Members of 24/7 Columbia, an organization dedicated to improving healthcare on campus, are holding a sit-in in Lerner Hall tonight to protest “the lack of in-person, accessible healthcare,” according to a statement sent to Bwog.
The group’s goals are the creation of a 24/7 rape crisis center and health center and round-the-clock access to CPS, as shown in the poster above.
Beyond constant access to mental health services and other campus healthcare providers, 24/7 Columbia is worried about the “violence and punitive discipline” students face “when attempting to access health resources on campus.”
The Lerner protesters argue that Columbia cannot be a “leading academic institutions” until it addresses their demands and provides 24/7 healthcare.
A Bwog staffer will provide updates as the situation develops.
New York, NY – On April 19, students from #24SevenColumbia began an overnight demonstration in Lerner Hall to protest the lack of in-person, accessible healthcare on their campus.
The #24SevenColumbia campaign is composed of Columbia and Barnard undergraduate and graduate students. The group advocates for around-the-clock healthcare available to all members of the University community. According to the group’s Facebook page, students believe such services must be free from policing and threats of disciplinary retaliation.
As people who live and work on Columbia’s campuses, students are continually endangered by the poor state of mental and physical health resources at the University. Following an academic year with six undergraduate suicides at Columbia and new statistics about rampant sexual violence on campus, students are still unable to access the care they urgently need. Healthcare providers for the University community — Counseling and Psychological Services/Furman, Medical Services/Primary Care Health Service, and Sexual Violence Response — remain closed overnight and on weekends.
In addition, students continue to risk violence and punitive discipline when attempting to access health resources on campus. Administrators regularly threaten struggling students with disciplinary consequences. In order to receive crisis response or any form of after-hours healthcare, students must also face the possibility of interacting with campus security and the NYPD. This makes campus healthcare even more inaccessible for Black students and other students of color, queer and trans students, undocumented students, and others whose communities are disproportionately targeted by police and state violence.
Students demonstrating in Lerner argue adequate healthcare is a necessary part of a safe and equitable learning environment. If the University wants to fully achieve its mission of being a leading academic institution, students believe the University needs to invest in 24/7 healthcare.
Photo via 24/7 Columbia’s Facebook page