"I want YOU to take a detour." -Obama

In case you’ve been successful in drinking enough since finals ended (read: have forgotten about what’s going on in the world around you), quick reminder: Obamanard happens tomorrow! We’ll be live blogging the festivities, so check us out when you wake up.

If you’re in the camp whose RSVP (in the form of a crumpled 1020 receipt used to trap ABC gum, of course) is “don’t care/won’t be attending,” keep in mind that there’ll be lots of annoying security precautions that block your access to campus. Below is an email from James McShane and Carrie Walker detailing what we can look forward to. And after the jump, check out an email from Housing about changes to the Hartley Broadway Hospitality Desk.

Members of the Columbia Community:

On Monday, May 14, President Barack Obama will be on the Morningside Campus to deliver the keynote address at the Barnard College ceremony, held on the South Field Lawns at 12:30 p.m. This message provides important information regarding the extensive security measures that will impact lower campus operations and access.

Please know the logistics outlined here may change at any point, subject to White House and Secret Service discretion. Updates will be posted to the Columbia homepage. We ask for your cooperation and flexibility given these extraordinary circumstances. As a precaution, please carry your University ID card with you at all times on Monday.


All gates south of 117th Street, Low Plaza, College Walk, South Field and the following buildings must be vacated and locked down. There will be no entry or activity permitted. 

Lower Campus

Journalism, Furnald, Lerner Hall, Carman, Butler Library, John Jay, Wallach, Hartley, and Hamilton

Upper Campus

Low Library, Kent, Dodge Hall and Miller Theater


Entry to lower campus and its buildings will be limited on Monday. Those permitted to enter lower campus will be required to pass through magnetometer screening. Large bags and liquids will not be allowed. Access will be granted to the below groups at the locations specified.

Columbia University Faculty or Staff Reporting to Work on Lower Campus

Faculty or staff must have a University ID card and University-issued letter to verify they work in a lower campus building. If you have been instructed to report to work, but have not yet received this documentation, please see your immediate supervisor.

Lerner Hall and Print Services staff: 115th Street and Broadway, Lerner Hall gate

Hamilton staff: 115th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Taint gate

Upon entry to these buildings, staff will not be permitted to exit onto campus.

Barnard College Ceremony Participants

Degree candidates and members of the academic procession: Lerner Hall, Broadway lobby entrance

General Admission ticket holders: 114th Street: Carman and John Jay gates

Guests with Disabilities, Press, and VIPs: 115th Street and Broadway, Lerner Hall gate


In addition to areas specified here, there may be intermittent street and walkway closures during the President’s arrival and exit.

Street Closures

No parking will be permitted on 116th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. Additionally, there will be no parking on Amsterdam Avenue from 114th to 125th Street.

No parking will be permitted on the east side of Broadway from 114th to 120th Street.

There will be no parking on W. 114th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Additionally, this street will be closed to vehicular traffic.

Pedestrian traffic on 114th Street will be restricted to the south side of the street.

Sidewalk traffic along campus on both Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue will be restricted, from 114th to 117th Street.

Campus Closures

The 116th Street gates, College Walk and Low Plaza will be closed.

The Amsterdam Avenue overpass will be closed.

The Bookstore, Butler Library, Dodge Hall, Furnald, Carman, John Jay, Hartley and Wallach will all be closed.

Hamilton, Journalism, and Kent will be closed, except for personnel already identified.

The Intercampus Shuttle 116th Street, Northbound stop will be moved to 117th Street.

Administrative and Student Mail delivery, as well as external couriers to lower campus will be suspended and the Lerner Hall Student Package Center will be closed Monday.


Access to Dodge and Kent Halls will be restricted as described above. All other buildings on upper campus will follow normal University operations on Monday.

Updates to campus logistics will be posted on the Columbia homepage. A webcast of the ceremony can be accessed via the Commencement website.

As an additional reminder, Commencement Week activities begin Sunday, May 13 and University Commencement will be held Wednesday, May 16. Look for an email early next week outlining campus logistics for this great University-wide celebration.


James F. McShane, Vice President

Columbia University Public Safety

Carrie Walker, Executive Director

University Programs and Events

Dear Student,

We would like to inform you that, the Hospitality Desk will continue to serve you on Sunday, May 13th and Monday, May 14th. However, due to the increased security measures that must be taken, the Hospitality Desk will temporarily be functioning with limited capabilities out of Room 101 in Broadway Hall. The phone number will remain the same ( 212-854-2779). The relocation will take place between approximately 4pm Sunday, and 4pm Monday.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


Columbia Housing