The Shaft

Previewing Ruggles and Claremont

We're moving along in the housing process—the registration deadline is today, so now is the last chance to explore the different options available for groups. It's especially important to consider your chances, because for certain group sizes, there are relatively few options available.

Ruggles and Claremont are two of the most popular dorms for groups looking to live in a suite together, and also tend to fill up less quickly than other dorms like EC and Hogan. Both boast spacious and well-equipped suite lounges, suite bathrooms and external common areas. Ruggles has:

  • 8 4-person suites: cutoff 30/1222
  • 8 5-person suites: no cutoff data available
  • 1 1st floor 6-person suites: cutoff 20/761
  • 12 8-person suites (2 singles and 3 doubles): cutoff 20/2918
  • 2 8-person suites (4 singles and 2 doubles): cutoff 21.25/700

As you can see, many of these suites—especially the 8-person suites—end up lasting into junior selection. We recommend that, if you want to live in Ruggles as a junior, you choose an 8-person group and be open to living in one of the doubles in a 2 single/3 doubles suite. If you manage to get a senior or two to join your group, you may even have a shot at the 4 single/2 doubles suite, but these tend to go faster.

Ruggles Hall. Located on 114th and Broadway. Image taken from Columbia Housing website.

Ruggles has a lot of advantages as a social dorm. Good soundproofing makes parties feasible. It's on frat row, so residents are close to frat parties as well as John Jay Dining Hall, Butler Library, Lerner Hall and freshman dorms—on the off chance that freshpeople-parties are still your thang.

WikiCU lists numerous disadvantages to Ruggles, but don't let these scare you—Ruggles had two significant renovations: One in 2006-2008 and another in 2013 that made Ruggles a great place to live. Most current residents have little to complain about.

Basement Lounge, created during the 2013 renovation. Added during the renovation was a fitness room, new laundry room, study room, and a common lounge with large flat screen TV. Image taken from Columbia Housing.

Claremont similarly has numerous varied options for group living, although the building is one of the smaller dorms on campus.

  • 6 3-person suites with 3 singles: cutoff 20/342
  • 6 4-person suites with 4 singles: cutoff 30/2224
  • 1 1st floor 5-person suite: cutoff 24/1307
  • 1 1st floor 6-person suite with 4 singles and 1 double: cutoff 20/849
  • 10 7-person suites with 3 singles and 2 doubles: cutoff 10/1705

I personally lived in Claremont for part of my junior year, and I loved the experience. People sometimes complain that the dorm is far away from the social life of campus—by this they mean Columbia campus. As Claremont is right next to Barnard, the campus is very accessible and provides a welcome change from Columbia's campus. Although less party social life occurs, abundant opportunities for relaxing and socializing still exist, making Claremont a great place to live.

Claremont Hall is on 120th and Claremont, right on the west side of Barnard campus. Image taken from Columbia Housing.

Similarly to Ruggles, Claremont had significant modernizing renovations done in 2013, including a renovation of the notoriously bad elevator, upgrades to some bathrooms, and general maintenance. Like Ruggles, Claremont has a large common lounge on the basement floor that includes computers, a printing station and a large flat-screen TV where residents can go to work quietly or relax.

Both Ruggles and Claremont are good dorms for throwing parties (if you can get people to trek out to your Claremont party) because the lounges tend to be centrally located within the suite and soundproofing is pretty good. RAs tend to be rather relaxed as well, which can't hurt.

Overall, they are both great places to live for those of you looking to bond with a close group of friends and share a great living space together!

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