Campus Strictness

Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Simple guest policy in the dorms

3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: They are not too strict, except for the honor code and plagiarism

Recent Alumnus

Campus Strictness: I haven't been here long enough to answer accurately. But all of the professors have been very nice and encouraging, and the lady in the hall where I had to get my ID was VERY nice. We have to check in every time we come into the dorms, which is good for security reasons, but very annoying.

College Junior

Campus Strictness: I have registered for classes, but still have no experience of the campus life.

College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Not much to be strict about.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 617th
    Best Campus Police
  • 712nd
    Most Lenient Parking
  • 1160th
    Strictest Honor Code

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Sara Cervantes
Austin, TX
English and American Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Columbia is very lenient when it comes to drug and alcohol offenses, and disciplinary action usually does not extend past a Saturday class on drug safety. Rules do exist, and all freshman dorms are "dry" (no alcohol allowed) in theory, but enforcement of these rules is generally lax. Rule enforcement is generally up to dorm RAs, and most will let you get away with things as long as there are no complaints.

That being said, Public Safety has no qualms with breaking up a dorm party or taking down names of students who are belligerently drunk. Additionally, Columbia is very concerned about the safety of its students and will call CAVA (Columbia Area Volunteer Ambulance, a free student-run ambulance service) if a student is too drunk to walk straight/function properly. Safety comes first, and students are generally not reprimanded after being treated for overindulgence. Additionally, the NYPD is rarely if ever involved in student activities, with exceptions being made in particularly extreme or off-campus cases.

Facts & Statistics

Students Are Most Likely to Get Caught...
  • Drinking in a "dry" dorm (any freshman dorm)
  • Drinking in public
  • Making too much noise
  • Smoking (various substances) in dorms
  • Trespassing in the tunnels
  • Trying to get onto a roof
Visitation Policies
Columbia allows visitors to be signed into the front security desk of any dorm. Supposedly, the limit for guests is five days, but it is doubtful that any such policy is enforced.
Did You Know?
Despite having access to many Columbia buildings and dining halls, Barnard students do not have swipe access to Columbia dorms. This means that Columbia students have to sign any Barnard friends in every time they want to come over, making inter-institutional parties a bit difficult, as Columbia students have to run downstairs every time a Barnard guest arrives!

Student Polls

Rate strictness of administration policies on the following topics    Based on 61 responses

Very strict
Very lenient
  • Alcohol use in dorms
  • Attendance
  • Creating new student organizations
  • Drug use
  • Honor code
  • Noise violations
  • Parking
  • Protests/demonstrations
  • Underage drinking
  • Visitation in dorms

How do the campus police or safety officers affect your campus experience?    Based on 73 responses

  • 1% Very negatively. They treat everyone like criminals.
  • 1% Fairly negatively. They're only interested in breaking up the fun.
  • 53% Fairly positively. They're pretty easy to get along with if you respect them.
  • 44% Very positively. Officers are kind and helpful.


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