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Columbia Student Intrudes Into Barnard Quad

The Quad courtyard, protected by the Chastity gates.

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.

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  • Heavyweight Rowing Alum says:

    @Heavyweight Rowing Alum damnit guys

  • Barnard Student says:

    @Barnard Student This is not emblematic of journalistic integrity whatsoever. Naming names in an ongoing investigation and fabricating facts written in this article are signs of terrible journalism, research, and writing. Completely disappointing.

    1. lol says:

      @lol u dont know what journalism is, and i’m willing to bet ur not a barnard student

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous to be clear, if you’re charged with a crime that’s public information. all newspapers everywhere will name adults once they’ve been charged.

  • Are you proud? says:

    @Are you proud? Good work, Bwog investigative reporting. Let’s make sure that the most trying time of a 19 year old’s life is compounded by public shaming.

    1. dude says:

      @dude it’s public record

      1. “Dude” says:

        @“Dude” It doesn’t mean they have to sensationalize it

        1. wtf says:

          @wtf how is it sensationalized? he broke into a girl’s room and got into her bed

          1. Anonymous says:

            @Anonymous To the person confused, he absolutely tried to get into her bed. He was booked for attempted rape.

        2. dude says:

          @dude how is it sensationalized, pray tell? they didn’t mention the name in the headline or on social media. in the article, they present an objectively true, very-public statement accurately without an intentionally shocking tone.

          1. Disappointed says:

            @Disappointed It’s public record, and if it really matters people can go look for it, but why is it important to drag this guy’s name out in a campus publication? Just to show that the writers here can do a google search?

            He hasn’t been found responsible of anything, and potentially mitigating circumstances haven’t been taken into account.

            If you really feel the need to post something on bwog every time a student is CONVICTED of something, fine, go ahead. You’re probably a cock for wanting that, but at least you’ll be sure you’re not dragging someone’s name through the mud for no reason.

          2. dude says:

            @dude why does bwog compile mohi subway statuses every week? to show that writers can do a google search?

            no, it’s about compiling ALL the (true) information and letting readers make their own decisions. it’s not like they didn’t reach out to other perspectives (columbia athletics and barnard) for their statements as well

  • Do better, Bwog says:

    @Do better, Bwog This is so out of line. If you have any respect for the students involved or for yourselves you will take this down. You should be ashamed of the lack of integrity and morals on your staff if you’re willing to publish the student’s personal information along with fabricated details about the event just to get more views. You can do so much better, and this is just in poor taste.

  • Letting Columbia down, one post at a time. says:

    @Letting Columbia down, one post at a time. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for your lack of understanding about a serious, serious situation. Stop exploiting people’s problems for more clicks on your sorry excuse for an online publication. If you have any empathy, you’d take this down immediately.

    What is wrong with you guys?

  • Disappointed says:

    @Disappointed This is really awful reporting on Bwog’s part. Without any idea of the circumstances and without any real news to report, you’ve chosen to name a student for the sake of a couple clicks on an article. This is NOT what campus news should be about.

  • Shame on Bwog! says:

    @Shame on Bwog! I cannot believe that a “campus news site” would publish this. The point of news isn’t to inform the students of who is going around traumatizing fellow students! Student news should be all about fluff pieces and doubting the stories of sexual assault survivors.

    1. You don't have any receipts, you're just trying to get attention says:

      @You don't have any receipts, you're just trying to get attention Who was sexually assaulted in this instance? No one. There is no record of an assault, nor has an assault charge been filed. Why don’t we all focus our attention to the many rapists who walk free on this campus because the strong women here are too afraid to report due to the backlash that they could potentially receive from their abuser, their classmates, and the school at large.

      Please don’t blow this situation of of proportion in order to distract members of the community from the large sexual assault problem that we have at this school–it’s been done enough already.

  • Bwog=spec=shit says:

    @Bwog=spec=shit Bwog used to pride itself on not being pure shit like Spec…guess that is gone.

  • First and last time here says:

    @First and last time here Your must have to reach pretty deep down in the pond to find someone scummy enough to write this and allow for its publication. Shitty journalism and shitty humanism. Truly hope the influx of comments make your realize your lack of substantiated evidence behind your claims and allow for a moment of realization that you get to live with. Well deserved.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Take this down. Absolutely disgraceful. I hope he sues Bwog.

  • Check the capitals says:

    @Check the capitals Frankly, this is disgusting. Unprofessional. Completely out-of-line. Keeping identities private in these situations is nothing short of an obligation. Brazen indifference to the effects of this kind of character assassination is not what Columbia stands for. What could have possibly lead your editors to approve this? Of course, not much more can be expected of this kind of establishment. Gone are the days of legitimate student journalism. Careless. Undeserved. Negligent. Thanks for your bullshit reporting. Sorry to know that the writers even attend our school.

  • called out says:

    @called out The saddest part of this entire article is that BWOG writers doesnt have the balls to publish in their own name but hide behind “BWOG staff.”

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous The student was booked for attempted rape by the cops so stop saying he was just wandering. Do your homework, commenters.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous The article doesn’t say that but it’s info you can easily find yourself. So before you whine about ruining some dude’s reputation, ask yourself why you’re protecting a person the POLICE thought was worthy of arresting for attempted rape.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous That is completely, factually incorrect. Do YOUR homework and stop adding to the salacious commentary.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Nope. Completely correct.

    3. Show me the receipts says:

      @Show me the receipts Can you please link me to a source that says “attempted rape”? He was not detained for that reason to any public knowledge, so please let me know where you’re getting this inside scoop.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Call the NYPD. It’s not that hard to find what charges someone was booked on.

        1. You don't have any receipts, you're just trying to get attention says:

          @You don't have any receipts, you're just trying to get attention As someone who did, indeed, call the NYPD, I can assure you that he was not booked for the charges mentioned in the comment above. While I will not mention what he was booked for (as he has a certain right to privacy), it has NOTHING to do with sexual assault in any way, shape, or form.

          P.S. Highly doubt that you called the NYPD yourself, as there is about a 45 minute wait to be transferred to the Public Records department. While you may be great at bullshitting your midterms, you are not great at bullshitting here.

    4. Are you kidding me says:

      @Are you kidding me “Call the NYPD” you say? You definitely didn’t get any info that way, that is not how things work. The charge is public record you can just look it up. He was booked for “Criminal Mischief” No one ever has to call to check on these things in the state of New York How dare you bullshit about this poor kid being booked for such a serious crime. Your malicious and violent comments are far worse than what this kid did. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous They have a media line and you can also talk to people at the 26th precinct, which is what I did. I also have friends at the scene when he was arrested who overheard the officers state the charges.

  • Barnard '19 says:

    @Barnard '19 As students, we have the right to know who we need to be cautious about. I’m very glad bwog posted the name, because now I’m not going to be in class wondering if the guy next to me was someone who broke into my friend’s room naked and peed on her floor.

    To anyone criticizing bwog — You are putting this guy above our female students’ right to feel safe. Nobody put him in that situation but himself. It’s time we start protecting those who are affected by other people’s stupidity.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous If this were a woman who peed in a man’s room, I guarantee you’d feel differently.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous You’re really pulling that card? What he did was wrong and actions have consequences. Why would you rather protect him than other students?

  • seriously says:

    @seriously Maybe if he didn’t want his name revealed he shouldn’t have wandered around naked and peed on the floor of a lounge…maybe we should hold him accountable, instead of shaming the girl who signed him in. She is not culpable for this mess, he is.

  • Anon says:

    @Anon Who tf wrote this???

  • BWOG makes me sick says:

    @BWOG makes me sick I think its revealing that Spec posted the same article without all of the students information. Sure, the new’s is meant to inform but they should also balance that with a respect for other people’s privacy––especially when those people have not even been held to a fair trial yet. Granted there are institutions like the NYPost that just spew out any one’s info without any reflection––but those are tabloids and no one reads them.

    All I see in this article is a lack of respect for others and a lack of reflection on the responsibility of media institutions. I’m going to stick with Spec from now on.

    I hope you fall asleep every night knowing you may have destroyed a 19 year olds future just 2 days after an incident. He has not even been tried yet, the investigation has not concluded. If it turns out that he was intoxicated by someone else and is cleared of wrongdoing this will exist forever.

    Seeing this kind of stuff happen just makes me sick.

    1. excuse me says:

      @excuse me All the information posted is publicly available. As another commenter noted, it is easy to call the NYPD and find out the cause of somebody’s arrest.

      Also, what do you mean by “intoxicated by somebody else”? Your actions while drunk are still your actions.

      What makes me sick is that you are prioritizing “a 19 year old’s future” over the safety of over 600 students who live in the Quad. This isn’t character assassination and it isn’t presuming guilt before proven innocence. It’s the facts.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Except when you’re a woman who sleeps with a man and regrets it the next day …

        Then you’re obviously not accountable for your actions.

        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous You are disgusting for trying to make that comparison to this incident.

  • asg says:

    @asg As someone who was involved in the situation- 1. It wasn’t a towel, it was a blanket he grabbed from the bed of a student (the same student whose room he peed all over) 2. He didn’t just walk in accidentally thinking it was a wrong room because he was talking at the time and saying things that suggested it was not an accident. 3. It was a traumatic experience and nobody involved asked for media attention like this.

  • zhb says:

    @zhb This student charged here is an adult. Adults who are arrested are typically named in media reports, even before a conviction (which might not come for years). While Bwog is a student run news website, I don’t think it should play a different role here than would an external publication. There is nothing out of the ordinary that Bwog has done here. And as far as this piece impacting this young man’s future employment opportunities, even in the absence of the story, he would probably need to disclose this arrest to potential employers. The interest/safety of people who live on the quad are paramount here, and notifying them of the name puts them on notice of a specific possible threat.

    1. YES!!! says:


      1. zhb says:

        @zhb While i’m a man, I feel much honored by your response to my comment.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Whether or not Bwog reports it, there is a New York Post article anyway so I think the whole argument is moot

  • everyone says:

    @everyone y’all are so ugly. every single one of y’all. that’s it!

  • Anon says:

    @Anon People need to chill, the New York Post published an article with his name in it a few hours before Bwog published anything, and way more people read the fkn New York Post than Bwog. Here’s a link:

    So chill

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Wait, why have you left the comments open? It’s turning into a YouTube comment section with people throwing shit against the wall until something sticks. Or it could be Reddit. Or Breitbart. Or Buzzfeed. This page is just glowing with professionalism. Well done! /s

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Yeeah you totally dont work for beog/arent one of bwog’s friends supporting

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This is the second Columbia male Barnard has treated like crap on their campus just this week. They just call the cops on any male wandering on campus. Guys, stay away.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Are you joking? As if his behavior didn’t warrant a call to the police? It’s probably all fun and games to you, but must have been terrifying for the woman who had her room entered in the middle of the night. He treated women like crap, not the other way around, and I’m willing to bet with that attitude you do too.

  • anyone else think says:

    @anyone else think it’d be kind of hot if the gender roles were reversed? Feel kinda weird for being into it.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous This isn’t a porno site. Keep your fantasies to yourself.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Omg dear Barnard girls:

    LOCK YOUR DOORS if you don’t want someone coming in to your room at night whatever the situation!!

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Okay so real question: why was this womans door unlocked in the first place?

      As someone who lived in sulz and Hewitt I can attest that all the doors look exactly the same and when I’ve been drunk I’ve definitely almost walked into someone elses room! Once I got into the elevator and took it all the way to the 8th floor got out walked to “my room” and almost walked in until I realized the door deck was different (i lived on the 5th floor.) sophomore year I almost ALWAYS accidentally walked into the girls room next to me in Hewitt because the doors are identical!

      For this reason I ALWAYS lock my door when I go to sleep! So why didnt this woman lock hers?? If you never lock your door and your eturn home to find that someone robbed your stuff that is 100% on you for not locking your door. This guy did not harm this girl, the barnard email only said she was “alarmed” which I definitely would have been and I dont doubt it was a traumatic experience. But she is not pressing any charges of “assult” or “attempted rape” because that did not happen so people literally need to stop adding to this story. And if you’re a barnard girl who feels unsafe sitting next tonguys in your class because you thinkt here’s an instruder at large, LOCK YOUR DOORS at night!!!!!

      This guy obviously had sex with a girl, got up to go pee, lost his way accidentally entered the wrong room. (He did some dumb shit along the way (allegedly) but who hasnt done dumb shit when they’re drunk). I kno a few guys on the Bwog staff who have done some dumb shit while theyre drunk which i’m sure they wouldnt want publicly announced on their campus blog.

      Furthermore, yes Bwog, I’m sOrry but this is bad journalism. You have failed to provide your readers with a concrete and quotable source from the scene and instead have inly included nameless “witness” accounts which sound more like rumours and gossip tbh. But you have released the name of a 19 yr old boy to the Columbia Campus, creating yet another oublic record of his drunken mistake for all his collueges and acquaintances to see. And he didnt harm anyone. Your report that based on how he talked the girl could tell he intentionally walked into her room does not align with the barnard email which stated she was sleeping and he simply “alarmed” her.

      Last weak when a GS student was arrested on barnard’s campus the language of the email sent out about that event clearly stated that a hewitt dining hall worker felt “threatened” by him. Such language was not expressed in the email regarding this particular incident. So unless you can say “X, barnard student class of 2021” stated that “he ran around the room naked and then walked into a girl room on ourpose” than this looks more like a gossip column than proper investigative journalism.

      I have friends who have had other girls walk into their rooms by sccident but since it was other barnard students it was fine.

      It’s just kind of ridiculous that Bwog would call out this guys name over a drunken mishapoen with no mal intent while guys who literally actually rape girls go unnamed and undocumented. Also weird that Barnard/ columbiais putting so much effort into investigating this event when they really dont do anything to help girls who have actually been rapeda and have reported it.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous “LOCK YOUR DOORS if you don’t want someone coming in to your room at night whatever the situation!!”

        “Okay so real question: why was this womans door unlocked in the first place? ”

        … Isn’t this victim blaming?

      2. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Did you walk in naked?

      3. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous As someone directly involved with the situation, this is the most fair and correct comment I’ve seen. There were no bad intentions whatsoever.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Because forgetting to lock your door means it’s an open invitation to walk in naked and piss on the floor? Grow up, you entitled twat.

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