Campus Trespasser Arrested

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Several students have told Bwog about seeing a big police truck and an “undercover taxi” on campus earlier this morning, with others reporting that they had seen someone arrested.

University officials tell Bwog that “a person was arrested for trepassing on campus today.” No other details were confirmed.

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  1. ...

    there must have been more going on...

    trespassing is usually what you arrest somebody for when there's another possible crime going down for which you don't have sufficient evidence to arrest them for

  2. wait...  

    were they in a building? otherwise how is it trespassing?

  3. In The Know

    Columbia Public Safety Officers are not peace officers and thus they do not have the power to arrest anyone. However, they do have the authority to detain individuals once they step on campus if they are deemed unfit to be on Columbia property. As post #3 said, campus is private property and thus Columbia retains the right to ask individuals to leave the property if they do not have official business on campus. Usually if a homeless person is caught sleeping in the library, someone is harassing students etc, the individual(s) are detained, issued a notice of persona non grata (meaning that under the penalty of trespassing, the individual(s) are forbidden to step on campus until the order is lifted by the University) and escorted off campus. If that individual is caught again on campus, Public Safety detains them until NYPD arrives and they are arrested for trespassing. If a larger crime is committed, such as stealing or assault, the individual(s) are again detained and arrested by NYPD. Trespassing is not always indicative of a larger crime. In fact, it is usually indicative of nothing besides a person being on campus without appropriate purpose and not responding to polite requests to leave.

  4. undercover taxi?

    undercover taxi? what does that mean, exactly?

  5. Mike  

    I can attest to the fact that this was unnecessarily ridiculous. There were a ton of authority vehicles and figures running around in front of Low steps.

  6. fire in the sky  

    I also thought I saw a fair amount of smoke drifting around the John Jay area while said police vans, CU Security SUVs, and taxi-cop were on campus. Anyone else see that, or was I just crazy?

  7. ...  


  8. blue

    This is all quite strange. The campus is an open one, and there is no sign posted at the entrances that says "please present your ID upon request." I think it is hard to use the word "trespassing" under such circumstances. Perhaps another word is apt to the situation at hand--- I don't know the details. But I find it difficult to explain how you can trespass a campus with open gates that is constantly frequented by tourists, visitors, community residents, etc.

    • just my opinion  

      I don't think it's strange. Any dept. store, private museum, anything that's open to the public but in private hands can kick you out if they don't want you around (discrimination against customers aside). It just so happens Columbia is very open to letting people in its "doors" so no one really perceives that it's a privilege to walk around here. And I didn't mean privilege in "that" sense ok. Please don't hurt me.

      • blue

        Well yes, it is a privilege. I agree with you about that, and I do think that it is important to keep a watchful eye out for people who might pose a security threat. I just find the word choice interesting. The visitor must have been doing something unsettling, and my question is what that something was. Incidentally, why the change in the background color? I much prefer the previous one. This purplish color is by no means anywhere near Columbia blue.

    • Alum

      Trespassing is the right word. You just don't fully understand what it means, at least in a legal sense.

      Being on private property without permission is trespassing. No further wrongdoing is required.

      While the Columbia campus is generally open to anyone, people can be ordered to leave and even to stay away for good. Those who return despite such orders are trespassers even if they aren't doing anything that would otherwise be a problem.

  9. fyi  

    signs do exist by the security booths regarding showing ID when asked.

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