CU @ BC: Living in Barnard Housing

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For those seeking to escape the pain and suffering of the Columbia Housing lottery, or those who were unable to get into the LLC or Special Interest Housing, there is an alternative – Barnard. Bwog’s very own Sean Zimmermann writes on his experience (figuratively) across Broadway.

There’s a lot of chatter about how exactly a CU student gets to crash Cathedral Gardens instead of Wien. Basically, any Columbia student can live in a suite in Barnard Housing, provided that the suite is at least 50% Barnard students, and people of opposite gender do not share a room (though they can share a suite). As with Barnard students living at Columbia, they are not given lottery numbers, nor do they affect the lottery number of the group. As it turns out, due to recent changes, if the Columbia student opting for Barnard housing is in a different year than the Barnard students, the group immediately falls under “Mixed-Class Year Group” and is handled as such. In other words, if a Columbia sophomore joins a group of Barnard juniors, the group must proceed according to general Mixed-Class Year Group policy, which maintains that the group as a whole must pick on the selection day of the lowest class year (here, that of the sophomore).

Cathedral Gardens is the crown jewel of the Barnard housing universe. This Bwogger, a SEAS student, has spent the last year in the CG; besides not being able to participate in CU Assassins, we have nothing bad to say about the dorm. Sure, Cathedral is “far”: it’s a ten to 15 minute walk from Mudd.  But you can buzz people in without first signing them in; you can have packages delivered directly to the building; and you can have food delivered to your door, not just the lobby. The building is always clean, and the staff is delightful. If you file a work order, they will have the problem solved within 24 hours.

But let’s be honest: not all Barnard dorms have the same charms as Cathedral. According to one BC student, “Plimpton looks like a war bunker, but it’s all singles. The 600s are close to campus, but they are a lot of doubles, and 110 is an old building, but it’s a real-life people building.” Another student argued that worst BC dorm is probably Elliott, with its tiny singles and “unbearably cramped doubles.”

If you’re looking to live in a suite, though, remember that Barnard housing consists mostly of suites, generally housing 5 or 6 people. Even if you join a group of Barnard sophomores, you still have a good chance of being able to live in a suite. The same suite pitfall exists for Barnard students though: you may have to live in a double if you pick into a suite.

When Bwog first moved into one of the rooms, we asked one of our suitemates why Barnard dorms are so much nicer. She responded simply, “Our school loves us more.”

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  1. get it right  

    they changed it. sophomore columbia students in a group of all juniors DOES make a difference for when people choose.

    CG is definitely not the preferred dorm for almost, well, everyone

    and its Elliott, not Eliot

    but our school definitely does love us more. that is correct.

  2. ...  

    she's an angry elf.

  3. Don't forget  

    You get kicked out during winter break, unless you pay up and have a note from an adult.

    • cc guy who lived in bc

      you certainly do not have to pay up - although you do have to fill out an inane form saying that you're writing your thesis in order to stay.

      CG is the best you can get in Columbia undergraduate housing. and if you think a ten minute walk is "far" you're out of your mind.

    • Anonymous  

      And if you're a senior, you can stay.

  4. Also


    and loft-like windows

    and the B/C, subway lines that will actually allow you to leave the UWS. It'll change your life.

  5. CG  

    is the best all around.

  6. Anonymous  

    yes, Barnard absolutely loves us more.

  7. Tea parties, anyone?  

    CG also has a beautiful rooftop patio. Perfect for grilling (if grills are allowed...) and tea parties, if you will.

  8. 600 ain't bad either  

    If you can stand to live in a double, two-person suite. It's huge.

  9. ec  

    how cg in anyway better than EC--i still think EC is the best deal.

  10. what  

    There is NO way that the walk from CG to Mudd is less than fifteen minutes.

  11. ...  

    at cg, food delivery comes directly to your apartment door AND you can buzz people in without having to go downstairs to sign them in. plus some of the rooms have beautiful views of morningside park. by far the best dorm in cu/bc.

  12. Alum

    It must take more than 15 minutes to get from CG to Mudd even under ideal conditions (good weather, no traffic, and all traffic lights going your way). It also must take more than 15 minutes to get from CG to all of Barnard's academic buildings, which is probably why Barnard had to make it so nice. If it were both twice as far as the next-farthest dorm and unpleasant, it would become a ghetto for sophomores with low lottery numbers.

    • No

      They made it nice because it's actually for faculty, mostly. Imagine an apartment that would convince you to join Barnard's faculty and move your family to the city, then add some ugly but practical dorm furniture, and you have CG.
      Plus the 20 minute walk is good exercise. Or whatever, take the M4.

  13. BC 11

    barnard dorms are NOT better than columbia. you guys get hardwood floors and many more options for any number of suitemates. plus you guys get to regroup at housing if there aren't any suites left. if you want all singles at barnard you're stuck with plimpton and that's about it.

  14. [email protected]

    Out of curiosity , I timed my walk and it was 12 minutes (or 2.5 songs on my iPod) from 116th and Bway to CG. Usually, I average 14 minutes with a standard deviation of 1.5 minutes to Dodge Fitness Center. Just FYI.

    Also, I know there are lots of nice dorms in the CU system, but CG is the newest (2005) and has a ton of perks like food delivered to your door, no need to show your ID to one for the 4 security guards (all who you know by name), and access to the B/C line. I love it.

  15. CG is amazing  


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