Symposium, nicknamed that because of the Greek restaurant right by this dorm, is great for juniors and seniors who want a quiet brownstone and an apartment-style living space while near the action. 

Location: 548 W 113th, right next to Symposium, the Greek restaurant

  • Nearby dorms: You are right next to McBain, across from Watt, and in the middle of frat row. So you’re still in the thick of things. Because of Frat Row, it can sometimes get loud at night.
  • Stores and restaurants: Symposium (of course), Duane Reade, Junzi, Dig Inn, Tom’s, Oren’s, Chase ATM, and Milano Market.

Cost: $9,872/year for 2019-2020


  • Bathrooms: One bathroom per double. The showers are a bit small, but get the job done.
  • AC/Heating: No A/C, but there’s a radiator in your room to adjust the heat during the winter. The heating can be random, but opening a window will cool it down. The building has a supervisor, Doug, who responds quickly.
  • Kitchen: Each double has its own kitchen, you must take the trash out yourself. Each double has a kitchen equipped with a full-sized refrigerator, sink, stovetop, and oven.
  • Lounge: No official lounge, but there are cute couches and an Apple TV in the lobby where students often hang out.
  • Laundry: In the basement, which is a pain if you live on high floors, only one washer and dryer, which is usually fine because there are so few people in the dorm.
  • Computers/Printing: None, sorry lads, you’re going to have to walk to campus for it :(. 
  • Gym: None
  • Intra-transportation: No elevator, so it is not disability-friendly.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: All floors in dorm rooms are hardwood.
  • Bonus: Every room has a cute, retro (blocked off) fireplace

Room variety:

  • All doubles. There are 5 total floors of 16 residents. On floors 2-4, there are two doubles on each floor. In the basement, there’s one double, and on the first floor, there’s an RA + rider.


  • The building has only two-person suites, with the cutoff numbers being 20/1237 for the 2018-2019 school year, and 20/1924 for the 2017-2018 year. While it appears as though we have an upward trend going on, without the 2019-2020 year we can’t be certain. But juniors with a decent number have a good chance at these bad boys!

Bwog recommendation:

  • Symposium is, for a lot of people, literally the best. It has the fun, personable feel of a brownstone without the hassle of applying to a SIC or Greek Life. The community vibe varies from year to year depending on who’s living there and how much they wanna hang out.
  • In general, the dorm is occupied by juniors who want to be able to have their own space. The rooms are huge and perfect for having people over. The only real downside is that there’s no elevator, so the dorm is not disability-friendly. Also, there’s a roof and backyard–which are strictly forbidden. That’s definitely not extremely fun.

Resident opinions:

  • “Doug, the super, is an angel.”
  • “Omg I loved it so much, it’s pretty quiet.”
  • There’s no security guard which is greaaaat for avoiding judgement about your late-night hook-ups.”
  • “Unlike other Columbia dorms only people who live in the dorm have swipe access…you have to walk downstairs to open the door to let everyone in, but you don’t have to use sign-ins so you can have as many Barnard / non-Columbia friends over as you want.”
  • “It’s good if you’re sick of dorm life and want to feel more like a real person without splurging on NYC apartment prices.”
  • “4R is the smallest double, but it has a balcony and roof access.”
  • “The RA lives on the first floor so pick a higher floor if you want to uhhhh have some lettuce with the devil.”
  • “The stairs can be tough when you’re drunk and live on a higher floor.”
  • “It’s all one-room doubles so pick a roommate you’re ready to get cozy with. But you have your own kitchen and bathroom which is tight.”
  • “We didn’t have any issues with bugs or mice or anything.”
  • “Not having a security guard is so great just in terms of having your own privacy and feeling like an adult.”


images via Bwog Archives