Friday, July 21, 2017

Student Services and Other Resources - the Student Side

This week’s post will be focusing on the student services that are available across Barnard and Columbia. One of the MOST important things about living on your own and being, at least somewhat, self-sufficient is knowing when to reach out for help and what resources are available to you.

“The mission of Barnard’s Well-Woman Health Promotion Program is to promote the health and wellness of the Barnard student body through peer education, educational programming, individual health behavior consultation, campus-wide health campaigns, community outreach and advocacy. Well-Woman supports wellness as an integral component of learning.”

There are some amazing folks who work in Well Woman who are so enthusiastic about helping people to be healthy and whole. They have chocolate, tea, massage chairs, and are super super friendly. Stop by to talk about a health issue, social issue, or just to have some cool folks around to color or study with.

Peer-to-Peer Learning (PPL) is a service run by the Dean of Studies Office under the supervision of our wonderful First-Year Class Dean, Dean Rebecca Grabiner, in partnership with the Academic Success and Enrichment Program and its equally wonderful Interim Director, Elida Martinez-Gaynor. PPL is a free resource available for when you need some extra academic support in your classes. As the name suggests, PPL is a service of students who help other students with academics -- this service is free for all Barnard students.

PPL takes on two forms: Help Rooms and group/individual tutoring. Help Rooms are general sessions for a specific course or department that happen 1-3 times a week. Help Rooms are available for classes like biology, economics, math, computer science and more. The Help Rooms are open for 1.5-2 hour time blocks and you can drop in at any time. If you’re stuck on a problem set, unsure about a certain concept, or have a question about your homework, you can drop by and get some help.

Small-group tutoring is available if you need more individualized help than what the Help Rooms can offer or if you need some support in a subject that doesn’t have a help room. Small-group tutoring is capped at 3 students per group.

WHAT’S THAT? FREE HELP ON YOUR ESSAY OR PRESENTATION? The writing and speaking fellows are students that are trained specifically to help their peers with their writing and speech. They will sit down with you for a one-on-one and really comb through whatever project you’re working on to find its strengths and weaknesses. Writing fellows will help you organize your essay into a cohesive unit and bolster any points that are key to a successful paper. Speaking fellows will help you create a more persuasive speech, presentation, or debate, utilizing the most convincing and effective public speaking methods. Speaking fellows can even help you if you're shy about class participation. These students are trained by faculty and have immense skillsets. Reach out to them if you’re struggling with your work and could use an extra pair of eyes!

If you feel confident in your ability in either of these fields you can apply to be a writing or speaking fellow at the end of your first semester!

“Sexual Violence Response (SVR) provides trauma-informed, confidential support through crisis counseling/intervention, advocacy, prevention, and outreach focused on interpersonal violence and harassment. Our mission is to eradicate all forms of gender-based violence. Through collective community action, SVR is committed to social change and creating a culture of accountability.”

If you need support after a traumatic incident, reach out to SVR for resources and information to help you heal and process in the way that feels most comfortable for you. These folks are trained and well-versed in the wide array of both legal and emotional journeys that survivors may go through. They will not tell you to take any one specific path but encourage you to take stock of all options and make decisions based on what you need.

“The Office of Disability Services' mission is to provide support services to students, faculty and staff  which encourage Barnard students with disabilities to become self-sufficient in managing their own accommodations.”

If you need accommodations for any reason, reach out to ODS and they will work with you to put those in place. Remember that disabilities take all sorts of forms including physical, psychological, and learning. Some of them are visible and some are not but ALL are valid. Accommodations are there to give students the tools they need to be as successful in their academic life as possible. If you think you might need an accommodation of any kind reach out to ODS and see what your options are.

Remember that accommodations come in all different shapes and sizes. I have many friends who have severe anxiety which sometimes prevents them from getting to class. This is not something you should have to deal with alone! ODS can get involved and help communicate to your professor how best to support you if you don't feel you're able to do it yourself. Oftentimes professors are sympathetic and jump at the opportunity to assist you in whatever ways possible. If this is not the case, however, reach out to your adviser, ODS, or Molree Williams-Lendor, our Title IX Coordinator & Executive Director of Equity.

These people are all here to make sure you’re given every chance possible to excel academically. Molree in particular is passionate about making sure students are taken care of and is a phenomenal resource if you have any questions regarding equity and equal treatment.

You will get eight free counseling sessions each year at Furman, the counseling center at Barnard. They have licensed therapists across many identities and experiences who can help you start to work through any issues you need addressed. Whether that’s a one-time visit to talk about something that just happened, or beginning to unpack issues you’ve been dealing with for several years. If you’re not sure if you need a therapist, call Furman for an intake appointment to see where you fall. Having these free sessions gives you the opportunity to explore yourself and where you are mentally in order to better assess how much help you might need going forward and in which areas.

If you need more assistance after those eight sessions they will refer you out and help you find another therapist in the city, within your budget, to continue your counseling. Furman is located in Hewitt using the Brooks entrance in the quad.

Resident Assistants (RA)
Another great resource is your RAs! Your Resident Advisers (RAs) are fellow students who are trained to help you with roommate conflicts, organize floor events, and can offer advice about life at Barnard from their own experiences. Your RA is a great person to start with if you have a problem and they can help point you in the direction of other resources that could work for you! Do keep in mind that they’re mandatory reporters so if you tell them something in confidence about an event on campus they may be required by law to tell a higher up. For confidential or anonymous help contact SVR, Nightline, Furman, or Primary Care (all listed in this post).

We (Rowan and Paige) can attest, the class deans are great people and resources for all things about Barnard. If you’re concerned about your academics, need some help planning out your courses, have questions about policies, or need to talk through concerns, contact your class dean.

During the academic year you can meet with deans during walk-in hours or make an appointment.

Crisis Resources

Sometimes, people need help and support, even after some offices are closed for the day. Here are some important resources available on campus when you just want to talk or if you’re in a crisis and need immediate help.

Nightline is an anonymous, nightly peer listening service via telephone. Available every night during the school year from 10:00 PM to 3:00 AM, Nightline’s motto is “No problem is too big or too small.” Nightline provides a non-judgemental space to speak about whatever is on your mind. Nightline is staffed by trained Columbia undergrads who are there to listen and provide resources for your problems, if you wish, but they do not offer their personal opinion or advice.

Call them up if you need someone to vent to who will listen and validate your experience without having to worry that they’ll look at you differently or force you to take any sort of action. It’s totally anonymous so you’re not tied to anything you say. Talk for as long or little as you need at any hour.
Nightline Phone Number: 212-854-7777

Primary Care Health Services After-Hours Psychological Emergency Line
If you are in a crisis and need immediate help, you are encouraged to call the After-Hours Psychological Emergency Line. When you call this number, the clinician on call will help you determine what the best course of action is for your situation, such as in-person intervention, going to the hospital, an urgent care clinic, or returning to PCHS the following day.

This Emergency Line is intended only for currently registered Barnard students. When you call this number, all the healthcare privacy laws are in place and your situation will not be discussed with anyone outside of Primary Care without your permission.
After-Hours Psychological Emergency Line: 855-622-1903

Off-Campus Resources

Honestly Callen-Lorde has been a life-saver for me (Rowan) and a lot of LGBT young people I know in the city. It’s a community health center specifically geared towards helping queer/trans people get access to medical care. They have the HOT (health outreach for teens program) which will give you access to FREE medical care, therapy, prescriptions, hormone replacement therapy, STD/STI testing, PREP, and a social worker who will work with you on options for housing, employment, surgeries, shelters, etc. As long as you have insurance, which all Barnard students are required to have, anything that your insurance doesn’t cover until you turn 24 Callen-Lorde will cover all extra fees.

Nope! It’s all totally legit and you won’t be stuck with any surprise fees. It is a bit of a trip down to 18th street but entirely worth it. They are responsibility for a lot of people in the city so waits for meds or appointments can take a while so make sure to call as soon as you think you might be interested. For any other questions about CL you can message me (Rowan) on Facebook or email!

These resources are here to help you succeed at Barnard. There is absolutely no shame in asking someone to help you. Transitioning into college can be really difficult for some people and for those unfamiliar with NYC or city life in general, that transition can be even more challenging. Friends and family are amazing and wonderful people to talk to or lean on but sometimes it’s even more useful and even necessary to utilize resources with trained staff.