The following press policies are designed to allow for freedom of the press while ensuring that Columbia University events and activities may be conducted without disruption by press coverage and that students’ rights to privacy are respected. The Columbia University campuses and all buildings, facilities and grounds contained within them are private property and as such are subject to restrictions allowed by law.
Press Conduct Policy
When working on any property owned by Columbia University, all press representatives must:
- Respect the right of students to decline any request for an interview
- Not take or use pictures or videos of students without first gaining their written permission to be filmed and identified
- Stay seated in the press section when attending events, unless permission is given to sit elsewhere
If a student has agreed to be interviewed in advance or if a student group has approached a press outlet to cover a student event, press permission will be granted as long as all press representatives agree to comply with these access policies. Press representatives wishing to seek interviews before or after a specific event must do so in approved outdoor spaces, so as not to impede attendees entering or exiting the event.
Press representatives are not allowed to enter classrooms without the permission of the instructor and shall not interrupt classes in progress.
Not all Columbia University events are open to the press. Those that are open usually require that press representatives register in advance. In some cases, that registration may take place at the event. In order to gain access to the event, working press must agree to comply with Columbia University policy regarding press conduct while covering the event and must show their press credentials upon attending the event. During high security events, press representatives who have not pre-registered may not gain access at the time of the event.
While working press without camera equipment are free to enter the campus at will, reporters are NOT ALLOWED inside classrooms, dormitories or other interior spaces unless special permission is granted in advance by the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of Public Safety.
Photography, Filming, and Videotape Restrictions
To obtain clearance, press representatives with video camera equipment who seek to enter the campus must contact the Office of Public Affairs in advance at 212-854-5573 with a specific date, time and names of crew. The Public Affairs Office will inform the Office of Public Safety that the camera crew has been cleared. Without official clearance, all press representatives carrying camera and film equipment will be stopped at the gates. Press representatives who receive permission to enter the campus must clearly display their official press credentials at all times while they remain on campus. Unless permission is granted for other venues, cameras, filming and videotaping are only allowed in outdoor public spaces on campus.
Film cameras, digital cameras, movie cameras and video cameras are not allowed inside any Columbia University building their use has received the above stated clearance for use.
Columbia University does not allow press representatives to film or videotape “broadcast roll” on campus, unless cleared to do so and accompanied by a Public Affairs officer.
Press representatives may unload equipment at either of the gates at 116th Street and Broadway or at 116th street and Amsterdam. However, all vehicles must be parked off campus. Media crews with large amounts of equipment may request permission to unload only at the Grove Elevator at 119th Street and Amsterdam.
For more information, please visit the Columbia University Press Room resource page.