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2 Recent Alumnus

Administration: I'm only speaking for the Public Health administration. It's very disorganized and sometimes they are quite rude.

2 people found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Administration: Overall the school campus is safe as campus police does a good job of monitoring any suspicious activity and will send out school-wide emails for precautionary purposes.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Administration: As an off campus graduate student a lot of this does not apply to me, but I have always felt safe at Columbia.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Administration: I don't really have very much experience with campus strictness.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Administration: It depends on what you're talking about. Some things are outrageously over-policed, some not so much.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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 98 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 109 responses

  • 48% Very positively. Officers are kind and helpful.
  • 50% Fairly positively. They're pretty easy to get along with if you respect them.
  • 1% Fairly negatively. They're only interested in breaking up the fun.
  • 1% Very negatively. They treat everyone like criminals.


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