Complementing the academic-related support and transition resources provided by First-in-Family Programs in the Center for Student Advising, Multicultural Affairs offers social and cultural support for first-generation college students on issues related to student life and student experiences outside of the classroom. Connected to Multicultural Affairs’s support for first-generation students are attention, resources, and advocacy for low income students.
Programs and Events
In collaboration with campus partners and student organizations, this program series provides support for first-generation college students on issues related to campus life, navigating the campus community, and experiences outside of the classroom. Additionally, it facilitates an educational platform for the campus community to better understand the experiences of low income students and first-gen students. Programs include peer facilitated dialogues, social and cultural events, and educational workshops. Past and current events include:
- First-Generation Mixer (NSOP): part of the New Student Orientation Program, this casual gathering allows incoming students the opportunity to meet each other and learn about the camous resources available to them
- First-Generation Meet & Greet: an opportunity for new and returning undergraduate students, staff, faculty, and alumni to connect at the beginning of the academic year
- Be the "1st": dinner dialogues where students, faculty, and staff can have intentional conversations about the first-gen experience at Columbia
- First-Generation Constituency Meetings: an opportunity for Columbia students who identify as first-gen and/or low income to come together and build community through sharing information, identifying needs, and discussing issues
- CU on the “1st": this outing series is a community building opportunity that facilitates the building of more social and cultural capital by exposing participants to experiences and sites around NYC
- Gen-Day: in collaboration with the student group First-generation Low Income Partnership (FLIP), this day provide a multimedia awareness campaign allowing students, faculty, and staff who identify as first-gen to share their stories, be visible, and find a community among each other
- Inclusive Schools Week: week-long programming centering the first-generation college experience
- First-Gen Graduation: this ceremony provides an intimate setting for family, friends, alumni, faculty, staff, and students to recognize the achievements and impact of our graduating students
- Professional development workshops for staff: a training for student-facing administrators to better understand the first-gen experience, the diversity within the community, and best practices on how to support the community on campus
- Study breaks
Advocacy: First-Gen Student Advisory Board and First-Gen Resource Team
First-Generation Student Advisory Board (FAB) is part of the Multicultural Affairs Advisory Council (MAAC) under Multicultural Affairs. These undergraduate students work towards a more respectful, accountable, and socially just campus environment by identifying campus issues and work closely and collaboratively with Multicultural Affairs and other campus partners in developing realistic and action-oriented solutions.
Like each MAAC student advisory board, FAB works with a corresponding administrative resource team spearheaded by Multicultural Affairs. Informed by the work of FAB, the First-Gen Resource Team is a cross-functional work-team responsible for identifying unique and/or specific issues facing first-generation and/or low income students. Each individual member of the team serves as a liaison, contributes to the conversation, and shares pertinent information back to their respective office. Each team supports the development, planning and implementation of initiatives aimed at assisting their respective population of students in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering. First-Gen Resource Team membership consists of staff from Multicultural Affairs, Center for Student Advising, Counseling and Psychological Services, Undergraduate Admission, Global Programs an Fellowships, Center for Career Education, Alumni Affairs, and Sexual Violence Response.
Multicultural Affairs provides advising support – including leadership development, discussions on campus issues impacting the organizations, and event planning – for the following student groups:
- First-generation Low Income Partnership (FLIP) is an recognized student group whose mission is to create safe spaces for students to discuss issues relevant to the first-generation and low income community in order to combat stigmas, promote discussion of socioeconomic class and education access, and advocate for resources.
- Columbia Quest Scholars Network (QSN) is a recognized student group with the mission to create a space and support system for all lowincome students attending Columbia. Through different events, initiatives, and other forms of programming, QSN hopes to create a dialogue for lowincome students that will enable students to have a better experience at Columbia. Though founded and support by QuestBridge scholars, membership and program participation are open to all students.
- IvyG Delegation Multicultural Affairs supports students organizing the Columbia delegation attending the annual 1vyG Conference. 1vyG strengthens and empowers the interIvy League first-generation college student network by convening communities of students and administrators, sharing, and building best practices of support, and advocating for change.
- Berick Center for Student Advising, including First-in-Family Programs and CSA Tutoring Service
- First-Generation Team in Counseling and Psychological Services
- Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing
- Center for Career Education, including the CCE Clothing Closet
- Global Programs and Fellowships: Identity and Diversity Abroad
- Columbia College Odyssey Mentoring Program (When creating your profile, under "Student Activities," select "First-Generation and/or Low-Income." You may also find First-Generation alumni by searching "Student Activities: First-Generation and/or Low-Income."
- Deans' Student Assistance Fund
- FLIP Lending Library
- The Food Bank at Columbia