Category: Housing

In an email to students earlier today, Columbia Housing has announced that all housing prices will be flattened to a single rate – $9,292 – beginning next year for all upper-class residence halls. With this change, students will no longer have to decide on a building based on its cost. The change is still pending approval from Columbia’s Board of Trustees, but is likely to be approved.

The Lion has reached out to Barnard Housing to see if they plan to adopt the same pricing structure.

The full email can be found below:

Dear Students,

In response to your feedback, we are happy to announce that Columbia Housing will be changing our rates to provide for a simpler and fairer cost structure, beginning with the 2017-18 Academic Year.

Following the model of our first-year residences, all upper-class residence halls will be one rate: $9,292.*

With this new rate structure, lottery and class standing become the only determining factors in selecting a residence hall. This will allow you to choose housing based on where and with whom you want to live, not what you can afford. Additionally, with the new rate, the majority of students who live in our residence halls will see a lower average housing cost over their four years at Columbia versus the previous system.

Visit the Columbia Housing website for more information about the new rate structureplanned renovations, or Room Selection. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact our team at housing@columbia.edu.

Best Regards,

Joyce E. Jackson
Executive Director
Columbia Housing

*Please note that this is the anticipated 2017-18 rate. Final rates are subject to approval by the Board of Trustees in June.

Courtesy of Barnard Dining

In an email sent to students earlier today, Dean Hinkson announced some major policy changes.

Here’s a basic overview of new changes:

  • Barnard Students will have swipe access to JJ’s Place
  • Tuition is increasing
  • Housing prices are also increasing
  • Students will be able to swipe into Diana’s Second Floor Dining Room
  • Hewitt will be hiring a new Executive Chef
  • Barnard Housing to Open 6 Days before start of Spring Classes

The full email can be found below.

Dear Students,

We are writing to let you know that the Barnard Board of Trustees has approved the 2016-17 rates for tuition, fees, room, and board.  We know that any increase can be difficult for many of our families, so we wanted to take a moment to explain the details and our approach. We also want to make an exciting announcement about changes to the meal plan, and tell you about several key changes to our policy for winter break housing.

Tuition and Fees for 2016-2017

For the upcoming academic year, the total rate for tuition, fees, room and board will be $65,992—an increase of $3,251 from this year’s rates. This rise is directly related to societal increases in the cost of living and, for Barnard, reflects the growing costs associated with recruiting and retaining our faculty and staff, fully funding financial aid to maintain need blind admissions, implementing the new curriculum, and expanding a variety of services in response to student requests.

The breakdown of the total cost are as follows:

•       Tuition and the comprehensive fee will cost $50,394, including $48,614 for tuition and $1,780 for the comprehensive fee.

•       The price for multiple rooms will be $9,230 per year.  Rates for single rooms will be $10,712, and the rate for studio apartments will be $16,000.

•       The price for the Platinum plan (19 meals per week) is $6,368.

Meal Plan Changes

We are pleased to announce some exciting changes to the meal plan.  Over the past year or so, students have raised a number of concerns regarding access to dining facilities at Columbia, food quality, and operations during school breaks.  This past fall, SGA hosted a town hall focused on food services that identified, in a very constructive way, potential areas of improvement.  In response, we recently renegotiated our long-standing agreement with Aramark.  Under the new arrangement that will begin in fall of 2016:

•       The Diana Second Floor Dining Room will be open for meal swipes during dinner.

•       Barnard students will continue to have meal swipe access at John Jay and Ferris Booth.

•       For the first time, Barnard students will also have meal swipe access to JJ’s Place, adding a third Columbia location to our meal plan options.

•       This means that, in total, Barnard students will have meal swipe access at five locations on the Barnard and Columbia campuses: Hewitt, Diana, Ferris Booth, John Jay and JJ’s Place.

•       In addition, there will be a full-time, on-site Executive Chef at Hewitt who will be responsible for ensuring overall food quality and handling specific dietary needs of students as they arise.

We also know that some of our students deal with issues of food insecurity each and every day, which is unacceptable in a small and supportive community like ours. This is a difficult issue and together we need to be vigilant and proactive in understanding the magnitude of the problem on our campus and finding ways to fix it.  Currently, we plan to do the following:

•       Make meal services available whenever residence halls are open. Beginning this fall, students will have access to meal services on campus, either in Hewitt or Diana, during fall break, Thanksgiving break, spring break, and when residence halls open for the spring semester.
•       Change the structure of the convenience meal plan option by offering different combinations of meals and points that we encourage students living outside the quad to seriously consider.  Students will still be able to add meals and points in small increments throughout the year.

•       Work with Aramark, SGA, and other groups on campus to find additional ways of enhancing ongoing meal donation programs.

Winter Break Housing

Finally, we know that last year’s winter break housing policy was a cause of confusion and concern. We appreciate the thoughtful suggestions that SGA has made regarding how best to assist students during the holiday season.  Please know that while the College will continue to remain officially closed during the winter holiday season, we will make some important changes for next winter to accommodate student needs.

First, we will continue to keep Plimpton Hall open and available to students requiring housing during the break. Campus tour guides, varsity athletes, students with unsafe home situations, international students on Barnard financial aid, and students with academic responsibilities that must be completed on campus will all be eligible to stay in Plimpton during the break. The Office of Residential Life will implement an application process to review and respond to any requests for winter break housing, and will help students who do not already live in Plimpton to find an available room there.

Second, we will be opening the College’s residence halls earlier than we have in the past.  All residence halls will open to students on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 (six days before the start of classes), along with dining facilities, either at Hewitt or Diana Second Floor.  We will also open Health Services, in order to ensure that all students have access to services upon their return to campus after winter break.

We are confident that the combination of these measures—easier access to Plimpton for those who need it, and an earlier return for all students—will go a long way towards addressing the issues of food and housing insecurity among members of our community.

We hope that this gives you a clearer sense of the College’s plans for the coming year.  The costs of providing the best possible education for our students continue to rise, but we are committed to doing our best to keep the increase as modest as possible, to expand services in the areas of greatest need and, as always, to maintain Barnard’s long-standing devotion to excellence.

Sincerely,

Rob Goldberg, Chief Operating Officer
Avis Hinkson, Dean of the College

In an email sent out to students earlier today, CCSC President Ben Makansi outlined new initiatives launching in the next few weeks. As noted in his message to students, starting after break Columbia will now be providing free tampons in the Health Center. Starting now though, students can request five rolls of three-ply toilet paper at the Hartley Hospitality Desk. There are also plans to offer free New York Times digital access to students in the near future thanks to work by the current VP of Finance, Sameer Misha.

The full message can be read below:

1. Free Tampons
Standard and super size tampons will be available for pick-up at Health Services in John Jay, projected to begin after spring break. Over winter break, I had this idea and reached out to women I knew on campus for feedback. Viv then contacted VP for Campus Services Scott Wright, who coordinated a meeting with me, Michael McNeil from Columbia Health and Caroline Park from ESC. Based on feedback and usage, there may be a conversation about putting dispensers elsewhere on campus, as there currently are for contraception.
2. Digital NY Times
This was an effort started by much work from last year’s VP for Finance Michael Li and CCSC President Peter Bailinson, then continued by our VP Finance Sameer Mishra. No more using different browsers, deleting cookies, going incognito and all that. Like tampons, the projected launch date is after spring break but that’s less certain for digital NY Times than it is for tampons, so we’ll keep updating you on that. Students will be able to use their UNIs to get digital access – what exactly that process looks like is another thing we’ll update you on. Funding for this is coming from the student councils and Housing.
3. Toilet Paper Update
Thank you to everyone who got behind our push for thicker toilet paper by signing our roll call. The administration has listened and we are happy to report that Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Triple-Ply toilet paper is now available for pick-up at Hartley Hospitality Desk! Each student may retrieve up to 5 rolls per day.

As of yesterday, the new John Jay laundry is now open. The new room, in a different location than where it was located two years ago now features air conditioning and several new washers/dryers.

The new laundry room is a relief to residents in John Jay, Wallach, and Hartley who have had to share one laundry room for over two years.

Past Updates:
Over the past few weeks, we have received a few tips about the potential opening of a new laundry room in John Jay. Currently, the residents of Wallach, Hartley, and John Jay have had to share one laundry room, a situation that has led to long lines and mounds of clothes being strewn across the small space.

In an update from Columbia Housing’s communications director, Kristina Hernandez, this system will be changing soon. Housing is currently working to build a new laundry room and plans for it to open soon.

The full response can be found below:


A major upgrade to the John Jay electrical system began in the summer of 2014. That upgrade required the laundry room to be relocated to make space for new building electrical equipment. The electrical upgrade had to advance to a certain stage before work could begin on the new laundry room.

Laundry was free to John Jay residents via the Hartley laundry room as soon as the John Jay laundry room was taken offline due to the inconvenience.

When complete, the new laundry room will be accessed directly across from the basement elevators, eliminating the circuitous route required to access the previous location.

The anticipated schedule for the reopening of the John Jay laundry is still being determined. We will continue to provide updates to the residential community as the project advances.

(12/21): Housing is currently in the process of installing machines into the new laundry room. Check out the photos below.

The new laundry machines (Photo by Cindy Liu CC '18)

The new laundry machines (Photo by Venya Gushchin CC ’18)

The entrance to the new John Jay Laundry Room

The entrance to the new John Jay Laundry Room

image

The new laundry room (minus the machines)

In an email sent to students today, Columbia Housing has announced that hoverboards (self-balancing scooters) will not be allowed inside residence halls at all starting in the Spring 2016 semester. Citing safety concerns, Housing also noted that the University is also considering a campus-wide ban of the devices which have been known to cause injuries due to exploding batteries.

 

Read below for the full announcement from Housing:

We’re reaching out to inform you of an item that will now be restricted from the residence halls. Due to recent concerns surrounding hover boards , self-propelled scooters and similar devices, we have decided to add them to the list of prohibited items in the Guide to Living. Effective immediately, hover boards and similar devices will not be allowed in any residence halls. This decision is in response to recent reports from the Consumer Product Safety Commission with regard to potential fire hazards resulting from the lithium-ion batteries that power the device. A larger University-wide policy is also being considered due to fire and general safety concerns. Similar restrictions are being considered by New York City and at other institutions.

Residents who acquire hover boards over the winter break should not bring them back to campus housing. In addition, we encourage students to become informed about fire concerns associated with these devices.