This is it, pre-frosh, the last housing review, just in time for your May 1st decision! Learn about Hartley and Wallach, the two dorms which together comprise the Living Learning Center (LLC). Combined with Carman, John Jay, and Furnald, it completes your housing options!

Ask questions in the comments! Freak out more!

Hartley and Wallach are, arguably, the most “unique” dorm options for freshmen. Instead of the purely firstmen halls Carman or John Jay, or the mostly-first-year Furnald, the LLC houses residents of all ages. Moreover, instead of discrete singles, doubles, or Carman-style suites, the LLC is comprised of large suites of 11 or so residents, all of which connect to one large central lounge/kitchen. It’s a common joke/Columbia aphorism that, “If you date a person in the LLC, you date the entire suite.” The idea is that you’ll always see everybody on your way in and out. And you’ll know they’re judging you.

According to Student Affairs:

[T]his unique living arrangement can ease your transition to college and provide guidance regarding community, involvement in life at Columbia, class selection, exam preparation, and room selection. Close-knit relationships between first-years, sophomore, juniors, seniors, alumni, faculty, administrators, and visiting guests are the hallmark foundation of the LLC.

To avoid the Furnald sophomore reputation for being disinterested in their first-year floormates, LLC upperclassmen have to apply to get in, the idea being that they want to mentor some youths, not just snag an elusive sophomore single. But, like all things human, suites are inconsistent. Some are tight families, leading the first-years to reapply as sophomores; others are rather cold and do house sophomores feigning interest in LLC programming for better housing.

Just the Facts:

  • Nearby places: The LLC is adjacent to Hamilton, close to Butler, and opposite Furnald and Lerner. It’s close to Amsterdam things.
  • Bathrooms: Each suite has a unisex bathroom.
  • AC/Heating: No.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Each suite has a large common area with a full kitchen, TV, tables, couches, and chairs!
  • Laundry: In the basement of Hartley there are 8 washer and ten dryers. John Jay’s machines are also accessible without going outside.
  • Computers/Printers: There’s a lab in Hartley with nine computers and two large NINJa printers.
  • Intra-transportation: Two elevators, one for each tower.
  • Wi-Fi: No.

Resident Opinions:

  • “With the LLC you either love it or you hate it. If you can get along with the people in your suite and your upperclassmen actually care about interacting with you (note, this is very rare as most upperclassmen only live here to escape bad housing their sophomore or junior year) then it can be awesome. If this is not the case, you will be left alone in your suite with no friends.”
  • “The bathrooms are really nice, the showers are super powerful and they never get as dirty as John Jay or as disgusting as Carmen.”
  • “It’s really great to have a kitchen although you have to make sure to clean it which is harder than it looks since there is no accountability for dirty dishes left in the sink and no one will wash your dishes for you.”
  • “I live in a single in Hartley this year and completely love it. The LLC is a great way to snag the privacy of a single (granted, there are doubles, too) while having the social experience of a suite. That said, the enjoyment of suite-style living ultimately comes down to how well you mesh with your suitemates. My suite is extremely active and outgoing, but I know of many LLC-ers who mostly socialize outside their suite and floor. If you’re looking for an unconventional freshman living setting and easy access to a nice kitchen and lounge, the LLC is the way to go.”
  • “My favorite part of the LLC is that it’s the only place on campus where freshmen live with upperclassmen. The sophomores in my suite already knew how Columbia life works, and were able to guide me. There’s also a degree of community that you get in the LLC that I don’t think you find elsewhere, but that part of it is hit-or-miss.”

Photos by Elyse DeWitt and Alex Jones