The most prevalent student groups on campus are AS (Associated Students, or our student government system) and SOS (Student Orientation Services, which are the people who help Freshman and transfer students feel welcomed the first few weeks of school and aid with any needs that they might have during the year). AS puts on many events for the student body each year, such as the following: Nationball- campus wide dodgeball tournament with each residence hall competing against each other; Midnight Madness- campus wide pep rally to welcome in the basketball season; and Punkin' Pie- talent show and free pumpkin pie before Thanksgiving break. The dorms are a pivotal place to make friends. In Horton Hall (my residence hall this year), I have made most of my friends through the girls on my floor or people living in the dorm. I also have made close friends within my classes. We are a dry campus, and that includes dancing as well. Some partying does go on off-campus, but it is rare and a minuscule percentage of Biola students attend these. As part of our contract each student is required to sign at the beginning of the year, they promise to not drink, use drugs, and abstain from premarital sexual behavior while on contract. This contract is encouraged to be extended to when students are off contract during Christmas and summer breaks as well. For entertainment, students usually go into downtown Los Angeles and enjoy the many opportunities for excitement there. Also, a popular place for Biola students is Disneyland, where many students buy season passes and go often.
There are many activist groups on campus. This includes a Muslim ministry, Mormon ministry, Social justice ministry, Prison ministry, and Human Trafficking ministry. There are also many clubs at Biola like the Fencing club, Adventure club, Dance club, and Poetry club. I was involved with Muslim ministries and we visited mosques, learned about Islam, and made Muslim friends. Students leave their doors open and unlocked most of the time in all of the dorms. Athletic events are highly advertised and pretty popular. Chapels are always full and we have had speakers from Harvard, Yale, Wheaton, and different missionaries. Biola is called the Bridal Institute of Los Angeles because most students end up meeting their future spouse in their four years here. I met my closest friends on my dorm floor and in my journalism classes If I am awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I'm probably in the dorm lobby hanging out with my friends and doing homework. People here rarely party--it's against contract. We don't have fraternities or sororities, however, each dorm has such a close community and has their own traditions that they are almost better than sororities and fraternities...and they are co ed. Last weekend, I hung out with some friends from LMU and showed them around Biola. On Saturday nights, we go swing dancing (yes, it's allowed), ice skating, the movies, the beach, City Walk, Downtown Disney or Disney land. Off campus, I mostly shop and eat, but other students live and work off campus.
I mentioned earlier that the student ratio of lovely and single 18 to 22 year-old girls to suave debonair gentleman is about 4-1. This means that if all the guys had girlfriends, 75 percent of all the women on campus would be out of luck. This creates a very competitive atmosphere for the dating arena because men are a rarity and are fought over like meat thrown to lions. One day walking through campus, I heard a father telling his prospective Biola student son, “You should really come to school here son, even you could find a wife here.” There is a phrase, more of a challenge really, among girls at Biola. You see, all the men and women at Biola are fairly marriageable. Similar beliefs, money to be able to attend the university, they are in college so most likely heading to a good career, so the girls have a maxim, “Ring by Spring.” There have been attempts to trivialize it, pass it off as a joke, but everyone knows that it is truly their goal. So when a girl says, “Would you like to get coffee at Common Grounds?” (the undersized campus coffee shop) what she’s really saying guys is, “Hey Sexy, I want to marry you, so here is a free chance to check me out and see how cute and funny I am, because I’m totally trying to one up all the other girls on campus and put a ring on this finger” (*holds up left hand, points to ring finger and tilts head to the side, raising her eyebrows and pursing her lips expectantly). But, of course, that’s just my interpretation.
Student ministries and clubs are some of the most popular activities on campus. There are ministries which consist of a group of students going and building a house in Mexico every couple of weeks to a group going to the local high school to tell the students about Jesus, and the list can go on. The clubs are also very popular. We have clubs ranging from film production to a club designated for people who simply enjoy and like to eat cheese, interesting I know! Biola Men's basketball is the most popular sport on campus. Everyone enjoys the home games. The gym is always decked out in red and white (the Biola colors) and you can here people cheering all throughout campus. A few other fun activities are "Mock Rock," "Midnight Madness," and the dorm competitions of dodgeball. "Mock Rock" is a crazy, big lip syncing event where groups of students choreograph short productions to several different songs and compete against each other. "Midnight Madness" is an event where we kick off our basketball season with a rally at midnight in the gym. It's full of dancing, basketball, music, and even free iPads! Everyone can't wait for the craziest dodgeball games of the year. All of the dorms on Biola's campus get together and play dodgeball against each other in the gym. Everyone has on their dorm color and it is just a blast. There are so many fun things to do on Biola's campus and there is always another event to attend, film to watch, or an activity to be a part of.
AS(associated students) is a popular group on campus. They are also putting on cool events for students at a reasonable price. A group I was involved with on campus was called XOPOC. It was a dance crew and we would perform for midnight madness (an event that is primarily a celebration for our basketball season), Mission’s conference, punk n’pie (a talent competition) and Mock Rock. Mock Rock is HUGE at our school! Groups of students form teams and create dances to different songs and lip-sing all while keeping to their theme that they chose. The whole gym is packed and the first place winner gets a money prize. I met my closet friends on my hall. Depending on the floor you live on each semester, you can either get a really involved floor with sweet girls or a more clicky bunch. In the hall I am in now, girls usually keep their doors closed. Last weekend, we had an event with our door in to celebrate the holiday season. We all met in the hall and there was a cookie decorating station, a Santa picture station and hot chocolate and cookies. A beloved professor came and told us all a Christmas story and students took pictures and socialized. Students on a Saturday night will either go to the theater or dollar theater, get fro-yo, go to Chick fil-a, In and Out, go to Disneyland just to name a few. Students are never bored here.
Students find something to do everywhere. I would say the most common is a random trip to Disneyland because of it's close proximity. We also go to In n' Out at odd hours of the morning or take a trip to "Yum Yum Doughnuts". The dating scene is also pretty active. In fact Biola has frequently been called the "Marriage Institute" of Los Angeles. With the women here so focused on having divine and healthy love-lives there is never a dull moment of student to student relationship gossip. No one I really talk to "parties" in the way of drugs and alcohol but there are a few parties off campus. There are a few kids who throw gigs like "Heart Attack", "Swagtacular" or "Spooktacular" which are dance parties held at the House of Blues which I hear can get pretty out of hand. There are also on campus rallies like "Punkin-Pie" or "Midnight Madness" which consist the entire school lining up around the block waiting to see our Xopoc dance team wow us with their impressive hip hop moves. There is also tons to do off campus, LA is really close so you could always go to some trendy restaurant. My friends and I went to Newport Beach to "True Foods" and "Sprinkles Cupcakes" for some fun last weekend and walked around the outdoor mall. With LA and the beach so close there's always something fun for students.
Student Missionary Uniion is a very popular organization that helps develop teams to send to different areas over break for missions work. SMU is not the only one of these organizations though. There are so many opportunities at Biola that it would be difficult to explore them all. When you walk down a dorm hallway there are some doors clothes with people behind them studying and catching up on sleep. Often times what you will find; however, is that students leave the doors open to welcome conversation with other students passing by. The community at Biola is like a family. Weekends are so much fun at Biola. The Associated Students do a wonderful job setting up events. During finals week they have a karaoke night and serve breakfast in the cafeteria. There are sporting events and concerts. On weekends, many students get away and go to the beach. There is an endless list of opportunities at and near Biola all of which students do without the influence of alcohol. Many students would even agree that they have more fun because they are not influenced by drinking.
I am part of the mens soccer team at Biola, I have noticed that our school likes to attend many of the sporting events, Most friends will plan to go to the sporting events in big groups and even tailgate before the game. Every year there is a major competition between the dorms, each dorm battles it out in an intense dodgeball tournament. One of the popular traditions at Biola are "grads" (Get Your Roommate a date). The way a GYRAD works is your roommate will find a date for you and then you and your dorm floor prepare a cool date. Gyrads have varied from ice skating to hot air ballooning.
SOS (Student Orientation Services) is probably one of the most popular groups on campus. This group of about 60 students help usher in the new students each year. A lot of students also want to become RAs. In regards to activities, pretty much anything Associated Students (our student government) puts on is usually a big hit. We have Punk n' Pie (our Fall talent show), Mock Rock, and concerts, to name a few. Biola also has an array of clubs (ranging from the film society to the Cheese Club) and ministries (such as Younglife and Revive Prayer Ministry).
AS is our student run organization that handles student funding and spends it based on what students feel needs fixing the most. I am getting involved with AS next semester. And currently I'm involved with my schools radio program, and a few clubs that interested me as well. There is little to no partying/drinking. Athletic events are a must attend! Theater is popular, the christmas tree lighting just took place and was a fantastic event. Usually, a few of my friends and I go off campus to eat and try new restaurants around La Mirada.