Union Theological Seminary Campus

Housing FAQ

Housing FAQ

We have room plans for many rooms, though, like snowflakes, no two rooms are exactly alike. We have general room plans with dimensions and square footage on the floorplan website; however, this is just to give you a general idea of the average size of the rooms/apartments.

When you receive your housing assignment from the housing office, you will notice that one of the forms to be returned has an area to choose what Seminary-provided furniture you will need in your room. If you have got everything already, housing will leave your room unfurnished. If you decide after arriving that you would prefer your own bed, desk, etc, you can just contact facilities, and they will remove the Seminary furniture for you.

Hastings Hall has central air conditioning. McGiffert Hall apartments require window units for A/C. Window A/C units are not allowed in McGiffert dorm rooms, due to possible electrical shortages. Some McGiffert apartments already have A/C units; others may not, and you will need to purchase one upon arrival. Both Hastings and McGiffert are heated.

Housing is not guaranteed, but the Seminary makes every effort to accommodate students. It is important to submit a housing application and appropriate materials as soon as possible. 

Pets are not permitted in the dormitory rooms of Hastings Hall, or the 1st floor south and 2nd floor dormitory rooms of McGiffert Hall. Pets are also not permitted in public areas, in the Seminary quadrangle, or on the McGiffert roof.

Pets are permitted in certain apartments in McGiffert Hall, provided they do not create problems for other residents and the owners assume responsibility for cleaning up any accidents that may occur in the public areas of a Seminary building or grounds and for the safety of other residents.

Please see the housing booklet for more information about keeping pets on campus.

Yes, both McGiffert and Hastings are equipped with elevators. Large bins and dollies will be provided for move-in.

Union offers a meal plan with our on-campus catering company. A student receives a meal card which is included in the bill for the amount of $150. To opt out of the meal plan, please fill out the meal card form found in housing forms section. On your first purchase at our lunch or pit services, you can pick up the meal card. In the Pit, a light breakfast (coffee, bagels, fruit, sandwiches) is offered from Monday through Thursday and lunch is provided in the Refectory from 12 PM to 2 PM from Monday through Thursday. Once a week is community lunch day, in which students receive free salad and soup. 

Union is located near a number of banking facilities. Citibank is the official banking provider of Columbia, and there are ATMs near Union on the Columbia and Barnard campuses. There are also branches of Citibank, Chase, Banco Popular, and others nearby. The ATM at Barnard & Columbia does not charge a fee for cash withdrawals from non-Citibank accounts (though your own bank may charge for using an ATM outside their system). A Chase ATM is located at The Interchurch Center (also known as The God Box) on Claremont Avenue, which is around the corner from Union. The Center’s exact address is 475 Riverside Drive. Chase ATMs are also located in Duane Reade stores throughout the city. Many of these banks also offer special deals for students. Visit them to find out what they offer.

There is a 24-hour computer lab with a printer on campus available for student use. Union also has free wireless Internet access available in most of McGiffert and Hastings Halls, in the Pit, classrooms, and other parts of campus. Some students opt to arrange for DSL connections for their rooms.

Students can sign up for a gym membership at Dodge Fitness Center at Columbia University. More information can be found on their website http://www.dodgefitnesscenter.com/. Any student (and enrolled spouses) can get some or all of their Dodge Gym fees reimbursed up to $200 every six months for the student and up to an additional $100 every six months for the spouse if you work out fifty  times in a six month period. Fore more information see the Aetna Insurance Certificate of Coverage under the section, Gym Benefits or email student health: studentinsurance@columbia.edu. Also, other gyms are found in the neighborhood, such as blink, New York Sports club.

Union students are eligible to participate in the health insurance program offered through Columbia University. All full-time students and those living in Union housing must pay the health services fee, which provides access to primary care, laboratory, and psychological counseling at Columbia Health Services, located on the Columbia campus. Full-time students are also required to choose one of two health insurance plans offered through Columbia, Basic or Comprehensive, or provide evidence of equivalent coverage. To read more about health insurance coverage, please visit “Student Health” section.

Street parking in New York is limited. For those living in Union housing full time, having a car is not recommended. Some students arrange to leave their cars with family or friends who live outside New York. If you do decide to park your car in the vicinity of the campus, you may find it useful to check the NYC Alternate Side Parking Rules. Also, to avoid unnecessary parking tickets, you may subscribe to receive morning email updates on whether New York City's daily alternate side street parking is in effect. There is metered parking on Broadway or one of the side streets nearby, but those spots tend to fill up as soon as the street sweeper goes by in the morning. To learn more about parking, please visit “Map & Directions” section.

Nearby parks include Riverside Park, Morningside Park, and Central Park. All information pertaining to pets and parks can be found on the New York City Parks website.

Here are some of the things we enjoy in New York or may help make your move easier...

Target – It is right off of the 225th St. Stop on the Bronx Bound 1 train.

Bed, Bath, and Beyond – Locations throughout the city, including Broadway and 65th St. and on Sixth Ave. between 18th and 19th Streets. Both of these are close to the 1 train.

Ikea – While this Ikea is in New Jersey, there is a weekend shuttle that will take you round trip from the Port Authority (take the 1 train to 42nd Street/Times Square). Lines to board the bus might be long, but they go quick!

Jack's World – A store for the thrifty shopper, you will find groceries, housewares, cosmetics, electronics, appliances and most things in between. Take the 1 train to 34th Street/Penn Station; entrances are located on both 31st and 32nd street.

Kmart – There is an entrance from both 34th Street and inside Penn Station and other locations throughout the city.

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