Guide to Campus Living

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College, Columbia University
Printer-friendly Version
Teachers College, Columbia University Logo
Residential Services

Office of Residential Services

Guide to Campus Living

The Guide to Campus Living is a resource that provides important information regarding residential policies, procedures, and  information related to the ins and outs of being part of the TC residential community. The guide is organized into five sections, accessible using the tabs below.

  

 

Health & Safety

The Office of Residential Services strives to maintain an environment where residents feel safe in the Teachers College residence halls by providing secure access to every building and having policies in place that help to create a safe and secure community.

 

If residents have any type of emergency (facilities, safety, medical, etc.) when the Residential Services Office is closed or when the College is closed, residents should contact Public Safety at 212-678-3333 or go to the Public Safety desks located in the residence halls (Whittier, New Residence Hall, Bancroft) to report any issues.

517 West 121st

The desk located in the first floor lobby of the South building is staffed by a Public Safety Officer 24 hours a day. All residents must present a valid TC ID card to enter the building and must also present the card to the reader located at the security desk.

Bancroft Hall

The desk located in the lobby is staffed by a Public Safety Officer 24 hours a day. All residents must present a valid TC ID card to enter the building and must also present the card to the reader located at the security desk.

Grant and Sarasota Halls

Residents must present their TC IDs to the card reader at the entrance. Grant and Sarasota entrances are monitored by security cameras. Residents should ensure that entrance doors close tightly behind them when entering and exiting these buildings. There is also a “panic button” in the entryway of Grant and Sarasota if residents need to alert Public Safety of an emergency situation.

Whittier Hall

The Security desk, located in the first floor lobby, is staffed by a Public Safety officer 24 hours a day. Residents should present their valid TC ID to enter the first floor of the building from the street and again at the security desk to enter the residential lobby. To access units on the 2nd through 10th floors from the first floor elevator, it is necessary for residents to present their TC IDs to the reader located at that site between the hours of 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. To access floors 1 through 10 from the basement elevator, residents should present their ID card to the reader located in the basement elevator 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To utilize the basement entrance, residents must push the intercom button to request permission from the Public Safety Officer.

Entering Teachers College

Zankel Hall, Thorndike, and Whittier entrances are staffed by TC Public Safety Officers. When entering TC through these entrances, students and their affiliates are required to present their TC ID. For students residing in TC residence halls, entrance is also possible through the Grace Dodge door located on 121st Street by presenting your TC ID to the card reader.

When the fire alarm bell sounds:

  • Remain calm.
  • Turn off all electrical appliances, turn off gas stoves and shut windows.
  • Carefully touch the top of the door. If it is hot, do not open the door.
  • If the hallway is filled with blinding smoke, wait for help. Call 3333 for TC Public Safety and provide your name, phone number and location.
  • Place wet towels under bottom of door.
  • Open window and signal for help.
  • Stay near the floor, where visibility will be better & air less toxic.
  • Periodically call out loud for help so rescue workers can locate you.
  • Keep a flashlight handy.
  • If you are able to evacuate, shut and lock the door as you leave.
  • Ensure no occupants remain in your room/apartment.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for weather conditions.
  • If you have a flashlight, bring it with you.
  • Knock on the doors to the left and right of your room/apartment to ensure your neighbors are aware of evacuation.
  • If the halls of your building are filled with smoke, stay as close to the floor as possible and crawl if necessary.
  • Breathe through a wet towel or your hand.
  • Use fire exits, which are clearly marked. Walk down the stairway to the lobby exits.
  • DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS.

When exiting the building, please follow the procedures for your area:

Grant and Sarasota Halls:

  • Walk down the stairway to the lobby exit on 122nd Street.
  • Use the fire escapes only if fire conditions prevent exiting via the front door of the building.
  • Once on the fire escape, walk down to the last escape landing.
  • On that landing is a ladder that once released, drops down to the sidewalk or courtyard pavement.
  • To release the ladder, pull up on the rungs to release the U hook; step back and be careful during this release operation, as the ladder is very heavy.
  • Residents of the 03 & 04 apartments should use the rear fire escapes, and exit the courtyard to 122nd Street. If you encounter extremely heavy smoke and/or flames while proceeding down the fire escapes, do not continue down, but go back up the fire escape to a higher landing or the roof and wait for the Fire Department personnel to assist you with evacuation.
  • Upon exiting the building, please retreat to the southwest corner of 122nd Street and Amsterdam.
  • Always follow the direction of Residential Services, Public Safety, Fire Department or Police Department staff.
  • Do not return to the evacuated building until the “all clear” is given by TC Public Safety Staff.
  • DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR.

517 West 121st:

  • Walk down the nearest stairway to the street.
  • South building residents should retreat to the northwest corner of 121st Street and Amsterdam.
  • North building residents should retreat to the southwest corner of 122nd Street and Amsterdam.
  • Always follow the direction of Residential Services, Public Safety, Fire Department or Police Department staff.
  • Do not return to the evacuated building until the “all clear” is given by TC Public Safety Staff.
  • DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR.

Bancroft Hall:

  • Walk down the nearest stairway to the street.
  • Always follow the direction of Residential Services, Public Safety, Fire Department or Police Department staff.
  • Do not return to the evacuated building until the “all clear” is given by TC Public Safety Staff.
  • DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR.

Whittier Hall:

  • Walk down the nearest stairway to the lobby main entrance/exit on Amsterdam Ave.
  • Residents should retreat to the northwest corner of 121st to areas designated by the Whittier Hall staff. Use caution while crossing the street.
  • Always follow the direction of Residential Services, Public Safety, Fire Department or Police Department staff.
  • Do not return to the evacuated building until the “all clear” is given by TC Public Safety Staff.
  • DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR.
  • Never leave cooking food or in-use electrical appliances unattended.
  • Candles, incense and other devices that emit an open flame are strictly prohibited.
  • Become familiar with locations of fire safety equipment (i.e. hoses and extinguishers) and the closest exit nearest to you. Each floor is equipped with a fire alarm pull station.
  • Never overload circuits or run extension cords under carpets/rugs.
  • When leaving for extended periods of time, (i.e. vacations), be sure to unplug electrical appliances and shut off gas stoves.
  • Ensure smoke detectors are working properly. Test them regularly. All residents may obtain replacement batteries through the Office of Facilities, x3010. A good time to change the battery is when we switch to and from daylight saving time.
  • Do not store combustible items (e.g. gas, oily rags, paints, etc.) in your apartment.
  • Unless you have seen a notice stating “Testing Fire Bells at TIME and DATE” or received email communication notice regarding fire alarm testing, you must always evacuate the building via the stairs when the fire alarm sounds, utilizing the exit closest to you. Do not use the elevator.
  • Residents are not permitted to smoke within fifty feet of any Teachers College academic building or residence hall.
  • Heat producing appliances (coffee makers, heating pads) must be attended to when turned on.
  • Fire drills are never unannounced. If the alarm goes off you must evacuate.
  • Fire doors must be kept in closed position at all times.
  • Cooking, other than via a microwave, is prohibited in small efficiency rooms in New Residence Hall and single bedrooms in Whittier Hall.

The Campus Security and Fire Safety Report (ASR) is published annually each October. The current report can be found on-line on the Office of Public Safety website.  View Annual Report

Below is a chart that summarizes the fire safety systems in each of our residence halls.

 

Location Fire Alarms Monitored Sprinkler System Fire Alarm System / Smoke Detectors Evacuation Plans Posted & Fire Safety Training Evacuation Drills Each Academic Year
New Residence Hall Yes Yes (Fully Sprinklered) Automatic/ Yes Yes 12
Sarasota Hall Yes Partial (Laundry Room) Manual/ Yes Yes 4
Grant Hall Yes Partial (Laundry Room) Manual/ Yes Yes 4
Bancroft Hall Yes Yes (Fully Sprinklered) Automatic/Yes    4

Whittier Hall

Yes

Partial (Suite entrances, Laundry rooms, Ground Floor)

Automatic/Yes

Yes

4

 

The purpose of safety and maintenance inspections is to ensure that residents are abiding by our safety policies and procedures, and to make certain that their unit meets both College and city requirements. Residents should be advised that safety inspections are performed in the fall semester for all residents and in the spring semester for transfer and and new spring residents, typically over a week period. All residents will receive written notification from the Residential Services Staff, which will provide information and a date range for the safety and maintenance inspection process. Residents with pets MUST schedule an appointment. Residents are not required to be present for this process. The inspection typically takes about fifteen minutes.

General Procedure:

Staff from the Office of Residential Services will enter your unit on the lookout for the following items:

  • Use of candles/incense, flammable liquids, halogen lamps, and non-artificial holiday decorations (such as trees/wreaths).
  • The tampering or disabling of fire safety equipment (e.g. removing batteries from smoke detectors for reasons other than batter y replacement).
  • Blocked windows or any other items blocking points of egress.
  • Improper use of outlets (e.g. overloading outlets with extension cords). Only industrial strength extension cords and surge protectors are permitted.
  • Illegal appliances (e.g. hot plates, improperly installed air conditioning units, etc.)
  • Items stored on balconies/exterior window sills/fire escapes.
  • Improper number of shower curtains for claw foot or older style tubs with an L-shaped shower rod (These tubs require 3 shower curtains to avoid water damage).
  • The presence of pets where not permitted.

A copy of the inspection form indicating whether or not you have passed the inspection will be left in your unit. Should staff come across any violations, these incidents will be doucmented and prohibited items will be removed.  If a re-inspection of your unit is needed, this will occur within 48 hours of the initial safety inspection to ensure that the items have been taken care of. 

Columbia University’s policies and procedures regarding Columbia Health and insurance coverage apply to students of Teachers College. The enrollment and administration of fees for Columbia Health Program (Columbia Health Fee) and the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan are managed by Insurance and Immunization Records, Office of Student Affairs, located at Teachers College in 155 Thorndike.

Required Participation and Automatic Enrollment

Students meeting the following criteria are automatically enrolled in Plan90 Columbia Student Health Insurance and charged the Columbia Health Fee:

Students enrolled in a degree-granting program who are registered for 12 or more billable credits (does not include Certificate of Equivalency); AND/OR

Students enrolled in a degree granting program and living in the residential halls; AND/OR

International Students, regardless of credit status.

*Certificates of Equivalency-COEs-are not considered billable hours

Enrollment is on an annual basis and the fees will be applied during fall and spring registration.  Students who are enrolled in the fall cannot drop or change the coverage during the spring semester even if their enrollment drops below 12 billable credits.  Please be advised that if you meet the criteria of automatic enrollment, you will be enrolled for the entire year regardless of when your course registration takes place.

Students automatically enrolled in Plan90 may upgrade to Plan100 of the insurance by emailing health-immunization@tc.edu.  Domestic students may also request to waive their automatic enrollment in the Columbia Student Health Insurance by documenting Acceptable and Comparable Coverage.  A new insurance enrollment or waiver request must be submitted each year during the fall semester.

Insurance Selection

There are two levels of the Columbia Plan: Plan90 or Plan100. Please review the information concerning these two plans very carefully found at www.tc.edu/health. Selection of an insurance plan is valid beginning August 15 until August 14 of the following year and must be completed online using myTC Portal by September 30. Once the student’s insurance coverage decision has been determined for the Fall term, either by automatic enrollment, online selection, or waiver request, that decision will automatically be continued in the following Spring term as long as the student remains registered at the University. It is not possible to upgrade to the Plan100 level or downgrade to Plan90 coverage in the Spring. For students who do not register for the Spring Term, their insurance coverage will terminate on December 31.

Waiving the Columbia Health Insurance Plan

Eligible domestic students who are automatically enrolled in Plan90 Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan may request to waive coverage by the deadline by completing the waiver form online in myTC Portal, http://my.tc.edu.  As a domestic student, if you plan on dropping below 12 billable credits (and you are not living in the halls) DO NOT submit a waiver.  The Insurance and health fee will reverse off within 24 hours of you dropping.

Please note that domestic students will not have the option to waive until they are (1) registered for classes and (2) the enrollment/waiver portal has been opened.  Students will be notified when the option to waive is available.

The deadlines to submit waiver requests are September 30 for continuing and new students entering in the fall and February 15 for new students admitted for the Spring.

PLEASE NOTE:   A valid request must e submitted each year during the fall semester by the specified deadline to substitute other comparable coverage for the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan.

Even if you plan to waive participation in the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan because you currently have comparable coverage, you are strongly encouraged to review the coverage your current plan offers to compare it to the coverage provided by the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan, which has been designed specifically for students.  For information about comparing your plan with the Columbia Student Health Insurance please refer to the resources provided by Columbia Health.  For additional information, please see our brochures and guides on the TC web page.

Voluntary Insurance Enrollment

Any registered Teachers College student in a degree-granting program (including part-time students and students taking only dissertation advisement) can opt to enroll in either the gold or Platinum level of the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan.  You can enroll in and select your level of insurance coverage online using using myTC Portal (http://my.tc.edu) begining mid-July.  To opt into the health fee only, please email IIR at health-immunization@tc.edu.

Enrollment Deadlines

There are two important deadlines to enroll in, upgrade, or request to waive the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan, outlined below:

Fall Term:  September 30 via myTC Portal

Spring Term (for newly admitted Spring students only):  February 15 via myTC Portal

We strongly recommend that students finalize insurance decisions by September 20th for the Fall and February 15th for the Spring.

 

Facilities & Maintenance 

The Office of Residential Services in collaboration with the Office of Facilities Management, aim to respond to maintenance and facility concerns in the residence halls in a timely manner.  Facilities staff help to clean common spaces, complete work orders, and respond to facility emergencies.  Residential Services staff help to communicate with residents when maintenance projects are taking place and support residents with any questions or issues related to facilities.

 

*Residents MUST contact ONLY APPROVED VENDORS and appointments must be scheduled 48 hours in advance.

517 West 121st:

Each unit is equipped with central air conditioning/heat and a wall-mounted thermostat so that residents may maintain and adjust the temperature to their liking. New York City law requires that heat (if temperature dictates) be provided to residents through May 31 which means that air-conditioning may not be available until June 1 as heat and air conditioning cannot operate simultaneously.  If the unit is not functioning properly, a work order should be submitted to the Office of Facilities.

 Bancroft Hall: 

Each apartment is equipped with one air-conditioning unit.  If the unit is not functioning properly, a work order should be submitted to the Office of Facilities.  If a resident is interested in additional units (i.e. bedroom), he/she may contact the College-approved vendor, Clinton Hardware, at 212-222-8245 OR Supercoolnyc, at 929-400-7665 or email supercoolnyc1@gmail.com to install a purchased AC unit.   Residents may call Ace Air Conditioning, at 718-726-7120 if they have a rental unit from ACE that needs to removed.

Heat is generated by radiators located in each unit. Heat is activated centrally as determined by New York City temperature regulation standards. To turn heat on, turn the radiator valve located at the bottom of the radiator to the fully open position (counter-clockwise). The valve must be fully open or fully closed – do not use an intermediate position as this will damage the valve and create a noisy radiator condition. Do not open/close the valve in the middle of a heating cycle as this will trap water creating a noise condition and possible leaks. If the unit is not functioning properly, a work order should be submitted to the Office of Facilities.

 Grant, Sarasota, and Whittier Halls:

Air-conditioners are not provided by the College. If a resident is interested in installing a window unit, he/she may contact the College-approved vendor, Clinton Hardware, at 212-222-8245 OR Supercoolnyc, at 929-400-7665 or email supercoolnyc1@gmail.com to install a purchased AC unit.  Residents may call Ace Air Conditioning, at 718-726-7120 if they have a rental unit from ACE that needs to removed.  

Heat is generated by radiators located in each unit. Heat is activated centrally as determined by New York City temperature regulation standards. To turn heat on, turn the radiator valve located at the bottom of the radiator to the fully open position (counter-clockwise).The valve must be fully open or fully closed – do not use an intermediate position as this will damage the valve and create a noisy radiator condition. Do not open/close the valve in the middle of a heating cycle as this will trap water creating a noise condition and possible leaks. If the unit is not functioning properly, a work order should be submitted to the Office of Facilities.

Residents are responsible for keeping their personal living areas clean and for removing their own trash. Residents should not leave trash in hallways or common areas shared with other residents. Trash chutes are available on each floor of 517 West 121st, Bancroft Hall, and Whittier Hall. Glass, boxes, hazardous materials and/or other large objects should be taken to the appropriate depository in the basement. These items should never be thrown down trash chutes. All cardboard boxes should be taken directly down to the basement. Sarasota and Grant residents should take all trash directly to the basement in disposable bags to be placed in appropriate receptacles. Mattress disposal is prohibited unless you contact the Office of Residential Services. Please see the “Recycling” section for additional information. Note: Trash chutes are generally locked during large move-in and move-out periods due to the extremely high volume of trash that is generated.

Common Areas

Custodial staff from the Office of Facilities clean common areas (community kitchens, community bathrooms, community spaces, and hallways) on a daily basis. In the community kitchens, the daily cleaning includes the sink, counters, and the exterior of college-owned appliances. Staff members also sweep, mop, and/or vacuum the floors in common kitchens and hallways. Residents are responsible for cleaning within their individual unit. If items are left in the kitchen sink or on the kitchen counters these areas will not be cleaned by staff.

Personal items may not be stored in any public or community spaces (this includes but is not limited to hallways, community kitchens, lounges, recycling rooms, laundry rooms, etc.). Items left in public or community spaces will be considered trash and disposed of accordingly.

Whittier Suites

Suite residents are responsible for disposing of their own trash and recyclables.  Suite occupants are responsible for cleaning and maintaining the hallways and kitchens of the suite at all times.  Bathroom(s) will be cleaned by custodial staff on a weekly basis.  Interim cleaning of the bathroom(s) is the responsibility of the suite occupants.  In order for custodial staff to clean the common bathroom(s) thoroughly, personal items should be removed prior to the scheduled cleaning. If items are left on or in the bathroom sinks, or on the counters and floors in the bathrooms, these areas will not be cleaned by staff during your weekly scheduled cleaning time.  Suite bathrooms are cleaned on weekdays between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact ua via email at housing@tc.columbia.edu.

To request extermination for your room or apartment, residents should submit requests online via the Work Request Form in myTC's TC Services tab.

The user will be asked to enter location, contact information, and the nature of the work to be accomplished. The system will generate a temporary reference number and, once accepted, a work order number for each request. Either of these can be used to track the status of a request. Pest control personnel are present on campus during most business days.

517 West 121st:

Each room or apartment is furnished with an extra-long twin or extra-long full-size bed (units w/kitchens), lamp, desk, desk chair, bookcase or desk hutch, chest, microwave, refrigerator, and built-in closet or wardrobe. Large efficiency units with kitchenettes also have stoves and ovens. Furniture may not be removed from rooms or common areas.

Grant and Sarasota:

Each apartment is furnished with a full XL size bed, desk, desk chair, easy chair, sofa/loveseat, lamp, dresser, and closet. Each apartment has their own kitchen and bathroom facilities. Each unit contains a kitchen, furnished with a stove, refrigerator and microwave, bathroom facilities and a common area furnished with a small dining table and chairs. 

Bancroft:

Each room or apartment is furnished a bed, desk, desk chair, bookshelf, lamp, chest, and wardrobe/closet. Those in the A bedroom are supplied a full size extra-long bed and those in B or C bedrooms are supplied a twin size extra-long bed. Family one-bedroom apartments have a full XL size bed. Each apartment has their own kitchen and bathroom facilities. Each suite contains a kitchen, furnished with a stove, refrigerator and microwave, bathroom facilities and a common area furnished with a small dining table and chairs. Stoves, refrigerators, and microwaves in the suite are for the use of all suite members and each suite member should take responsibility for keeping these areas clean and neat. Resident's private belongings must not be stored in the suite common areas. Furniture should not be removed from rooms or suite common areas.

All apartments come fully furnished and must remain that way. Each apartment is furnished with a full-size bed, 2 dressers, desk, desk chair, easy chair, sofa/loveseat, dining table, dining chairs, refrigerator, and stove.

Whittier:

Each room or apartment is furnished with a regular twin bed, desk, desk chair, bookcase, lamp, and wardrobe/closet. All single rooms are equipped with a micro-fridge (combination microwave oven and refrigerator) and residents of the single rooms have access to shared kitchen and bathroom facilities located on each floor. Two-bedroom shared apartments have their own kitchen and bathroom facilities. Each suite contains a kitchen, furnished with a stove, refrigerator and microwave, bathroom facilities and a common area furnished with a small dining table and chairs. Stoves, refrigerators, and microwaves in the suite are for the use of all suite members and each suite member should take responsibility for keeping these areas clean and neat. Resident's private belongings must not be stored in the suite common areas. One-bedroom apartments, two-bedroom shared apartments, and studio apartments each include a table and chairs. Furniture should not be removed from rooms or suite common areas.

Radiators are present in Bancroft, Grant, Sarasota, and Whittier Halls. Radiator covers are provided in Grant and Sarasota, but are not provided in other buildings. They can be purchased at most local hardware stores.

Window screens are not provided in residential units. If interested, students may purchase window screens at a local hardware store.

 

In accordance with New York City’s Recycling Program, all of our buildings provide receptacles for recyclable items. These receptacles are located in each basement or on the individual floors.

 

In Grant Hall and Sarasota Hall, recyclable items must be sorted.  Please be attentive to the signage that accompanies each can.  In Whittier Hall, Bancroft and New Residence Hall, recyclables can be comingled.  Comingled means that all recycling will go into one green can. It does not need to be sorted; that will occur after pick-up.

 

Items that can be recycled and should be placed in the green recycling receptacle include:
  • White and colored paper
  • Cardboard
  • Brochures and flyers Magazines and catalogs Junk mail
  • Newspaper
  • Envelopes (all colors and windowed) Paperboard (cereal boxes, etc.) Paperback books
  • Paper bags
  • Aluminum and steel cans
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Plastic containers #1-#5 (bottles and jugs, yogurt cups and tubs, grocer y containers,
  • 6-pack rings, etc.) Aluminum foils and trays
  • Aseptic packaging (drink boxes, milk and juice car tons, etc.)
  • ***Please empty all bottles and containers before recycling.***
Items that cannot be recycled and should be placed in the waste/trash receptacle include
  • Food wrappers
  • Paper cups
  • Paper towels, napkins or tissues Laminated paper and stickers Hardcover books
  • Plastic bags
  • #6 plastic (aka polystyrene or Styrofoam) Plastic film
  • Ceramics or drinking glasses

Throughout the year, members of the offices of Facilities, Residential Services, EH&S, Telecommunications, and Public Safety may need to access rooms and apartments to address maintenance concerns, perform upgrades or for any reason related to the safety, health, and welfare of our community. When possible, residents will be given notification of scheduled maintenance work. In case of maintenance emergencies, residents will be notified as soon as possible. A notice that the unit has been entered and work has been completed will be left on the unit or apartment door.

For routine maintenance, residents should submit requests online via the Work Request Form through myTC's TC Services tab. The user will be asked to enter location, contact information, and the nature of the work to be accomplished. The system will generate a temporary reference number and, once accepted, a work order number for each request. Either of these can be used to track the status of a request. Only one request should be submitted per work order. (Please note: work orders are reviewed approximately every hour during normal business hours.)

For maintenance emergencies (where there is a threat of injury or property damage) that occur during scheduled business hours, please contact Facilities immediately at x3010. For maintenance emergencies that occur after scheduled business hours or on weekends, please contact the front desk in your respective area:

  • 517 West 121st front desk: 212-870-6100 (x6100) - 517 West 121st,Grant and Sarasota residents
  • Whittier front desk: 212-678-3220 (x3220)-Whittier residents
  • 509 West 121st front Desk:  212-678-5246 - Bancroft residents

Residents who experience a significant delay in the completion of the work should stop by the Office of Residential Services, call x3235, or email housing@tc.columbia.edu, so that our staff may follow up on the original request.

 

Housing Logistics

Residential Services provides residents with information prior, during, and when moving out of the residence halls so they are well informed of the various processes and procedures to have a smooth transition whether they are moving in or moving out of the TC residential community.

 

Affiliates are relevant only in family housing, and consist of the spouses, domestic partners, and children that are approved to live with you. Caregivers can also be added as affiliates, but cannot live in your unit. 

Affiliates are added and approved during the application process. If you need to add or edit your affiliates, you can do so in the Housing Menu in myTC under Manage My Housing. Any affiliates living with you must have appropriate documentation and be approved in accordance with our policies.

The electronic RCF is used by the Office of Residential Services to compare the condition of your room/apartment at the time of move-in with the condition of your room/apartment at the time of move-out. Upon obtaining your RCF online, you should inspect your room/apartment and note any discrepancies you find between your unit and the RCF. Please submit discrepancies on-line within 48 hours of your move-in. The original RCF will be updated to reflect any changes. If upon move-out the condition of the room/apartment and its furnishings does not match the condition noted on the RCF at move-in, the damages may be charged to your student account

Semester housing charges are due the first Friday after classes commence each term or as dictated by the Office of Student Accounts. Residents who are unable to pay their semester housing fees by the due date in the assignment letter should speak to a representative from the Office of Student Accounts regarding the deferred payment plan. Note: the deferred payment plan is not offered in the summer.

Various forms of payment are accepted for tuition and fees and may be used individually or in combination. Teachers College accepts checks, money orders, and cash. For a complete explanation of payment methods, please visit Student Accounts at:

Student Account Payment Methods

Electricity Charges

517 West 121st St, Whittier Hall, and Bancroft Hall:

Students residing in these facilities are not responsible for electricity charges; electricity is built into the housing fee.

 

Sarasota and Grant family units:

Electricity charges are billed directly to the resident by Con Edison. Upon moving in, students should contact Con Edison to set up an account via phone at 1-800-75-CONED 1-800-752-6633.  To view your bill and make a payment, you may visit Con Edison's website at www.coned.com. Before moving out, students must close their Con Edison account. Students may do this on ConEd's Website by clicking on my account and following the instructions. It will prompt you to enter the date you wish the account to be closed. You MUST enter the vacate date unless you have been granted an extension. If you have been granted an extension, please indicate that date. Failure to close your account will be documented as “improper check out” and will result in a fine. If you need assistance or further clarification on this process, please contact the Office of Residential Services at 212-678-3235.

 

 

In order to be eligible to apply for student housing, you must be admitted to a Teachers College degree program. You can submit an application before you accept your admissions offer or pay your admissions deposit.

In order to be eligible to live in student housing, students must be enrolled in a degree program at Teachers College and be registered for classes. Class registration is checked when each semester begins. Full-time employees of Teachers College are not eligible for on-campus housing.

Credit Requirements

To maintain housing eligibility, residents must be enrolled and register for a minimum of 1 credit each semester (fall and spring). To be eligible to renew the housing contract past mid-May, residents must be enrolled in 9 credits each semester (fall and spring). Two-thirds of each semester's credits (6 points per term) must be earned course credits (i.e. not Certificates of Equivalency). Semester courses that are defined by the Registrar as full-time, qualify a resident for full-time status.

Summer

Housing contracts extend for one calendar year beginning with Summer A term. Any resident who completes 18 credits during the fall and spring semesters combined (or 9 credits during the spring semester for students who begin residency in the spring) is not required to register for summer sessions and may remain in the residence hall, but must re-enroll for the upcoming fall semester and live in Teachers College housing for the upcoming fall semester.

To remain eligible for summer housing if a resident is vacating in the summer (at the conclusion of Summer A or Summer B) the resident must be enrolled for the summer or have documentation from the College demonstrating an affiliation with the College during the summer. If the resident is teaching in public schools or has dependents in public schools, the resident is permitted to remain in housing until the conclusion of Summer A.

Length of Residency

A Resident may remain in housing for the following periods of time, depending on his/her degree program:

  • MA/MS students up to 2 years
  • MA/MS students whose degree requires 60 credits or more up to 3 years
  • EdM students up to 3 years
  • EdD/PhD students up to 6 years

Residents continuing in subsequent programs, or returning to Teachers College housing after a break in stay, are entitled to the maximum number of years for the highest degree program for which they register. For example, residents who use two years for an MA will have one additional year for an MA/MS (requiring 60 credits or more) or an EdM, and four additional years for an EdD or PhD program. Students who use three years for an MS (requiring 60 credits or more) or EdM will have three additional years for an EdD or PhD.

Residents continuing in a different program are entitled to the maximum number of years for the highest degree program for which they register plus one additional year.

Should a resident's spouse, domestic partner or child apply for on-campus housing, the resident's length of residency will be used in determining the length of eligibility for the spouse, domestic partner or child should said party receive an offer for occupancy in Teachers College housing.

Once a resident's length of residency has expired he/she may submit a written request for an extension to the Assistant Director of Residential Services for Housing for consideration by the Special Cases Committee. An extension may be offered based on extenuating circumstances.

Additional Keys

To maintain secure buildings for our residents, the duplication of any key is not permitted. In addition, additional locking devices may not be installed on any bedroom, suite or apartment door. Residents in family housing designated units in Bancroft, Grant, or Sarasota may request an additional key (3rd key) through the Office of Residential Services.

Mailbox Keys

All residents are issued one mailbox key per unit. Note: The apartment key for 517 West 121st will also grant access to the student mailbox.

Lost Keys

If any key is lost, residents should submit the Lost Key Form under the housing tab on the MyTC portal. The loss of a key will require the locking core to be replaced and new key(s) to be issued to the resident; residents will be charged a replacement fee of $150 per apartment/bedroom lock, $175 per suite lock, and $30 per mailbox lock.

Broken Keys

Residents will be charged $20 for replacement of a bent or broken key provided that the damaged key is presented at the time of the request.

Lockouts

You may obtain a loaner room/suite key by showing your TC identification at the security desk that serves your area. A loaner key will only be checked out to the resident of that unit or a registered affiliate. Loaner keys should be returned to the front desk within thirty minutes. If the loaner key is lost or is not returned in the allotted time frame, the replacement of the unit’s locking core will be necessary. In this circumstance, the resident will be charged the appropriate replacement fee as outlined in the section above. If a staff member has to open a unit for a resident or a guest of a resident, a $50 charge will be applied to the resident’s student account. A loaner key may not be checked out to guests.

All residents are encouraged to obtain renter’s insurance to protect against loss of personal property resulting from theft, water, or fire damage. Renter’s insurance is available from many insurance companies for reasonable premiums. Most policies, in addition to providing you with coverage for property losses, will also provide you with some personal liability coverage. The College is not liable for any damage to belongings in your apartment, regardless of the cause. Each tenant is responsible for protecting his/her own property through insurance coverage. Two of many companies that offer renters insurance to students are National Student Services, Inc. https://www.nssi.com/get-started or CSI Insurance Agency, Inc. www.collegestudentinsurance.com. These agencies are not affiliated with Teachers College. We encourage you to explore many options to make the most informed decision.

The Special Cases Committee hears all appeals to our housing contract, primarily related to eligibility, termination, and billing. The Committee is made up of individuals from various offices around the College. Appeals should be submitted via e-mail to Tony Fangel at fangel@tc.columbia.edu and can include any relevant documentation, such as a doctor's note, proof of financial situation, etc. 

Once received, the appeal is sent to the Committee for their deliberation and decision. Requests typically receive a response within 1-2 weeks and may be approved, denied, or approved with specific requirements. 

In order to vacate your unit, a Vacate Notification Form (VNF) must be submitted by the appropriate deadline. Vacating residents have two check-out options: standard check-out and express-check-out (as described below). Vacating residents will receive an e-mail approximately two weeks prior to the scheduled move-out date.

Standard Checkout

This option affords residents the opportunity to be present in the unit while a member of the Office of Residential Services performs the checkout process. This option is available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., but is also based upon the availability of the staff. Should you decide to do a standard checkout, please be advised that you must schedule an appointment for a standard check out. During your scheduled time, your unit will be inspected and your CA will collect your keys, please note that all of your items should be completely removed from the unit before the CA arrives to check you out.

The condition of your unit will be assessed and compared to the condition at check-in. Discrepancies may result in damage billing. Please note that if you fail to keep your scheduled appointment or are late, you will be assessed an improper checkout fee of $50.00.

Express Checkout

Express checkout will be available approximately one to two weeks prior to the scheduled move-out period, and express envelopes are located next to the Office of Residential Services. This option affords you the opportunity to check out at a time that is convenient for you. Once you vacate your unit, simply complete the top portion of the envelope, place your keys inside and drop them off in the express checkout box. (This is VERY important. If you are doing an express checkout, please follow the express procedure. Do not give your key envelope to a CA, an office staff member or a Public Safety Officer). Once you officially vacate the unit, your CA will take the Room Condition Form (RCF) to your unit to inspect it for damages, etc. assessing it accordingly. Please note that should you choose the express option, you waive the right to appeal any charges that may be applied to your account due to your failure to properly vacate your unit.

Guidelines for Vacating Your Unit

All keys to the unit must be returned via one of the checkout methods listed above. All Teachers College furnishings, including the telephone, must be in the room/apartment as indicated on the RCR. Residents will be charged if their unit is not left in the appropriate condition. To avoid any additional charges, please feel free to utilize the tasks listed below as a guide.

  • Apartment must be left clean, neat and orderly
  • Remove all personal belongings from the unit at time of check-out
  • Please submit work orders for any maintenance issues a few weeks before move-out (clogged drain/leak/drawer that’s stuck/etc.).This is very helpful to us in preparing our units for the next resident. You can do this at: www.tc.edu/housing by clicking on “maintenance request”.
  • All floors must be swept clean
  • Refrigerator must be defrosted, cleaned and left on lowest setting (does not apply to frost-free refrigerators)
  • Furniture must be returned to its original location
  • All tape, hooks, and adhesives must be removed
  • The stove, including the oven, must be cleaned
  • Cabinets and closets must be cleared and wiped clean
  • Kitchen sink must be left clean
  • Bathroom facilities must be scoured and left clean
  • All trash and garbage must be removed to the dumpster areas
  • Turn off all lights and lock all doors and windows
  • Whittier suite residents should make a conscious effort to clean out common areas and kitchens

 

Community Living

The Office of Residential Services strives to create a supportive environment to help residential students be successful in their academic pursuits outside of the classroom.  Students are encouraged to reach out with any questions related to community concerns, programming/events, and any other issues related to living on campus.  Residential Services staff are here to support and help students.

 

A Community Assistant is a part-time paraprofessional who serves as a resource to all residents.  They are responsible for programming, community development, crisis intervention, and fostering a living environment that is supportive and productive to all groups and individuals in the residence halls. Staff members are expected to support the mission and goals of the Office of Residential Services in addition to creating a residential experience that is supportive of the residents’ educational goals. CAs serve in a rotating duty schedule and are on-call when the Office of Residential Services is closed. In addition to duty, each CA holds a weekly office hour. To contact the CA on duty, please contact CIC at 212-678-3333 or X3333.

If you are interested in becoming a CA the application process typically runs from December to February for the following academic year.

Throughout the year, the Office of Residential Services will send out important announcements and information to residents via email. Emails will be sent to your TC Gmail account (@tc.columbia.edu). Please check that account on a regular basis or auto-forward e-mails to an account that you do check regularly to ensure that you receive this information. Students are responsible for being aware of official messages sent to that account. Teachers College expects that ever y student will receive email at his or her College email address and will read email on a frequent and consistent basis. A student’s failure to receive and read College communications in a timely manner does not absolve that student from knowing and complying with the content of such communications.

The purpose of the Residential Services Judicial Process is to provide students with an opportunity to accept responsibility for their behavior and actions and to understand its impact on the residential community.

Each resident is responsible for reading their Housing Contract and Guide to Campus Living. This will ensure that they are fully aware of the expectations associated with residing in our residence halls, as well as the policies and guidelines established by the College and the Office of Residential Services. Residents are responsible for the actions of their affiliates and guests. When a resident or guest of a resident is suspected to be in violation of a policy, a staff member will document the situation via an Incident Report, which is submitted to the Associate Director of Community Development and the Resident Directors.

The Judicial Conference

Residents who have been involved in certain incidents in TC residence halls are required to meet privately with a Resident Director or the Associate Director of Community Development as the first step in the disciplinary process. The purpose of this meeting is to verify the details of the situation as articulated in an Incident Report, to explain the disciplinary process and procedures to the resident, and to discuss the resident’s conduct and its impact on both himself/herself and the residential community.  Sanctions, including fines, may be assessed.

The Appeals Process

Residents have the right to appeal a decision rendered in a judicial conference. All appeals must be in writing and submitted to the Associate Director of Community Development or Executive Director of Campus Services within 48 hours of the judicial conference. The Executive Director/Associate Director has five business days from the receipt of formal appeal to render a decision, which will be communicated to the student in a letter sent via TC email.

Removal from Teachers College Housing

Depending on the nature of an incident, the Executive Director of Campus Services may deem it necessary to take the appropriate action to remove resident(s) from College on-campus housing.

Violations which may cause removal from university housing may include but are not limited to:

  • Continued disruption of day to day activities of residents: Disturbances to normal sleep and study habits, or other disregard of residents’ rights
  • Behavior which presents a continuing health problem to the residential community
  • Criminal or civil offenses which may pose a threat to residents (i.e., drug or alcohol possession, theft, assault, vandalism)
  • Repeated or flagrant violation of published College rules and regulations as stated in the Guide to Campus Living, TC Student Handbook, and/or the resident’s Housing Contract

Living in New York City and in such close quarters, there will be occassions where residents may hear noise from their neighbors that may or may not occur during quiet hours.  If noise becomes an issue, we ecourage residents to reach out to their neighbors first to communicate the issue and work together to best resolve the noise concern.  If after discussing the noise issue with their neighbor, the noise concern is not resolved, residents are encouraged to reach out to their Community Assistant (CA) to assist in bringing residents together for a mediation to discuss the nosie concern.  Residents can also contact their CA to notify them about any concerns, for feedback, resources, and support.

If noise is occuring in the moment, residents also have the option to call Public Safety at 212-678-3333 to report the noise concern and Public Safety will address the concern with Residential Services staff in the moment.  Residential Services staff will then follow up with residents after the issue has been addressed.

The Community Development team consisting of the Associate Director for Community Development, Resident Directors, and Community Assistants help to organize and plan events for the TC residential community to help bring people together and build community.  The community development team members organize multiple programs a month that consist of large community wide events and small intimate floor/building based events.  Residential Services events focus on personal wellness, cultural enrichment & social justice issues, academic & professional support, community engagement, and social networking. 

Previous events have included:

  • Pantry BINGO
  • Subway Safety
  • Kids' Lemonade Stand
  • Breast Cancer Walk
  • AIDS Walk
  • Open Mic Night
  • Resume Writing Review
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical & Spoken Word Competition
  • Bystander Intervention Training
  • Super Bowl Watch Party
  • Karaoke Night

Along with events sponsored by the Residential Services, Community Development team, residents are also able to reach out to residential services staff regarding programming events they are interested in putting together for the residential services community.  Residents interested in organizing an event may reach out to Resident Director, Jenn Cultrara at jc4679@tc.columbia.edu

Get to know your Neighbors/Suitemates:  Introduce yourself to your neighbors/suitemates when you move-in.  This is a great time to let them know the best way to reach you if there is an issue or if they need to borrow an egg.  This will help in the future if they ever need to get ahold of you.

Know Community Expectations:  Become familiar with the Housing Contract and The Guide to Campus Living as these are the rules, policies, and procedures for all TC residential students.

Clean Up After Yourself:  Whether in a shared unit or using a shared public space, please make sure to clean up after yourself and/or guests, so that shared spaces are usable for all residents.

Be A Responsible Pet/Animal Owner:  If you live in a pet-friendly building or have an emotional support animal, please always clean up after animals promptly and dispose of waste properly.  Plan ahead for breaks and make sure you are making arrangements for your animal based on TC rules and regulations.

Report Any Items of Concern:  If you come across a community concern, whether it's facilities, safety, or community living related, please feel free to contact the Office of Residential Services at 212-678-3235 or via email at housing@tc.columbia.edu.  If you have an immediate emergency, please contact Public Safety at 212-678-3333.

 

 

Residents who have cars may park in a garage or on the street. When deciding about keeping a car in the city, residents should keep in mind that street parking is limited, particularly during street cleaning, and garage space can be extremely expensive. Teachers College/Columbia does not have designated parking areas. The nearest public parking garage is on 122nd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

 

In New York City, bicycles can often be difficult to store, dangerous to ride in traffic, and vulnerable to theft. If a resident chooses to keep a bicycle on campus he or she must store the bicycle in his/her room/apartment or in a designated bike storage area. Bike racks are located behind Whittier Hall and Grant Hall, as well as in the Bancroft basement. Bicycles may not be left in any residential common space including hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, kitchens, lounges, roofs, suites, and balconies or placed in front of or near access ramps and railings used by students with disabilities.

 

Amenities

To help create a living environment where resident needs are met, the Office of Residential Services provides various amenities to help support residents find comfort and convenience as they pursue their academic goals.

 

Residence hall rooms/apartments either contain a kitchen or have access to a shared kitchen. Students also have two options on site, operated by CulinArt Dining Services.

Everett Library Café

Located near the library in the Zankel building, first floor

Serving pre-made sandwiches & salads, pastries and hot & cold beverages

Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Saturday & Sunday Closed

Grace Dodge Cafeteria

Located in the ground level of Grace Dodge

Serving breakfast, lunch & dinner in a food court setting of signature food programs such as Spinning Salads, City Charbroiler, NY Deli, Chef ’s Choice & Pizza Villagio

Avenue C Micro Market

Set in the heart of Whittier Hall, the Avenue C Micro Market brings a new dynamic to the food service options provided by CulinArt Group at Teachers College. 

The Avenue C Market provides pure convenience on the run, and gives the flexibiity of round the clock access to fresh foods, snacks, hot and cold beverages, sundries, and other essentials.  A wide variety of vegan, gluten-free, kosher, organic and all-natural snack and meal options are always available.

The first of its kind market at Teachers College, the Avenue C Micro Market offers flexible 24/7 access with fast and simple self checkout as well as secure video monitoring. All major credit cards and mobile payment platforms are accepted. 

 

Check out the Dining Services Website HERE

An ice machine is located in the North Tower of New Residence Hall near room 105.

There are two fitness rooms available to residents 24/7 located in the basement of Bancroft Hall and in the Whittier Lobby area (behind the security desk).  Residents will need their ID cards to access the fitness rooms.  Residents must be 16 years old or older to enter and utilize the fitness room.

Washing machines and dryers are located in the basements of 517 West 121st’s North building, Grant, Sarasota, Bancroft and Whittier Halls. The machines will accept quarters or residents may use a credit card or debit card for the machines.

Please be courteous to other residents by immediately removing clothing from the washers and dryers. Also, please leave all TC-owned laundry carts/bags in the laundry room. They are for use in the laundry room only and should not be used for transport of laundry to a room/apartment.

Problems with these machines as well as any issue regarding the loss of funds and/ or refunds should be reported to CSC Service Works at 1-800-762-3452 or the CSC ServiceWorks App.

LaundryView is an Internet application that will allow you to monitor the status of washers and dryers in your laundry room through a Web browser. Your browser display is refreshed once a minute or whenever you click the Refresh icon. A machine is “Available” if it is not currently running a cycle. “In Use” means it is running. “Unavailable” means that LaundryView has detected a problem with the machine and has notified CSC Service Works that service is required. Notifications work two ways:

If a laundry room is busy, you can request to be notified when a specified number of washers and/or dryers are no longer running a laundry cycle and / or if you have laundry in a washer or dryer, you can request to be notified when your load of laundry has completed its washing or drying cycle. To use the Laundry View service, please visit the following website: http://www.laundryview.com/tccu.

Mailing Address

Mail and packages must be addressed properly to avoid delays.  Mailing addresses for mail and all packages are as follows:

New Residence Hall:

517 West 121st Street
Apt #
New York, NY 10027

Bancroft Hall:

509 West 121st Street
Apt. #
New York, NY 10027

Grant Hall:

514 West 122nd Street
Apt. #
New York, NY 10027

 

Sarasota Hall:

512 West 122nd Street
Apt #
New York, NY 10027

 

Whittier Hall:

1230 Amsterdam Ave.
Apt. #
New York, NY 10027

Mailboxes & Miss-Delivered Mail

Mailboxes are located on the first floor of each residential building. Any mail delivered to the wrong mailbox in Whittier and New Residence Hall should be returned to the Residential Mailroom in Whittier Hall for redistribution.  Any mail delivered to the wrong mailbox in Grant, Sarasota, and Bancroft must be returned to the United States Postal Service as they handle all mail delivered to the mailboxes in Grant, Sarasota, and Bancroft.

Packages

  • Residents should have packages addressed to the mailing addresses outlined above for their specific building
  • ALL packages are received at the Residential Mailroom on the first floor of Whittier Hall
  • A package notification e-mail informing the resident of the delivery of a package is sent to the resident’s TC Gmail account
  • Due to the limited space available in the mailroom for storage, residents will have six (6) business days to pick up packages and will receive a reminder notice until their package is picked up 
  • Any packages not picked up by six (6) business days will automatically be returned to sender
  • Residents must bring a picture ID to pick up their package at the Whittier mailroom
  • The hours of operation for the mailroom are noted on the mailroom door and in the package notification email

While the Residential Mailroom does its best to expedite delivery of mail and processing of packages, the College is not responsible for delays in package notifications or mail delivery.

Mail Forwarding

Grant/Sarasota & Bancroft Residents

Step 1:   Change your address with all banks, business, amazon, magazine subscriptions, etc, before moving out

Step 2:   Because your mail is delivered directly to your building by the United States Postal Service, you must obtain a mail forwarding form from the US Post Office or you may submit one online utilizing the following website: www.usps.gov.

Whittier/New Residence Hall: 

Step 1:   Change your address with all banks, business, amazon, magazine subscriptions, etc, before moving out

Step 2:  You are able to add a mail forwarding address with Residential Services until you check out. You can edit your mail forwarding address (including the start date for forwarding) up until the forwarding begins

1) Visit the TC Housing Portaland login with your UNI

2) Click on the menu on the top left, and click on your name

3) If you are able to add or edit your mail forwarding address, you will see a Mail Forwarding section. Click the link in that section.

4) On the address page, make any edits and hit save. 

* Mail will be forwarded for all USPS mail and packages to US addresses for 1 month after resident departure* 

Common spaces are available to residents and their guests twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; however, there are several spaces that may be reserved by Teachers College residents and affiliates for private meetings, study groups, social gatherings, etc.

Room Location
Television Lounge  First Floor, 517 West 121st Street
Whittier Conference Room Ground Floor, Whittier Hall
Whittier Television Lounge 10th Floor, Whittier Hall

Instructions:

  • Room reservation requests must be submitted at least two business days prior to an event. Residents may obtain a form on the Office of Residential Services website.
  • Space is available for occupants of Teachers College student housing and their guests ONLY.
  • Time frame: Sunday through Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
  • The resident or affiliate requesting use of a particular space must remain onsite for the duration of the event.
  • Residents are not permitted to play musical instruments in any common area space.
  • Community Assistants and Public Safety will shut down an event if it becomes unruly or out of hand. This includes complaints related to noise.
  • Common areas should be kept clean and left in their original condition prior to the start of the event. At no time should furniture be added or removed for use elsewhere.
  • Individuals under the age of 18 may not be unaccompanied in any common space in New Residence Hall or Whittier Hall.

The Office of Residential Services reserves the right to cancel a reservation or terminate an event.

Cable Television Service

Residents are provided cable television service through Teachers College. There is no additional charge for the standard package as it is built in to the housing charge. In order to take advantage of services, residents must have a cable-ready television. The cable channel line-up is subject to change and can be found at: Cable TV Channel Line-Up.

Please direct any inquiries to Telecommunications at x3456. For service concerns or cable plan options, please contact Privatel at service@privatelinc.com.

 

Internet is provided in the residence halls by Privatel. This includes wired Ethernet and Wi-Fi access. To login to the network you will be provided a network password as well as a personal login upon move-in. If you are having difficulty connecting to the network please contact Privatel at service@privatelinc.com or (732) 974-1502.

 

Telephone

Residents use the Teachers College telephone system; a phone is provided in each room/apartment. This system includes free calls to Public Safety and the front desk. Phones supplied are not able to receive incoming calls or make outgoing calls to or from numbers outside TC.  If you have any issues regarding your phone, please contact Residential Services, Technology Manager, Ramon Martinez at rfm2113@tc.columbia.edu