News Media Policies and Filming at Columbia

The campuses of Columbia University—all buildings, facilities and grounds—are private property and are subject to restrictions allowable by law. The following policies are designed to ensure that University events and daily activities are conducted without disruption and that each student’s right to privacy is respected.

Members of the working news media must contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at 212-854-5573 for permission, guidance and escort assignments. Commercial filming requests must be directed to Joseph Ricciutti in the Office of University Events Management at 212-854-6612 or


The rights of students not to be photographed, filmed or interviewed must be respected. Advance written permission from each student is required. In general, if a student has agreed to be interviewed or if a student group has approached a media outlet to cover a student event, permission will be granted as long as the media agrees to comply with these policies.
Media who seek interviews before or after an event must do so in approved outdoor spaces, so as not to impede attendees entering or exiting the event. Media and film crews are not allowed to enter classrooms without the advance permission of the instructor. Classes in progress must not be interrupted. 


Many University events are not open to the media or filming. Events that are open typically require advance registration. Registration may sometimes take place at the event itself. If in doubt, contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs. To gain access, the media must agree to comply with these policies and must display valid credentials. Media who have not registered will not be permitted access.
Media attending events must remain seated in a designated section unless permission is given to move elsewhere. Media is not allowed inside classrooms, libraries, dormitories or other interior spaces unless special permission is granted in advance by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs and the Office of Public Safety.


Media seeking to use any type of camera on campus must contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs in advance at 212-854-5573. A detailed description of what images are requested along with names of individuals to be interviewed is required. The request must be accompanied by a specific date, time of arrival and departure from campus, and names of all crew members.
Requests must be limited to regular business hours—9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday—excluding national holidays and other days when campuses are closed to media. Individuals or crews using cameras must be accompanied at all times by an assigned public affairs officer or other designated University escort.
The Office of Communications and Public Affairs works closely with the Office of Public Safety to enforce these campus access policies. Without proper clearance, cameras will be stopped at the campus gates. Media that has been granted permission to enter the campus must clearly display valid credentials.
In general, photography, filming and videotaping is allowed only in outdoor spaces, such as College Walk along West 116th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.
Cameras are not allowed inside auditoriums, cafeterias, classrooms, corridors, dormitories, gymnasiums, laboratories, libraries, lobbies, residential halls, theaters, the Lerner Hall student center and other interior spaces unless permission is granted. Requests to obtain "broadcast roll" on campus also requires permission and an assigned escort. 


Media may briefly unload equipment at West 116th Street along Broadway or Amsterdam Avenue, but parking is not permitted on campus. Crews with large amounts of equipment may request permission to unload at an elevator entrance to campus.

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