Updates on Student Financial Services, ISSO, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, CovidWatcher, Food Assistance and More

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dear Students,

With just over a week of classes remaining, I want to recognize with appreciation your active participation in community events and volunteer activities, and your support for each other and yourselves from all parts of the world.  

In this message, you’ll find updates from Student Financial Services and the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO), information about Sexual Assault Awareness Month, resources for food assistance and to help to address bias, plus NEW volunteer opportunities and Zoom privacy and security information. Always check University Life’s website for more events and resources.

COVID-19 and the Economy
Join us this Wednesday, April 29, 4:30-5:30 pm for a University Life Forum: COVID-19 and Economic Recovery, featuring Columbia experts. Register here.

Student Financial Services
Answers to your questions about the University’s spring semester fee refunds, late fees, and summer semester fees are on the Student Financial Services website. Remember to be in touch with your school’s Student Affairs office if you are experiencing financial hardship or need emergency financial assistance.

International Students and Scholars Office
The University is monitoring closely the federal government’s announcement about a temporary suspension of immigration to the United States. Check the ISSO website for updates.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Take part in these Columbia Health Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) events. Help raise awareness and learn how to keep our community safe, loving and respectful from wherever we are in the world. Sexual Violence Response invites you to:

Resources for Addressing Bias
Each of us can challenge misinformation and bias related to COVID-19. Find resources here for recognizing and addressing bias and for help if you’ve experienced bias or discrimination.

Food Assistance
The Food Pantry at Columbia offers drop-off service for students in need. To request a drop-off or volunteer to help with deliveries, complete the relevant form on The Food Pantry’s website. University Life’s website has additional information about other food assistance in NYC.

Share Your Experience/Volunteer Opportunities
Many of you have asked about how you can help. CovidWatcher is a Columbia-based research, advocacy and policy tool to monitor and help inform the response to the pandemic. Complete short web-based surveys in CovidWatcher to help researchers track the spread of COVID-19 in NYC and identify hotspots, prioritize issues and advocate for and allocate resources.  

You can also share your experience through the University Archives and a COVID-19 sleep survey for undergraduates.  

Even – or especially – in challenging times, volunteering can be an important way to make a contribution and feel connected with others. Learn more about what you can do!

Zoom Privacy and Security Questions?
CUIT’s website answers your questions about Zoom privacy, security and more.


I look forward to seeing you at University Life’s Forum and to hearing more about your experience with volunteer opportunities and Columbia’s many resources, which you can always find on University Life’s website. Please keep in touch with your questions and suggestions at universitylife@columbia.edu.

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 for help, COVID-19 information, and counseling and support. Visit University Life’s Student Resources on COVID-19 for comprehensive listings.

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 am-5 pm, 212-854-9355.
  • Remember to protect yourself and others: wearing a face-covering or mask where social distancing isn’t possible, 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.

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