SGA asks about the Beyond Barnard experience and what they can do moving forward.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Classes are starting to ramp up so this week I’ll keep it short and hopefully sweet. Starting with the open meeting announcements, class councils are open so make sure you email the committee you’re interested in joining! Furthermore, FLI focus groups are looking for participants who will be rewarded $30 gift cards for attending! There will be another book exchange on Valentine’s Day—the last was a great success! Seniors, congratulations on making it through these really tough times – merch payment, senior pictures, and make sure to attend the senior banquet! Finally, the Sister Spit is the first event this month to celebrate Black History Month! Make sure you check that out in the Glicker Milstein Theater on Thursday! 

Our presentation this week was by A-J Aronstein—the dean of Beyond Barnard and the senior advisor to the provost. Aronstein described how Beyond Barnard works to support all students and alumni of Barnard College as they define, pursue, and achieve success in their careers and communities. They do this through three main avenues: advising and events, jobs and internships, and partnerships/employer relations. Beyond Barnard has been having a ton of success through the Barnard Connect pathway as well as mentors and various programs that give funding to students. As a result, Barnard has been named a top college for career services in 2022 by the Princeton Review. Additionally, 95% of the Class of 2021 had jobs or were enrolled in graduate programs within six months of graduating! There are 20 Fulbright Semi-Finalists which is a new institutional record, and 190 new students in the Preceptor Job with 55% on financial aid! 

Moving to the question and answer portion—Avalon (BC ‘24) asked about the possibility to take unpaid internship opportunities off of job posting websites. Time and time again, it has been proven that low-income students and minority communities are not able to utilize unpaid internships compared to others. However, Aronstein responded by saying that many fields require unpaid internships as their first mode of involvement. Beyond Barnard works to provide students with those unpaid opportunities a chance for funding through the Beyond Barnard internship program which is meant to offset those issues. Further questions were asked regarding the advising wait time that many students complain about, to which Avalon responded that the Beyond Barnard office is gaining six new employees to help the load. Unfortunately, in this same lens, just this semester there have been 140 no-shows, and approximately two-thirds of those signed up for group information sessions flake out. This demonstrates a communication gap between Beyond Barnard and the student body, and they are working hard to try and mediate those issues. 

And with that, I sign off, I’ll see you all next week! 

Header via Ava Morouse