The Fund provides $500 stipends for individual students working to ensure the Columbia University is a safe, equitable, and just learning environment for all. We are currently accepting applications for 2017 proposals, and will be reviewing them on a rolling basis until April 15th, 2017. Apply early for your best chance at funding.
The Fund for a Safer Columbia believes that all students have a right to learn and live in a campus community free from violence, discrimination, and oppression. When it was founded, the Fund focused on preventing sexual and dating violence, improving the administrative response to these issues, and shifting campus culture. While the issue of gender violence on campus remains pressing, the turbulent political climate is heightening different kinds of violence that affect students. In response to this, the Fund for a Safer Columbia has broadened its mission to include any issues of safety, equity, and justice on campus. We hope this will enable us to better respond to the diverse and interconnected needs of students.
As alumni, we have a responsibility to invest in Columbia’s future. We believe in Columbia University’s potential to be a vibrant campus community where all students can learn and thrive. The Fund remains committed to our belief that young people, and current students in particular, are the experts of their own experiences and have the skills, knowledge, and power necessary to make real change possible on campus. Many of the things we are most proud of at Columbia — the public recognition that our campus rests on Lenape land, the university’s divestment from private prisons, the formation of a graduate student union, the founding of a rape crisis center, and many other victories — are the direct result of savvy, determined students who fought hard for changes they believed would contribute to the Columbia community.
Students need financial support to make these kind of changes possible. That’s where we come in!
How it works:
1. Students submit applications outlining the scope of their proposed work, their timeline, and how they will measure success.
2. Finalists will be contacted for interviews, and work with Fund staff to adjust their proposal and timeline as necessary.
3. Selected students will be notified of their award, receive and complete paperwork, and receive the first half of their stipend. Stipend are intended to compensate students for their time and help students support themselves while doing important work in their communities, so students are not required to spend the funding on project specific needs unless they wish to.
4. Students will complete their project over the course of the semester or summer (unless an alternate timeline was proposed and accepted), providing short monthly updates to the Fund. Members of the Fund are available to provide technical assistance in campaign planning, leadership development, public relations, fundraising, and other areas at the request of grantees, but will not be directly involved in the project unless invited by the student leader.
5. When the student meets the goals they outlined in their proposal, they receive the second half of their stipend and submit a final report to the Fund.
Successful applicants will meet these criteria:
-->Current Columbia University student in any school (including Barnard, GS, and graduate programs).
-->Demonstrate their experience with or knowledge of the topic they propose to work on.
-->Include clearly outlined goals in their proposal.
-->Propose activism around a pressing issue affecting Columbia students. We are particularly interested in projects addressing gender violence, mental health, issues facing immigrant and refugee students, transphobia and homophobia, racial justice, the needs of low income students, and Islamophobia, but welcome applications focused on any issue.