Everyone’s favorite artificial deus ex machina of friendships, the Housing Lottery, is almost upon us! Usually an occasion for last minute research, Bwog will be running a series of posts on all Columbia dorms, including a feature on why it’s smarter to live with Barnard girls, and a point-counterpoint on living off-campus. This way, when your 5th suite member decides to move off-campus with her boyfriend of 3 months, you’ll be so well-versed in Columbia real-estate you’ll be able to confidently greet your new 4 person suite in Ruggles. Today: Wien.


Wien residence hall, flanked by Jerome Greene Hall and the palatial confines of Casa PrezBo, doesn’t seem so bad at first glance. “It’s not that bad,” you might even suggest.  However, you will soon learn that it is, actually, quite bad. Those 300 plus god-forsaken souls assigned to Wien each year know full well that it surely lives up to its dastardly reputation day in and day out. Its cold, white walls, awkwardly placed hall clock that never seems to have the correct time, and the remains of the Wien Food Court, soon to be office for Alice!, will greet you with a pervading sense of eeriness and doom. Feel free to stop by the consistently vacant lounge that seems to be good only for the occasional Chowdah performance or whittle away at the computers in the second floor computer lounge, but never expect to be able to print a single document on the flimsy NINJA printer so kindly set up by CUIT. Upon passing the guard, you enter the world of Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. As the bright white lights shine down on your head, Wien’s awkward hallway entrance doors, added touch of chicken wire on its windows, and long corridors are sure to make you squeamish.Yet, you still might wonder what gives Wien a cozy institutional establishment? Perhaps it is the 86 square foot singles with toilets placed in the far corner of the room that allow for only two inches of movement between your desk and the bed.

Might you be interested in brushing your teeth in you own private sink? If that doesn’t do it for you, why not pass by the showers with collapsing ceilings, tile cutters wreaking havoc throughout the hall at 9 a.m., and not to mention an elevator with consistently flickering floor lights. Maybe you want the fraternity experience you never thought you needed—it might please you to know that the frat members who aren’t awarded brownstones are placed in Wien. Perhaps it seems that the sole saving grace of this monster of Columbia housing is the new laundry room on the second floor and the epic flat screen in the kitchen-lounge hybrid. However, it always smells like lasagna TV dinners in there. My best wishes for those forgotten souls who are consigned to live in the hermitage that is the Wien asylum. Hopefully you’ll be out by the end of the year.

– Pierce Stanley