Sara Snedeker was a tour guide for the Barnard admissions department, a Delta Gamma sister, and a member of Barnard's Student Government Association. But she said that serving two years as Barnard's only student representative in the University Senate was “the most satisfying thing I've ever done at college.”
“I've just had the opportunity to meet people from the Business School, from the Law School, from the medical school, from the Journalism School, and, you know, every school that people have probably never heard of,” Snedeker said. “I just think it's such an amazing thing to see all these students come together and work together towards universal goals that apply to the whole community.”
Snedeker was instrumental in pushing the senate to endorse public course evaluations, which it did in a 44-12 vote last month. Snedeker helped lead a Student Affairs Committee effort to develop and draft a course evaluations resolution, a yearlong initiative that required faculty, administrative, and student support.
“People were listening to what we were saying and were taking us seriously, and I was just so proud of being able to do that for students,” she said.
Snedeker also focused on building community as a Barnard tour guide, a job she's had since she was a first-year.
Giving tours allows her to “give people a window into what makes Barnard so special,” she said.
“I remember that my visit to Barnard just made such a big difference in where I decided to apply to school,” she said. “It wasn't really something that was on my radar—I ended up coming here and just loving it, and I kind of hope I've done the same for students.”
Snedeker added that four years of being a tour guide have helped her to grow as a public speaker.
She is also a four-year member of Delta Gamma, a sorority she pledged to “on a whim” in her first year but one that she now considers a tight-knit network of friends.
“I just have a very distinctive memory of joining my first year and, on Bid Day, feeling like this was a great decision,” Snedeker said. “Because I just wasn't sure if I would like it, and I just remember feeling this enormous sense of welcoming and pride and happiness, and just feeling like, OK, I'm never going to be bored again.'”
“It's such a great group of women,” she added. “They're really involved in the Columbia community as a whole, and I think that's something that characterizes us in general.”
After commencement, Snedeker will vacation in Italy, but she'll then return to in New York City—something she's always imagined herself doing—to work at a strategic communications firm. Looking back on her four years at Barnard, she said she is glad she tried new things before committing herself to a few activities.
“Just completely go after everything you think you want to be involved in, and kind of let the chips fall,” she said. “It's very hard to know what you want to do when you first get here.”