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Bowdoin College

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What are the most popular student activities/groups?

One of the most popular groups on campus is V-Day, which is a group dedicated to stopping violence against women. They sponsor many activities on campus and every year they put on the Vagina Monologues. This year, in fact, Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day and author of the Vagina Monologues, came to Bowdoin to speak during Common Hour. It was one of the most incredible talks I've ever heard at Bowdoin and elsewhere. I am involved with the Bowdoin Women's Lacrosse team. It's a spring sport, so I don't have too much of a social life in the spring outside of the team. It's an incredible group of girls and we have so much fun together on the weekends, at practice and during the week. Athletic events are pretty popular on the weekends. More so in the fall than the spring, because the weather is nicer, but Bowdoin definitely comes out to support their teams--even for away games. Many students attend Common Hour every Friday, where a guest speaker comes and talks for an hour. It is free for students and faculty and it's a great activity. I met my best friends through Pre-O, Freshman floor, lacrosse and other friends. People at Bowdoin party frequently (I think). Thursday nights are pretty big, especially if there is a DJ at the pub (Bowdoin students love dance parties). Friday nights are usually a little quieter, but there is definitely parties going on, they're just a little lower key. Saturdays are huge. Most everyone goes out and frequently there are a couple upper classman parties (which basically any grade can attend) and at least one social house will have a themed party. (Social House parties also happen on Friday nights sometimes too). Sunday nights are big for athletic teams. A lot of times teams will have games on Saturday and Sunday and then have off practice on Monday so they'll go out Sunday night and most of the time a fair amount of the rest of campus will go out too. Generally, Bowdoin students work hard and party hard.

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There are a lot of sports, clubs, and intramural activities at Bowdoin. It is really easy to get involved in any of these. All it takes is an email. Many clubs encourage people with no particular experience to join. The Bowdoin Outing Club is a perfect way to take advantage of Maine's beautiful geographic features while being active and meeting students from all walks of life. I find that Bowdoin students are particularly environmentally concerned as well as grateful of their local community, and as a result, like giving back to the community by volunteering. On the weekends, especially in the winter, hockey and basketball games are popular to attend. The biggest game of the year is the Bowdoin hockey game against our rival Colby. Everyone wears black and it gets wild in the arena. Almost every weekend you can expect a big house party hosted by one of Bowdoin's social houses. These parties are all-inclusive of every student on campus, whether they drink beer or not. The social houses are especially careful to cater to those who may not drink by providing snacks and soda. Even if there are no official parties going on, it is fairly easy to find some little shindig going on in one of the dorms or upperclassmen housing. Every Thursday night there is easy a band or DJ at the campus pub, and attendances at the pub on these nights are very high. Bowdoin, in conjunction with the social houses too, host a variety of speakers. The Bowdoin film society often hosts movie nights during the week or weekend. There are also two movie theaters in town. The dating scene at Bowdoin is definitely undermined by the 'hook-up' culture. This may not necessarily be bad, but if you're looking for that special someone, chances are they're not looking for you.

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There are a lot of organizations on campus, and most students are pretty active in them. The most popular are probably political and sports groups, especially the College Democrats and the Outdoor Club. There are tons of guest speakers on every imaginable topic, and they're generally very well-received (the funny but informative sex talks and the political speakers are a highlight!). Bowdoin has a lot of traditions, way too many to name, but one is a huge spring party and concert known as Ivies. There's always a good band on the quad, blow-up toys, cookouts, and separate parties in different houses and such all weekend. Bowdoin doesn't have frats, but we do have social houses, and everyone is automatically a member of one of these. They're pretty important freshmen year, when you're just getting to know people, and at least one social house has a theme party every weekend (toga parties, beach parties, etc.). Drinking is pretty popular, but most students are responsible about it, and you absolutely do not have to drink to have fun. There is a no-alcohol social house that has activities and there are also alcohol-free places to live, so you can even totally avoid alcohol if you want, though no one will pressure you to drink anyway. Off-campus there's a lot of good shopping about 15 minutes away in Freeport, which has AMAZING outlets, but Brunswick itself has plenty of cool shops within easy walking distance from campus. It has an independent movie theater, and there's a big, regular theater a few miles away, near a Wal-Mart and some other shopping complexes. Portland isn't far away, either, so clubs, stores, and restaurants of all kinds are only about a half hour away. You can get there by bus or find a friend with a car.

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girls field hockey, men's ice hockey, both soccer teams, men lax and both basketball are popular. i live in a social house which is awesome. a lot of fun and a good way to interact with freshman. people leave there doors open mostly- it also depends on the attitude of the floor. a lot of people attend athletic events, you probably know someone on the team. there is a dating scene- which most people say doesnt exist because drunk hookups are way more popular. but dating happens. my closest friends i met in my freshman door and then some of their friends. now, i have new friends because of my new dorm. on tuesday- people go to the local bar. either the bar, studying for a test or watching a movie/hanging out in a friends room. the big lobster bake at the beginning is awesome, interhouse olympics, relay for life, ivies, certain themed parties at certain social houses. ivies is the best- a drunken week a spring where there are bands and events etc. someone is partying each night. mainly it is tuesday, thursday, friday and saturday. most people stick with thursday and saturday. we dont have frats anymore- they were replaced with social houses which are co-ed and more inclusive. last weekend- thurs- went out for someone's birthday. fri- class then eve ensler came to speak. went to a movie with friends, night hockey game, went out. saturday- brunch, day hockey game, went out. sunday was for working. there are events by howell house that is chem free.......i would either hang out with friends, watch a movie, go skiing for the weekend, go out and not drink, maybe the library? off campus is shopping, going out for lunch and dinner, go skiing, go to visit other colleges, go to boston, portland, the cape, montreal.

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The Bowdoin Outing Club is hugely popular and most people go on at least a few outing club trips before the graduate. At the very least, most have gone on a Pre-Orientation trip, which can be biking, kayaking, or hiking, for instance, and these are great ways to meet new people. Sports teams often hang out together on campus. I joined the club ultimate frisbee team at Bowdoin as a freshman and it's been a great way to be part of a team and be active while not having all the commitments of a varsity athlete. Especially in freshman dorms and social houses, most people leave their doors bricked so that friends/neighbors can stop by and say hello. My closest friends are definitely my two roommates, with whom, in fact, I have been roommates with since freshman year. Many people's friend groups at the beginning of freshman year are people on their floor or in their freshman dorm. As time goes on, many still remain friends, but also more time is often spent with sports teams or simply other people they've met through classes or elsewhere. Most people party Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. However, Thursdays and Saturdays are typically the more popular nights, and it's not uncommon for people only go out once or twice in a weekend, choosing to stay low key or perhaps do some work on one of the other nights. If you're taking science or intro language classes, you'll often have Friday classes, but that usually doesn't stop those people from hanging out with friends on a Thursday night - everyone just tries to get their work done early to do so!

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Greek life was removed from Bowdoin more than ten years ago, but it was replaced with the College House System. There are eight first-year dorms, which are always affiliated with the same College House. Incoming students are placed in their dorms and affiliated with a house, which they will be affiliated with all four years (and forever). The student members of the houses are active during orientation, getting the new students settled in. They house members help the first-years move in and choose classes. Throughout the rest of the year, the houses help sponsor student groups, clubs, and offer venues for musical performances. They also generally alternate offering campus-wide or affiliate parties every weekend, which are registered with the college, but are a safe, fun place to drink, dance, etc. The House system in my opinion is pretty flawless. There are friendly rivalries between neighboring houses, which were originally frat houses and still uphold traditions. Beginning sophomore year, students can live in the houses, which are made up of about 20-28 students and run by a president. Last weekend the College House that I live in had a two night party with four kegs each night. The current house members also did a bit of celebrating with last year's residents on Thursday night. Olympic games of sorts may or may not have been involved (drinking games are technically illegal on campus, but that really isn't enforced). Everyone in the house had a great time throwing the party and we had great attendance.

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a large percentage of the students on campus play a sport, but not many people go to most of their games. hockey and basketball are probably the most popular sports for students to go watch. many students participate in the outing club, and many people go skiing/snowboarding through the outing club as well during the winter. the dating scene is difficult because the campus is so small and everyone knows everyone- either students have very short, non-serious hookups, or very long term relationships, but nothing really in between. students generally work hard sunday-wednesday, and then thursday-saturday go out pretty hard. students primarily drink a lot, but it is difficult to find hard drugs on campus, and are very rarely used. campus-wide social house parties are really fun as a freshman and sophomore, and are a great way to meet lots of people in your grade. there is not much to do on saturdays if you are not drinking and are looking for an organized activity- there is generally a concert, play, movie, etc. but not more than a couple alternatives. main st. has a lot of little coffee shops and cute restaurants to go to, which is really nice if you're looking to get off campus. also if you have a car, portland is really nearby (25 min) and is a really fun city to explore, and there are a lot of fun beaches to go to/cool maine outdoors activities to do if you're adventurous.

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the athletic teams are pretty popular. open door policy in dorms - pretty friendly. athletic events are popular. a couple of guest speakers, nothing too interesting. we don't have any money apparently to bring in good speakers. (where is our $45,000 per year going?!?!) there is no dating scene. it's called causal sex. or you are one of the few people who are essentially married to their bf/gf. closet friends = who you were assigned to live with freshman year or who is on your sports team if im awake on 2am tuesday i am either wasting my time listening to music or on facebook, not getting any work done. traditions: ivies = booze fest people party on thursdays and saturdays. that's it. fridays suck here. when you are a senior you have tuesdays as well, which is when everyone goes to the only bar in walking distance there are no frats i wouldn't know what you can do besides drinking - it's pretty much the only source of entertainment out here in maine. bowdoin turns people into alcoholics. mostly because of the boredom. a little because of the work. a lot because it is a good social lubricant and people here are socially awkward or want to be drunk enough to have casual sex. there is nothing to do off campus!! WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF MAINE! you can go to tj-maxx if you want. freeport offers some good outlets which is a big draw.

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Bowdoin students LIVE for the annual Bowdoin/Colby hockey game. Watson Arena completely fills up with students outfitted head-to-toe in black; school spirit runs rampant. The cheer heard most often at this hockey game? "Mules are sterile!!" I've met my closest friends through the crew team and ResLife staff. Knowing that people share your interests so closely - 1. Bowdoin chose them and they chose Bowdoin and 2. They're a part of these somewhat self-selecting groups - means a lot. The people in each group are diverse in age and interests, both academic and extracurricular. The thing I love most about both the crew team and ResLife is that with these groups of people, I feel at-home. They're my family at Bowdoin. We have common hour every Friday at 12:30 - Guest speakers come and speak on issues of their choice - the speakers range from Bowdoin professors to activists (like Eve Ensler) or US ambassadors. The variety is really stunning. Usually, these talks gather quite a crowd. In terms of going off campus, having a car is never a bad thing - it makes shopping easy at places like Target, or anywhere in Freeport. But having a bike is great for riding out one of the nearby points to the ocean or anywhere else close by. There is also a bus that goes straight to Portland and Boston from campus, so transportation out of Brunswick is pretty easy.

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Everyone is more than willing to help you...with anything. And of course, having less than 2000 students, you get to know who "everyone" is fairly quickly. Which is great whenever you need help with academics or starting a club or anything really...but it kind of sucks for those one night stands and everyone knows what happened. Of course there always is the option of going off campus on the weekend...if you have a car or are over 21. 'Downtown' is good for Saturday morning brunch and a day dabbling in small stores, but after five, if you can't legally drink, then you're on campus. Unless you have a car or know someone who does, then there are always the options of going to commercialized industries and civilization up the road at Cook's Corner or hiking it down to Portland. Both are great places to escape campus, but it sucks that they are not in walking distance. The big group trips to Portland though create stories that last for a long time. Hanging out on campus really isn't that bad though. Pub nights can be amazingly close to being in a real club, and Supersnacks is always a must. Drunk or sober, something exciting is ALWAYS going on EVERY weekend at campus. It takes some adjusting, but after you settle in there are plenty of ways to spice up a dull weekend.

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