Welcome to BwogAnswers, a new weekly series! Each week, we answer a question from our readers about Columbia. Leave us a question, or a response to this week’s q, down in the comments!

Some of us have only been here one semester, some are about to graduate. Yet all of us have rooms that we absolutely hate, whether they’re for living, for class, or for studying. Here are our least favorite rooms on Columbia’s campus; leave yours down in the comments, along with a new question for next week!

Zack Abrams, Managing Editor: Pupin 412/424

I have spent two semesters of LitHum and two semesters of CC in the same (different, but the same) room: Pupin 412/424. Both rooms have the same layout and vibe so for all intents and purpose, they are the Worst Room. These rooms are always either entirely too hot or entirely too cold. The light is always either pupil-shatteringly bright or Stranger Things-level moody. There are no windows. Natural light is a myth. I don’t give a shit if they’re technically on the fourth floor when measured from the street, they’re effectively in a basement; twice a week, each week, for two years, I’ve walked into Pupin, descended into a damp, dank, dark room, and tried to care about lesser philosophers than whoever coined my mantra “it really do be like that sometimes” or some wolf from Virginia or something. Time passes at about 1/8th the speed in those rooms, probably because of their proximity to the time-bending mass of My Despair. I wouldn’t be surprised if those rooms were originally radioactive waste dumps for the Manhattan Project. If you get assigned one of these rooms, don’t just drop the class; transfer. To a university overseas. I wish I were exaggerating.

Amara Banks, Alma Bwogger: Lerner Piano Lounge

Never could I have conceived of a more awful space on campus than the Lerner Piano Lounge. A room with too many chairs, the Piano lounge is the host of awful smells, sights, sounds, feelings, etc. Let’s start with smells—this room always reeks of trash, both from the perpetually overflowing trash/recycling/recycling station (why are there always two recycling bins? I never know), as well as the literal garbage that people, for some reason, think is okay to just leave behind on the tables. No matter how much love facilities gives to this room, it is just never enough. Lerner piano lounge stinks. The left behind garbage also causes quite the eyesore. From half eaten Ferris pasta bowls to someone’s foul lamb over rice, I always find myself wishing I was sitting on the m60 instead of sitting in the great soy sauce spill of Cafe 212. And of course, the sounds. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it is quite amazing that so many people at this school can play a Hungarian Rhapsody. But I would also be lying if I said that I cared, at all, one bit. I truly don’t. And even more than that, do not want to hear it. I love music, and I think piano is beautiful, but it’s 10am, I haven’t showered, or slept, and just misconjugated every single verb on my Spanish quiz. The last thing my heart wants is to hear your 13th attempt at this damn chord progression. I sit here because there are not enough seats at this school, not because I am looking to experience the Columbia philharmonic. I simply want to eat my overcooked omelet (that I waited 20 minutes for!) in peace…. please…..


Levi Cohen, Senior Staff Writer and Unofficial Poll Editor: Philosophy 201B

Philosophy 201B is a liminal space, but not even an interesting one. I have had two Core classes in this subterranean hellhole, and it is only through the sheer charisma of my teachers (shoutout to Marcus Creaghan, my boo) that I managed to escape this room unscathed. It lurks, like a basement spider, in a tangle of pipes and strange offices in the bowels of a building whose most notable characteristic is having a cafe that undergrads can’t go into. It sits behind our copy of Rodin’s The Thinker, who has turned his back on the building as if to say, “No thanks.” Within this terrible space, you have your classic classroom fluorescents, yes, and your table that takes up all of the space, and your projector that only works 50% of the time, but most importantly you have a single excuse of a “window” that sits directly at outside foot height. Yes, look on ye mighty, and despair, as you feel the pedestrian traffic of New York tread on you as they walk by. You emerge feeling like a lowly worm. You must crawl back up the stairs towards the light, the light. You feel emotionally, physically, ethically, and psychologically drained. This is what Philosophy 201B does. Students switch to SEAS to avoid ever having to step into that cursèd space again. We beg the registrar gods to assign us to a different basement classroom, any basement classroom. I’ll take Knox; hell, I’ll take Hartley. I’ll go in the opposite direction and take Hamilton 7. Just don’t make me go back into Philosophy 201B again.

Jordan Merrill, Staff Writer: Pupin 301

A particularly awful room at this university is Pupin 301. The classroom is mostly underground and it really shows. The temperature is always just…wrong. By the time a class is over, the stench radiating from the room is inhumane. Every physics class I’ve ever taken has been in this room, and the combination of a hot, insulated room and 200 SEAS kids is something that should’ve never happened. I also think watching my professors at the front of this room try to make physics look fun by doing demonstrations with like, wheels and metallic balls has damaged me emotionally.

Isabel Sepúlveda, Events Editor: Butler 209

Let’s ignore the myriad of ways in which Butler 209 has hurt me emotionally and spiritually; it’s still the worst room on campus even without my own personal history. Drenched in the sweat and stress of thousands of depressed undergraduate students, this room remains haunted by the ghosts of all-nighters past. You can never find a good place to study in this so-called “reading room”: the carrels have amassed a critical mass of leftover papers, notebooks and broken MacBooks left by their owners in order to “save their spot” because “they’ll be back soon.” They won’t be back soon. They won’t be back ever. Maybe they were never there in the first place. The tables nearby are equally shitty. If you look as you sit at one of these, you’re forced to gaze across the vast expanse of this huge, sprawling waste of space and make eye contact with your least favorite Core professor, your old Tinder hookup and also Death themself. Speaking of death, the room also feels like the space that natural light and temperature regulation forgot. The stained glass windows and chandeliers are supposed to comfort us with the reminder of our own elitism but they just make the space objectively shittier. One of the windows also features Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor of “New Amsterdam” who spearheaded the building the Wall Street wall meant to separate colonists from the Dutch from the Indigenous people whose land they stole and basically hated anyone who wasn’t a Quaker. An embodiment of everything terrible about the space, he serves as a reminder of everything awful about this space and this school; until Columbia finally lets us back in for Orgo Night you’ll see me literally anywhere other than this shrine to stress culture.

Abi Peters, Staff Writer: Carman 308

What’s the worst room on campus? Mine. By far. Let me describe my humble abode and you can decide if you agree. My room is like a light stealing cave. Instead of a nice view of the skyline I am blessed with the side of Lerner, not forgetting the metal grate that covers my window. For me, the winter depression is just all year long. Being on the third floor of Carman I also have the joy of cockroaches! And whilst not technically my room, the roof of the shower in my suite is also caving in which really adds to the misery.

Zoe Sottile, Internal Editor: Butler 403

This room smells like wet dog, the single-person carrels are ALWAYS full no matter what time of day or time in the year, and as you walk through you will glance at and make eye contact with every person you’ve ever ghosted, wronged, or had to work on a group project with. Also it’s really cold. Literally a useless room in Butler.


Again, let us know your pick for the worst room on campus and what question we should answer next week right down there in the comments!