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.”