Welcome back to another week of SGA! This week with Barnard’s own Covid-19 response team! 

Monday’s meeting started with external announcements, then with a proposal to amend Barnard’s antisemitism definition during an open meeting, a quick presentation by Deputy Chief of Staff and Head of Pandemic Response Team, Cynthia Yang and Vice President of Health and Wellness, Chief Health Officer, Marina Catallozzi M.D. then Q&A. 

External Announcements: 

  • Banon Beall (BC ‘22): Fill out the food and dining survey for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card! So far there are a little over 500 responses! 
  • Vivian Todd (BC ‘23): With your CU ID watch senate meetings over zoom, more details in SGA newsletters! 
  • Tiffany Vo (BC ‘23): Follow SGA Twitter! Special Taylor features! 
  • Emily Lan (BC ‘24): Get your flu and booster shot. It’s super easy to schedule both of them through Barnard PCHS! 
  • Miso Kim (BC ‘22): Visitors after dark and the tree lighting ceremony on December 2! Make sure you come early because the first 500 people will be given a mug with their own little hot chocolate bombs! 
  • Audrey Pettit (BC ‘22): Check your email if you’re interested in working on the commencement speaker and medalist committee! Only 16 students will be on the committee so make sure you look out for that survey if you’re interested! 
  • Melody Chen (BC ‘23): Sign up for job search information on a handshake. 
  • Parker Watts (BC ‘22): Support grad students on their third week of the strike. 
  • Kennedy Yeager (BC ‘22): apply to be a part SGA endowment fund if you have any ideas on how to better the broad Barnard community. 

Moving to the open meeting sector of Monday’s meeting, Shaqed Tzabbar (BC ‘24) shared a resolution to reform the definition of antisemitism. As a result of recent incidents in the US and at Columbia, expansion is necessary to take care of the Jewish population at Columbia and abroad. 

Then the Barnard Pandemic Response Team shared their presentation. As an overview, the PRT team has four main aspects: testing, screening, quarantining/isolation, and contact tracing. All of which are firmly rooted in data found by the College. Campus partners of PRT teams include PCHS, Res Life, CARES, Furman, Deans, Facilities, and Community Conduct. 

Catallozzi then went on to share the principles of the College’s pandemic response. Firstly, health and safety as Barnard’s top priority were emphasized many times. This was helpful to support Barnard’s culture of engaged education and risk mitigation as a philosophy instead of a strategy built around abstinence. Additionally, Barnard’s response team is trying to act through the use of dials and levers rather than on/off switches to show that as data moves in one way, we can respond accordingly in the prevention lens. All of these are within the lens of the CDC and New York state guidelines. 

Moving to the Q&A section, SGA board representatives asked pre-mediated questions as well as some that were given to Catallozzi and Yang for the first time. 

  • Emily Lan (BC ‘24): Why was the testing location moved to the LeFrak center, what will the Altschul atrium be used for now? 
    • The atrium is good for meetings and gatherings and programming space. Many administrators wanted to have more space to do meetings and this gave people more space to spread out. 
    • Inaccessibility: people didn’t know where LeFrak was, but hopefully through graphics and signs finding the center will be easier. 
  • Vivian Todd (BC ‘23): As someone who is often affected with long-term nausea, is there any way Co-verified can be altered so that people don’t have to lie about their symptoms when they exhibit traits they know aren’t Covid-19? 
    • Coverified was created as a self-reporting platform because only you can know yourself and your symptoms. Therefore, it should be used how you need it to be used. Instead of reporting all symptoms that you feel often, respond when you exhibit symptoms that fluctuate from your baseline. 
  • Miso Kim (BC ‘22): Are there any prospective ideas for post-winter break policies? All bathrooms and classrooms have air filtration systems, but a lot of them have a change filter notification.
    • For the first part, it’s hard to tell the future. President Beilock sent out the grid of Covid-19 data which is constantly changing and constantly informing what is known as the guidelines. However, if you ever are trying to hold an event, you can request an event and the administration can work with you to find a feasible solution or suggestions on how to hold the event safely. Additionally, many of the post-winter break policies will be decided by the data given after winter break since there will be a lot of traveling during both Thanksgiving and winter break. After that data comes out, larger groups should be able to meet. 
  • Parker Watts (BC ‘22): Barnard students love the testing process! However, as an RA, there is no internal tracking for wearing masks in the residence halls which makes it hard to ensure that incidents are being tracked. 
    • Because Barnard takes part in a testing program, vaccine requirements, and low positive rates they’ve been happy with the data that has been found. However, wearing masks in residence halls is still an integral piece of the puzzle and is necessary to keep cases down. Make sure that students know this isn’t something that’s made to get students in trouble but rather for them to understand the risks if masks aren’t worn. Additionally, there is an expectation and requirement for people not to leave housing unless they’re approved so let them know if that’s not happening to make sure that people are being safe → email covid19@barnard.edu or find more information on the community conduct page.

And that’s all for this week’s SGA coverage! Make sure you check your emails for more information on the things mentioned here, and see you next week :)

Drawing from Bwarchives via Ava Morrouse