My commitment: Creating a campus community that enables all students to thrive
Just over two years ago, President Bollinger asked me to create the Office of University Life to focus on our University as a community, with special attention to core Columbia values that support all students—and, indeed, all community members—in thriving during their time with us.
From the first days in this role, I was struck by the many ways that issues of importance for students and faculty across Columbia’s many schools resonate with the great challenges and opportunities of our nation and world. Whether on issues of sexual respect, inclusion and diversity, mental health and wellness, or in other areas, we have a unique opportunity here.
Columbia, after all, is the size of a small city. As we think about creating a world in which we can communicate more effectively across our differences, what could be better than working directly with Columbia’s own robustly pluralistic community to address longstanding societal challenges and to create and sustain a sense of belonging.
Among our recent innovations, developed with students, faculty, and staff from across the University:
- Campus Conversations: Free Speech in Our Community; Post-Election Reflections; Race, Ethnicity and University Life.
- Columbia’s Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative: Asking all students to reflect on the link between sexual respect and membership in the University Community.
- Wellness Days @Columbia: Inviting all to come together to learn, support each other, and focus on mental health and wellness as essential to our University community.
- Awakening Our Democracy Series: Bringing together students, faculty, and staff to learn and discuss pressing issues of our time.