Dear Members of the Barnard Community,

Many of us have been following the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Unfortunately, this has been accompanied by experiences of hostility and bias directed toward Chinese, Chinese-American and other Asian students and community members, both on and off our campus.

We write to remind you of Barnard’s core values and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We are a community that seeks to prepare our graduates to flourish in different cultural surroundings in an increasingly interconnected world through the opportunity to study with those who come from different countries and backgrounds. As such, we do not tolerate hostile treatment of any member of our community.

Please also be aware that every culture has different practices regarding how to respond to and prevent illness. Wearing a mask, for example, is one way some people choose to protect themselves and others from illnesses such as the flu and does not mean a person is sick. As you interact with your fellow Barnard community members, we ask that you practice mutual respect.

If you or someone you know has experienced or witnessed bias or discrimination, know that our Office of Title IX and Equity is here to support you and investigate any claims under Barnard’s Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment.

If you are feeling anxious or are worried about friends and family because of the news about the Novel Coronavirus, we encourage you to use our College resources. Students may contact Furman Counseling Center. Faculty and staff may make use of our Employee Assistance Program. All Barnard affiliates may also contact the Office of the University Chaplain.  

We will continue to share more information as it becomes available on this page: Information and Updates on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). You can also find updates on Columbia University’s Preparedness website.  


Provost Linda A. Bell
Dean of the College Leslie Grinage
Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ariana González Stokas