Our second series during Orientation is called “Bi-Partisan Dorm Reviews.” The series seeks to show both the pros and cons of living in whatever residence hall that you (hopefully) chose. For non-freshman housing, we did reviews of many upperclassmen buildings during the Housing Lottery, which you can see here. Third up is the Barnard Quad. As always, feel free to add your own pros and cons in the comments.

The strong, beautiful first-years of Barnard live on a bucolic quad on 116th and Broadway. A sorting hat determines which of three halls students will occupy: Sulzberger, Reid, and Brooks. There’s also some nebulous half-hall called Sulz/Reid. All rooms are doubles or triples.


  • Brooks has fancy, non-working fireplaces and “walk-through doubles,” the latter of which optimize privacy and the illusion of having a single.
  • Quick elevator ride to most Barnard gym classes and the Hewitt cafeteria, which is generally acknowledged to be superior to John Jay.
  • Half a block to the 116th subway, and even less than that when the gate at 116th street is actually left open.
  • Proximity to all the cupcake-based frivolity that’s the basis of most of Barnard’s spring celebrations.
  • Tunnel access through the dorms and to most of Barnard’s academic buildings means never having to see the light of day
  • The bathrooms are usually cleaner than Columbia’s first-year counterparts
  • No boys


  • One of the two Sulzberger elevators is “reserved” for senior floors (everything higher than 9), so expect frustrated sighs from seniors if you’re taking it to a lower floor
  • The size of the rooms and the omnipresence of the RAs make parties, smoking (anything), and loud music impossible.
  • The 116th street entrance to the Quad is sometimes randomly locked, for seemingly no reason.
  • Frequent construction projects are loud, early and send dust and rubble through open windows.
  • Embarrassingly themed, over-advertised group craft projects will probably earn you ridicule from your SEAS and College friends.
  • No boys