Your COVID-19 Questions, Mask Information, Resources and Volunteer Opportunities for You
I hope you have found moments of inspiration and reprieve this week amidst the stress and challenges in our nation and our world. I am glad to share that we had a great turnout for our first virtual fitness event and that many students are participating in online activities, groups and community spaces (more below).
This message contains important information about bias incidents, COVID-19 questions, masks, health insurance, library access, volunteer opportunities, Columbia health and well-being resources and coping tools.
With the onset of COVID-19, we have seen an increase in bias directed at Chinese and other Asian and Asian American members of our community in New York City and elsewhere. I want to underscore how contrary this is to our core University values of inclusion, belonging and respect for each other’s common humanity.
If you have experienced bias or have concerns, please contact your dean of students. You can also report incidents of discrimination or harassment through Student Conduct and Community Standards, or join Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS)’s Virtual Support Space for Coping with Racial and Ethnic Bias During a Pandemic on Mondays @ 6 PM from April 6 to May 11, and Tuesdays @ noon from April 7 to May 12.
I also want to recognize how supportive many of you have been for each other, treating your classmates, friends and families, with the kindness and concern that is essential during these difficult times.
We know that many of you have questions about COVID-19 — about public health implications, the trajectory of the disease, and what this means for your health and the health of others. We invite you to submit your questions here for our upcoming University Life virtual forum featuring Columbia public health and medical experts.
You may have read that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might recommend that everyone in the U.S. wear a mask when in public. Although this is not now an official CDC recommendation, you can make your own mask by using a piece of fabric (such as a clean t-shirt or cloth napkin) to cover your nose and mouth. Watch this simple instructional video for tips.
Of course, don’t forget to follow basic precautions, including washing your hands frequently with soap and water, not touching your face with unwashed hands, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily, and staying home if you’re not feeling well.
If you have recently lost or are about to lose health insurance via an employer or parent plan, you may be eligible to enroll in the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan. Timing and other restrictions apply, so please reach out at the earliest opportunity to [email protected] (Morningside) or [email protected] (CUIMC) for more information and to see if you may be eligible to join the Columbia Plan. Friendly reminder: If you are graduating, the plan still covers you until August 14, 2020.
A quick update that you can now access 40% of the Libraries’ print collection online! If you need help, contact the Ask-a-Librarian service, which has extended service hours for the rest of the semester.
Scroll down to the end of this message!
Easy-Access Resources and Information
At the end of this email, you’ll find a list of student resources and volunteer opportunities, but first, here’s a quick guide for medical, mental health and domestic/sexual violence response services:
- To reach a medical professional, call 212-854-7426 (Morningside) or 212-305-3400, option 7 (CUIMC).
- To reach a mental health professional, call 212-854-2878 (Morningside) or 212-305-3400, option 7 (CUIMC).
- To reach Sexual Violence Response (all campuses), call 212-854-HELP/4357.
- Counseling and Psychological Services invites you to join its weekday online support groups and community spaces for individuals and couples.
- Columbia Health lists free mobile apps that can help with coping and calm and national hotlines and text lines for crisis help.
- Religious Life invites you to weekly online offerings and gatherings.
As always, Columbia remains deeply committed to your well-being. Please be sure to make use of the resources below whenever you need them, and write to us at [email protected] with your questions and suggestions.
Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg
Executive Vice President for University Life
Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law
See below for COVID-19 information, Columbia Health and Well-Being Resources, and Volunteer Opportunities
Information About COVID-19
- Columbia’s COVID-19 website provides information and resources for the Columbia community regarding the University’s response to the pandemic.
- Call Columbia’s COVID-19 hotline, Monday-Friday 9-5 p.m. 212-854-9355.
- Information for CUIMC students is on the medical center’s website. Or write to [email protected]
- Watch the replay of the University Life Forum: Update on COVID-19 for the Columbia Community, featuring top Columbia medical and public health experts talking about the virus.
- University Life student messages contain resources and other important information.
Virtual Health and Well-being Resources: Morningside
Columbia Health offers the following services (with 24/7 phone lines noted below). Visit the Columbia Health website for operating hours and more information.
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) offers individual counseling and medication management plus assistance with referrals to local resources, for all students enrolled in Columbia Health. After-hours crisis intervention is available at all times, including nights and weekends. Call 212-854-2878 for all services (24/7).
- Medical Services offers appointments available on weekdays for routine and urgent medical care, and limited in-person care for urgent medical needs. Walk-ins will not be accepted. For all services, call 212-854-7426 (24/7).
- Alice! Health Promotion offers health education and BASICS appointments, write to [email protected] or call 212-854-5453.
- The Student Health Insurance Office provides support for your insurance questions. Write to [email protected]u.
- Gay Health Advocacy Project (GHAP) offers individual sessions for sexual health-related concerns. Call 212-854-6655 or write to [email protected].
Virtual Health and Well-being Resources: Medical Center Campus
- For medical and mental health services, use the health portal to schedule telephone appointments and to communicate directly with your provider. After-hours access remains available for urgent medical or mental health needs. For after-hours support, call 212-305-3400, option 7.
- CUIMC Mental Health Services invites you to join its virtual psychotherapy groups and gathering spaces
- Visit the Center for Student Wellness or write to [email protected].
- Visit the Insurance and Administration website or write to [email protected].
Additional University-wide Student Resources (Morningside and CUIMC)
- Students registered with Disability Services may obtain virtual support for academic and housing accommodations by writing to [email protected] or call 212-854-2388.
- Sexual Violence Response (SVR) offers virtual trauma-informed, confidential support. On weekdays, students may call 212-854-3500 or email [email protected]. SVR’s 24/7 year-round helpline may be reached at 212-854-HELP/4357.
The following volunteer opportunities have been identified in response to student requests for opportunities to help our community, though please know that Columbia has not formally vetted the organizations and programs included on this list. Thank you for wanting to support those impacted by COVID-19.
- The COVID-19 Student Service Corps (CSSC) offers Columbia students the opportunity to engage in a remote service-learning model to promote social distancing and address urgent health systems concerns. Visit the website to learn how you can help.
- Visit Help Now NYC to learn how you can help New Yorkers affected by the pandemic.
- Volunteer New York!’s core mission is to inspire, mobilize and equip individuals and groups to take positive action to address pressing challenges, support nonprofits and strengthen the quality of life in New York communities. Learn about the virtual volunteer center and how you can help.
- New York Cares meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service. Find volunteer opportunities.
- Form a phone connection with an older adult and let them know you care at DOROT's Caring Calls Program.
- Be trained as a volunteer and help tipped workers apply by phone for emergency cash relief with One Fair Wage.
- Blood reserves are critically low right now. Visit the New York Blood Center to learn how you can donate blood.