Important Student Information | SFS Updates, Face-Coverings, COVID-19 Archives, New Events and Writing Center Resources

Friday, April 17, 2020

Dear Students, 

As we end another week, I hope you are finding new ways to connect with Columbia friends and classmates and perhaps to join an event or volunteer from wherever you are in the world. We’ve had great participation in University Life events – see below for what you can join next week.

This message contains information about Student Financial Services updates, NY’s new face-covering requirement, opportunities to document your experiences, virtual events and classes, and new writing and research resources. Please read through to the end, and remember to check University Life’s website for up-to-date student resources and events.

Student Financial Services Updates
Student Financial Services has updated its website with answers to your questions about certain University fee refunds. If you are experiencing financial hardship or need emergency financial assistance, we encourage you to contact your school’s Dean of Students or Student Affairs office.

Masks, Face-Covering and Protecting Yourself and Others  
Starting today, everyone in New York must wear a mask or face-covering in public where social distancing (six feet or more from others) cannot be maintained. Even if you’re not in NY, please do this to protect yourself and others. Make your own face-covering with these tips from the U.S. Surgeon General.

Also remember to follow basic precautions: wash your hands frequently with soap and water, don’t touch your face with unwashed hands, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, and stay home if you’re not feeling well.

Resources for Handling Grief and Loss
Many of you are making good use of Columbia’s resources. Visit How to Get Help for well-being resources, see these resources on grief from Columbia School of Social Work, and consider joining a support group or workshop (links below) if you haven’t already.

Columbia’s COVID-19 Archives and other Volunteer Opportunities
The University Archives invites you to share your experiences for future generations. Visit the Volunteer Opportunities page for additional ways to help.

Writing/Research Help
The Columbia Writing Center is offering special writing productivity sessions for all Columbia undergraduate and graduate students. Columbia’s Libraries have online workshops and “Ask a Librarian” virtual reference ready to help you.

Around the University
Check the COVID-19 website’s News and Research Updates sections, and this update from Columbia Facilities and Operations for more on Columbia’s response to COVID-19.

University Life Forum: Your Questions Answered on COVID-19
Watch the forum replay here, with Columbia experts answering your scientific, medical and public health questions – including about transmission (starting at 9:30), symptoms and treatment (38:05), and vaccines and research (1:11:00).

Virtual Student Community Events – April 23-27
Join us for these events for all Columbia students from University Life, the Virtual Student Experience Team, and the University Life Events Council:  

Virtual Physical Well-Being Classes
Join Columbia Physical Education and Recreation instructors for Zumba, Pilates, yoga, cardio kickboxing, HIIT, and more. Get details and register at Columbia Physical Education and Recreation. Check University Life’s upcoming events calendar for more health and wellness offerings.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Join Columbia Health for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and help raise awareness and learn how to keep our community safe, loving, and respectful during a challenging time when domestic and sexual violence are reported to be on the rise globally.

Support for Students with Disabilities
Attend daily virtual Drop-in Hours to learn about services for students with all types of disabilities. Registered students are encouraged to contact their DS Coordinator for accommodation questions and to write to for questions about final exams.

Support for International Students and Scholars
Visit the ISSO webpage for up-to-date information, including FAQs. Connect with other international students for support and to build coping skills through the virtual support space for international students offered by Counseling and Psychological Services.


Columbia continues to be here for you, and I hope you’ll find time this coming week to try a new event or resource to help you stay connected. Make use of the University Life website, and please be in touch with your questions and suggestions at

In community,

Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg
Executive Vice President for University Life
Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law  

See below for a quick resource guide – and visit the University Life website for a comprehensive list of virtual events and activities, resources, and volunteer opportunities.

Easy-Access Medical, Mental Health, and SVR Contact Information:  

  • To reach a medical professional, call 212-854-7426 (Morningside) or 212-305-3400 (CUIMC).
  • To reach a mental health professional, call 212-854-2878 (Morningside) or 212-305-3400 (CUIMC).
  • To reach Sexual Violence Response (all campuses), call 212-854-HELP/4357.

Information About COVID-19

  • Columbia’s COVID-19 website provides information, resources and volunteer opportunities for the Columbia community.
  • Call Columbia’s COVID-19 hotline for general questions, Monday-Friday, 9-5 pm, 212-854-9355.

Virtual Support Groups, Workshops and Gatherings – Counseling, Student Wellness, and Religious Life