Unlucky Barnard Students No Longer Single

Written by

The following email was forwarded to Bwog:

From: Residential Life & Housing <>
Date: Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Subject: Important email re: your Plimpton room assignment
Dear [redacted]

We are writing to you today because you are a resident of ##A# Plimpton (a corner room) with difficult news to share so close to the start of the semester. As you may have heard, Barnard is experiencing a significant housing shortage for the upcoming academic year. We currently have over 80 students for whom we have no vacant spaces in our residence halls. The combination of a higher yield rate, fewer housing cancellations, and a significantly higher number of housing applications have all contributed to our shortage this year.

Since many of the students who we are unable to house come from outside of the tri-state area, we are trying to create additional residence hall space to house as many of these students as possible. One way in which the College will accomplish this is by changing the occupancy of your Plimpton room from a single to a double room. We understand that this change is unexpected and may be difficult. After a thorough review of all other options, the College has decided that this change in Plimpton is the best way to accomplish our goal of housing as many students for the Fall as possible.

Under these circumstances, we would like to offer you the opportunity to locate a friend to move into the double with you. To do so, you will need to follow these steps:

1. Identify someone who is both a current Barnard student with a room assignment for the Fall in a Barnard residence hall (ex. one of your current suitemates). Note: CU students are not eligible.

2. Both you and this other students will need to email housing@barnard.edufrom your Barnard email account no later than 8am this Monday, August 13 to state in writing that you both wish for that student to move into the corner double with you. We cannot process a move request without receiving an email from both students.

If we do not hear from you (and a friend) before 8am this Monday, August 13, we will assign someone from our Wait List to your room and provide your new roommate’s name and email address via email prior to the start of the academic year.

In recognition of the inconvenience the conversion your room to a double has caused, you will be charged a discounted rate of $3000 (vs.$4120 for a multiple) for your room this Fall. If you locate a BC student with a current room assignment to move into the double with you, that student will be charged the special rate of $3000 as well. If you have already paid the full price for a single ($4740), the difference in price will be credited back to your student account within the next few weeks. If you have set up a payment plan, you can contact the Bursar Office to adjust your monthly payment amount.

Should you decide instead to live off campus and cancel your housing, you may avoid the $1000 cancellation fee by submitting a Housing Cancellation Form ( before 8am on Monday, August 13. Any cancellation form received after that date/time will result in the $1000cancellation fee.

The College is making this change to Plimpton corner rooms on a permanent basis and Plimpton will be available for 6-person groups starting at 2013 Room Selection this Spring.

Thank you for helping us to deal with this unexpected and difficult situation. We greatly appreciate your understanding and cooperation. If you have questions, please email

— Barnard Residential Life & Housing

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  1. LOL


  2. Anonymous

    Did anybody else read this as: "Lucky Barnard student no longer single"?

  3. Anonymous

    giving them five days to figure out their housing for the year is totally unacceptable

  4. Anonymous

    Not surprised! Reslife is probably the WORST department at Barnard.

  5. Anonymous

    As one of the students who was only informed THIS WEEK that I had no place to live, I am immensely grateful to these students, even though they're probably mad. I was in one of those large corner rooms last year, and they have more square footage than the average Barnard double, so you'll survive, don't worry.

  6. Anonymous

    Why haven't they informed all residents? The change most affects the student gaining a roommate, of course, but acquiring a suitemate is a big deal, too.

    • Anonymous

      They informed us around 6 PM tonight about the change. Although i understand it's necessary to take these steps to ensure students have housing, I think it's crazy for reslife to think we can figure out our year's housing in 5 days. It's also unfortunate because the people who occupied the corner rooms were usually the ones with the extremely high lottery numbers that got their suite mates into the suites in the first place.

  7. CC '13

    glad im not in barnard

  8. my friend

    has stacks upon stacks of japanese asian guy on white female porn that it is semi ridiculous.

  9. Anonymous

    I hope Columbia does not give Barnard any extra rooms. Columbia needs all the space. Everyone wants to live on campus.

  10. Anonymous

    I hear that Columbia is still working on rooms for the sophmore class because the higher than anticipated class size and yield, and desirability of campus housing.

  11. Anonymous

    Columbia screw'd up their yield too? Things are tougher out there they they figured eh? That blows. It's one thing to get the shaft(no pun intended) as a sophmore due to the lottery but another thing for it to happen as a freshman. Some of these students should get 3 credits towards their degree, call itan involuntary life-seminar, The economics and statastics of limited space 101

  12. ugh

    well, as much as this does suck it was pretty much inevitable - the class of 2015 at Barnard was much bigger than expected coming in as freshmen, and they had to make the sulz study lounges into quads.

  13. on the bright side  

    appletree just got 15 more customers

    • cc'12 + former plimp corner room resident

      All of these poor souls who thought they had an amazing housing situation will find solace by eating their feelings at appletree. It has something for everyone.

      Plimpton was once glorious. A shame that beautiful Barnard has housing that consistently screws people.

  14. Anonymous

    following math and science. OH!!! BAM!!!

  15. ...

    still no coverage of jonah lehrer's massive ehrer? what's the deal? it is ALL OVER mass media.

  16. Anonymous

    Exactly. If ResLife already knew that the class of 2015 was that big, then they should have planned ahead for future housing immediately. It is completely unfair to the juniors and seniors living in Plimpton to change their housing plans because the sophomore class is too big.

  17. Anonymous

    students returning from time off also don't get housing this year. first time that's happened, i believe.

  18. CC'11

    In all seriousness, people should honestly try living off campus, and I did my senior year. While you may have to give up a 24 hour security guard and "community" (which only exists your first two weeks of school anyways), you can get places for much less expensive than what Columbia/Barnard prices, and probably better quality to (as long as you have a good super). Look either south to about 106th or north to about 125th, and you can find a lot of gems (and no not just "bad" places in questionable areas—there are plenty that are just fine). And then you don't have to worry where to find housing for the summer. Or not having access to a place for New Year's. Or a number of things.

    • BC15

      Thing is, financial aid gets heavily reduced if you do so, since you're treated (at least at Barnard) as a commuter and cost of attendance goes down by 10k while your EFC stays the same. So not really doable for half of the Barnard population.

    • Anonymous

      Not to mention, there's no way you'd find an apartment in the five days these students were given to cancel their housing.

    • Anonymous

      Only the super rich could possibly live off campus. not only would you lose significant financial aid, but you also have to factor in all the extra expenses of furniture, security, all utilities, phone, cable, repairs,cleaning, communting, transportation, etc. Generally not feasible.

      • Anonymous

        I don't receive financial aid (I'm on tuition exemption), but I have to say I'm renting an apartment this coming year (already basically moved in) and all my expenses (including rent, unlimited monthly metrocard, furniture etc.) comes to less than "renting" a shitty dorm did or could.

        It's not unfeasible, perhaps in 5 days it is. But doable within a smaller budget.

        • Same Person

          (Totally neglected to type out my point)...
          That being said if dropping out of housing meant my tuition was effectively increased, I couldn't do it. The difference in price is not THAT dramatic.

  19. Anonymous

    is plimpton even livable for two people in a single

  20. Anonymous

    for Barnard or Columbia housing?

  21. Anonymous

    Seems kind of funny that Columbia housing is still opening new options (the apartments and the Greek dealio thing) while Barnard is having to condense options. Can't Barnard and Columbia reslife get together and do a more drastic housing swap sort of thing than previously precedented?

    • Anonymous

      Columbia is doing that for CC/SEAS to solve their own yield size and housing waitlist problems. They do promise guaranteed housing and rightly should be fixing their own fuck ups before worrying about Barnard's. Harsh, but true.

  22. Anonymous

    There was never guaranteed housing for CC/Seas students coming back from time off- unless you were on a medical leave or studying abroad in an official program.

    • Anonymous

      Well, that is generally correct. Columbia guarantees housing for all CC and SEAS students for all years, but if you leave the housing system for a year for an unapproved reason, you may not necessarily be guaranteeed a room when you reenter.

  23. Anonymous

    Is it obvious that two people can fit comfortably in these corner rooms? Will they be living on top of each other

    • Anonymous

      It'll be pretty unbearable. Barnard already has a few singles-masquerading-as-doubles in the lower floors of 620. I had a horrible lottery number my freshman year, was put on the guaranteed housing wait list and was placed in one of those rooms with a random student. Living in a 13 x13 single was awful, but at least I had some idea when I signed my housing contract of what I was getting into: I was a rising sophomore with one of the worst lottery numbers. Not only are the students in Plimpton juniors and seniors (may of whom have never lived in a single before), but they probably had the best lottery number in their suite.

      All I know is I'm buying all my friends in this situation a lot of wine come September.

    • Former Plimpton resident

      The corner singles in Plimpton are 11'6" x 14'9". Definitely not ideal for a double, but probably doable.

  24. Anonymous

    Why? They are two completely separate schools with separate endowments, buildings and housing. Columbia and Barnard swap equal numbers of rooms every year for diversity. That is the advantage of going to Columbia. They own endless buildings and have endless housing options. They are currently renovating more brownstones as well as an entire complex on 113th that will be opening this spring. All CC and SEAS students are always guaranteed campus housing.

  25. SEAS

    i find it immensely difficult to believe columbia has no spare housing. what happened to owning half of morningside heights?

    furthermore, i know UAH has more than enough room. my friend had a UAH triple all to himself this summer because of how little UAH has its act together

  26. I wishhh  

    But then you're considered a commuter and lose $11000 in financial aid

  27. Anonymous

    "Extra" Columbia housing is given to GS, transfers, grad students, returning students, faculty, visiting students and faculty etc. So it will all be disributed. Barnard is a separate school and takes care of its own students and housing and has nothing to do with Columbia housing.

    • Anonymous

      Not entirely true. Last year, there were a few Plimpton suites that were entirely Columbia students because Barnard had the extra space, and it's not the only time that's happened. I'm not saying it's Columbia's job to solve this problem, but the schools do help each other out with housing when they can.

      • Alum

        There was a time when Barnard routinely set aside half of Plimpton for CU students. The housing exchange was bigger then, and plenty of CU science and engineering students liked Plimpton's location.

  28. EC

    Unexpectedly sexiled Barnard students can always find a place in my spacious EC single.

  29. Anonymous

    Columbia students who didn't make it into a five-person suite were offered the opportunity to move to Plimpton. Why did Barnard housing donate rooms to Columbia students if they can't even house their own student body?

    Barnard housing needs to get their shit together,

  30. Anonymous

    College bureaucracy at its best!

  31. Kl

    I am just worried that it will increase the number of Lesbos on campus. But anyway, what to do you expect when 2 Barnard women share space in Pimpton.

  32. Anonymous

    the same room got $1250 more exspensive

  33. Anonymous

    This summer, our suitemate was offered a last-minute RA position for the fall. We had two days to fill her spot or get someone randomly assigned.

  34. This was a horrible mistake.

    NO ONE who thought they signed up for a wonderful Plimpton single then was forced to find a roommate within a matter of days is going to give a cent back to Barnard. The administration needs to take experiences like this seriously if they ever want to get a real endowment.
    Many weeks in advance, ResLife should have emailed everyone in a single above a certain size and offered them free housing (with no decrease in financial aid) if they turn their room into a double. They also could have offered more seniors and maybe juniors the option of using financial aid to pay rent off campus.

    • alum

      You are suggesting fair and just solutions, but they mean that Barnard would collect less money. Another correct solution would have been for Barnard to plan a little more in advance, and then to suck it up and find more housing in morning side heights, which you can always do at market rent prices. They could have taken a slight hit on rent minus what they charge students, but at least avoided this major fuck up. Instead they decided to be penny-wise and screw over juniors and seniors right before the semester starts. Good luck raising money, practices like this doom a college to mediocrity.

    • Anonymous

      Yea, if this happened in EC or Hogan, heads would be rolling... not that the peons in the Columbia housing are much better.


  35. Anonymous

    This also means that some Barnard students are going to be randomly assigned into coed housing. Some of the students living in the affected suites are guys who go to Columbia, and Barnard is STILL going to randomly assign people into those suites. I found this out from a friend who's affected. That's pretty insensitive/basically negates the whole point of going to a women's college...

  36. Anonymous

    are you barnard? most of me and my 'nard friends wouldn't give a damn about that. I didn't go to an all-women college because I want to be isolated: I came because I value the school's approach to leadership and education. Maybe the "point" of going to an all-women's college is different to you and me, but I'm a little confused about how mingled housing (which can be found in many of the barnard dorms that also function as apartment buildings) voids a whole education.

  37. Anonymous

    Obama was right. I guess women do need to take more STEM classes and figure out how many rooms they have, and how many students to accept.

  38. Anonymous  

    The demand for UAH over summer is substantially lower. That's never the concern. A huge number of GS and grad students leave over summer.

    During the school year UAH is all full, and GS can't offer housing to nearly enough students who desperately want it. UAH may be a bureaucratic cluster fuck, but it doesn't have housing available for the GS and grad students who want it, nevermind Barnard women.

  39. Gina BC'14

    I am a resident of a suite that is being converted over to 6 people. We have been in contact with Barnard ResLife as well as other offices as we try to work out solutions to the various problems this has caused us. What is most frustrating is the lack of help and concern we have received from our school. They keep calling our situation an "inconvenience" and this offends us because the situation is more than that. We are wondering if anyone else in a converted suite has had similar feelings. Although at this point we cannot change anything that has happened, we feel it's important for us all to share our experiences and report it so that something like this will never happen again. Please contact me at if you and/or your suitemates would like to join us in filing a report. The more of us stand together, the more likely other students won't be affected in the future.

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