Columbia GSAPP Urban Planning Emergency Fund

We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has exposed and deepened existing inequities—inequities that exist among Columbia GSAPP Urban Planning students. And yet, while other schools and institutions have moved quickly to support their students with emergency aid and resources (e.g., The New School , SIPA ), there has been little attempt on the part of Columbia University, GSAPP, and UP administration to alleviate the burdens that COVID-19 has placed on UP students.

Financial support is needed immediately. We do not believe that we can claim a “quest for social justice ” in our profession when we do not support the most vulnerable members of our community, particularly in this moment of crisis. Thus, we are launching an emergency aid fund for students in need of financial support. The funds will be made available to students before the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, to help relieve the particularly heavy burden of tuition, rent, food, health insurance, and other living expenses during a crisis of this magnitude. While we are still developing a strategy for distributing the funds equitably, we trust our community, and envision this as a way to strengthen community bonds—contributing to the fund and supporting our friends and classmates when we can, using the funds when we need them, and leaving them available to others when we do not.

It is on our entire GSAPP UP community, not just students, to support each other. We challenge Columbia University to match 10:1 what we have raised by 7/30/2020 in support of our community.

While this fund is intended to provide immediate financial relief to UP students, we also see this as the beginning of a longer journey towards a sustainable mutual aid model for sharing financial and non-financial resources in our community—one that will outlast many of our two, or three, year stints at GSAPP. This undoubtedly requires additional thought, research, and collaboration, learning from the long history of mutual aid organizing done by black, brown, and immigrant communities that are continually denied aid by the institutions that should support them. This process will require ongoing, direct collaboration between current and incoming students, alumni, faculty, and we hope, UP administration, to deconstruct and reimagine what it means for an educational institution to genuinely support its students, and ultimately transform what it means to be a member of the GSAPP UP community.

We invite all Columbia GSAPP UP affiliates–administration, faculty, students, alumni, and friends–to support our most vulnerable UP community members with a donation of any amount. Thank you for your support!

Please note:  This is currently a student-organized volunteer effort, and 100% of money raised is going directly to our UP students that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Anonymous 
    • $75 
    • 26 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 26 mos
  • Juan Moreno 
    • $50 
    • 27 mos
  • Colette Goh 
    • $50 
    • 28 mos
  • Emily Junker 
    • $100 
    • 28 mos
See all

Organizer

GSAPP UP 
Organizer
New York, NY

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