COÖP is a student-run program supervised out of the Office of Student Development and Activities. Our staff administrator is Pete Cerneka. He can be reached at (212) 854-1371 or emailed at

We strongly encourage parents to allow their son or daughter to communicate with COÖP on his or her own; seeking out information, meeting the basic deadlines, communicating with the COÖP student coordinators etc. At the same time, we know that parents often have questions, and so we have provided the following FAQ. If you should have further questions or concerns, please contact our advisor, Pete Cerneka (, or one of the four student coordinators at during our office hours, Tuesday through Thursday from 10am-4pm.


What time is move-in on August 20th?

Check-in runs from 8am to 2:30pm on Wednesday, August 20th at Van Amringe Quad, right in front of Hartley and Wallach halls on South Campus. COÖP activities begin shortly thereafter!

Will I be able to spend time with my son or daughter on the Wednesday evening before the trip?

COÖP officially starts immediately after move-in and continues until the Sunday evening we return. COÖPers will be engaged in activities for the duration of Wednesday afternoon and evening. Plan on saying goodbye to your son or daughter on Wednesday at 2pm once they are moved in!

How can I get in touch with my son or daughter while s/he is on the COÖP trip?

COÖP functions best when students are immersed in nature and only interact with the other students for the duration of the trip. We recommend that parents only try to reach students in emergency situations.

Where can I leave an emergency message?

Parents with emergencies should call Columbia University Public Safety at (212) 854-5555, and explain your emergency. Public Safety will then contact the student coordinators and staff administrator at COÖP’s basecamp. A COÖP representative will then contact you as soon as possible. If you have information that needs to be communicated that is not an emergency, please call the main COÖP office at (646) 926-6731 or email us at Our office is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10am-4pm, so please be aware that there could be a lag time between when you leave your message and when a COÖP staff member gets back to you.

Can my son/daughter take a cell phone or books with them on the trip?

No. Our program’s philosophy involves a complete immersion in nature and a small group of students. These factors foster an environment that promotes bonding, and cell phones and books split up the group. Furthermore, most of our trail locations are outside the majority of network providers’ signal range.

What happens if my son/daughter has an emergency while on COÖP?

COÖP’s safety record is exceptional, but due to the nature of the program emergency situations are possible. If your son or daughter has an accident or is involved in some other type of emergency situation, a Columbia administrator will call you using the emergency contact information your son or daughter provides COÖP during the application process.

How can I be sure that my child is safe?

COÖP takes safety precautions very seriously. All hiking and river canoeing leaders are Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certified. Biking leaders have taken a first aid and bike training course, canoeing leaders all take a canoe safety course, and all leaders are CPR trained and certified. We train new leaders every spring to make sure that they know how to keep students both safe and comfortable on the trail.

Can my student take medication with him/her on the trip?

Yes. Your student should bring any necessary prescribed and over-the-counter medication with them. Their trip leaders will have the medical information that your family provided during the registration process. If medications have changed after the submission of the program registration, students should submit that information to a COÖP coordinator at We will advise your student’s trip leader of the change.