Provide Safe + Subsidized Winter Housing to Housing Insecure Barnard Students
UPDATE: DECEMBER 7, 2015
Although Barnard College said in an email that they would help students, today the administration turned down a good amount of students that need housing during the winter. We have no official numbers yet. From an unconfirmed source who spoke to an administrator, "maybe 40" applied for housing. We don't know how many have been turned down. We are OPENING the petition back up, to demand that Barnard accommodate students who feel they need housing during the winter. Please share and sign to show your support of the students most negatively effected by the lack of winter housing: housing-insecure students, homeless students, financially insecure students, international students, and job insecure students.
What’s going on? Barnard College has announced, in contrast to previous years, that they will be offering NO HOUSING during the winter break and NO FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE for students who need to find alternative housing. Some of our fellow students have been forced to return to abusive households, to sleep in Butler, the GS lounge, and other campus buildings, in Riverside park, and in homeless shelters.
HOMELESS ⚫ HOUSING INSECURE ⚫ JOB INSECURE
This is a problem for our fellow students:
1) Who are not welcome in their home; who come from unsafe and abusive homes, or who count their dorm room as their only home.
2) Who cannot afford to return home for the winter holiday.
3) Who cannot afford to miss one month’s wages by leaving the City for the winter, or who would lose their jobs by leaving for so long.
To read real stories from students who face housing insecurity and homelessness, click here:http://columbiaclassconfessionsflip.tumblr.com/tagged/homelessness.
As stated in this Spectator article on the topic, “No relationship is devoid of power imbalances, but when you lack both social and financial capital, seeking temporary housing puts you resolutely at the bottom of the power play.” Seeking cheap and temporary housing is a dangerous endeavor for any young person, but young women are especially vulnerable.
The Administration’s response to students has, so far, been suggestions to find somewhere to “house-sit,” or maybe “live with friends.” For students who have considered and researched these options, these suggestions serve only as a reminder that the Barnard Administration is ignorant of the reality of their situations.
The bottom line: If Barnard College is going to welcome financially insecure students onto its campus, the Administration needs to provide real support, from NSOP to Commencement. The Administration needs not only to understand the reality of financially insecure students, but take tangible action towards making these students feel just as safe, secure, and cared for as the members of our community who do not suffer under the burden of financial insecurity.
1) The Administration needs to formally acknowledge the fact that they have “homeless” and “housing insecure” students, not merely students who “haven’t figured out their plan for the winter.” Refusal to acknowledge this presence leads to further marginalization.
2) The Administration must provide affordable or subsidized winter housing for all students who request it. This housing should not put students in the position where their housing is contingent on the benevolence of another person (for example, an alumna or concerned community member) who could rescind housing at any time/ may have ulterior motives for wanting to help. Students deserve SAFE and intrinsically STABLE housing.
3) The Administration must provide funding for housing to students who say they need it (regardless of their Estimated Family Contribution).
Homelessness and housing-insecurity are faced by people of all ages, of all walks of life. College aged students are not exempt from these realities by virtue of their academic prowess or 'student' status.
SIGN this petition: tell Barnard College administrators they have a moral obligation to support the financially insecure students they have welcomed to our campus.
Today: Barnard College Student Coalition for Financially Insecure Students is counting on you
Barnard College Student Coalition for Financially Insecure Students (For Students, By Students) needs your help with “Barnard College: Provide Safe + Subsidized Winter Housing to Housing Insecure Barnard Students”. Join Barnard College Student Coalition for Financially Insecure Students and 1,896 supporters today.