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Freshpeople Housing Reviews 2019: Brooks

Next up in our housing reviews for freshpeople is Brooks Hall, the oldest and wisest of Barnard dorms. 

Location: 116th St & Broadway

Nearby dorms: The rest of the dorms in the Quad (Sulz, Reid, and Hewitt), Elliott, the 600s, Schapiro, Carman, Furnald, 47 Claremont

Stores and restaurants: Morton Williams, Pret A Manger, Sweetgreen, Starbucks, UPS, and generally everything else directly surrounding Barnard’s campus.

Cost: Costs are standardized across all Barnard housing at $10,826 per year.


Bathrooms: One per floor, with two showers, two sinks, and two toilets each. (The 8th floor bathroom has 3 sinks.) The bathrooms on floors 3, 5, and 7 are gender-inclusive, while the ones on floors 4, 6, and 8 are women only. All bathrooms are cleaned daily by Facilities. These bathrooms are the best in the quad – people will come from far and wide to use these bathrooms.
AC/Heating: No AC, aggressive heating. Fair warning, it gets REALLY hot in September/October. Bring lots of fans and maybe one of those evaporative air cooler things.
Kitchen/Lounge: Brooks doesn’t have a kitchen space of its own, you have to use the Sulz lounge. Brooks itself has two lounges in the lobby – one has a piano and is made for more social things, while the other is dead silent and usually used for studying.
Laundry: One washing machine and 2 dryers between Brooks and Reid. Two washing machines and dryers on every Sulz floor. And next year, the cost will be absorbed into what you pay for housing!
Fire Escapes: None.
Gym: None, but the Barnard Fitness Center is located nearby in the basement of Barnard Hall.
Bike Storage: None, but there’s a Citi Bike station nearby.
Intra-transportation: Brooks elevators are pretty nice, and they’re not that slow.
Hardwood/Carpet: Linoleum tiles in rooms, carpeted hallways.

Room variety:

Corridor-style double, triple, and quads. There’s one triple on the 8th floor, with doubles and quads on the rest of the floors.
The rooms on floors 3 through 7 are pretty standard amongst each other, with 3 quads, 4 doubles, and 1 RA single. Lucky people near the Reid side may be able to get a walk through double.  (It’s two rooms connected by a door. Basically a single if you and your roommate never speak.)  All of the quads have 3 rooms: two bedrooms and a common space with all the desks.
The rooms on floor 8 used to be lounge spaces, so the layout is very different. These quads don’t have a common room, everything is one room.

Bwog recommendation:

Since freshpeople don’t get to pick where they live, they may be disappointed to be placed into Brooks. I certainly was at first. The heat TRULY sucks in the hotter months and Reslife doesn’t give a single shit, so make friends in Sulz. But after the heat abates, I genuinely enjoyed living in Brooks. The bathrooms are wonderful, with water pressure Reid and Sulz can only dream of. I personally really liked living in a quad, the separate rooms allowed me to separate my homework doing from my sleeping. There’s a decent amount of room variety so check the floor plans when you get your room assignments. Brooks feels very homey, and sometimes you see relics of the past. These can take the forms of old phone booths in your hall if you’re lucky or burst pipes if you’re not.

Resident opinions:

  • “Brooks elevators are faster than Sulz ones and are less crowded”
  • “The walls are so thin you can hear when someone has finished their laundry so you can do yours”
  • “My roommate and I cannot stand next to each other at the same time bc our room is so small (I’m in a quad)”
  • “It gets so hot at the beginning of the year. My roommate got CAVA’d for heat stroke.”
  • “Stock up on celery.”
  • “I really enjoyed it when I wasn’t sweating to death.”

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