Ferris Booth Commons
Ferris Booth Commons is a dining location on the third floor of Lerner Hall. Its name is a nod to Lerner Hall's predecessor, Ferris Booth Hall. Ferris Booth Commons is more commonly known as just "Ferris" and is generally the go-to campus eatery when you get sick of John Jay.
In spring of 2010, it was announced that Ferris would become a second dining hall as part of the changes to the dining plan that are scheduled to take effect in fall 2010. Students will be able to swipe into Ferris just like they do into John Jay and eat all the pasta they desire. However, the a-la-carte options such as sushi and bottled beverages have been moved downstairs to Cafe 212.
The dining hall has a buffet station serving breakfast and dinner, an avocado toast bar, a salad bar, a waffle maker, a pasta station, cold sandwiches, and a stir fry area. Popular dishes include buffalo burritos, three-bean burritos, and...firecracker burritos. The pizza is inedible, and is known to be a vehicle for whatever is left in the Ferris pantry, such as chickpeas, olives and onions, parsley, and macaroni. However, the staff at the dessert bar are willing to give you an entire cheesecake if you claim it's your birthday.
Ferris became the center of a nationwide scandal in spring 2013 when a CCSC member issued a statement to the Class of 2016 Facebook group claiming that dining was set to spend a quarter of a million dollars a year on its most recently introduced item, Nutella. Allegations of students stealing jars and cups filled with Nutella led to a good deal of press coverage from Gawker, CNN, the New Yorker, and even the New York Times portraying Columbia students as privileged kids dining on lobster tails, or even worse - Nutella addicts. The hype died down when Dining released a surprisingly and, some might say, inappropriately humorous statement saying the the original figure was unfounded, and Nutella would remain a menu item.
Ferris also has an infamous spiral staircase separating the upper floor from the much more crowded main floor. Only one person can pass at a time, leading to awkward confrontations between two people holding plates meeting at the middle. The stairs themselves are also cracked, with much of the rubber peeling.Though there have been movements to remove the treacherous staircase, specifically on WTF Columbia, people have said that this cannot be done due to the fact that the staircase is an integral structure to Lerner Hall. One estimate put the cost of repairing the staircase at $500,000. That's two years worth of Nutella! The final solution has been to rope the stairs off, leaving them as a permanent and ugly sculpture.
Beware of the eggs!
Many freshmen enter Columbia believing eggs are generally a safe bet. Not so at Columbia! The atrocities witnessed against the good product of roost in the hallowed halls of Lerner have traumatized generations of innocents.
- Hard-Boiled-Eggs The implausibility that something as basic as hard-boiled eggs can be ruined still rattles the foundations of seniors. Yet, Sysco manages it. So as to avoid any infractions from the health department, the eggs are kept at below freezing temperatures. Moreover, the inferior raw material makes for a thin white.
- Scrambled-Eggs Despite the fact that every crummy motel with "Continental Breakfast" satisfactorily sets out a tray of edible scrambled eggs, the art eludes Columbia dining. Without fail, each morning an aluminum bin filled with goopy uncooked yet overcooked eggs that reek of petrol is set out. The CUMB is known to run Twitter statuses assessing the "Ferris Booth Scrambled Egg Threat Level."
- Fried-Eggs and Omelets The ultimate philosophical question of freshman year is "what is an omelet?" Every dining hall offers its own iteration the eggy dish, and each is extremely distinct. To the guardian of the John Jay grill, an omelet is an egg pocket. To the good chefs of Ferris, an omelet is anything discus-shaped and burnt. None of this is helped by the fact that some athletes have been known to ask for six-eggs omelets.
In conclusion, beware of the eggs.