I hope this message finds you and your loved ones well. During these unprecedented times, it is important to keep those we treasure close to our heart so that we can push forward together. It is the same for Barnard and our students, who face a new and uncertain road ahead.
As you heard from President Beilock recently, in response to COVID-19, Barnard has asked those students who can, to return home, and has initiated virtual classes for the remainder of the semester. It is important that we sustain Barnard’s first-class experience, while ensuring the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff.
It comes as no surprise to me that during this trying time there has been a tremendous outpouring of support from our alumnae—I continue to be in awe of your shared resiliency and generosity. Many have inquired about what can be done to immediately help our students in need of assistance, and if Barnard would be giving alumnae a chance to help financially as we strive to ease the burden this unexpected situation is placing on our students and their families.
We want our students to know that the Barnard community cares for them and is here to help them during this difficult time. The most impactful action you can take is to contribute to Safety Net, an emergency relief fund for our students. This fund will be used to help students with the cost of returning home, expenses related to packing and shipping their belongings, and for those remaining on campus, costs associated with daily life that students do not have the discretionary income to cover.
Another item I wanted to mention is how we, as alumnae, can support our graduating seniors, for whom these changes are particularly disappointing. Barnard is currently brainstorming ways to best engage and support these students, ensuring their last semester at Barnard is a memorable one. I welcome your ideas regarding how alumnae can join in cheering on our seniors, perhaps with a special note writing campaign. Please stay tuned for details.
Our community is strong, and supporting each other in times of crisis and need is the hallmark of a Barnard woman.
Thank you very much,
Jyoti Menon ’01
President, Alumnae Association of Barnard College