Community Day Returns to Columbia's Manhattanville Campus

Columbia's Manhattanville public programs came together for another successful Community Day welcoming residents from all over Upper Manhattan. 

Nohemy Aguirre
October 10, 2019

It was early August. Summer was still in full effect, the temperature outside was in the mid 80s, and school had not yet begun. With the end of the season approaching—and the start of a new one looming in—the players of Manhattanville public programs convened inside the conference room walls of The Forum, the newest building on campus that has now become the group's recurrent meeting location.

Attendees included departments and offices from all over campus. The Wallach Gallery, Bio Bus, Columbia Business School, Columbia Community Service, the Education Lab, Zuckerman Institute Public Programs, The Forum, the Office of Government and Community Affairs, Lenfest Center for the Arts, the Employment Center, and the Wellness Center were all a part of the discussion. The faces were familiar, though a couple were new and warmly welcomed. The agenda for the meeting was simple and could be summarized in one word: community.

For the second year in a row, the Manhattanville team joined forces to collaborate on organizing an event for the neighborhood residents to enjoy. After weeks of deliberate planning and cross-collaborating, the day had come to welcome an expected 300+ people to the campus.   

From the Education Lab's always-popular Saturday Science curriculum to the Lenfest Center for the Arts community movie screening of Inside Out, there were plenty of things to do for everyone attending. The families and neighborhood residents that came to visit Manhattanville's campus were kept busy with pink microscopes, a water-pressure-powered rocket, Hip-Hop songs about stroke, live brains, and a robotic dog.

Though the Manhattanville group doesn't adhere to a certain theme for Community Day, it's been helpful in the past to use the Education Lab's Saturday Science theme; this year the theme was "My Amazing Brain." Having heard of the Year of Water initiative that Columbia University's School of the Arts was piloting for the fall semester, the Columbia Wellness Center decided to combine the two themes together to discuss the wellness benefits of staying hydrated and the importance of having clean drinking water. To better facilitate the discussion, the Wellness Center staff connected with a representative from the Department of Health's Healthy Homes program to provide additional information and resources on how families can stay informed about the hazards that may exist in their living spaces.