As prospies narrow down their preferences for where to live next year, Bwog is continuing our housing review series with all first-year dorms. First up is Carman, unarguably the littest of the group; cramped Carman suite parties are the epitome of the freshman NSOP experience. If you’re the life of the party, you can’t go wrong with this dorm.

Location: 114th and Broadway

  • Nearby Dorms: McBain, Frat Row, Nuss, Watt, John Jay, Furnald, Hartley, Wallach
  • Stores and Restaurants: Ferris, Milano’s, Nussbaum and Wu, Cafe East, Shake Shack, Sweetgreen, Morton Williams, Junzi, Starbucks, Pret, Haagen Daz, International Wines & Spirits

Cost: the cost of housing for freshmen is the standard $8,412


  • Bathrooms: Semi-private, 4 to a bathroom; cleaned once a week, have two sinks, a toilet, and a shower.
  • AC/Heating: AC and heating in every room; manually controlled. On the renovated floors you can even set the exact degree you want the room to be at.
  • Lounges: Large basement lounge as well as lounges on each of the floors. The renovated lounges are huge and equipped with nice TV’s; unrenovated floors have small lounges at the end of the hall with smaller/less nice TV’s and chairs.
  • Kitchen: Small kitchen in the basement.
  • Laundry: Free laundry room in the basement with 15 washers and 15 dryers (prime hookup spot on late nights, if you’re feeling risky).
  • Fire Escapes: Ha, no
  • Bike Storage: Nope
  • Computers/Printers: Computer room with two printers and four desktops on the first floor
  • Gym: Small gym in the basement equipped with 4 treadmills and 2 ellipticals. Perfect for those of you eager to work out but (ironically) too lazy to go to Dodge.
  • Intra-transportation: Two pretty high speed main elevators as well as a relatively slow elevator at the end of the halls.
  • Hardwood/carpet: Carpeted hallways, linoleum tile floors in unrenovated rooms, hardwood floors in renovated rooms
  • Wifi: the usual Columbia wifi

Room Variety:

  • Corridor-style suites, entirely doubles (287); only singles are RA dingles. Each floor has one double at the end of the hall that gets its own bathroom. The renovated floors also have giant combined suites at the opposite end of the hall that contain 6 smaller rooms and 2 bathrooms. This is where the wildest parties tend to happen. The biggest perk of the unrenovated rooms is their massive closets – you definitely will have enough closet space. The room sizes range from 185 – 231 sq ft.
  • Mezzanine has 5 doubles and is the smallest/tightest floor. There are also two single sex floors available for those who prefer it.

Bwog Recommendation:

  • Even though Carman has its rep as “the party dorm,” it really isn’t that wild. If you wanted to go crazy, you should have gone to state school. Sorry.
  • That being said, if you do want to throw a small party or have a get together, Carman dorms are the best place to do it (especially on the unrenovated floors) because they are quite spacious.
  • Beware of the occasional cockroaches.
  • With the new renovations, Carman is one of the best housing options on campus (even better than a bunch of the upperclassmen dorms). The bathroom ratio is ideal, and having the privacy of your locked suite is fantastic while knowing 3 people in your suite right from the start of college is also really helpful for the lost, lonely frosh. This summer, floors 7 through 10 will be renovated, which means that 7 through 13 will officially be nice as hell. There’s a bit over a 50% chance that you’ll be living in a room that looks like a Marriott, and if you’re one of the unlucky ones, at least the unrenovated cinderblock walls keep the sex noises out.
  • Still, know that those renovated suites have still had a lot of issues with infrastructure and hot water in the past couple of semesters. Columbia claims that issues will be fixed during the renovations this summer, but there’s a decent chance that, instead, that many more floors will have these same issues.

Resident Opinions:

  • “Carman hall – it doesn’t get better; I wish I could be a freshman forever.”
  • “It’s not that bad I guess.”
  • “Omg! I love Carman!”
  • “Anyone with a base modicum of social capability will soon learn to tolerate the rather underwhelming living conditions of even the unrenovated floors.”
  • “Hands down best dorm, especially with the renovations.”
  • “The epitome of the freshman experience. Go Carman or go home.”

Images via Bwog Staff.