BREAKING: Columbia Stops Enforcing Recording Contract

We are thrilled to announce Columbia University has stopped forcing students and their advisors to sign a form stating they will not record the Gender-based Misconduct process. While the recording ban is still handed out to students, Columbia has declined to discipline students who openly violated the contract.

This change is due to the hard work of the students, faculty, and allies who supported the #RightToRecord campaign. To the 740+ people who signed the #RightToRecord petition, those who posted pictures online as part of the #RightToRecord hashtag campaign, those who attended the rally on October 28, and the survivors who bravely stepped forward and shared their stories, we thank you.

In particular, we want to acknowledge the organizations who endorsed our #RightToRecord petition: UAW Local 2110, UAW Local 2110-Barnard Contingent Faculty, UAW Local 2110-Graduate Workers of Columbia, Black Law Students Association, Columbia Divest for Climate Justice, Columbia Queer Alliance, Empowering Women of Color, Students for Justice in Palestine, International Socialist Organization, Latino/Latina Law Students Association, Take Back the Night, OutLaws, Mobilized African Diaspora, Divest Barnard, Columbia If/When/How, Columbia HeForShe, End Rape on Campus, Black Law Students Association-Northeastern Region, Our Harvard Can Do Better, Silence is Violence, and Sun Devils Against Assault.

There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done to address sexual and dating violence on campus. Survivors, particularly Black survivors and survivors of color, continue to face increased violence and discrimination. We are still committed to fighting for a 24/7 rape crisis center and Title IX enforcement, and will work tirelessly until every SAAFE campus demand is met. However, the success of the #RightToRecord campaign proves we have the power to help make Columbia SAAFE.

In love and solidarity,

No Red Tape Columbia


P.S. Want a rundown of the #RightToRecord campaign from inception to victory? Check out our #RightToRecord webpage here!

Columbia Recording Policy

We were horrified to learn that Columbia University has changed its policies to prevent students from recording meetings and hearings with Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS), the office that deals with gender-based misconduct on campus. The policy, which students and their advisors are forced to sign prior to a meeting with SCCS, threatens disciplinary action if a student records a meeting.

Check out the document below, and please sign our petition to Jeri Henry (SCCS) here:

Goldberg's Appointment to Interim Title IX Coordinator

We were disturbed to discover yesterday morning that Columbia’s Executive Vice President of University Life, Suzanne Goldberg, is now Columbia’s acting Title IX coordinator. Title IX coordinators are supposed to help students exercise their Title IX rights, but Goldberg has time and time again cast sexual and dating violence survivors aside in favor of protecting Columbia’s image.

We find Goldberg’s appointment to Columbia’s interim Title IX coordinator, however temporary, to be an outrageous conflict of interest. In addition to creating and defending policies that fail to adhere to Title IX in their implementation, Goldberg serves as Columbia’s Rules Administrator, a job which gives her the power to discipline students who protest the gender-based misconduct policies she oversees. Now Goldberg is also the person students are supposed to turn to if Goldberg herself, or any offices she oversees, violate Title IX.

We demand Goldberg immediately step down from her role as acting Title IX coordinator and appoint an interim coordinator who has no vested interest in discouraging or inhibiting students from exercising their Title IX rights.

Solidarity Statement with Professor Ravina

TW - sexual harassment

On March 23, 2016, Columbia Professor Enrichetta Ravina spoke out in a New York Times article about the gender discrimination and sexual harassment she has experienced at Columbia, and Columbia administrators’ unwillingness to keep her safe.

As an organization that works to combat sexual and dating violence, we find Columbia’s actions egregious. Columbia’s lack of care for the well-being of Professor Ravina sadly echoes stories we’ve heard time and time again from survivors on campus who feel unsafe due to administrative inaction. In an institution that prides itself on fostering intellectual growth, the fact that Columbia would so blatantly disrespect one of its own professors is appalling.

In bravely coming forward to share her story, Professor Ravina has helped shed light on the too frequently ignored epidemic of sexual harassment in higher education. We stand in solidarity with her and her pursuit of justice.

SAAFE Protest Demands

Want to support these demands? Sign our petition!

October 28, 2015

To the Columbia Administration:

Despite the recent update to the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and the new Sexual Respect Initiative, survivors on this campus continue to feel unsafe, retraumatized and failed by the administrators that are supposed to support them. To ensure this is an inclusive educational environment and everyone can thrive, regardless of identity (including but not limited to race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, immigration status, and religion), we demand the following changes:


  • Increase culturally responsive mental health services and trauma response staff by requiring the Safe Zone Training offered by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and trainings addressing other issues of including, but not limited to, race and class.
  • Have professional staffing at a Rape Crisis Center on campus 24/7.
  • Allow students to have both moral and legal support throughout the reporting and adjudication process. Students should not have to choose between having a loved one or lawyer by their side.
  • Remove the exception for GBM that requires the Office of Disability Services, Health Services, and all other normally confidential services to report cases of GBM. Survivors should be able to request accommodations without triggering an investigation.
  • Educate all first-responders to be culturally sensitive and aware of resources on campus, including  immediate support to feel safe navigating campus, STI testing and reporting options.


  • Revise the policy language to remove unnecessarily complex and inaccessible legal jargon. The policy’s language should be clear and easily understood by any student.
  • Provide students, especially those who cannot afford an attorney advisor, with more options for legal representation, such as alumni, members of the campus legal community or other volunteer attorneys.
  • Make aggregate data about processes available to all students, including instances of repeat offenders and specific information about accommodations granted.
  • Revise policy language to clarify procedures for requesting academic and other interim and post accommodations and grant students more agency over academic and other accommodations by:
  • Removing the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office from the decision-making process around academic accommodations, such as exam extensions and course withdrawals.
  • Allowing for increased coordination between the Office of Gender-Based Misconduct, Disability Services and the various CU schools to increase access to accommodations for student survivors. Academic accommodations should be handled by same university offices that handle these issues in other, non-sexual misconduct contexts.


  • Allow a wide variety of students to be consistently involved in the revision and oversight of campus policies and programs.  
  • Revise Clery Crime Alert protocols to include information about on-going threats posed by university-affiliated individuals. Additionally, revise language of the alerts to include trigger warnings and replace victim blaming “tips” with resources for survivors.  
  • Explicitly recognize students’ right to record all interviews and meetings with Student Conduct and Community Standards staff to ensure the accuracy of all parties’ accounts and the legitimacy of the overall process.
  • Increase transparency around employee training and qualifications, especially for legally mandated reporters, GBM investigators, and hearing panelists.
  • Establish a feedback mechanism that allows students to share their experiences with Columbia’s prevention programs, resources and adjudication processes. This survey should be widely publicized and received by an independent body that does not control any of the previously mentioned programs, potentially composed of faculty, to avoid further conflict of interest.


  • Increase the number of investigators and case managers to ensure appropriate responses to conflicts of interest requests. For example, a student should never be reassigned to his or her alleged assailant’s case manager after submitting a conflict of interest request.
  • Make the SVR peer advocate and peer educator jobs paid positions of at least $15/hour to reflect their value in our community and increase accessibility for low-income students.
  • Fund mental and physical health services so survivors don’t have to face weeks of wait times.
  • Institute and publicize regular support groups for survivors of varying kinds of violence.


  • Clarify enforcement mechanisms to ensure the policy works as written.
  • Remove conflict of interest from adjudication by appointing objective administrators or faculty.
  • Include a process for the investigation and removal of investigators, case managers and other employees, who fail to adequately and appropriately carry out their duties on behalf of survivors.
  • Create and require more robust prevention programs with professional oversight to ensure all students participate in a meaningful way.
  • Allow students to file an anonymous report so it can be counted in Clery Crime Statistics without initiating an investigation process.


No Red Tape, The Black Law Students Association, Empowering Women of Color, GSAS Students of Color Alliance, Take Back the Night, The Latino/a Law Students Association, Columbia Law School’s Domestic Violence Project, Students for Justice in Palestine, International Socialist Organization, Student Worker Solidarity, Jewish Voice for Peace, Columbia Women’s Rugby, Columbia Queer Alliance, Coalition Against Sexual Violence, Columbia Law Feminist Society