There are lots of student groups to choose from at Ball State from our service groups like Oxfam America; to academic and professional clubs; to sororities and fraternities; to sports and recreation groups like our Judo Club, Quidditch League, or Power Soccer Club; to just for fun groups, like our improvisational comedy group, Abso, Swing Dancing Society, or Urban Gaming League. And the best thing is, if you don't see a group you like, you can just start your own--all you need in a faculty sponsor, an intent to organize form, and a constitution. I'm involved with Rotaract (service organization that works with community projects like the Second Harvest Food Bank and Muncie Mission), Inklings (a book club and writers' forum), and the Odyssey Editorial Board (the Honors College creative journal). Aside from the people you'll meet in your dorms and classes, joining student organizations is also a great way to make friends when you're starting out on campus; some of my best friends I met at student activities. There are plenty of events to attend on campus as well; football games have risen in attendance since the hiring of our new coach has vastly improved our win to loss ration; student theater productions are excellent and usually well attended; notable guest speakers like David Letterman (a Ball State alum), Biz Stone (of Twitter fame) and Angela (Burberry CEO and Ball State alumna); and traveling acts like Avenue Q, the Russian Ballet, and Spamalot. Outside of school-sponsored events, the Village, an area just outside of campus just for students, offers plenty of shows from local bands at Village Green Records, among others. Like any campus, partying does happen, but if that's not for you, it's also not the only thing happening on campus; for example, last weekend I tried out climbing the rock wall, went shopping at the mall, caught a jazz concert on campus with some friends, ate at the local Thai food place, and went into town to see a movie. Muncie isn't a huge city, but there's plenty to do if you're willing to be creative.
If you're wanting to get into greek life you are definitely able to do it here. While frats and sororities are not as large as some other universities, students still have the opportunity to be involved in one of these organizations and even live in a house with their brothers (not sisters, it's considered a brothel in Delaware Co.) . However, if you're like me, and can't live with more than 2 people in a small area, there are plenty of other activities and groups you can get into. When I lived in the dorms, there were gobs of organized events, more than I would have even cared to go to. The RA's here are really pushed to get their residents involved in something, anything, even if it's a pointless midnight breakfast during finals. If you decide to venture outside your dorm (which I suggest, they can get a little depressing) you have the constant option of going to university and professionally sponsored concerts, plays, and festivals. If you're more into low key events you can always hang out in 'the village', grab a hotdog from the famous Carter's hotdog stand, go see a comedy show at Be Here Now, or grab a coffee outside at the MT Cup. If you're broke, like a majority of us are, you can undoubtedly find a themed party or gathering at a students house, as we Cardinals are very resourceful! There could always be a slow or boring night here in Muncie, especially during the depressing winter, but the students here are very resourceful with their fun times!
Ball State has groups and activities that expand each year. Greek life is a major contributer to activities around campus that involve not only fraternities and sororities but also other students. For example, my sorority alongside another fraternity hosts the annual Watermelon Bust where anyone can form a team to participate in the fun obstacles and activities that raise money for A Better Way and Red Cross. Our school also draws in various speakers and musicians. I have personally seen Bill Cosby, David Letterman and had the privilege of meeting Luke Bryan's band and receiving free tickets to his concert from them. You never know what will happen when you are on campus! There are many other popular groups around campus that focus on ethnicity, talent and interests where anyone can find a group they want to join. For freshman, the first year can be intimidating but when everyone leaves their door open the dorm becomes family. I met a couple of girls my freshman year on my floor and it is now my junior year and I am living with them in a house of campus. It is encouraged to stay at school on the weekends to gain independence and meet more students you normally wouldn't during the week. It's a college town so there are always a party to go to. However, if you are underage you can attend Late Nite held in the gym every Saturday evening that has fun activities and live music.
As I mentioned before, there are hundreds of student organizations on campus, and if you don't find one you like, you can create one yourself. The most popular organizations tend to be the intramural sports, greek, and religious organizations. The most popular student group and activity on campus is the Ball State Dance Marathon. Each year, students raise money for Riley's Children's Hospital by soliciting pledges and creating teams for a 24 hour dance marathon. Last year, BSDM made headlines for providing one of the hospitals largest donations of the year. Another popular activity is Friday Night Filmworks, where students can view movies that are no longer in theaters but have not been released on DVD on the big screen in Pruis. Every Saturday nights students get free entertainment, food, and prizes at Late Night, and in April of every year, Late Night brings a carnival to campus for students to enjoy for free. Emens also provides many top notch plays, concerts, and speakers at discounted or free prices for students. Once a year, David Letterman, an alumnus and benefactor for the university, visits campus and brings a well-known guest with him to discuss communication-related topics. Last year, he brought Oprah Winfrey to campus. This only scratches the surface. If you would like to know more, please ask.
The most popular clubs include the University Program Board, which organizes and works many of the activities and parties on campus. Their biggest claim to fame is "Late Nite," a party on campus every Saturday night with a different theme each time. The student governmental organizations like Student Government Association and the Residence Hall Association both have well over a hundred members and do their best to make the campus as best of a place to live and learn as possible. The campus does have Greek Life, with many different fraternities and sororities to choose from. They are all greatly involved in campus activities as well as philanthropic work. Some of the Greek activities include participation in Air Jam, an air guitar competition where Greek houses and other organizations dance in front of a sold out crowd of thousands, and even a cornhole competition. They also have plenty of parties for the people that are into that scene but the university also offers plenty of things to do that do not include alcohol, which was a big bonus for me. The university also has many honoraries to join for any exceptionally motivated students. For example, I'm Vice-President of Alpha Mu Gamma, the national foreign language honorary.
There are several active organizations on campus. Personally, I am involved in Greek Life and it has been an amazing experience. When I lived in the dorms, I had a wonderful experience meeting so many new people and interacting with them. The people on my floor left their doors open so it was easier to get to know everyone. It depends on the people who live on your floor if they will leave their doors open or not; each year is always different. Athletics is a big part of Ball State and there are usually a lot of students who attend games and events. There are always speakers on campus, sometimes well-known speakers. There are also several performances put on by the university. They are always fun and interesting to attend! Every Saturday night is an event called "Late Night" where students go to have fun without alcohol. There are so many activities to choose from; you'll never get bored.
There are so many clubs on campus that it's hard to point out the most popular. CRU (a religious group), various Greek organizations, volunteer activities, the University Program Board, the Urban Gaming League, and International Conversation Hour are the ones I hear about the most. I myself am involved in a culture club (Club Japan), and the Honors College culture. Depending on where you live or who lives around you, your residence hall can become a kind of club, and the halls throw events all of the time. There are parties a lot of the time; alternatively, every Saturday night until 1am an event called Late Nite, run by students, and free new movies on Friday nights. Many speakers, including David Letterman, are present every year, alongside plays, classical and popular concerts, national comedy and dance acts, and performances by Ball State students and professors.
Two groups that I hear a lot about are the LGTB and International groups. I am personally involved in Hall Council, and I love it. We organize hall events and have guest speakers. The people leave their doors open. My first week, the girls across from me brought food and we sat and chatted. People can be really friendly.
There are many fraternities and sororities to join on campus. As well as other groups and organizations. They range from small groups of 10 or 15 people to a couple hundred people. And they are as diverse as student government to a Quiditch team.
In the dorms most people did not leave their dorms open. The only time I can remember that happening was during welcome week. Personally, I wouldnt want just anyone walking into my room and seeing what I have.