Religion and learning, hand in hand. And then there's the Earl Hall Center. Earl Hall, immediatly west of Low Library, is the home of more than sixty other organizations, a dozen of so campus ministries and all sorts of activities that involve spirituality, politics, community service, social discourse, conflict management, the arts, recreation and self-discovery. A student center as well as a religious center, Earl Hall is a safe place for dealing with controversy, a supportive place for seeking answers, a shared place for celebrating and a welcoming place for all.|
On many campuses, people of different backgrounds or different perspectives can wind up associating almost exclusively with other people like themselves. Part of Earl Hall's mission is to enable Columbia students to break that pattern-even when emotions, political agendas, strongly held beliefs or cultural defferences make it difficult for individuals or groups to see eye-to-eye with each other.
In addition to housing and sponsoring sevices and commemorative events (a memorial for the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre, a display of panels from the AIDS Quilt), Earl Hall administers a year -round program of music instruction, recitals, a variety of other special musical events and the Postcrypt Arts Underground and Postcrypt Coffeehouse, all of which take place in St. Paul's Chapel.
And finally, the Earl Hall Center is the principal base of operations for the members of the clergy who maintain the campus ministries that play such an important role in the lives of many members of the Columbia community.
Representatives of groups affiliated with the Earl Hall Center together constitute the Student Governing Board, which has significant oversight and advisory responsablities related to membership, budgeting and programming. Among the several dozen groups represented on the Student Governing Board are Amnesty International; the Baptist Campus Ministry; the Coalition for Life; College Democrats; College Republicans; the Disability Interest Group; the Jewish Student Union; the Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay Coalition; the Orthodox Christian Fellowship; the Hindu Sudents' Association; Take Back the Night and the Tibetan Studies Society.
Making a difference. Community Impact, which also has offices in Earl Hall, coordinates the work of hundreds of volunteers who operate more than two dozen service projects that benefit some twelve hundred people each week. If you'd like to help out, you'll have all kinds of opportunities to work with advocacy and adult education programs, housing and homelessness programsf, community education programs, companionship programs and programs targeted toward young people. One example: students working with Harlem Restoration Project Project help renovate buildings, apartments and landmarks in Harlem community.
Where you'll live. As a first year student you'll live in either Carman Hall, John Jay Hall or Schapiro Hall. Carman is on the west side of Butler Library; John Jay is the one on the east. Schapiro is across the street from Carman.
All residence hall rooms are either singles or doubles, and more than 65 percent of all undergraduates live in singles. Kitchens, lounges an laundry facilities are available in most halls.
Columbia is well on the way to completing a multy-year program to establish a house system in all undergraduate residence halls. (The project will be finished before the year 2000.) Under the new arrangements, the university is relocating an assistant dean's office to each house, thus affording students in the houses greater access to advising sevices. In addition, a resident professor and a number of faculty affiliates will take part in formal and informal programs with the students who live in each house.
During the course of each year, the students, members of the staff and house deans will develop social, cultural and intelectual programs that meet the differing interests and needs of each residential community. As an added benefit, special program coordinators will work closely with first-year students in their houses to help eades the transition to university life. They'll also work with seniors to help resolve issues related to moving on to graduate school or a career. As each house continues to develop its own distinct character and personality, the new system is leading to ever-increasing continuity of undergraduate life inside and outside the classroom.
Greek life. Fraternities and sororities offer attractive living options for a number of undergraduate students students. Many of the two dozen or so single-gender and coed Greek-letter organizations at Columbia have their own houses near campus, and all of them choose new members once or or twice each year. Rush is open to all undergraduates at the university. Members who wish to do so may move into their fraternities or sororities after completing their year of study. Between 10 and 15 percent of the undergraduates at the university join Greek houses.
The arts on campus. Even though all the cultural resources of New York City are at our doorstep, we take pleasure in presenting, performing, attending and appreciating the arts right on campus. Our standards are high, and the arts at Columbia easily hold their own in the demanding New York City arts
For example, Columbia's 684-seat Miller Theater-completely renovated and revitalized less than a decade ago-consistently wins high praise for the grat variety and quality of its offerings. It presents classical and contemporary music in series such as the Distinguished String Quarter, the Composer and the Keyboard, Krosnick and Kalish, Consortium Concerts, Sonic Boom and Jazz in Miller Theatre. The theatre also offers a Literary Series (with readings in the recent past by writers such as Nadine Gordimer, Amos Oz and Susan Sontag) and a film series.
Much of Columbia's impressive art collection-paintings, sculptures, prints ans drawings, photographs and decorative arts-is on display throughout the campus. Taking sculpture as an example, look for Daniel Chester French's Alma Mater on the steps of Low Memorial Library; Three-Way Piece:: Points, by Henry Moore, near the Law School; Bellerophon Taming Pegasus, by Jacques Lipschitz, above the entrance to the Law School; a cast of Augustine Rodin's Thinker on the lawn of Philosophy Hall; The Great God Pan, by George Grey Barnard, on the lawn of Lewisohn Hall; Thomas Jefferson, in front of the Journalism Buiding and Alexander Hamilton, in front of Hamilton Hall, both by William Ordway Patridge; and Clement Meadmore's Curl, in front of Uris Hall.