The Shaft

Previewing Symposium and River

With this post, the Shaft wraps up its series previews. Thanks for tuning in, and we hope we were able to provide you with some useful information before you registered for the housing lottery.

OK, we're back to preview two of the most in-demand dorms for single- and double-living. River, which I like to think of as Furnald 3.0, boasts singles upon singles upon singles:

  • 30 big singles: 150 square feet
  • 97 small singles: 120 square feet
  • 1 1st floor walk-through double

The only cutoff data we have available is for the River singles as a group: 20/1962. So, even the small ones tend to go pretty quickly. For the bigger ones you'd need to either be a senior or a very, very lucky junior.

River Hall, located on 114th and Riverside Drive. Image courtesy of Columbia Housing.

River can be a nice place to pick into with a group of friends, like Broadway or Schapiro. But, because it is a bit smaller, it seems more isolated. Residents often complain of River's antisocial culture.

River went through some pretty massive renovations, and has more planned. In 2012, all hallway and room flooring was replaced with an environmentally friendly alternative. Lounges were updated and electronic locks were also installed. This year, the boiler will be replaced. Go efficient living!

Symposium has been around as a dorm on the housing lottery since 2010, but because of its small size and relatively low profile, some of us questioned whether it actually existed. It does, and apparently it's awesome.

Symposium, officially named 548 w 113th street. Image courtesy of Columbia Housing.

Named because of its location next to the Greek restaurant "Symposium" (113th between Broadway and Amsterdam), Symposium is like Watt 2.0. It was previously owned by University Apartment Housing. Here are some stats:

  • 8 doubles: cutoff 20/1104
  • 1 single no cutoff data available

Surprisingly, the cutoff seems rather low, despite that there are so few of these rooms available. Each double is around 350 square feet, and each has a kitchen–bigger even than Watt's kitchen/double combos. See a typical floor blueprint to the right.

We're guessing that parties here would be awesome. Like any brownstone around campus, there is no need to sign in people—although only residents have swipe access (so, if you have a guest coming over, all you need to do is open the door for them). Also its unclear how many RAs are living here. It is clear, though, that the RAs get the single on each floor---only doubles are open for selection.

Overall, we here at Spectator get very excited by relatively new things---just like some species of bird enjoy shiny objects. So, we're pretty pumped about Symposium. We also think that the concept of living so close to the actual Symposium is also pretty cool.

Overall, both of these dorms would be great places to live if you're interested in a large, relatively quiet place to get your studying done.

Cheers! With the Housing Lottery as with life: may the odds be ever in your favor.


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Rising Junior posted on

I'm in a group of 4 rising juniors doing online selection with the lottery number 20/1452. Do we have a shot at getting singles in River? What is the likelihood?

Anonymous posted on

Symposium facts:

1) there is one RA for the building, and they get the single (its on the first floor)

2) there are two rooms per floor and 4 floors. The rooms are doubles.

3) the rooms are ENORMOUS and have very tall ceilings

4) parties there are awesome, tons of space

ElbertGafe posted on

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