Today’s the day! Not if you’re a freshman and/or looking to live in Hartley or Wallach, but take this housing review, anyway! If you’re facing down in-person registration today, have a look at the reviews we’ve already posted.
Location: 1124 Amsterdam (between 115th and 116th)
Nearby dorms: Connected by tunnel to Wallach and John Jay. Carman and Furnald are just across campus (around 500 feet away).
Nearby food: JJ’s and John Jay are less than a minute away by tunnel. The convenience/danger of this, especially during the winter, cannot be stressed enough. HamDel is about as much of a walk as Ferris—this will often pose a serious dilemma.
Bathrooms: Each suite has two bathrooms. The bathroom on the main level of the suite has two showers and two toilets; the other has one shower and one toilet. This is proportionate to the number of people using each bathroom so capacity isn’t usually a problem.
AC/Heating: There is no AC in Hartley, except on the 1st floor and in the 10th floor sky lounge. Expect to spend a good amount of time in the (sky) lounge during the first month of the fall semester (this makes for some good hall bonding, at least). Heating, on the other hand, is certainly not a concern; have fun figuring out how wide to keep your window cracked to make your room bearable in the winter and spring.
Kitchen/Lounge: Each suite has a kitchen with a big sink, dishwasher, cabinets, two stoves, and a microwave. The lounges in A and C suites are large on the main level and somewhat smaller on the secondary level. The TVs in each suite were upgraded over winter break this year, so enjoy Netflix and Spotify on your 40(?)-inch flatscreen.
Laundry: Large laundry room in the basement (12 washers, 12 dryers), though it’s shared with Wallach so you’ll still want to avoid peak hours.
Computers/Printers: Computer lab on the first floor is usually pretty empty and features two reasonably reliable printers.
Intra-transportation: Two elevators, one on each side of the B suites. Not too slow, not too fast, not a real source of contention.
Hardwood/Carpet: Weird fake wood in the kitchens, dubious stain-obscuring carpet everywhere else except the bathrooms. The carpets are going to be redone over the summer, but we can’t promise it’ll be any better.
Wi-Fi: Yes (~26 Mbit/sec.).
Special Stuff: The 10th floor has a lounge with a lending library. Malcolm X lounge on the first floor. Billiards and table tennis in the 1st floor lounge. Hospitality desk in the lobby.
Doubles: One huge double (214ish sq. ft.) per suite in A and C suites, two smaller doubles per suite in B.
Singles: The rest are singles, the biggest ranging from 129 sq. ft. (for upperclassmen) to a puny 92. First years can reasonably expect something around 100 sq ft.
As part of the LLC, Hartley doesn’t operate on the standard housing lottery system. For upperclassmen, admission is based on an application that seems to be skewed towards students who were part of the LLC during their freshman year. Fear not, though: Housing doesn’t publish the LLC acceptance rate, but it seems to be near 100%.
Most first-years and nearly all upperclassmen get singles.
On floor environment: There isn’t a quintessential Hartley experience. The floor layout might lend Hartley to being slightly more social than the other freshman dorms (with the obvious exception of Carman); it’s almost impossible to avoid your suite’s lounge, so most people give up and socialize. Some floors are very tight-knit, others have barely any floor friendship at all; some floors feel like floors, others like three suites—like the rest of housing, it’s mostly down to chance.
On upperclassmen: One of the big aims of the LLC is to bring together upperclassmen (almost exclusively sophomores) and first-years. How successful this is depends on the people that find themselves in the same suite; some sophomores are genuinely interested in being resources to first-years, while others are only there for the easy singles. Regardless, first-years will usually find at least a few sophomores in their suites enthusiastic about giving advice.
On the LLC: Some people are really into the structured fun organized by the LLC Hall Council; others will avoid it like the plague. Event attendance is a big part of the LLC application, so most people looking to stay in the LLC will bite the bullet and maybe end up having a surprisingly fun time (the LLC is pretty generous with snacks).
On location: Hartley is really well-situated on campus. Dining halls, libraries, and class buildings are all a short walk away—take enough humanities courses and your only time outside will be the ten second walk between Hartley and Hamilton.
On the views: Most rooms have pretty great views of campus or tempting views of HamDel. The rest are stuck looking at Wallach or Hamilton.
On the vibe: The abrasive lighting (seriously, you need to buy a floor lamp), dingy carpets, dilapidated kitchens, peeling paint, and grimy bathrooms can make Hartley a shock for first-years. Give it a few weeks, though, and it’ll start to feel positively homey, even if you don’t find much of a community on your floor.
“It’s sort of fucked up, but it’s a homey kind of fucked up.”
“I really like it here. I cook a lot and it’s nice to not have parties right where I live.”
“So close to Hamilton, it’s great. I roll out of bed two minutes before class starts and make it on time.”
“I wanted to live in Carman but now that I live here it’s okay I guess.”
“The sophomores are pretty chill. It’s nice to get advice from them about things like classes or admin stuff.”
“It’s a roof over my head.”
“I don’t live here but visiting my friends can be really confusing.”
“Better than Wallach, which is like Furnald but without A/C.”
“I’m going to Wallach next year, but Hartley will always occupy a special place in my heart.”
C suite double
View from C suite through B suite.
Nasty ass kitchen.
First floor lounge: ping pong and billiards
You will go through this passageway every day on the way to John Jay.
The purpose of Bwog’s comment section is to facilitate honest and open discussion between members of the Columbia community. We encourage commenters to take advantage of—without abusing—the opportunity to engage in anonymous critical dialogue with other community members.
A comment may be moderated if it contains:
A slur—defined as a pejorative derogatory phrase—based on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or spiritual belief