The 2008 Housing Lottery: Your Best Mistake Ever!

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Yesterday, in our quest to educate you, gentle readers, about the ins and out of Columbia real estate, we took a closer look a Wien. Today, we move westward to Woodbridge—a place of dreams, deferred.


According to the housing website, even the “worst room” in Woodbridge is a treat. I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum, and I can say that there is a serious difference between options. Woodbridge is a building on the corner of 115th and Riverside that consists of two person, one-bedroom apartments. This means you can either share a bedroom with your roommate and have a nice sized living-room, or you can use the living-room as another bedroom and each have “singles.” The Woodbridge lines are all different and some lend themselves to being “split” more than others. To my knowledge, A, B, C, F, and K are most easily separated into separate rooms, as they don’t have walkthrough bathrooms and you don’t enter directly into the living room.

When I first picked into Woodbridge, my junior year, my roommate and I were choosing between Woodbridge and Watt. We leaned towards Woodbridge because of the bonus of having our own bedrooms. The only Woodbridge suite left was 1D, and we went for it even though we knew the light situation wouldn’t be great [D is on the shaft and the first floor obviously gets the worst light]. In retrospect, I would absolutely have opted for Watt—better light, wood floors, better condition. Also, Be warned, sleeping in the “living room” bedroom, when you don’t really have a door, has serious drawbacks.

This year, I’m in the J suite. In, general, I really like it. The living room is HUGE, the bedroom and kitchen too, and it has five windows that look out on 115th street—you can even see the park…sort of. If you’re lucky enough to wind up with a Woodbridge suite all to yourself [due to extenuating circumstances…if your roommate goes abroad they tend to stick someone in there with you], it’s probably the best apartment you’ll have for a long time.

Also, an added bonus: the Woodbridge superintendent, Jorge, is great. He may even teach you some Spanish.

Perks: Laundry room, exercise room w/ cable TV, in-room bathroom w/ shower/tub

Drawbacks: No computer lab, no dishwashers, ugly carpets, horrible wind tunnel

– Merrell Hambleton


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  1. !!!  

    this didn't really say much...

  2. jpm  

    this review is pretty scathing. for those of you who like to cook, woodbridge has amazing kitchen storage space. it's crazy!

  3. Dingle

    Woodbridge can be downright palatial if your roommate moves out. Mine left for EC at the beginning of the semester, and now I have a 238 square foot living room, a small kitchen, a bathroom, and a 144 square foot bedroom all to myself.

  4. woodbridge lover  

    this was a strange review. I live in the H line with my roommate and we have an octogonal shaped living room (spacious), and three windows which look out onto Riverside, and n.jersey when the trees are bare aka you see the river. i absolutly loove living here; probably the best apt you'll have in a while. only drawback--wind tunnel. however it only lasts a few seconds.

  5. H-line resident  

    I am Woodbridge lover's roommate. We live in H line, and as she mentioned, our living room has a gorgeous shape to it. Also, we host amazing feasts for our friends in our living room, which we couldn't do in most Columbia dorms, or at least not without a private kitchen and eating area. I'd like to add that since the windows overlooking the park face West, we also get beautiful sunsets (reflected in the river during the wintertime). We have a table, a small love seat and a coffee table.

    FYI, most Woodbridge residents also choose to sleep in separate beds.

  6. Merrell Hambleton  

    Hey guys --

    I'm glad other residents are weighing in. Don't get me wrong, I love Woodbridge. Its a really great dorm if you pick into a good line. I just wanted to get across that not every room is as fantastic as H, F, etc. This shouldn't be a deterrent. Having your own kitchen/toilet is an amazing perk.

  7. interesting  

    it would be funny if bwog did these reviews like zagat.

    Woodbridge has living rooms with "a gorgeous shape" ...

  8. H-line resident  

    To be clearer: my point for prospective residents was that they shouldn't be deterred by the thought of sharing a room with a friend. Many people think their mission in life (or the housing lottery) is to obtain a closet in River, which affords them a choice of exactly two physical positions: lying/sitting on bed or sitting at desk. These friends flee the claustrophobic atmosphere to have fabulous dinners at our apartment. It's much nicer to share a sleeping space with someone you know well and then have a great living room to hang out, watch movies, eat meals, etc. It's absolutely worth it, trust me.

  9. H-line resident  

    FYI to prospectives: I didn't have a great lottery number. We're seniors, and that worked to our advantage, but our number was mediocre (in the 1000's). My roommate (poster Woodbridge lover) did a lot of research to find good housing and we ended up with the perfect dorm.

  10. right  

    don't call someone a moron unless you write your name in the name section

  11. H-line resdient  

    I'm all for gay-coupledom in dorms!

    At any rate, it's not moronic. I just found the picture of the big bed funny.

  12. why invite

    friends over when you can both just eat out on that big bed of yours?

  13. Just wondering

    Ooh, neat! Those yellow walls are pretty schnazzy. Forgive my ignorance (I'm a prospective CC'15, I know, lame of me to be lurking on BWOG), but how much are residents allowed to personalize their dorms at Columbia?

    • wow  

      CC'15?? at your age i was still trading pokemon cards... shit.

    • Former RA

      In answer to your question, painting walls like that is officially something you are not allowed to do. Of course, lots of students do it anyway and simply paint their rooms back to institutional white at the end of the year. Personally, I wouldn't recommend it. I know of at least one incident in which during re-painting students ruined the carpet in their common room, and the university charged them several thousand dollars to replace it. A much safer option is to cover your walls with pretty fabric--no mess, and it can be easily re-done in your next dorm room.

    • CC'15. I feel OLD.  

      You can personalize your dorm as much as you'd like, provided that you return it to its original state. So the student living in the pretty yellow room you've just seen will have to paint it white again in May.

      CC'15? As a (comparatively) wise old senior, I could tell you not to obsess over college, that I don't feel happier, more enlightened, and better placed to find a job than my state-school friends (and least of all a better person!) although I realize it doesn't quite look that way from your end of the "college-process" as its called. I LOVE Columbia and had a fantastic time here, but it is not an enchanted place. You will not be sprinkled with fairy dust when you walk through the gates. Even if spend some of your time lying in golden sunlight on the steps of Low discussing the Ancient Greeks (I did; many of us did) but it will not feel inwardly magical the way it does when you look at the pictures. You won't experience exactly what you feel when you watch the Brideshead Revisted miniseries (although you should do that anyway).

      So I shouldn't have to tell you not to worry about the color of your dorm walls four years ahead of time.

  14. OHNO  


  15. well

    I have a friend who lives in the F-Line. The suite is spacious, but the place looks like shit. Ratty carpet. Beat up looking apartment. Place looks like it could use a nice renovation.

  16. prospective

    Well, I'm a prospective CC'20. Any advice? Do you think it's too late to apply for early action?

  17. CC'29  

    Will there be enough room in Woodbridge to store my Robot? How about my Hover-Board?

  18. SEAS Student  

    To CC'15... don't worry about details like wall-panting now. Go do your US History and geometry homework. You've only got about an 8% chance of ever having to decide whether or not to paint a Columbia wall.

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