Freshpeople Housing Reviews 2014: Carman

Written by

To further honor the newly accepted class of 2018, Bwog is rolling out reviews of the freshman dorms on campus considering you kiddos need to pick where you want to live soon. Whether you prefer living in the same building as John Jay, or stay true to your love for Carman because it doesn’t get better, we’re sure you’ll make the right decision (or Columbia will for you). Today we begin with the beloved and gracious Carman Hall.

Don't worry it's just as drab on the inside

Location: 545 W. 114th Street

  • Nearby dorms: Hogan, Broadway, Furnald, LLC, John Jay, Nussbaum, and pretty much everywhere else…
  • Nearby food: All of Broadway at your disposal, including but not limited to Starbucks, Milano’s, Deluxe, Nussbaum & Wu, Amir’s, etc., and Amsterdam isn’t far either.

Cost: $7,110/per year – standard freshman housing rate.


  • Bathrooms: 1 bathroom per suite (2 doubles per suite) meaning a 4:1 freshie to bathroom ratio
  • AC/Heating: Central AC and heating
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Every floor has a subpar lounge usually equipped with a couch, two chairs, a table, and a TV with basic cable. The building lounge in the basement is quite nice and spacious with lots of couches, tables, and a large whiteboard. The only kitchen in the building is also in the basement, making cooking impossible for your averagely motivated freshman.
  • Laundry: Large laundry room in the basement with 15 washers and 15 dryers when operating at full capacity.
  • Gym: Small gym in the basement equipped with 2 elliptical machines and 2 treadmills…but that’s it.
  • Computers/Printers: Computer lab on first floor equipped with 2 printers and plenty of computers to go around.
  • Intra-transportation: Two main elevators of above average speed and a service elevator towards the west end of the building that is a little slower but almost always available.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: The hallways are adorned with your standard pretty gross carpet, and rooms have linoleum floors that can get gross but are easy to clean.
  • Wi-Fi: Yes.
  • Special Stuff: The bathroom ratio is often cited as this building’s biggest perk.

Room Variety:

  • Doubles: 5 doubles on the very small mezzanine floor, 12 doubles on the small 2nd floor, 19 doubles on the truncated 3rd through 5th floors, and 27 doubles on the 6th through 13th floors

Bwog recommendation:

  • Campus-facing rooms (north facing) tend to have the preferred view of Low Library and College Walk, although some south facing rooms can offer excellent views of the city. Some lower floors even have an excellent view of the back of Lerner Hall. #shafted
  • Corner rooms and suites feel the biggest on each floor even if the floor plans say otherwise. There’s even one double on the east end of each floor that doesn’t share a bathroom (room numbers ending in 02). However, you don’t get to choose your specific room as a freshman, so it’s really up to luck.
  • Carman is undeniably the most social freshman dorm, which can probably be attributed to the semi-suite-style living. All the doubles make for an open environment for those that want to meet a lot of new friends. Many floors get really close.
  • Regardless of the room you end up in, everyone is in a pretty comparable situation and rarely do you find someone with a much bigger or smaller room.

Resident opinions:

  • “Our floor lounge is kind of dingy but we actually have a view from it that makes New Jersey look pretty nice.”
  • “I was never planning on cooking or whatever, so Carman seemed like the right choice. It has the biggest rooms on average available to freshmen and I like to stretch out.”
  • “The walls are thicker than John Jay that’s for sure, and with both the outside and inside door shut it can be surprisingly quiet despite the rowdy nature of some of my fellow Carmanites.”
  • “My suitemates are athletes so they wake up really early, so basically I only share a bathroom with my roommate and it is glorious.”
  • “It can be hard to get work done sometimes but there’s always Butler if you need to study. I was lucky because my RA was super awesome, but I’ve heard some RAs are much less encouraging of fun times.”
  • “Carman [specific floor number] forever!!!!!!”

Tags: , , , , , ,


  1. Carman is the best place to get the true Columbia experience. From NSLOP on, your social life will be comprised of drinking, vomiting, depression, and talking about the next time you will drink to excess. This experience is encouraged by RAs (and an administration) who do nothing unless someone is literally about to die.

    • Also truthteller  

      And it's just the best, really! Nobody ends up dying, people are left to make their own, adult, decisions; in the end, most I've talked to wish they could go back for one more year. When a poet once said "Carman Hall it doesn't get better/I wish I could be a freshman forever," who knows if that's actually true! But it certainly is a time nobody could forget - or regret (hopefully).

  2. wow  

    Carman actually looks nice in that photo... don't be fooled fresh-people.

  3. You'll love it at Columbia

    Everyone here is pretty nice... except for financial engineering majors.... aFE kids fucking suck and are in general have no souls. Stay away. Other than that you're good and will love it here.

  4. The handicap suite  

    Carman 613. Best room I've had my entire time at Columbia

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.