For students seeking help with anxiety, depression, or serious hardship, both Counseling & Psychological Services and the Columbia/Barnard Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center offer a variety of services and programs.

Students with academic, personal, or professional grievances may reference the GSAS grievances webpage. Students who wish to preserve their anonymity may also seek assistance from the Ombuds Office, though they should keep in mind that the Ombuds Officer cannot act as an advocate on their behalf.

Columbia/Barnard: Rape Crisis/Anti-violence Support Center

The Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center offers a variety of outreach services to victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. They pledge to be available to “all members of the Columbia/Barnard community, separate from political beliefs. The RC/AVSC provides services to survivors and to their supporters, women and men. We educate, inform, and explain. We believe in the right of survivors to define their own needs and we are here to support survivors at various times and throughout their healing process."

Columbia University Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS)

CPS offers free emergency consultations, crisis intervention, and psychopharmacological consultations to any student who has paid the health services fee. For long-term care, you will be referred to an outside provider who is part of the Chickering network. During the academic year, CPS holds a daily walk-in hour from 1:00 – 2:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Because of the high demand for services, however, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment by phoning (212) 854-2878.

CPS also offers a number of support groups and workshops to help students cope with loss, substance abuse, and eating disorders, as well as less serious (if more academically relevant) problems such as procrastination.

Columbia University Ombuds Office

The Ombuds Officer is a neutral complaint-handler serving all four campuses: Morningside, Health Sciences, Lamont, and Nevis, who seeks fair and equitable solutions to problems which might arise. The Ombuds Office is available to the entire Columbia University community, including students, faculty and staff. In considering any given instance or concern, the rights of all parties who may be involved, along with the welfare of the University, are taken into account.

The Ombuds Office is a safe and confidential place to voice concerns. No formal permanent records of individual cases are kept except anonymous aggregate statistical data on the categories of complaints or inquiries. The Ombuds Officer will not report the names of callers or visitors or the specific content of problems reported unless permission is granted, or in the very rare instance in which there is reasonable cause to believe that the safety of the caller or others may be endangered, or if required by law, after all reasonable steps have been taken to protect confidentiality.

Except in such emergencies, the Ombuds Officer does not take action or investigate an issue without the permission of the person who introduced the information to the Ombuds Office. The Ombuds Officer will listen, offer information about Columbia University policies and procedures, present a range of options for resolving a problem or help find ways to convey information while maintaining the confidentiality of the source. In order to maintain neutrality, the Ombuds Officer does not participate in any formal grievances or other adversarial procedures. The Ombuds Officer is not an advocate for any individual party.

The Ombuds Officer may conduct an informal, impartial investigation or facilitate a resolution upon request. The Ombuds Officer, however, does not arbitrate, adjudicate, or testify in any formal judicial or administrative hearing, unless compelled by legal process. The Ombuds Officer has no power to establish, change or set aside any University rule or policy. Yet, the Ombuds Officer is a resource for administrators and when appropriate, may make recommendations or propose general changes in existing practices to correct problem areas or stimulate discussion of issues affecting the University community.

The Ombuds Office supplements, but does not replace, the existing resources for conflict resolution and fair practice available at Columbia University. The Ombuds Office is independent of existing administrative structures and reports directly to the President of the University.

To schedule an appointment, phone (212) 854-1234 or e-mail ombuds@columbia.edu.