Bowdoin College Top Questions

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Ryan

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!

Jerry

the social scene is on campus. revolves largely around social houses (co-ed houses that sophomores and juniors live in). if the campus scene (lots of partying) is not for you, finding a concert or movie in town is alway enjoyable. dorms are very communal and friendly places (for the most part). proctors in first year dorms provide a great service and doors are usually open!

Charlie

The Af-Am is one of the most popular cultural groups, they have some clout on campus. ASA is popular when the spring semester rolls around and they give away free food and have their annual fashion show. Bowoin theater is very popular, and the Winter and Spring dance shows are always packed. One of the most popular groups on campus is Improvabilities. Their shows are always overcrowded!! No frats or sororities. There are usually parties on the weekends in the social houses, but sometimes there are weekends when there is absolutely nothing to do but your homework. Ivies Weekend is the biggest drinking weekend at the school. Drinking is involved in a lot of activities on the weekend, but if you do not want to involve yourself with that activity, you can catch a movie-most likely in someone's dorm room, grab a bite to eat, but not after 10, because everything is closed, or play spades 'till five in the morning.

Alex

Most popular groups on campus: Safe Space, Relay for Life, BSG, Campus Activity Board, Dance groups: Vague, Obvious, Arabesque. Most popular teams: Lacrosse, Soccer, ICE HOCKEY, FIELD HOCKEY (national champs!!!!) Safe Space is a sexual assault advocacy group, has greatly increased its membership numbers and is closely associated with a new Men's group Bowdoin Men Against Sexual Assault and V-Day which puts on Vagina Monologues every year. Athletic events are huge on campus for such a small student body. Guest speakers are every month at Common Hour where famous world leaders/influential people are invited to speak on friday. Students in dorms do not fear for safety or theft. Dating scene: once you date, you tend to never break up. Very hard to break up in such a small campus. Tradition: IVIES every last weekend of May, Bowdoin students celebrate rejecting the Ivy League when receiving an invitation to join by excessive merry-making, debauchery on campus. Also always a huge concert that week by bands such as OK GO, Talib Kwelli, GirlTalk etc. Closest friends met freshman year in freshmen dorms but also sophomore year in social houses and then through other friends. 2AM tuesday either studying or at Joshuas Bar in Brunswick if you are an upperclassman People love to party [period] No frats or sororities, students very proud of that.

Lorie

Dorm life is great, very open, and fun. People leave their doors open and make friends with their neighbors. Athletic events are very popular and there is a lot of school spirit, especially against other Maine colleges. Guest speakers are awesome--often times very revered in their fields. Dating scene kind of sucks--it's so small that it's hard to just casually date because you are probably already friends with the person. Also it makes break ups awkward and difficult because everyone is friends and knows everyone. On a 2am on Tuesday, if I was awake, I would either be working in the library for an exam the next day, sleeping, or chilling and having late night silly fun with my roommates and friends. There are no frats or sororities and this definitely makes the student body more inclusive. Bowdoin is really fun and there are really fun parties here. But it is also ok if you don't want to drink a lot. The people I am friends with all love to party and have fun drinking but also can have fun sober--that's what it's all about here--being able to have fun anytime.

Dylan

It would be easier to say the least popular groups instead of the most. It is a small school and different clubs and teams spend most of their time together. The sports teams support other teams whenever we can by attending each other's games and cheering them on. The most popular athletic events are field hockey, men's ice hockey, and football. There are new guest speakers every week, but I never go and am not sure who does go. There is no dating scene here. There are many one night stands, but not many couples. The couples that do exsist last for a long time, a lot of them ending with marriage. The big nights to go out are Thursdays and Saturdays. If you're awake late on any other day, you're doing homework. We have a lobster fest at the beginning of every year, where we all get to see everyone we missed over summer and eat very delicous lobsters! Bowdoin doesn't have any sororities, but we do have affilate houses that every freshman dorm is assigned to. There's not too much you can do on a Saturday night, besides drinking, because we aren't located in a large town with lots of options.

Grace

The night scene starts early, people are usually pregaming by 9pm, then out by 11 and things wind down around 1 or 2 am.

Eric

tons of student athletes; options for varsity, club, and intramural sports. as for dating, its primarily hookups or huge serious relationships with no middle ground, although there is a movement to "bring dating back to Bowdoin"

Charlie

Social life revolves around the in-season teams' game schedules. When teams are off campus for games, it's very noticeable. Weekends are Thursday through Saturday, with a sprinkling of random evenings when you and your friends don't have too much work (although rare is the evening when your no-work evenings overlap with your friends'). Fridays are surprisingly quiet, mostly because athletes are resting up for their Saturday games. For freshman, particulary during the first months when not all of them have 21-year old friends yet, weekends mean college house parties and long keg lines, which get old fast. Most upper classmen steer clear of these parties, unless they're other college house members or it's a particular themed party. The dating scene is a hookup scene. Campus Activities Board and other organizations do a very good job of bringing acts to campus - recent performers have been Talib Kweli, Ben Kweller, and Girl Talk. Multicultural groups are surprisingly quiet and border on nonexistent, while sexual health and awareness is a big thing on campus. A Cappella and comedy groups are strong as well.

Tristan

For Bowdoin being such a small school in small town Maine it is amazing that there is always something going on and that there is never a dull weekend. Bowdoin has a real community atmosphere between the students. You wont find a student body more willing to make sure you have a good day.

Christian

Lots of activities and opportunities for students to get involved on campus. Many people are involved with the Outing Club, which takes students on outdoor trips such as sea kayaking, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, whitewater rafting, etc. Students leave their doors open all the time because everyone feels so safe.

Dawson

Social Houses (what are left over from the fraternal days) are a large source of underclassmen fun. Students generally have an open door policy and will be friendly to you is you want to chill.

Molly

The social life at Bowdoin can be lacking at times. If you are looking for a good party to go to, there is a good chance you might be out of luck on a given weekend. There are social house parties which are fun for freshman and sophmores (sometimes), but these get old once you are an upper classmen. However, aside from parties, Bowdoin offers great lectures, plays, and dance shows which are a lot of fun to go to. The dating scene here is also lacking since most peole either get into a relationship their freshman year and stay together all four years, or look for people to hookup with (whatever happened to dinner and a movie?). The biggest party weekend here is called "Ivies" when there is a big concert (this year we had naughty by nature) and everyone just drinks a lot and go crazy. This is a nice outlet for the academic pressure that increases as school comes to a close.

John

The most important group on campus are the sports groups, affiliate houses, and choral groups. The dating scene is limited because you are at a college and not a university. People at Bowdoin always leave there door open especially if you stay on the campus, but at apartments they tend to lock their doors. One thing to look for is IVIES weekend where there are parties pretty much all the time and its kind of a big drinking event (if you are into things like that).

nicole

There is so much to do at Bowdoin! Initially, I was a little apprehensive about living in the small town of Brunswick, Maine, but there are way more interesting activities than I could ever participate in. I run cross country and track. Over half of the students at Bowdoin play a sport and the student body as a whole is really healthy and active. Attendance at sporting events is huge. Students are really supportive of each others sports teams and other endeavors. I really like the residential life in the dorms at Bowdoin. First of all, the dorms are palacial. But, I also really like the social life in the dorms. Everybody leaves their doors open and we all say high in the hall. I also love the casual intellectual discussions that take place all the time in the dorms. Whether it's discussing the upcoming election or talking about a reading assignment for a class, Bowdoin students all have interesting opinions and love a good discussion.

Alex

The basic Bowdoin understanding is that sunday through wednesday = work, and thurs through saturday = party. There are no fraternities or sororities on campus, but there are social houses which are essentially the same thing. If partying isnt your scene, there are always performances in the VAC, guest speakers, and supersnacks (a late night opening of the cafeteria for midnight snacking).

Sally

Night life - as good as you make it. Don't expect any ragers, but expect fun.

Ainsley

Bowdoin social life is heavily centered around social houses. The social house system is fun and rewarding for freshmen and sophomores. Juniors and seniors do not participate in the social houses, thus leaving them a little socially aliented.

Meggie

So many things to do ALL THE TIME. I like the outing club, going to plays, the pub. I live in a social house (kind of like a fraternity/sorority except way more fun and without the hazing and excessive amounts of drinking).

Kelly

-Activities are too bunched up so you'd go weeks without anything and then all of the sudden 10 things at once. If things could be more spread out that'd be more enjoyable and less boring during some times.

Alex

The Social Houses are awesome places for parties! Chem-free kids are welcome as well! Everyone basically drinks their beverage of choice (water or....other things) and dances the night away.

Cameron

Bowdoin is small, but there's a pretty diverse social scene. There's keg parties with so many people you can't breathe, there's wine and cheese parties, dinner parties, dance parties; I met one of my best friends here at a Contra Dance.

Jordan

I like the Bowdoin social scene. Social House parties are mostly for freshmen and sophomores, so if you are in either one of those classes you can go to a party knowing you'll run into all your friends there. Sometimes I wish there were more big parties that spanned across the grades, though. Ivies weekend, which is the last week in April, is our big tradition. Pretty much everyone is drunk from Thursday to Sunday morning, and there is a concert on Saturday. We've had some pretty cool people perform, including Ok Go and Jurassic 5. It's a great weekend and one last chance to go really crazy before finals.

Kelly

Students complain a lot about the lack of innovative weekend activities; social houses dominate the party atmosphere at Bowdoin, which is good because it gets freshman involved and welcomed into campus life, but its poor because the parties are a repeat every year. The dating scene is non-existant here at Bowdoin. Intimate interactions are reduced to weekend hook-ups and there isn't much legitimacy to any of these student relationships. Bowdoin students have 3-day weekends; not many students have classes on Fridays which is great because it's a day to run errands, meet with professors, and go to club meetings. There's a great deal of chem-free (the Bowdoin term for non-drinkers) events on campus; weekly movie showing and parties in the chem-free social house.

Brittney

Athletics are very important at Bowdoin, and many students play on sports teams. Hockey games, especially Bowdoin vs. Colby are widely attended by the campus. Bowdoin students are also very friendly. Many students will leave the doors in their dorms open (this changes a little once students move into upper-classmen dorms) On the weekends, drinking is a big activity, and while there is are the options of "chem-free" dorms and an affiliated social house, there are not as many options for students who do not wish to drink on the weekends.

Susie

Athletes are very close to their team and tend to hang out together when they're not at practice or playing games. The most popular events on campus are acappella concerts and student-produced plays, though students will also show up for many of the common hour events, where the college brings prominent speakers to campus on Fridays. There is almost always an academic event or a speaker on campus, though participation at these events isn't always that high. Students are very open and many of them will leave their doors open during the day, especially in the freshmen dorms. A lot of students complain about the dating scene at Bowdoin, because either you don't have a boyfriend or you spend all your time with your boyfriend. There isn't much casual dating. Drinking is huge on campus and often quite hard to avoid if you want to go out on a weekend.

Reese

Bowdoin is a binge school, meaning that students prefer alcohol to other substances, though I have seen both on campus. Weekends usually start on Thursdays because Friday courses are rare (unless you're a science major). There are no frats or sororities here, but a college house system in which everyone on campus is included, which I think is SO much better. If you don't drink, there are plenty of things to do, like go to SUPERSNAX, eat out, go galactic bowling, watch movies or play guitar hero! The majority of freshman go to social house parties on the weekends, even if they don't drink because there is NOTHING else to do or they want a random hookup (Bowdoin is infamous for these), but as you get older, you learn that the partying at Bowdoin is weak and being with close friends is much more fun. During the week, its all about schoolwork and stress, but the weekend is a definite way to release.

Tristan

The beauty about a small school like Bowdoin is that there is room to get involved in many things. Many of my friends participate in theater and sports, study math and art. There are organizations for everything and if there isn't an organization for something you're interested in a friendly student board will help you make it happen.

Kelly

Again, the kids are great, and thus the social life is great. It's definitely a school that's into organizations, whether that's varsity athletics, the Outing Club, Club Sports, Activist/Political organizations, and I think it's a significantly more rewarding place socially if you're the type of person that gets into these kinds of activities. I started rowing last year, and not only are we a small, intimate program comprised of fun kids with whom I always have a great time, we are also dedicated, and quite competitive for such a small program.

Mary

d

Alison

Social houses are THE BEST!! They bring the best of Fraternities/Sororities without the exclusiveness/danger. There are tons of organizations to get invovled with, and it's easy to start your own. Since we have such a good relationship with the town of Brunswick, it's also really easy to get involved in the community. Because it's so small, the dating scene is a little bit weird, because you're always dating someone who dated someone else who you knew, but you get used to it. There are tons of lectures/concerts/sports/other events to go to on a consistent basis. Most dorms have friendly atmospheres. Mostly on the weekends it's drinking, although there is never any peer pressure to drink. There is a fairly large chem free contingent that does stuff.

Harper

So many activities! You can really find whatever you are interested in here which is surprising for such a small school. If by chance what you want isn't here they encourage the development of new groups. Its kind of easy to get over your head however as there are so many enthusiastic people and groups that can suck you in. In terms of on campus activities there are plenty. Although we are in Maine there is no shortage of things to do on the weekend. You can pretty much find whatever your looking for. Parties are ample and rarely exclusive at all. The Social House system really helps get things going for the Underclassman The College also does a great job of bringing in speakers to keep us intellectually stimualted as well and often times there are so many great discussions on each night that its hard to choose.

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.

elizabeth

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.

Abbie

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.

Jess

As a freshman, everyone's really friendly and outgoing, but that quickly changes as social groups get set. No one dates here, only hooks up (often drunkenly), or has long, important relationships. We don't have fraternities. You can go to lectures, etc., but if you don't have a really big group of friends who don't drink and you're single, it's hard to find things to do on the weekend. Sometimes you can go to Portland if you know someone with a car.

dennis

There's so much to do here, which makes this college so special. You just cant be bored, as long as you try to find somethting.

Margot

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.

Raya

lots of varsity athletes as well as a large following for Intramural sports. Lots of hanging around with friends, just talking--very interesting people to talk to. Not a very big dating scene. Always things to do on the weekend.

Nick

Athletics dominate the activity/social scene. I played sports freshman year, but quit because it was too large of a time commitment, and wasn't worth the supposed social benefits that came with it. Plenty of drinking (beer and hard stuff) on the weekends. If you don't drink, there's not a whole lot else to do on the weekends. I mean, it is Brunswick, not NYC-you can't just decide you'll go see a show on broadway or listen to some live jazz.

Terry

Sports teams are the most popular groups on campus. They tend to attract a lost of interest. I am involved in the women's varsity rugby team. It is a walk-on team. We have an A side and a B side. Anyone can play on the B side; A side is a little more exclusive. The team encourages a lot of camraderie. What dating scene? It is more of a hookup scene. If I am awake at 2am on a Tuesday I am either doing organic chemistry or hanging out with friends. There is no Greek life.

Kendall

Most students here are dedicated to academics from Sunday-Wednesday night at least. Partying starts on Saturday and revolves areound socail houses and dorm type parties. But there are other things to do: speakers, plays, and performances. Main Street has nice places to go out for dinner. One thing that surprised me is that Bowdoin students don't drink half as much as guide books and sterotypes project. Sure there is drinking but it is not as central as I would have thought it to be as a freshman.

Bevan

The College Houses really provide a great party atmosphere for the freshman. There is usually at least one campus-wide College House party each weekend, and all students know that they are welcome to attend. Freshman predominate the College House party scene, but it's a great, and comfortable, environment to meet people at the beginning of the year, and even later on. Plus, the parties (aka beer) are free, which never hurts.

Andy

Very fun weekends. Thursday night pub night allows for good dancing. Friday and Saturdays are the same scene of a mixture of pre-gaming in the dorms, social house parties then an off-campus party. For the most part students study hard on week nights, and then go out hard on the weekends.

Anna

A lot of people at Bowdoin play sports even if it is club but you won't feel left out if you don't. By the same token there are many people involved in community service projects of various kinds and a pretty strong theatre program. People at Bowdoin like to drink but there are things to do if you don't drink. A lot of social life focuses around the social house system especially for underclassmen. The dating scene is a little weird: there is definitely a lot of hooking up that goes on but also some serious relationships.

Cristina

There are more options if you have a car because you can spend more time off campus but there are always things to do. Most students spend their time on campus. The social life here is fairly inclusive compared to many other colleges. No fraternities or sororities here. There's A LOT of drinking, which can be fun, but there are also plenty of other activities if you prefer to spend your time in a different manner.

katherine

Mostly drinking on the weekends. Students also like sports and outdoor activities though. Skiing and outing club trips.

Erica

Outing club is popular. I row with the crew team- it's a very friendly group of people. Some guest speakers are very popular- Eve Ensler and Christopher Hitchens each filled an auditorium. I met my friends through dorms, classes and crew. If I'm awake that late I'm doing homework. There are no frats or sororities. Last weekend I rowed and played my cello and repaired my bike. On Saturday nights there are chem-free parties and concerts and movies.

Paul

The social life for the first-year students is quite open. The dorms provide forced diversity that goes away when students retreat into their friend groups sophomore year. The independent nature of the upper-class dorms really closes off the open contact that the freshman dorms provide.

Zac

The popular groups are safespace, bmasv, and the newspaper. I am involved with Bowdoin Cable Network. I am a editor there. With BCN, you can choose how much time you want to dedicate so it is really great. We have a weekly news episode and several shows that come out monthly. Everyone leaves there door open. Athletic events are somewhat popular, especially hockey. There are A LOT of speakers and events involving the theater. My closest friends live on my floor. If its 2 am on Tuesday and Im awake I working on a paper or studying for a test. Traditions include polar bearing (skinny dipping at the beach) and middle of the night trips to LL Bean. People party almost every weekend (thursday, friday, and saturday). There are no frats, but rater social houses which are governed by residential life and resemble frats in some aspects, but reduce the amount of hazing. When I dont feel like drinking, me and my friends watch movies, go into to town, or simply go out to parties and dont drink. Off campus we go to movies, shopping in Freeport, skiiing at Sugarloaf or Sunday River...

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