Happy Sian Beilock Talks To SGA Day! And Turkey Day too, I guess…

This week’s SGA coverage is a Q&A with our queen Sian Beilock! Without further ado, let’s start as always with some extur(key)nal announcements! 

  • Emily Ndiokho (BC ‘22): Desserts After Dark! Fill out the survey in your emails to get free desserts! 
  • Bannon Beall (BC ‘22): Orders for meals during thanksgiving break have closed. If you still need a meal, email dining@barnard.edu ASAP with any Thanksgiving meal concerns!
  • Miso Kim (BC ‘22): Come to the tree lighting event on Thursday, December 2. Fill out the Desserts After Dark survey! 
  • Kennedy Yeager (BC’22): Submit your request for the SGA endowment fund if you have any ideas for Barnard community improvement! 
  • Audrey Pettit (BC ‘22): Thank you cards have been sent out! Join the senior class at Lerner Pub in collaboration with other classes on December 4. There is a set registration amount of students for Barnard students so make sure you keep your eyes open for pizza/drinks and more! 
  • Parker Watts (BC’22): Desserts After Dark! Because of thanksgiving, this is a great opportunity to be thankful for what organized labor has done for us as we move into the fourth week of the graduate strike: 40-hour work week, the Civil Rights Act, maternity leave, and much much more. We have grad students to thank for almost everything so we are all incredibly thankful for all their work! 

Moving to the Q&A section with President Beilock: 

Christina Juste (BC ‘22): How can we include more diverse facets of STEM into the Year of Science? 

  • Beilock: Every month there’s a focus on a different type of science.—so far we’ve had computer science, biology, neuroscience, chemistry. The thing that makes Barnard so special is that as a liberal arts school we look at the intersections between science and arts/humanities. So one of the things we are trying to do is look at how things can be made interdisciplinary to include everyone. 

Bannon Beall (BC ‘22): It has become super accessible for science students to get paid research opportunities, but how can we get more paid research for humanities? 

  • Beilock: Recently Beyond Barnard has been trying to find more internships in the arts through philanthropy and they are looking to expand further.

Kennedy Yeager (BC ‘22): What does an average day look like for you? 

  • Beilock wakes up at 6:45 and makes breakfast for the kids and then takes them to school on the Upper East Side
  • On the way back, she runs through the park to get some physical activity into the day! Beilock jokes that she isn’t the fastest, but she still loves it dearly. 
  • On Monday, she talked with the Wall Street Journal and gave a presentation about Women in the Workplace and how employees can advocate for more flexible work hours.
  • Beilock then had a meeting with Vice President Benedetto on how to improve dining, the endowment, and the budget. 
  • After that, the senior class met to unveil that graduation this year will be at Radio City Music Hall! (Yay!)
  • Beilock went home and made dinner for her family and then attended this SGA meeting. 

Audrey Pettit (BC ‘22): How can we think about food and dining, and what is the holistic view of dining? 

  • Beilock: Barnard has sent many surveys to learn about the students’ impression of Barnard dining. It’s sometimes tough to communicate across campuses, but right now the Feel Well Do Well staff is very responsive, and communication between Barnard and Columbia has never been better! 

Emily Ndiokho (BC ‘22): Sometimes, things feel like they stay visions or goals, so what are three goals for this school year and what steps are you taking to achieve them? 


  • Raising funds for what Barnard does is always the biggest goal: having meetings with various people to grow awareness of the importance of female education and empowerment.
  • Finalizing the health and wellness space: architects are sketching out designs, and meetings are occurring with students to ensure there is a proper collaboration between the two groups. 
  • Ensuring Access Barnard is working for students and providing support with their needs whenever and however needed: help staff understand the needs and desires of students/working with the deans to focus on advisory groups for students to put data online to show where people can go to learn more about the things offered at Barnard. 

Hilda Gitchell (BC ‘23): What is the Barnard student’s role in decision making? Who are the key stakeholders and why? 

  • Staffing and the hiring process are decided by the faculty and Beilock herself makes no decisions in a vacuum. Everything she does or any decisions that are made go through a series of checks and balances to ensure things are moving smoothly and fairly. 

Christina Juste (BC ‘22): What has Barnard learned throughout the pandemic and how is that going to change the future of Barnard? 


  • Barnard is nimble and flexible and is made of a community that truly cares about each other 
  • Barnard learned that even though we might not have a playbook, we can still thrive and do well through moving forward 
  • There are many students that Barnard can access because we have such amazing resources, Barnard has a duty in this society to spread their abilities. 
    • As such, Barnard has started to partner with the equity lab where Barnard professors teach at Title 1 high schools (established in communities with large portions of low-income students) and if those students pass the class, they receive Barnard/college credits.

Vivian Todd (BC ‘23): Why are there so many waitlisted students? It’s been tough for many students throughout the registration process, so does anyone have any clarity on why this is happening? 

  • There are much smaller classes due to COVID-19, and we had a lot more flexibility due to hybrid/online teaching that we don’t have any more now that everything’s back to in-person classes. 

And that’s all for last night’s SGA meeting! It was interesting to talk with President Beilock, and I know I learned a lot and had a great time. It was especially interesting to learn about Barnard’s collaboration with Title 1 schools and the Class of 2022 convocation at Radio City Music Hall! Have a great restful and relaxing thanksgiving weekend and I’ll see you next week! 

SGA illustration by Ava Morouse