At 2:00 am this morning, two undergraduate students were accosted by two male subjects, who were later arrested by the NYPD.

In an email this afternoon, Vice President of Public Safety James McShane informed Columbia community members of an armed robbery that occurred at 2:00 am at 114th and Broadway. Two undergraduates were accosted by two male subjects who displayed an unspecified weapon. No one was injured in the incident and the suspects were apprehended and arrested by NYPD officers. 

In the email, McShane pointed out community safety resources such as the Via on-demand evening shuttle, which can be used by University affiliates for door-to-door transportation within the Columbia community area at no cost. The shuttle operates from 4:00 pm to 4:00 am daily. The email also promoted the Safe Haven Program and the recently-released app, Lion Safe

Bwog has reached out to Barnard Communications regarding reports that a security alert on this matter was not sent to Barnard students, and we received no clear answer addressing the lack of timely communication from the College about the incident.

Update on March 18, 9:05 pm:
Barnard’s AVP for CARES, Amy Zavadil, sent an email to students tonight at 8:28 pm acknowledging the incident and sharing many of the same resources that were outlined in the email from Columbia’s VP for Public Safety, Jim McShane, earlier today. The email also included that Barnard reported this incident on their crime alert website. However, many Barnard and Columbia students have reported to Bwog that a text alert was not sent to them from the University or the College, even though these students are enrolled in the emergency notification program. The full text of the email from AVP Zavadil is below.

The full text of the email sent to students on March 18 at 12:39 pm is included below:

To the Columbia Community:

I’m writing to inform you about a robbery that took place last night in our community. At 2 A.M. this morning, two undergraduate students were accosted at 114th St. and Broadway by 2 male suspects. While a weapon was displayed, fortunately  no one was injured and the subjects were apprehended and arrested by the NYPD.

Please make sure to be aware of your surroundings when walking around the community, especially late at night. I would also like to remind you of some of the safety resources that are available to you while travelling about the community. Our Via on demand evening shuttle can be used to transport Columbia affiliates safely  door to door within the Columbia community area.  It operates every day from 4:00 P.M. until 4:00 A.M. For more information please see our website at 

Also available are our Safe Havens. Businesses registered in the Safe Haven program display a Red Lion logo in their windows. At businesses featuring the Red Lion, you can ask the merchant to phone the  Department of Public Safety or the police and wait for security personnel to respond. For more information , please see our website at 

Finally, our recently released app, Lion Safe is now available to all members of the community. Public Safety’s Lion Safe app allows the user to request emergency services at the touch of a button along with other useful quick links including maps, shuttle schedules, crime alerts, emergency protocols, campus safety notifications, and non-emergency numbers for each campus.  For further information, please see our website at 

 Public Safety is here to keep you safe.  We can be reached 24 hours a day, every day, at each of the three campuses.  Our numbers, both emergency and non-emergency, can be found on our homepage at Please call us if you need us. We are here for you!

All the best,

Jim McShane

James F. McShane 

Vice President for Public Safety 

Columbia University 

Low Library, Rm. 101 

Mail Code 4301 

535 W. 116th Street 

New York, New York 10027

Email to Barnard students from Amy Zavadil, AVP for CARES on March 18 at 8:28 pm EST:

Dear Barnard Community,

I am writing to follow up on an incident from the early morning hours of March 18. At approximately 2 a.m., two Columbia undergraduate students were accosted by two male suspects at 114th St. and Broadway. While reports indicate a weapon was displayed, fortunately no one was injured and the subjects were immediately apprehended and arrested.

A report of this incident was posted on our crime alert website. I have also spoken to Jim McShane, Vice President for Public Safety at Columbia, who confirmed that the students were not physically harmed.  

The safety of our community is Barnard’s most immediate priority, and we understand that this information may be concerning. Please remember to take steps to keep yourself safe, on and off campus, and to remain aware of your surroundings at all times:

  • When possible, use the evening on-demand Via service, which is available between 4 p.m.-4 a.m. More information is available on the CARES website.
  • Remember that at area businesses featuring the Red Lion, you can ask the merchant to phone Community Safety or call the emergency line (212-854-6666) or CARES at 212-854-3362.
  • If you are walking and wish to have a phone escort, call the CARES line at 212-854-3362 and let the call taker know you’d like to stay on the phone as you walk to your destination.
  • Stay informed about recent incidents by reading neighborhood crime alerts on the website.

We continue to take the necessary steps to keep our students and campus safe. We appreciate your contributions to creating a safe and welcoming environment.

Thank you,

Amy Zavadil, AVP for CARES

Low Library Via Bwog Archives