Campus Strictness

New York, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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2 College Junior

Campus Strictness: The RA's and Public Safety officers do their best not to get you in trouble. However, once you are in trouble, the Columbia administration shows no mercy-ever.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: I attend another school and live in off-campus housing, which restricts my access to the Columbia dorms unfairly.

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Columbia isn't a very strict campus.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Strictness: Columbia Univeristy is a very open minded school. There is an underlying attitude that promotes alternative thinking and ways of life.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Columbia security is oftentimes cited as more helpful and prompt at answering distress calls than the NYPD. From what I've heard and experienced, Columbia is quite fair when it comes to academic and social security. Caught cheating? You're out. But campus security is definitely functional without being overbearing.

2 people found this useful Report

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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 54 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 66 responses

  • 2% Very negatively. They treat everyone like criminals.
  • 2% 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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