Freshpeople Housing Review: John Jay

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Continuing our assistance for pre-frosh picking housing preferences, here is the second installment of Freshpeople Housing Review, in which we examine that most august residence hall, John Jay.

John Jay is the other 100% first-year dorm. Rather than the double-double purity of Carman, the vast majority of JJ rooms are singles. There are a few “walkthrough doubles,” which are two rooms, one of which connects to the hallway, and one with is only accessible by “walking through” the first.

Though some hardcore Carmanites accuse John Jay of being socially stunted, steadfast Jay residents contend that by propping doors open and hanging out in the lounge, it is actually more social. JSingles give you the option of either propping your wide when you want people to stop by, or shutting it when you need to work or just take a break from Columbia.

Floormates studying together can take a late night study break over greasy JJ’s Place food without even leaving the building. And in the dread months of winter, sharing a roof with the dining hall makes getting the day started much easier. Plus, Health Services is in John Jay, so you can snag free condoms on-site.

Just the Facts:

  • Nearby places: Closest to John Jay Dining Hall and JJ’s Place! This is perfect for running down mandatory first-year meal plans. John Jay is also next to Amsterdam and all its wonders.
  • Bathrooms: Floor bathrooms, male and female.
  • AC/Heating: No AC, there is central heating.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Each floor has a decent sized lounge, though the furnishings vary from nice TVs and lounge chairs to 13″ TVs and one chair. Each floor has a “kitchen,” composed of a grimy sink and microwave.
  • Laundry: One laundry room in the basement with 6 washers and 9 dryers.
  • Computers/Printers: JJ has no dedicated computer lab; Hartley’s lab is accessible through the link without going outside.
  • Intra-transportation: Two sluggish elevators. Lines are common. But beware if you’re on the 15th floor; the elevators only reach 14. This makes moving in and out a hassle for these “Penthouse” residents.
  • Wi-Fi: In the main lounge; only Ethernet for the rooms.

Resident Opinions:

  • “John Jay all the way! You get a single and that’s definitely a luxury for any freshmen in college (and a 40% chance to get a sweet view), you get to meet a lot of people and the fact that it’s connected to LLC is pretty cool (more people, more lounges, and piano access). It’s always nice to go to the dining hall in your PJs or simply without all your stuff, you can be very social or antisocial.”
  • “I really appreciate the privacy I get with my John Jay single, but sometimes I feel like it’s too much. I’m not great friends with anyone on my floor and my floor is not a super-social one that keeps theirs doors open. So it’s kind of a wash. There are definitely some floors in John Jay, though, where everyone is really close. Personally, I’m pretty happy with my single and the convenience of the dining hall and proximity to Hamilton and Butler is great.”
  • “John Jay for sure; best balance between social life and privacy! I know a lot of Carman kids who complain because they only know a few suites on their floor. I definitely know my entire floor, and it’s become super close-knit. There are countless other pros (proximity to the dining hall and other dorms, the amazingly awkward elevator conversations, fairly quiet) that make John Jay the safest choice.”

Photos by Elyse DeWitt and Allen Johnson

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  1. Fact check  

    wtf Bwog... I know there have to be some current freshman who know that this is just wrong: "Laundry: One laundry room in the basement with 4 washers and 7 dryers."

  2. Anonymous  

    trust me, sometimes it feels like there are only 4 washers and 7 dryers working...

  3. Damn,  

    This review sort of makes John Jay seem like an anti-social prison.

    You will honestly find the most interesting people here. It's really not for everyone-- but if you would rather be able to come back to a quiet room when you go out, and would rather hang out with floormates on a Friday night rather than get shit faced... John Jay is amazing.

    The elevators are slow, but having the dining hall in your building is infinitely convenient.

    • Really?

      "Some hardcore Carmanites accuse John Jay of being socially stunted...[but] it is actually more social."

      "John Jay all the way!...you can be very social or antisocial"

      "There are definitely some floors in John Jay, though, where everyone is really close"

      "John Jay for sure; best balance between social life and privacy!...I definitely know my entire floor, and it’s become super close-knit."

      I don't think most people think it's an antisocial prison...

  4. Anonymous  

    Freshpersons: There's like a 75% chance you'll live in McBain your sophomore year anyway. Live in John Jay freshman year, and then you can live in Carman 2.0 your sophomore year. Also, John Jay floors can be very social. It's kind of a crapshoot, but if you want a more social environment than you get on your floor, you can usually get \adopted\ by another floor. I do think they drink more on average in Carman, though. But whatever, you can always get drunk with your Carman friends and then come back to your nice clean dorm with your vomit-free hallways, where people stumble quietly (they stumble very loudly in Carman).

    Also: i have never in my life seen a john jay bathroom as clean as the one in the picture. EVER. (JJ11... pride...?)

  5. jj12  

    Nothing but love for that entire floor. They should all adopt children in Africa and raise them communally. It'd be beautiful.

  6. Hartley

    If there's not a positive LLC review Imma cut a bitch.



  8. JJ13 alum

    Some people get a nice balcony... or just an unprotected ledge for the rest on 13. Lucky!

  9. Also  

    can we include the SICKNASTY view you have if you live on the North facing side of the building

  10. JJ12  

    MMD's Party.

    But most importantly: singles mean never having to sexile or be sexiled. It also means getting to drop the "I have a single with the most amazing view" line.

  11. LLC  

    As a current Wallach resident who has spent considerable amounts of time in both John Jay and Carman, I can conclusively say that John Jay is the best Freshman dorm (But Carman >> LLC)

  12. CC 11  

    LIVE IN THIS BUILDING IF YOU POSSIBLY CAN. It's just great. Most my friends who lived in Carman agree. Having a single + being able simply leave your door open to have a social life = the best. Don't like your floor? Walk up or downstairs with some frequency in the first couple weeks and you're golden. Also proximity to Hamilton and ability to get to Hartley and Wallach without going outside are wonderful.

    This comment brought to by acute nostalgia and sunny weather . . . but seriously freshman year was great. Get excited, kiddos.

  13. Hah  

    Don't let these people fool you. Carman>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  14. Anonymous  

    I'm gonna miss my floor next year :'(
    JJ9 <3

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