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