barnard as a women’s college, Craske acknowledged that it was complicated (just like you told your uncle as you passed the turkey), but they did express a desire for a conversation about conceptions of womenhood on campus.

In other SGA news:

Applications for Rep for Academic Affairs and to join the ad hoc food insecurity committee are still open! Apply!
SGA is proud of its relationship with the student council’s of the other undergraduate colleges. Boasted SGA President Angela Beam, “we talk to them all the time, so..”