An Incomplete And Unscientific Ranking Of The Slowest Elevators On Columbia’s Campus

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if only we could look this serene and comfortable in a Columbia elevator

It happens to the best of us; you’re running late to a class or a meeting and you realize that you need to make a choice. Either you have to run up twelve flights of stairs or wait for the elevator and try to cram yourself into a corner between a football player and your econ professor. Which is the best option? Well, as with most things on Columbia’s Campus, it depends on where you are.

1. International Affairs Building: Despite what the astrophysics unit of Frontiers of Science might say, I’m convinced these elevators are capable of faster than light travel. Step on the elevator, blink, and you’ll find yourself where you need to be. If only the other elevators on this list could be so efficient.

2. Lerner: A perfectly fine and functional elevator that will get you where you need to go. Just be sure to budget an extra 30 seconds for when you invariably use the wrong side when trying to get to the 8th floor.

3. Butler Library: Neither the fastest nor the slowest, you’ll get to your preferred study space or crying location with plenty of time to cram for the midterm you forget to study for.

4. Any elevator when you’re trying to put away something heavy: Somehow, elevators just know when you’re trying to lug something big and awkward up the stairs and act accordingly. If you’re trying to get that oversized package your mom sent upstairs or head to the basement the laundry you let pile up for the last three weeks, give yourself a few extra minutes for this minor inconvenience to work itself out.

5. Your dorm after a fire drill: Given the recent spate of fire alarms across campus, this has become an experience many of us are all too familiar with. While being forced to wait outside might be the most irritating part of the whole thing, getting back inside is no picnic either. Unless you want to run to the front of the pack (and possibly make some enemies along the way), you’re looking at another five to ten minutes of standing in line before heading to bed. My advice: unless your room is on the 20th floor, you might as well take the stairs.

6. Hamilton: Infamously slow, you might be surprised that this elevator did not make the top of the list. While there’s nothing you can do about the long lines and limited space, a little common sense can go a long way in cutting down your commute. Namely, don’t hit the button to call the elevator back until after it’s gone down to the first floor and passed the second again. I promise there’s going to be no more room than before, and perhaps, even less. So, I don’t care if your class is on the seventh floor; if you don’t absolutely need to take the elevator, avoid it and leave said limited space for those who really do. But if you decide to do so anyway, please think before you press.

7. Theological Seminary: An elevator that was described to me as “extremely warm, creepy, confined, slow and terrifying,” the theological seminary may very well have accidentally summoned a portal to the underworld in its elevator. So maybe, take the stairs to your religion class. While you’re at it, crack open the textbook and see if it has any advice about exorcisms. Just in case.

8. A crowded elevator in John Jay: Slow on a good day, recently these elevators have recently found themselves stuck between floors for upwards of fifteen minutes at a time when crowded. Happening seemingly at random, you might want to think twice before squeezing yourself between two of your floormates or, at least, bring some homework with you so your unexpected detour can be almost as productive as the eight hours you were planning to spend in Butler.

Image via Public Domain

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  1. Alum

    Inaccurate. Can't believe Mudd is not on the list

  2. Anonymous  

    Watt. Is. The. Slowest. Thing. Ever. It's the Hamilton of dorms, but worse because there are doors you have to pull open before you can enter and you can't see if there are people on it until they're walking right into you.

  3. Anonymous

    How tf is the Hillel Center not on this list lol

  4. Anonymous

    The Hamilton stairs are a terrific cardio workout. I can outrun most elevators, anyway.

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