This year, with Columbia students learning across the globe, it is time to expand our understanding of Columbia beyond its existence as a “University in the City of New York.” Certain Barnumbia spaces exude the precise vibes of certain geographical regions of the United States, so, with that in mind, allow me to give you a tour of Columbia University In The Country of The United States of America. 

First up we have New England/Butler. Where New England is physically cold, Butler is emotionally cold. Get stared at by portraits of old-timey white dudes who may or may not have landed at Plymouth Rock or founded some town in the Northeast US. 

Moving down the east coast, you’ll encounter the Mid-Atlantic region (basically, the region between New England and the South on the east coast) and Low Steps. Is Alma Mater so different from the Statue of Liberty? No! And the Statue of Liberty is a highlight of the Mid-Atlantic, just like Alma Mater is the focal point of Low Steps. Also, the sundial is to Alma as New Jersey is to New York: not as cool but nearby.

EC is Florida. I mean, someone fell down the shaft in EC a few years ago; that has some major Florida man vibes. It’s also slightly out of the way, yet still the center of attention for partiers. 

Next up we have the South. Columbia students who aren’t from there don’t really understand that region (myself included), and most people don’t go there for fun. Where on Columbia’s campus do people not really understand and only end up by accident? Schermerhorn Extension. 

The Midwest is also a confusing region, but its essence is best encompassed in Barnard’s tunnel system. The tunnels stretch on for a long time just like rolling cornfields and cows. Also, the Midwest and the tunnels both have a distinct aesthetic and neither ever really rise above ground level.

Lerner’s steep ramps are perfect for climbing, exploring, and maybe skiing (if we could ever get enough snow inside that glass building), just like the Rocky Mountains. Also, Ferris might serve Rocky Mountain Toast. I’m not really sure. Mostly this comparison is just about altitude.

The Southwest is the dorms (Barnard’s and Columbia’s). Arid and overheated in the winter, the dorms basically share a climate with the Southwest. Plus, dorms don’t have enough water sources (aside from questionable tasting bathroom sink water), and the Southwest has deserts. Still, it’s possible to party it up in the dorms sometimes, and Carman is the Vegas of Columbia freshman student life for sure.

Milstein is the Pacific Northwest. With nice views (think big windows) and those green chairs to snuggle up in on rainy days, the vibes are a perfect match. Plus, both Milstein and the Pacific Northwest have major Barnard energy. 

California is big, and Mudd is tall. Both have lots of techie people. Also, Mudd has a cafe at the bottom which shares the NorCal tech vibe and the SoCal chiller vibe.

Though the Morningside Campus may be where most students’ minds go when thinking about campus, other vital pieces of Columbia University are spread across New York and Northern New Jersey. 

Columbia’s Black Rock Forest Consortium is a bit further north in New York than the rest of campus, and is known for its wildlife and the smaller group of researchers who venture up there to study the environment. Therefore Alaska, with its relatively small population, beautiful nature, and northern location is Black Rock.

Hawaii is the variety of buildings that house Columbia’s graduate program. No building or program is quite alike, just as each of Hawaii’s Islands are distinct. 

The US Territories that aren’t states are embodied in the campuses of the schools with which Columbia has joint programs and dual degree enrollments.

Anyway, there you have it, folks. Though my geography skills are rudimentary at best, I have spread Columbia’s features across the United States of America. So, my fellow students, though you may be learning from Tennessee to Idaho, you now can rest easy knowing that your home state shares the exact vibes of Butler, Millstein, or Low Steps.

Lady Alma Liberty via Bwog Archives