OPINION | Love letter to Greenbaum

Carly Barovick, Contributing Columnist

Rahima Olatinwo

Defeatedly coming to terms with our sophomore housing selection fate — Greenbaum — my suitemates and I joined the dormitory’s GroupMe for the upcoming year, the logo of which was a broken heart. 

Eventually, we put our melodramatics behind us, eager to return to campus regardless of our living situation. However, as former residents of Sharp and Monroe Halls, we were pleasantly surprised on move-in day by the dorm’s cleanliness and up-to-date interior.

Barbara Greenbaum Residence Hall made its debut in 2014 and is currently the newest dorm on Tulane University’s campus. The dormitory was financed by Jerry Greenbaum, ‘62, who named the residence hall after his college sweetheart, Barbara Greenbaum, ‘63. 

The 256-bed dormitory primarily consists of four-person, temperature-controlled suites — two doubles adjoined by a bathroom — and contains common areas, study rooms and kitchens on each floor. 

Greenbaum also houses a faculty-in-residence who lives in the residence hall with their family. The FIR is currently Courtney Baker, a Tulane professor of psychology and a clinical psychologist who hosts “Get Energized Greenbaum” every Wednesday in which residents can pick up free coffee and cookies in addition to seeking academic or interpersonal guidance. 

The balconies — called “breezeways” by Greenbaum residents — boast a picturesque view of Newcomb Quad and Rogers Memorial Chapel and are furnished with tables and chairs for studying, sunning and watching sunsets. 

Greenbaum is conveniently located directly across from The Boot Bar and Grill, The Boot Store, Crêpes à la Carte and The Mushroom. Situated on Broadway Street, Greenbaum is a short distance from fraternity and sorority houses, as well as Rimon. 

Even though Greenbaum boasts obvious amenities, when sophomore housing selection rolls around, it is often the least desired dorm. 

In a survey conducted on current Greenbaum residents, 100% of students said Greenbaum was not their first choice of housing, and 94% said that they were initially unhappy that they got Greenbaum. 

Some of the main reasons Greenbaum is often dubbed undesirable is because it is not near other sophomore dorms.

In terms of its distance from the other sophomore dorms, it is a mere five-minute walk. In fact, most sophomores make it everyday whether it is to go to a class in Newcomb Hall, The Boot Store or pass by Greenbaum on their way to a fraternity or sorority house. 

Phelps resident Bryan Montenegro said, “I love the people in my suite but living with 8 other people on 8 different schedules makes it impossible to get work done in the room. We also get roaches sometimes which is gross. Would also be nice to not have to wear shower shoes.” 

Similarly, Phelps resident Patrick Callahan said, “I think we all wanted to live in Phelps because it is a really social dorm, but I have to leave the suite if I actually need to get work done and because the dorm is super old we have to service-wave something every week. Right now we have no bathroom door.”  

Although the majority of Greenbaum residents were unhappy with their housing at first, 88% of those surveyed say they are happy to be living in Greenbaum now. 

When asked what she liked about living in Greenbaum, resident Madison Church said, “I like the design and it’s proximity to things like the boot and frats. I also really like the balconies and that it’s relatively clean.” 

Another resident — Morgan Norquist — said the “high ceilings, air conditioning, big bathrooms, [and] big windows” are what she likes most about Greenbaum. Others praised the dorm’s “quiet and clean” nature, “study spaces” and lack of distractions. 

Greenbaum was not my first choice, but I am grateful that it is where I ended up. I appreciate the social environments of dorms like Phelps and Irby and enjoy visiting my friends who live there, but it is nice to come back to an environment that is conducive to quality academic performance. Tulane’s party culture is prevalent regardless of what dorm you are in; Greenbaum has helped me find balance.