Journey to the highest highs and lowest lows of campus.
Due to the (unfortunately still ongoing) pandemic, Columbia University has expanded classes into several locations where they wouldn’t normally be held in order to maximize usable space. If you’re one of those confused about where exactly these classrooms are, have no fear! This non-comprehensive list will help you through just some of the places Columbia’s put classes for the fall semester:
Faculty House—Presidential Ballroom (FAC PB)
Want to feel like a high-powered business executive powering through a series of boardroom meetings as you sit for lecture? Or a glitzy Jazz Age heiress as you wander the sleek, upscale venue to find your class? The Presidential Ballroom at the Faculty House, designed for hosting wedding receptions and celebratory dinners, is your go-to. Roomier than other lecture halls and with an abundance of natural light, the only downside to this svelte conference room is the lack of risers—don’t let someone tall sit in front of you!
Broadway 206 (BWY 206)
Looking for the chance to visit other residence halls under the new restrictions? Take a class in Broadway 206, tucked away in the very back of the Broadway residence hall! The ceiling is oddly high, but the large central table offers a good fixture for the small, discussion-based classes (all Lit Hum and CC) hosted there. That said, it’s not the classroom you want if you have any problems with auditory processing: Broadway 206 is flanked by music practice rooms on one side and construction on the other. So far, the sounds haven’t managed to harmonize.
Pupin Basement (PUP floors 100/200/300)
Ever feel—as we all do sometimes—that you’re simply not being irradiated enough? Take a class in the basement of Pupin Hall, where the first American experiments on nuclear fission were conducted and tons of uranium were shipped in and out of the cyclotron in the basement. Now, those basement levels are home to classes on finance, the French language, German film, and more, as the cyclotron was scrapped in 2008. Enjoy learning in such a historic location, but if you start to notice the walls glowing, then it might be time to invest in a Geiger counter.
Outdoors (ODRS 001)
The sun is shining (sometimes). The grass is dry (sometimes). Take advantage of the space by having class outside! Sitting in a circle on the grass is a great way to bring back nostalgic memories of summer camp, except that Columbia professors are not mandated to provide you all with snacks. Don’t ask them. Also, unless you’re in the Atmospheric Sciences department, this classroom location is best avoided during hurricane season.
Computer Center (CC -2)
You could probably survive a nuclear war by ducking into this squat, concrete-bunker-like building next to the School of Business. The eerie silence of the stairwell coupled with the echoes of students passing by above make the descent moderately unnerving, as well as the myriad doors marked with “DANGER—NO UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY”. Just like Pupin, though, it’s probably fine. Probably.
Tunnels (COL TUNN)
Connections run between almost every building on Columbia’s main campus—like a spiderweb, if that spiderweb was cramped, eerie, and had scalding-hot water pipes in the walls. But Columbia is no stranger to utilizing underground space to its fullest extent. “As above, so below,” goes the saying, and thus the classes held beneath Columbia’s halls represent nothing more than reflections of the classes which remain in sunlight.
Behind The Butler Door With No Handle (DR UNKN)
On the seventh floor of Butler, there is a door with no handle. This door is waiting for you. It has always been waiting for you because your class is behind it. When the time comes, you will know how to open it, like a forgotten memory from childhood. The door with no handle will open for you, because it is yours, and you will step through.
Then the door will close. There is no handle on the other side.
All photos via Charles Bonkowsky (that’s me!)