The Shaft
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Spectrum will be producing content on The Shaft from now until housing selection in early April. If at any time you have questions about The Shaft or about housing selection at Barnumbia, let us know and we’ll do our best to answer them.

So Columbia folks have already chosen their groups for housing selection, but what comes next? Depending on your class year, there might only be a couple of solid options that will fit your group size.

[Related: Get all your housing questions (especially those related to whether you can add or drop people in your group) answered with this FAQ video.]

Groups of one

Seniors will be trying to snag a (very limited-supply) studio single in Watt or a large single in River with a ~river~ view.

Juniors will be going for a single in Nussbaum, Broadway, Schapiro, or a non-river-facing River single.

Sophomores have slim pickings for singles. Their best shots are singles in Wien or Harmony, but if they don’t mind living with first-years and have not-too-shabby lottery numbers, they could live in Furnald. Those hoping for a McBain single should prob make other arrangements—it is technically possible, but you’ll either need a crazy-good sophomore lottery number or be an RA’s rider.

Groups of two

Seniors will try to snag a two-person suite in EC or a studio double in Woodbridge on the H, K, or C blocks.

Juniors can get a double in Symposium (that one forgotten dorm with a total of eight doubles), an average studio in Woodbridge, or a studio or one-bedroom apartment in Watt.

Sophomore groups will end up in McBain, Schapiro, Nussbaum (suite-style housing that you pick into by room, like a hall-style dorm), Harmony, Broadway, Wien, or the sixth-floor doubles in EC. The luckiest will have the choice of a studio double in Watt.

Groups of three

Three’s a strange number for housing selection—there aren’t a lot of three-person options around. Most three-person groups are juniors with really good lottery numbers—they’ll be going for the three-person Claremont suites with all singles.

Groups of four

Seniors are probably the only people with a group size of four (otherwise, they’d better be OK with the idea of splitting up). They’ll be going for a four-person, all-single townhouse in EC or all-single suites in Ruggles, Claremont, or Hogan.

Groups of five

Seniors should also be the only ones with five-person groups. They’re going for a five-single suite in EC, the only five-person suite in Claremont (one double, three singles), or an all-single suite in Hogan.

Groups of six

Seniors with a group of six are trying to get that all-single EC suite or the two double, two single suites in Ruggles.

Lucky juniors will also live in Ruggles, but other options are Claremont (where there is one suite made up of one double and four singles) or Harmony, where there are suites with one double and four singles.

Groups of seven

Seniors and juniors both have a good shot at a seven-person suite in Claremont with two doubles and three singles.

Groups of eight

Juniors and seniors with groups of eight will most likely choose into eight-person suites in Ruggles (with three doubles and two singles or two doubles and four singles).

Keep in mind: No one is married to their housing group—if you snag a really good number, you can either break up your group into smaller pieces and try for a more coveted dorm or drop completely to online housing selection to snag that single.

Got some group gripes? Have a better way to hack housing? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Victoria Yang is a SEAS first-year and Spectrum staff writer. She did Living-Learning Center housing, so all of this is meaningless to her. Reach her at

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