Specifically created for all incoming first-year students in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering, Under1Roof is a required program that explores how we individually and collectively create an inclusive community at Columbia University. It provides the framework on how inter-group understanding and community building are achieved through continual engagement and education about the different social identities that all students bring to campus. It is the exciting beginning of a sustained dialogue that will last throughout a student’s education here and beyond.

Goals of Under1Roof

  • Increase understanding regarding issues of diversity globally, within the U.S. and on campus
  • Prepare incoming students for the academic and social adjustment to living and learning a diverse campus environment
  • Develop basic dialogistic skills for incoming students to utilize in future programs and interactions
  • Develop some rapport with a “core group” of students that they can further develop relationships with, as well as, continue to engage with in diversity educational activities over the course of the academic year
  • Create a pedagogical foundation for diversity education rooted in sustained dialogue, critical awareness of social issues and bridging differences

Why is Under1Roof required for all first year students?

Everyone, no matter how they identify, brings to campus different experiences, knowledge bases, ideologies and beliefs. They oftentimes are shaped and informed by our social identities (that is, race, religion/ spirituality, socio-economic class, gender identity, ethnicity and so forth). We all have multiple identities and experiences that we bring to Columbia. Acknowledging these differences is not about separating people but about understanding the social realities and power dynamics that exist and that have prevented real connections between communities. Once we can better understand this, we can more substantively make connections and be better, more informed allies to one another. 

However, “diversity” does not just happen by virtue of just being physically here. There is an expectation of all members within the Columbia community to actively engage with one other and take this personal and educational opportunity. This interpersonal exchange across our diversity is one of the key educational resources on this campus. Under1Roof is a beginning of an important dialogue and process that will continue throughout a student’s time at Columbia and beyond.

Additionally, the dialogue is not just about learning from one another though. It is about how our deeper understanding who is in our community allows us to see our individual and collective social responsibility and accountability to one another.

Format and Session Assignments

To accommodate 1500+ Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students in small intergroup dialogues, each student will be assigned to one of four time slots during New Student Orientation Program (NSOP). Each time slot will have approximately 15 groups of 20 students each in simultaneous dialogue sessions. Incoming students will get their session assignments from their orientation leader and via email to their Columbia account. Each session will be led by a facilitation team, a returning student and an administrator, who have extensive facilitation experience and are committed to creating safe spaces for open exchange.

Student Facilitators

Each spring semester, we recruit students to help co-facilitate Under1Roof dialogues for incoming, first year students during the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP).

What we are looking for in a student facilitator:

  • Formal and/or informal experience in leading discussions or workshops
  • Interest in diversity and social justice issues
  • Enthusiasm for working toward a truly inclusive campus community
  • Comfortable in discussing challenging topics
  • Openness to different experiences, perspectives, and voices
  • Ability to respectfully challenge and be challenged by their peers
  • Ability to work in a facilitation pair (have a co-facilitator)

Requirements for student facilitators:

  • Must be and remain a currently enrolled Columbia College or Columbia Engineering undergraduate student in good standing
  • Attend a new and returning facilitator luncheon
  • Available during NSOP
  • Attend five-day training sessions prior to NSOP
  • Co-facilitate all sessions of Under1Roof during NSOP
  • Attend a debrief lunch during the first week of classes and/or write up an evaluation

About the application process: 

  • Individual interviews
  • After the individual interviews, selected applicants may be asked to the group interview

Early move-in for student facilitators in the fall:

  • For qualified students living on-campus, early move-in may be arranged

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