On Sunday, the Barnard community received an email from Dean of the College Avis Hinkson reporting on an intrusion in the Quad by a Columbia student earlier that morning. Hinkson explained that “a Columbia student who had signed in as a guest of a Barnard student entered the room of another student, without permission and in the nude. The student awoke and became alarmed by his presence. The intruder ran but was detained by Barnard Public Safety, and the police were engaged.”
The student was later arrested on grounds of criminal mischief and taken to the police station at the 26th precinct. According to public records obtained from the NYPD, he has been identified as 19 year old Clay Watson, a first-year at Columbia College and a member of the heavyweight rowing team. This is Watson’s first arrest.
Witnesses report that around 4 am, the intruder came into the lounge on the fourth floor of Sulzberger Hall with a towel covering his genitals, ran around the room, then back out into the hallway. A few seconds later, an unidentified Barnard student began complaining that he had urinated on the floor of her room. The NYPD also noted that he damaged the door of the room as he was leaving.
We have reached out to Columbia Athletics and the Barnard Administration for statements, and we will update the post when we receive them.
UPDATE, 3:58pm: We have received a response from the Barnard Administration. At this time, they are unable to release more information because of the “ongoing investigation.”
UPDATE, 9:20pm: We have received a response from Columbia Athletics, saying that they are still in the process of investigating the incident, but that the “alleged behavior” will not be tolerated.
On Sunday morning, the Columbia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics was made aware of an incident involving the behavior of a male student-athlete which occurred at the Barnard College Quad. We are still in the process of gathering information on this matter.
Columbia Athletics holds its student-athletes to a high standard of conduct. The alleged behavior described in this incident violates team guidelines and does not meet the standard of what we expect from our student-athletes at Columbia. Prior to the start of each competition season, Columbia Athletics shares with its teams a code of conduct, outlining our expectations for individual and team behavior.Columbia University has zero tolerance in its athletics programs for this type of alleged behavior.