SGA has an incredible time learning about the different nondiscrimination and inclusion measures that exist at Barnard.
Happy Tuesday! Back at it again with some rockin’ SGA coverage. Hope you all are having a fantabulous first week of classes.
Kicking it off with some external announcements! Check your email to attend SGA office hours and utilize the feedback form at the bottom of emails! Join different class councils and learn about semester events on the library’s website. Today is the first day of Black History Month and there’s a zoom today from seven to eight to celebrate!
Moving to our presenters, first, we have Madeline Camacho, the Associate Director for community standards and investigations. You can visit Camacho at Milbank Hall 115, or email if you ever have any issues. Camacho went over the general process for disciplinary concerns, and it proceeds as such: first, the college receives a report or complaint of a potential code violation. If that complaint is reviewed and found sufficient the student of concern is brought in for either a formal or educational conversation and depending on the result of that, the conduct administrator arrives at an outcome that can then be appealed when applicable.
Then Elizabeth Schott Francis, the Director of Nondiscrimination and Title IX, and Danielle-Hope Cabral, the associate director of compliance and investigation began their presentation. To talk, you can find them on the first floor of Elliot Hall, visit the Barnard nondiscrimination website or email them. They first started with why nondiscrimination and title nine are important, and for reasons, we can all agree they exist to keep us safe.
- Promote equity and inclusion
- Protect individuals who weren’t previously covered by the law
- Federal and state mandates require institutions to have policies and procedures in place that are fair and reasonable
- Increased measures of accountability for those who don’t act by the institution’s policies and values
- Provide access to rights and support for campus community members
Barnard’s policy against discrimination and harassment essentially describes an environment free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. It additionally prohibits any kind of discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy, disability, sex or gender identity or expression, in its administration. Barnard adheres to all laws regarding discrimination and harassment and expects students, faculty, and staff to do the same.
The presentation then moved to what happens after someone reports; their office reviews the information shared and makes determinations about the next steps. But something important to remember is that for all informal resolutions, all members need to want to be part of the resolution process. Barnard has many responsibilities that include treating parties involved equitably, responding to acts of discrimination, offering support to those involved in the process, and engaging in response before discipline. Individuals involved with the Title IX act have rights to be protected from retaliation, the right to supportive measures and assistance, the right to report, and the right to an advisor.
Then, we moved to a series of questions and answers, where Parker Watts (BC ‘22) asked about the wording the campus updates texts have and how to improve them. The Title 9 department said they can work on it to put more effort into the language they use to prevent confusion. Emily Ndijko (BC ‘22) then asked how often the college’s code of conduct gets amended, to which Camacho responded that it is meant to be amended every few years while taking input from students in SGA, the class councils, the Dean of the college, and much more. Parker Watts (BC ‘22) also added a point regarding the professor at Barnard who said the n-word without any consequences. This case has been a huge point of anger within the Barnard and Columbia community, and seeing Title IX do seemingly nothing about it simply because of tenure is incredibly defeating. The Title IX department discussed that the only way to make true lasting change is if enough people report, in which case the reports sort of culminating into a large enough claim that they can take action on.
And, that’s all for last night’s meeting. While some tough discussions were had, it’s essential to understand how our school protects us as students and as humans. If you have any other questions or concerns please reach out to Danielle and Elizabeth.
Image via Bwog’s Ava Morouse