In the Loop
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On Monday afternoon, University President Lee Bollinger sent out an email announcing Columbia’s preliminary plans for spring 2021. This follows an email that Barnard President Sian Beilock sent to the Barnard community on Oct. 26 detailing the school’s tentative spring 2021 plans.

What are the big takeaways?


The University will offer single rooms to all seniors in Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Depending on how many seniors decide to move back on campus, the University may also be able to offer Columbia College and SEAS juniors on-campus housing as well. Students who were approved to live on-campus for fall 2020 and those who were approved and then deferred for the spring are not required to reapply for housing. The School of General Studies will give priority to seniors in Columbia Residential, but all General Studies students are eligible to apply for University apartment housing.

Barnard seniors and juniors were given priority for single-occupancy, on-campus housing. Given that over 50 percent of Barnard seniors and juniors are already living off-campus, Barnard was able to offer housing to some first-years and very few sophomores. Students had to apply for spring housing by Nov. 5 unless they registered for housing accommodations for fall 2020 through the Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services. CARDS will not require students to submit additional requests for disability-related accommodations.


Many classes will continue to be offered in a virtual format, and some will have in-person components. Dean Mary Boyce announced that all SEAS classes will be available fully online; she noted that many courses will also be hybrid, and students who are living on-campus or who are in the New York City area will be able to attend. Dean James Valentini wrote to Columbia College students that most spring courses will be remote, but some hybrid courses may also be available. Beilock echoed this sentiment, writing that the Barnard administration hopes to introduce some in-person classes, but any student who wants to continue taking all of their classes remotely can do so. In an email to General Studies students Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch stated that “faculty are currently developing options” for the upcoming semester."

For all of the undergraduate schools, further information on virtual instruction will be provided by early December. Deans for the graduate and professional schools are still finalizing their plans for hybrid and in-person classes.


If Barnard students are moving to campus from international locations or states that do not border New York, they must receive a negative COVID-19 test before their departure and can quarantine in their residence hall while awaiting the results of a second, diagnostic test. Anyone coming from a state that does border New York has to fill out Barnard’s traveler health form. Barnard students are also required to have received a seasonal flu vaccine.

Bollinger expressed plans to expand the COVID-19 testing program and maintain public health measures that are already in place.

Meal plans

All students living on Barnard’s campus are required to be on a meal plan. If students are in quarantine or isolating, they will have to participate in meal plan delivery, but these meals will be deducted from their meal plan.

Columbia has yet to announce its spring 2021 dining plans.

Financial aid

Some students at Barnard have the option to apply for financial aid and put it toward rent for off-campus housing. Further information on policy and eligibility can be found here.

Correction: The original version of this article implied that the School of General Studies has separate classes and faculty from the rest of the undergraduate colleges. Spectator regrets this error.

Spectrum Deputy Editor Jazilah Salam can be contacted at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

Staff Writer Emma Cho can be contacted at Follow her on Twitter @emsoojin.

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