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Sexual Assault Policy

It is the policy of Barnard College that all forms of sexual assault are unacceptable, and we strongly support efforts to eliminate its occurrence and to discipline offenders.

Barnard College and Columbia University provide a wide array of programs and resources aimed at the prevention of sexual assault and the support and care of victims/survivors. These include educational workshops for students, training for residential life, student affairs, and security personnel, and counseling and other services through our various Health Services departments. Other programs are offered throughout the school year by student groups, including peer counseling, support, and referrals available at the Columbia/Barnard Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center (RCAVSC) located in Brooks Hall, Room 123. Call 854-HELP for Counseling and 854-WALK for 24-hour Advocacy. In addition, there are numerous community resources available. A list of these programs and resources are available on the Primary Care Health Services webpage, the Barnard Student Handbook, the Barnard College Rape and Sexual Assault booklet, and in other generally available Barnard and Columbia publications.

Information on the policies and procedures of Columbia University concerning personal safety and sexual assault can be found in FACETS - Facts About Columbia Essential To Students, http://facets.columbia.edu published annually by Columbia University.

If a Barnard student has been raped or sexually assaulted, there are many resources available to her. If a victim of sexual assault feels she is still in physical danger, she may contact Barnard Public Safety or the police. The Barnard Public Safety Department will also contact the area director of Residential Life and/or graduate assistant on duty.

It is particularly important to get appropriate medical care at a hospital emergency room as soon as possible. As part of the exam the doctor will also do evidence collection. However, showering, bathing, and douching all decrease the likelihood that evidence may be collected, as does a delay from the time of the assault to the hospital visit.

A hospital visit is highly recommended in the immediate aftermath of a rape or sexual assault because of special services the hospital can provide a victim. However, medical treatment and counseling are also available at Barnard’s Primary Care Health Services. If it is closed, the clinician-on-call can be reached at 866-966-7788.

If a student wishes to report the sexual assault to the police, the Barnard Residential Life staff or Public Safety will assist her, and will accompany her to the local precinct.

Barnard and Columbia students (except students at the Law school) who are accused of committing a sexual assault are subject to a University-wide disciplinary system that may involve either Dean's Discipline or a hearing panel.

A complete description of the University-wide policy is available from the Office of Residential Life (Sulzberger Hall, Room 110), the Dean of Studies (Milbank Hall, Room 105), OR it can be downloaded from Columbia's website.

Students found guilty of a sexual offense may receive sanctions that include, but are not limited to, warning, community service, probation, suspension, or expulsion. In addition, the College will change class assignments, bar the perpetrator from the victim's residence hall, or change room assignments if appropriate alternate spaces are available.