Columbia donates used residence hall furniture to charities
After renovating one of its residence halls, Columbia University in New York City is donating some of the furniture it has replaced to a local hospital system.
The university says 134 pieces of furniture—couches, chairs and tables—from Broadway Hall, are being donated from Broadway Hall to NYC Health + Hospitals.
The furniture will be used at the hospital system’s shelter locations and medical centers that support vulnerable populations in need, including domestic abuse victims and asylum seekers.
Columbia Housing also donated a total of 1,944 student bedroom furniture pieces and 185 lounge furniture pieces from Broadway Hall to New York City charities to be used for migrant housing.
The donations are a part of Columbia’s efforts to greatly reduce the number of items directed to landfills and find homes for gently used items.
The upgrades at Broadway Hall included new furniture for student lounges plus smart televisions that can be operated by a mobile app. Student room received new furniture, and a wireless key entry system was installed.
California district embraces flexible furniture
The Manteca (California) Unified District has outfitted all its elementary schools with flexible furniture.
The furniture has more inclusive designs for all students, the district says, and many pieces incorporate cutting-edge innovations such as whiteboard desks, collaborative seating, and ergonomic chairs.
The district says that each grade level has been provided with furniture specifically designed for their needs. Younger children have a developmental need for body movement, so early learning classrooms have flexible seating so students can shift positions while continuing to learn. For older students, shared learning spaces will foster a sense of community and civic engagement as they work in teams and learn to solve problems.
“Flexible furniture can be moved and changed easily,” the district says on its website, “so teachers can arrange their rooms and seats in different ways. This helps students work together and learn from each other during class. Students who collaborate with their peers can understand lessons better and think more creatively.”
Many classes allow students to choose where they want to sit each day, the district says. When deciding where to sit, students are encouraged to ask themselves: “Was the seat I chose today a good learning spot for me? Could I hear or see my teacher and complete my work? Is there something I didn't like about where I sat today? Which seat would be best for my learning tomorrow?”
10-year project is replacing furniture at Princeton University residence halls
Princeton University is in the midst of a 10-year project to update and replace furniture in its residence halls.
The Daily Princetonian reports that last summer, over 1,000 furniture sets and in-suite living room furniture were installed in Rockefeller and Mathey colleges. University spokesperson Ahmad Rizvi says the project is expected to take 10 years, because residence halls must be taken offline for the whole summer, and manufacturers must fabricate and deliver the various furniture pieces.
According to Rizvi, the available space in each dorm room is assessed by an interior design firm, who then produce furniture layouts for the room. The interior design firm is just one of the many groups who are contributing to furniture replacement across campus.
According to Rizvi, the new furniture includes bedroom sets consisting of a desk, desk chair, pedestal, bed, underbed storage drawer, bookcase, and the wardrobe, and “soft seating” — ottomans and armchairs.
A typical quad must contain four beds, four desks, and four desk chairs. Many have other additional items of furniture such as wardrobes, underbed storage drawers, and bookcases.
Because of the diversity of room sizes and types within the undergraduate housing inventory, there may be variations in the quantity of furniture that each room receives, Rizvi said. One quad may receive one armchair and one ottoman; a bigger quad may receive two of each.
Whitman and Forbes Colleges will be the next to receive the new furniture—Forbes in summer 2024 and Whitman in 2025.