Cool Places You Only Know About If You’re In The Major

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Secret spaces

At Columbia, we often fall quickly into niche identities. Econ kids rarely mix with the Film majors, and so often we have no idea where people from different departments hang out. Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers investigates the locations you’ll only know about if you’re in the major.

I often wonder where people from the more niche majors hang out, far from the monotony of Butler or the crowded insides of Joe Café. Some of these unique places simply aren’t available to us normies; but, here are the secret department-specific locations you hardly knew about.

The Stronach Center (Art History)
Surprisingly enough, on the 8th floor of Schermerhorn Hall is the Stronach Center for Art History. We are all jealous of that fragment of classical sculpture and beautiful wall of books. The Stronach Center was renovated in 2009 and is now an extremely beautiful place to gather informally or study. It’s only really used by Art History graduate students so if you want someone who can tell you all about Vorticism, this is where to find them. We wish we could use their computer lab and Media Center, but alas…

The Bone Lab (Anthropology)
The Bone Lab is home to many fragments of bone and other relics. It isn’t a place for the squeamish, and is only open to those with special access through the Anthropology department, but if you have a passion for bones, this is the place to go. The Bone Lab is also located in Schermerhorn, where all the cool kids are, apparently.

Knox Hall (MESAAS)
Knox Hall is open to people other than MESAAS majors, but most people don’t even realize it exists. The courtyard here is extremely beautiful and a great place to study away from the crowds on the Steps.

Prentiss Hall (Music)
Prentiss Hall is up on 125th Street, which explains why most people outside of Columbia’s music scene don’t really know it exists. It’s open to all Columbia students and the walls are covered with student artwork. If you come through, you may even listen to Columbia bands practicing. The reason why it’s on this list, however, is because located inside are some of the oldest computer music machines in the world. However, to get into these, you’ll need specific swipe access… which sucks.

Center for American Studies, Hamilton Hall (American Studies)
Located on the third floor of Hamilton Hall, most people don’t even know the Center for American Studies exists, because they’re too busy rushing to the elevator so that they don’t have to walk the stairs to the seventh floor. But, it is actually a really nice, clean space, so a bit of a change from the rest of Hamilton.

NOUS Café (Philosophy Hall, English Graduate Studies)
This café is a great space to study in, and also to pick up cute grad students. However, you’ll need grad student status to swipe in. Friends of Bwog report that it is quite easy to just slip in past a grad student as they open those hallowed doors.

Astronomy Lounge (Astronomy, Pupin Hall)
This space is only really for people deeply involved in the Astronomy department, but Bwog thinks it’s extremely cool that their lights look like planets. The couches are also far more comfortable than a hard chair in Ref.

The Café in SIPA is open to all students but most undergraduates don’t know it exists! It’s a nice alternative to Joe’s, and has a wide selection of decent soups.

80 Claremont
80 Claremont is the home of the Religion Department, which isn’t that relevant to many of the potential Economics majors out there. This, however, is a shame, because 80 Claremont is one of the nicest buildings on Columbia’s campus! It may seem a bit far to walk to from the lower end of campus, but it’s worth it.

Altschul Study Spaces
There are a lot of nice study spaces in Altschul that are only really known by people if they have classes on or work in the labs on particular floors. Conveniently, these spaces include an amazing couch on the 10th floor, and a whiteboard on the 12th floor. Come here too for the huge chalkboard wall on the third floor/mezzanine level, which is exceedingly useful for drawing out big diagrams when you’re studying for science exams.

PLL vibes via Pixabay

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  1. math alum

    The lounge on one of the upper floors of the math building has really comfy sofas!

  2. overconfident science de computres scholaire

    what about the CS lounge lmao
    we have a fucken terrace mate

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