There's a lot of popular groups, but I'd say the most popular is the Waltham Group, our community service organization. They work with children, with the elderly, with the community, etc.
I am involved in Student Events, the student event planning committee on campus. We put on events like Thirsty Thursday, free food for all and free beer for 21+, wake-n-shakes where we hand out Dunkin Donuts before class, and Stressbusters, a relaxed environment before finals. We also bring artists like Guster, Fun, Childish Gambino and Far East Movement to campus.
On a Saturday night, you can do so many things. See a friend in a play, go to a dance performance, an on-campus dance party, see a movie being played on campus, so many more!!
Off campus I go to bars, go into Boston, see movies and plays, walk around Cambridge, shop....
There are hundreds of clubs on campus that range from Cooking to Martial Arts to various religious and cultural organizations. Students are never at a lack for things to do on this campus. Every student can participate in an activity if they so choose. For students who are not on an official sports team, there are tons of intramural sports that are incredibly popular such as soccer, football and volleyball. There is a vibrant theater community with performance groups that specialize in straight plays, musicals and Shakespeare to name a few. There is a student-run theater scene as well as the Department theater which means undergraduate and Graduate students together. Theater/dance/music performances are frequent and well attended. There are a variety of speakers that range from visiting Professors to members of the government and movie stars alike. There is a fraternity and sorority culture on campus where students can find parties on the weekends, but it is not overwhelming and certainly not the only place to find a party. On the weekends, there are plenty of movie screenings as well as trivia, bingo and dance parties for those that do not want to partake in drinking. There is also a free shuttle to Cambridge and Boston when you want to see a show, go shopping or have a nice meal off-campus!
We have a lot of active clubs on campus. Our student center is open 24/7 where most of our clubs meet. Some of our most active clubs include community service, event programming, student union, and theater groups. I also really like how open community living is in terms of security. At some schools they are really strict about guests and going to other residence halls. But, at Brandeis it is a really relaxed atmosphere, which makes really easy to go around campus. I don't have to worry about checking it at my friend's place at 2 or 3 in the morning. We don't have a lot of security issues to begin with, so I don't really mind walking about at night. We also have a lot of great events that are thrown by our student clubs, most of which are free and amazing.
One of the best parts of Brandeis is how active the student body is in campus life. Nearly everyone is involved in a club of some sort, and most people are involved in two or more. Unlike many schools, the clubs on campus are very active. However, even though Brandeis students are very involved in clubs, they are not full of traditional "school spirit." Not many students attend athletic events, and athletes are not put on a pedestal.
Almost all partying happens on Friday and Saturday nights, however, most partying at Brandeis isn't like what you would see at a big state school. Most parties don't get too out of hand, and the frats are somewhat of a joke. Instead, most students go to parties in upperclassmen suites or townhouses. These parties are fun, but not crazy, and there are no kegs. There is also plenty do on the weekend that doesn't involve drinking, such as going to Cambridge or Boston, which the free shuttle service offers rides to on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Dances are often held as fundraisers, which tend to be the most popular (and successful) student events on campus. Theater and music, especially a capella, are also overflowing on campus. I am active in Relay for Life, an annual fundraiser for cancer research. This event is always packed with students. It's really nice to see that different groups on campus come together for such an awesome cause. Writing is also prevalent on campus. I am a copy editor for a weekly newspaper called The Justice. There is another paper, The Hoot, which is also weekly.
Greek life exists but the fraternities and sororities aren't officially recognized by the university. Because of this, the houses (and the parties) are located off campus. Basically, it's there if you're interested and it's not a big deal if you're not. Greek life definitely doesn't take over the school.
Being close to Boston is great, but most students stay on campus during the weekends. There is so much to do on campus! It nice to have the city as a get away if Waltham ever gets to feel too small (it happens).
Oh ha ha ha.
Let me start with an easy one. So Brandeis doesn't officially acknowledge any frats or sororities, so greek life is rather minimal. There are a couple of frats and sororities with houses off campus, and it's not hard to get involved if you want that, but it's not a big part of campus at all.
Weekends at Brandeis: You can stay on campus and there's going to be a couple of parties; if you want to drink, there you go. I prefer to go off campus into Boston; Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday there's a shuttle that goes from Brandeis to Cambridge and Mass Ave every hour and a half until 2am. It's free for Brandeis students, and it's definately nice to get off campus; go into the city, shopping, dining, see a show, go to a club, just hang out.
The athletics events are growing in popularity even since I came to Brandeis, mens basketball is by far the most popular, but it's not a huge thing here.
Almost nobody drinks or parties on school nights. Weekend parties are common, but non-drinkers will find plenty going on: lots of music, theater, guest speakers, etc.
My social life revolves around Brandeis Men's Ultimate Frisbee team. I imagine most people have a club or a group of friends that they hang out with on a regular basis, which adds structure to their social lives. The varsity sports teams tend to stick together, as do the club sports teams. Not in an exclusive way, but these are the people you see on a daily basis for practice, games, etc. My weekdays are spent on the Great Lawn throwing a disc around between and after classes (at least when it's nice out), and on weekends I try to catch a party down in the Mods or in Ziv, or hang out with my friends from Frisbee, or who live in my suite.
Most of my very good friends were made freshmen year, and are guys who lived on the same hall as me. The 'open door' policy instated by our CA (Community Advisor) was great and meant that we had a very social hall. Most freshmen dorms are like this, with the exception of the hall run by the occasional super-awkward CA.
Lots of clubs have outings on the weekends which you can join up on. The Mountain Club has an outing of some sort almost every weekend. Mountain biking, hiking, spelunking, hang gliding have all been done. Rock climbing is the norm, with trips to nice outdoor walls in the area, and MetroRock in Everett when the weather is bad. Once it gets cold and snowy, Alpine Snow Sports starts taking trips pretty much every weekend to mountains in the area (New Hampshire, Vermont).
Fraternities and sororities are not officially endorsed or recognized by the university, so the few that we have are located off-campus, usually on South Street, or somewhere nearby. Because they aren't required to abide by the kinds of rules that clubs and other social organizations are, the greek organizations give next to nothing back to the campus community. Their only purpose, as far as I have been able to discern, is to provide a place for people to party and get drunk. The individuals in these organizations are generally pretty decent people, but if you get them in a group, the d-baggery increases exponentially. If you're the kind of person who needs to join a club to meet people, keep in mind that the greek organizations at Brandeis are generally just drinking clubs.
One great thing about Brandeis is that it is big enough to be able to offer many extracurriculars to choose from. Another great thing is that the school is small enough that it is easy to get involved and to gain experience in valuable leadership positions. Greek life is under-ground, but present. There are lots of things going on during the weekends that do not include partying and drinking as well. Students tend to form close friendships with people living in their dorms, but it is also easy to visit friends in other dorms because everyone has key access everywhere. Getting off-campus is easy (often free), and popular, too. Overall, there is a ton of stuff to do, but you have to be active in pursuing these opportunities in order to take full advantage and really have a fulfilling experience.
I'm involved in Student Sexuality Information Service, the most amazing group on campus. We provide sex education, peer counseling, books, and safer sex products. We sell cheap condoms and try to up awareness on campus.
Theater is popular on campus. Sports exist. Frats play a limited role, since they are only off-campus and not actually accepted by the university. Activism groups are huge. Guest speakers are very popular, especially political ones. Many students like to go to parties on the weekends or just hang out with a few friends. Moody street is a popular destination full of shops, good food, some bars, and Lizzy's ice cream. Of course, there is always Boston.
Sports events have gotten more popular as the athletics program has improved even over just the past 2 years. The biggest party of the semester is Pachanga, which is actually school-sponsored (so pregaming is a necessity), and is held each semester. The dating scene is not fabulous...most people pair off right away or want to spend their years hooking up/avoiding commitment. I'm sure that is most schools though. Frats and sororities are not official, but they are certainly around, and they have some decent parties. Most are cool people and fun to hang out with, and there is no pressure to pledge one unless you want to. There are plenty of other ways to make friends. Most of mine I met through my classes, and then from there you sort of meet a friend of a friend and they become your friend etc...
We do get some interesting guest speakers and there is usually an open lecture at least once a week about something relevant to the world today. My friends and I usually watch movies, drink usually 1 night a weekend (either fri or sat), go out to eat in Waltham or Cambridge, and work most of the week. The library is where you will find most people on week nights, so it's not really a place for someone who wants to party all week long, but we still have our fun.
Dorms or hallways are often a social group, although not everyone is necessarily best friends. Jewish religious activities are huge campuswide, especially on Friday nights. A lot of time is spent studying, but it's always possible to find a party on the weekends. The theater is really good here, and what the tour guide will tell you is true: there really is always something happening at Chums, the on-campus coffeehouse. There are a few recurring events: Pachanga, a huge club-style dance party with lots of drinking; Liquid Latex, a choreographed show with skits and incredible costumes; Culture X, where culture groups from every part of Brandeis perform... the list goes on.
Greek life is not official at Brandeis but there are underground sororities and fraternities. I am closest friends with those on my hall and those in my major. Everyone leaves their doors open and people in the hall are really talkative. It helps if you're on a co-ed floor, like me! I'm involved in a poetry group, I go to a lot of the live band shows, and I like going to the basketball games and cheering for our team. Dating is kind of hard at Brandeis. There aren't a whole lot of couples on campus, everyone kind of dates and has a good time, nothing serious though. People party every weekend. During the week it is WORK time. Some fun events we have are a Naked dance every fall where people wear their underwear, DiscoTent which is a huge party in the woods behind the school, Purim which is a Jewish holiday kind of like Halloween where you get to party in a Rabbi's house!, and Culture X where all the cultural groups and dance teams on campus perform in a big show in the spring. Life at Brandeis is never boring. There is always a speaker or a band playing or something going on. If you don't drink, that's not a problem. There's a late night diner where people hang out and get pancakes at 3am, karaoke, and plays to go to. Plus, Boston is only 9 miles away! It's fun to go out to dinner, go dancing, or shop on Newbury St. I love going to Brandeis.
Brandeis theater is really first rate for a liberal arts school. In the undergraduate world, we have the UTC (Undergraduate Theater Collective), a coalition of five theater groups which work together to plan the season. The five groups in the UTC are: Tympanium Euphorium or Tymp (musical theater), Brandeis Experimental/Ensemble Theater (BET), Brandeis Players, Hillel Theater Group (which is an option for shomer shabbas actors), and Boris' Kitchen (long form sketch). In addition, we also have Hold Thy Peace, which does Shakespeare and Deviant Culture, which is the resident "Rocky Horror Picture Show" troupe.
My social life revolves around the track team. Partying is very personal. Some of my friends do it every weekend, some of my friends ahve not had a drink in their life. On a Saturday night there is usually some kind of concert/show going on somewhere and plenty of people just hanging out who have no interest in drinking. Athletic events are becoming more popular as sports improve. The dating scene is one I'm not involved in...but there are a lot of UGLY people at Brandeis so a lot of people look to other places.
As I've said before, the most important part of the Brandeis social experience are clubs. We're not a party school but our clubs sort of function as our mini social networks. I'm a pretty active member of our debate team. We have competitions over the weekends at other schools and meetings twice a week for practice. There are about 30 of us and everyone's pretty much friends. We have bbq and parties and we had a novice kidnapping this year. A lot of what we do is work and competition but a lot is also bonding and fun. Most clubs are like that, a close social network based on a common interest.
When students live on halls, they totally leave their door open. Freshman year, our door was only closed when we were changing, not in the room or asleep. This year, my hall has 5 other people on it, so we don't keep the doors open as much, but we do visit and socialize a lot.
We get a lot of speakers on campus, actually a club just formed this year with the sole purpose of bringing speakers to campus. And after about the first 4 weeks of the semester until the week before exams, there's some sort of student theater performance every week. Almost every night, in the coffee house, there's acapella and improv.
Personally, my closest friends are from my hall freshman year, the debate team or friends I met through people at some random event. Random happenings are a pretty big thing. I love the spontenteous hall parties that can happen on a Saturday if people are bored. But most people don't party too often, and when they do party, it's pretty much only on the weekends. Our Greek life is small and unofficial so people rely on themselves for fun since frat parties are not a huge thing. Our campus wide events- from Louis Louis spirit week in the fall to Bronstein Fest in the spring- are large and organized and a ton of fun. There's campus wide dances a couple times a semester and it's just all a lot of fun.
In terms of off campus, it's really easy to go in Boston to go to a game or so shopping or see friends at other schools. I'm also a big fan of just going and wondering a Boston touristy area with friends. Nights like that have led to searching for the best Italian food in the North End, exploring Newbury street and driving from Lexington to Concorde in the middle of the night to celebrate Paul Revere.
Surprise surprise, the party scene at Brandeis is pretty low-key. Don't expect massive keggers every weekend. The average Brandeis party is about 20 or 30 people in a dorm suite drinking. Cool if you're with friends, less so if you don't know anybody.
The theater/music scene is pretty good, with regular performances all around campus. Student pieces as well as classics. Sports are roundly ignored by everyone but the newspaper and those actually playing in them. Nice gym though.
Frats/Sororities are technically not allowed, although a few of them do exist 'underground'. They never interested me so i couldn't tell you.
The dating scene, alas, is usually like this: you meet someone you like freshman year, and you NEVER LET GO. EVER. Even if you can't stand eahh other. Most of the Brandeis couples I know are like that. It's actually rather sad.
My average Saturday night was going to see my girlfriend at Wellesley, but at least we had the wherewithal to call it quits before it got ugly. Failing that, I'd go into Boston with some friends or see a play/concert at Brandeis. The parties (such as they were) took place late enough so I could do what I wanted to do and THEN go drink.
Party scene is whack. Fraternities play a surprisingly decent role on campus, providing many of the weekend parties.
Like I said before, social life is what you make of it. I've had a pretty vibrant social life, and I was Director of Social Affairs on the Student Union government's Executive Board, so I dedicated a lot of time to social life at Brandeis - maybe I'm biased. But we have a lot of opportunities, we just need students to take advantage of them. For instance, we offer two parties $50 each weekend. That's so cool! Most party schools don't pay you to throw a party. Clubs are the main part of social life though - club meetings, the friends you make in clubs, club events. That's where the social scene is. Though I've had luck in my dorms also. People here are generally friendly and willing to hang out.
Triskelion is Brandeis's GSA. It has meetings every Thursday night, and is generally pretty interesting. Meetings generally include guest speakers, movies, activities run by the different branches of Trisk (Pride, QRC, OUTReach, and TransBrandeis), and social gatherings. This year, Trisk helped push through a policy for co-ed rooms for upperclassmen. TransBrandeis is also working on a bathroom project which aims to show the administration that bathrooms need to be improved, both in their handicaped accessibility and their gender neutrality. In my opinion, Trisk is nowhere near perfect. It tends to be very sexual, and sometimes it feels like there's a clique you're not part of. Also, many of the meetings don't feel like they're accomplishing anything. This will hopefully improve in the future, since new members of the board for the coming year are aware of these problems. - The above information is from Spring 2008. I have since stopped attending Trisk, but from what I have heard they're in the process of reorganizing so that there's a place for the social events and a place for more serious.
SASS, the Sex and Sexuality Symposium, is a new academic discussion group which is being absorbed into Trisk starting in Fall 2009. This past year it met weekly, alternating between big evening meetings and smaller lunchtime discussions. Topics discussed include: BDSM, masterbation, virginity, the pregnant man, and objectum sexuality. SASS also put on its first annual undergraduate sexualities research conference where students shared their work. I attended almost all of the SASS meetings and loved it. It was a refreshing middleground between the social atmosphere of most clubs and the discussion of a good seminar class.
Shalem, Brandeis's Jewish GLBT group, is another new club. Although it's only a year old and its small membership is composed of more allies than queer Jews, we put on some AMAZING events this year including an ally training oneg, a queer-inclusive seder, and several speakers. We're small, we're new, but I have hope. Care to join us?
Brandeis Swingers is Brandeis's swing dance club. It has lessons every Tuesday night along with a performing troupe. Brandeis does East Coast Swing, which is pretty easy to learn even though the teachers (fellow students) aren't the best.
BUCO, Brandeis University Conservative (Jewish) organization is WONDERFUL. Imagine Shira Chadasha in Jerusalem without the mechitzah, and you have the energy of BUCO Friday night services. I swear, it's the best minyan in the US. Saturday morning services tend to be a little sparce, and the Monday and Thursday minyanim have virtually no energy and way too many silent prayers, but then again, who's fully awake at 7:45 AM during college? BUCO also does social activites such as a yearly snow tubing trip and a scavenger hunt in Boston.
Theater is a massive thing at Brandeis. There are six different undergraduate theater groups on campus where students direct/produce/design/etc. their own shows. During the second half of the semester, there's often a different show going up each weekend. Students can also participate in the Brandeis Theater Company productions, which are run as professionally as Brandeis can make them. If you get involved in theater, however, it WILL suck up your life. Then again, that's theater. It's no different at Brandeis than it is anywhere else.
Different people have fun at Brandeis in different ways. Although fraternities/sororities are not technically allowed, they exist. Yes, there are parties. Yes, there is drinking. Yes, there are drugs. For those people who want these things, they're there. However, there's also plenty to do without these things. Movie nights. Dances. Cultural celebrations of various types. Theater shows. Walks around campus, around Waltham, around Boston. Be creative. Not everyone at Brandeis drinks, and as far as I know, people are not usually pressured into doing anything they don't want to do.
There are lots of things to do. Sometimes events aren't as well attended as I would hope, especially dances. Things like liquid latex, Pachanga, Culture X, dance performances, etc. are all fun and well attended.
Some people party and drink 3 nights a week (Thursday through Saturday night...or Friday/Sat + another week night). Other people don't drink and party at all. My friends and I will drink and party as often as it sounds appealing and there are actual fun, well-attended parties to go to but if we have too much work and don't want to deal with the next morning hangover or tiredness, we'll stay in to watch movies or have a mellow night in Boston, etc. About Boston - some people never go in but some months I've gone in once a week for an interview, errands, to visit friends at other schools, etc. Drinking is what you make of it. I have some awesome friends that don't drink but they'll still come to the same dances and parties and have a good time. If you want to party (dance, meet people) but not drink, schools like BU have big dances and events where there are fewer drunk people and more dancing.
People should leave their doors open and that definitely happens in the beginning of the year but...it's unrealistic and annoying to do if you're studying, fucking, sleeping, or want some privacy for other reasons.
Fraternities and sororities are somewhat unnecessary and are not recognized by the university. If you already have multiple friends in one and you want to pledge, do it, but don't be the lame person that thinks they'll magically make awesome friends in a greek organization. They don't party as hard as most other schools' frats but they do host a few good parties.
The community service organization (Waltham Group) on campus is great and is really easy to get involved in. People are also involved in the intramural sports teams. Outside of extracurriculars, there is always stuff to do. How social your dorm is really depends on the people who live on your hall. Right now I have a pretty antisocial hall and people don't leave their doors open, which was really difficult at the beginning of the year, but some of my friends have really social halls. So it really depends. The athletic events are pretty popular, our basketball team did really well this past year so a lot of people went to that. I met my closest friends either through other friends, or just on my hall and in my classes. It's tough at the beginning of the year, but I think it is at most schools. There's always stuff going on during the weekends, but you have to be alert and lookout to find most of it. There's always stuff going on in Boston too and it's really easy to get to Boston with the free shuttle. On campus there's usually student events stuff going on: either a dance, concert or a group on campus is putting something together.
Between club activities, school sponsored events, and personally thrown parties, there are enough things to do in a given weekend that generally you have to prioritize, and sometimes do a "Mrs. Doubtfire" type thing (with the changing in the bathroom stalls) to be everywhere you want to be. This semester they've opened a late-night diner, which means even less sleep, more hanging out (if you want to of course), and actually some pretty nice food options. Russian Club meetings, for example, run from 10pm-1am on Thursdays (not mandatory attendance, and toward the end there are maybe 10 of us left). Previously this meant that at 1am we would begin doing our homework. Now this means that at 1am we go over to the diner, and hang out there until 3am...and then go do our hw. You meet people everywhere, from the shuttle stops, to clubs, to even classes (which is where I met one of my closest friends on campus). And, Brandeis provides free transportation into the local town (Waltham) as well as into Boston. Since we also have our own train stop on the commuter rail, it's pretty easy to get around off-campus, even without a car.
Groups I'm involved with are awesome. Banshee- women's Ultimate frisbee. Practice/workout most weeknights, tournaments on weekend, and party together. Great people. Hooked on Tap, tap performance, done for the semester but tons of fun. Vagina Club puts on the Vagina Monologues and creates the most incredible space for women and I can't imagine life without it now.
Dating? Ha. Orthodox Jews looking to get married and people hooking up. Not much between, it seems.
I was awake at 2am yesterday, technically Wednesday but we can call it Tuesday. I was sitting in the campus center "studying for my Hebrew midterm" actually talking to my friend about the various shit in our lives/linguistics/academics/courses we want to take/life. Good times.
Last weekend was Purim. Thursday night I was wasted and celebrated Purim the right way. Friday night I performed in the Vagina Monologues. Saturday was the matinée, and then I just chilled and did homework.
Acapella is way too popular on campus- I used to be in one so I totally understand the whole scene. Also comedy and dance groups are pretty abundant, as well as activism groups. I do quite a bit of comedy- improv, sketch, longform, you name it. It's just fun, and people love to laugh. The campus is kind of closed off, though, and athletic events have a really hard time drawing people, but it's gotten better in recent months. Guest speakers and theater are also a big part of student life. Dating...? I'm probably the wrong one to ask. You meet your best friends just by getting involved and spending time with people. Once you can get through the ice, everyone here is really genuine and interesting. The tricky part is taking that first step. Most people go out and party every weekend- frats and sororities aren't recognized on campus, but there are some that exist off campus. Compared to full blooded frats and sororities, they are really just there for the people who really want to be there. Fun that doesn't involve drinking? That's tough, but there are alot of rock and roll shows on campus as well as dances. Most likely you will just be relaxing and hanging out with your friends. Or going to services if you're Jewish. Off off campus is great though- everybody knows Boston is a college town.
Brandeis offers to each of its students whatever they want out of Brandeis. If they want to party hard, it's there. If they want to stay in on weekends and do work, it's there. If they want to go into Boston every weekend, it's there. If they want to see a play/performance every week, it's there.
Brandeis is entirely what you make of it.
I am on the Rugby team, but I also go to fraternity/sorority parties all the time - students often leave their doors open. Athletic events are borderline popular. I met my closest friends because they lived with guys on the Rugby team.
The 'dating scene' is just meeting people at parties. If you are awake at 2am on a Tuesday you are either at a bar, high, or writing a paper due wednesday. We have 'The Naked Dance' - the less you wear, the less you pay to go inside and dance. We have "Midnight Buffet" - the two nights before finals everyone gets together at midnight and has thousands of dollars worth of food and chills. We have a big band come once a semester, but they aren't that badass (OAR, Third Eye Blind, etc.) We had Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter come by...ehh...
Frats and Sororities are important if you go out a lot, but meaningless if you don't go out. Everyone parties on friday/saturday, few do on thursday, lots do on wednesday. It's weird here.
On a Saturday night if you don't want to drink you can watch a movie...or something. Drinking is a big part of the culture here as it is on every campus, and kids -do- go out to parties and not drink. Off campus we have bars, movie theatres, good food, Boston/clubs, etc.
I'm involved in the Ballroom Dance Team. It's very active and very hard. Everyone thinks dancing is easy, but when they do ballroom or latin, technique is involved and then it gets harder because when we compete judges will be looking for mistakes and other criteria. Most students leave their doors closed or partially open. I met my closest friends through other friends. Well, this past Tuesday at 2 am, I was working on a project with my partner. But most times it's finishing up that last bit that I couldn't get to before dance class. Large parties happen every year, but they're usually a bust since people get shut out an hour after doors open because of max capacity. So when we hold special events not everyone gets to go. I don't party on campus. Last weekend I hung out with the Russian Club and on Sunday spent the day in the library doing work. I don't drink alcohol; they can go bowling, out to eat, into Boston, eat at Ollie's. Off campus I go home and eat good food.
A CAPPELLA and THEATER are the two biggest consumers of students' time. So many shows, so many rehearsals! Athletic events are basically dead. Frats and sororities exist, even though the school doesn't officially recognize them, but they have a very small presence on campus.
I'm on crew and it is amazing, you should join. It's becoming more and more competitive and we compete in world-renowned regattas. I met most of my close friends through crew or orientation. If you're awake on Tuesday @ 2 AM you are probably studying...there aren't a lot of parties during the week but that's not something most students are looking for. Frats/Sororites aren't a big part of life but they can be if you want them to be. Last weekend I went to Boston, went to Chabad, hung out with friends, ordered in some food, studied, worked out, it was nice and relaxing. I think the weekend before that I went to parties and dances. You don't need to be a big drinker to get along at this campus which is nice!
Most popular organizations: A cappella groups (brandeis has the most per-capita), Positive Foundations (a hugely successful and proactive philanthropic group), ultimate frisbee (for a school of jewish nerds, we have a damn good team). There are only a few groups that stick out, which I guess is a little bit of a problem. There are so many groups that are small but do cool things, so none really stand out. It ends up being a campus with few defining organizations and big collection of smaller, more specific ones. Nonetheless, there are always events that bring people in droves like liquid latex where models get dressed in thongs and a layer of colorful latex paint, or the vagina monologues which are expertly acted by brandeis women.
A group I'm invovled with: The all-male a cappella group VoiceMale (www.brandeisvoicemale.com, sorry for the shameless plug, I hope that's alright). Voicemale, or VM, is the best a cappella group at Brandeis. Yes, I am being a little cocky, but that's because we work extremely hard and the end product is a polished, beautiful sound. We travel around the country singing covers of popular songs, from "home" by chris daughtry to "Where's the love" by Hanson. It's a lot of work, but the rewards are tremendous. We've sung for crowns of over 1,500 people, and over the radio to more than 10,000. We've taught classes in Arizona, and our CD's have sold more than 2,000 copies. Every year we tour and have a great time, either on the east coast or the west. Although the guys in the group can be a HUGE pain in the ass, I love singing at this level and the opportunities are amazing. We've met movie starts, music stars, and made hundreds of friends at other colleges. If you're a guy with a good voice, try out at the beginning of the year.
The most popular groups...depends who your friends are and the social circle you hang with most often. A lot of my friends are music/theater, so there is a theater show/concert every weekend, usually multiple at one time, and since Brandeis kids are so involved with stuff, you can't see or attend all of them. It's a great and terrible thing about Brandeis: Lots of good stuff happens all the time, so keep your priorities straight.
There are over 200 active clubs on campus, and most of them hold programs/events/fundraising, so you can't get bored. You'll get tired from the lack of sleep because you're doing so much. Don't come to Brandeis if you have poor time-management skills: there is so much to do and the student body is so involved that you too will feel like you need to do everything and more. Skydiving? Sure. Paintball? Ok. Musical? Why not. Liquid Latex? Sexy. And on top of that, high-level academics. Be good with time-management. I don't know if other schools do this, but Brandeis gives their students free planners to schedule their hectic lives.
Again with the relatively new university bit I stated before, you can make your own traditions. There aren't that many standing traditions, so there's plenty of room to make a namesake event. For example, I'm making a campus-wide scavenger hunt event for the spring. I like scavhunts, so I'm going to make one. The staff in Student Activities is all behind me on it. Brandeis flexibility in action.
A cappella is huge on campus. There might be 12 different groups with different styles. Sports are not very popular, so if you're not tight with the team, there's very little reason to stick with them. All the guys on my floor leave their doors open and we have a lot of fun bouncing from room to room. We had Bill Clinton speak here recently. It was amazing to say the least. There is a ton of theater at Brandeis. Each semester there are at least 5 undergraduate productions going on, and the Brandeis Theater Company puts on 4 productions each year from undergrads and grads. The dating scene is a little barren. They say that 60% of Brandeisians marry another Brandeisian, so take from that what you will. I'm currently seeing another Brandeis student, and I'd like to think that I'm extremely lucky that I found her. My closest friends are my dormmates. We live together and chill together. Often times we're all piled into a room at 3 in the morning just joking around and being loud. It's great. Last weekend, I went to a swimmer party and then the liquid latex after party. Then there was purim celebrations and a cast pre-production party. It was a busy weekend.
Students leave dorm doors open or unlocked often.
Athletic events are poorly attended.
There is a ton of theater, which is heavily attended within the theater community. We sell out a few shows, usually the musicals.
Liquid Latex is a unique event. Students design body art and get painted in liquid latex (wearing only a thong), then perform in skits or dances onstage. It's so cool, and very well attended every year.
I met my friends because they lived near me. Then once you start making friends, you meet their friends and it all snowballs. I met a lot of people doing theater and in chorus. Some people I know randomly, like I met them in the library once or something and we still are friendly.
Many people date non-Brandeis people, which isn't that hard since we're so close to Boston schools. On-campus dating is like anywhere: some great couples, lots of hook-ups, lots of singles. There are a few conservative, religious students who are engaged or married.
At 2am on a Tuesday, I am probably finishing up whatever homework I hoped to do that night and heading to bed after watching some TV.
Freshman party whenever they can. After that first year, people do one of three things: 1) join a frat/sorority and party a lot 2) drink and chill with close friends 3) not party at all.
Last weekend I went into Boston twice, shopped on Newbury street, saw two plays (both of which were worked on by Brandeis faculty), worked, did hw, drank some wine with friends.
Things you can't miss:
-Pachanga (huge dance hosted by International Club)
-the semester concert put on by Student Events, which this year hired Regina Spektor and Third Eye Blind
-24-hour musical (produced, rehearsed, and presented all within 24 hours)
On Saturdays, there's almost always a show or concert going on somewhere on campus. Improv groups, comedy groups, and music groups might have a performance. There's a late-night eating place to go with your friends. Heading into Boston or Cambridge.
BEMCo- Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps- we're what you get if you call 911 on campus. Amazing organization. Like I said we could be the biggest dorks on campus but instead we're just really good at intramural innertube water polo and intramural softball. And do cool continuing education hours like paintballing, bemco bowling, etc.
Banshee (Or Tron) Womens (or mens) Ultimate frisbee. Also as much of a social group as a sport. Actually I have nothing to say about this because the team has changed a lot since I was a freshman, when it was much more laid back. I am hoping for an overhaul of the leadership this coming year though and it should go back to being a lot of fun.
Athletic events- the only good ones are when the basketball teams are doing well. Which happens, and is a blast.
There is so much theatre and it all sucks. Which means I guess if you want to be involved its easy to...?
Acapella groups: If you don't make one, you must really really blow. Some are AMAZING though.
Dating scene- like any college. There is no dating. You hooked up when you were drunk and then ate lunch in the dining hall and then pracitcally live in each others space because thats how dorm life is.
I met my closest friends on my freshman hall. Also in my classes, studying together. Actually that has happened a lot. Where I knew one kid in the class, we studied in a group with other people, and I became close with the other people as well. That's exactly how I met the guy who would become my best college relationship. Now he's fucking the girl who lives literally next door to me. That makes me hate Brandeis.
If I'm awake 2am Tuesday- this has changed. Before it would mean I was studying. Now it means I am drunk, but I am a second semester senior. Or I am just goofing off with my housemates, dancing in the kitchen to flo rider.
Events every year- concert, pachanga, huck of the irish (frisbee thing), NCEMSF conference (EMT thing)
Like I said before, you party depending on your niche. I can't speak for others.
Theater is extremely popular at Brandeis, as are a capella groups.
What can you do on a Saturday night that doesn't involve drinking? The real question is, what can you do on a Saturday night, period.
Late night bagel runs are a must.
Cultural groups tend to be most popular clubs, producing lots of dances/performances/etc that are very fun to attend. Team sports are pretty cliquey and usually have a close bond but students on the outside dont really care.
I'm involved in ultimate frisbee which is a very tight club sport, we take a lot of weekend trips to tournaments, very intense practice schedule, etc.
Athletic events are not so popular. Guest speakers have been really great lately and get a good turnout. Theatre...is kind of popular. Usually has the same audience, either you go or you don't.
Dating scene definitely could be better. Either you are in a relationship or you get hit on by skeevy new jersey frat types.
Met my closest friends on my freshman year hall.
IF I'm awake at 2am...freshman year I probably would have been drinking/smoking, sophomore year I would have been with my boyfriend, this year I'd probably be doing homework.
Events that happen every year include PAchanga (fun dance), Liquid Latex (performance where students are wearing body paint), Culture X (almost every club that performs participates, its energetic and fun).
People party every weekend, but you kind of need to know people who are having parties, there don't tend to be huge ragers (unless they are frat parties which really aren't that great after freshman year) but mostly groups of friends reaching out to their friends-of-friends to have a medium sized party.
Last weekend I went to a club-night on campus, and drank with my friends in my on campus house. Spent a little time in Boston at the end of the week.
Saturday night without drinking...boston events/concerts, etc. Club events.
Off campus, go out to dinner, see boston, go to the aquarium or museum.
Brandeis offers a variety of clubs, although they tend to be defined by the people in them. Clubs like Debate Team and Mock Trial contain some of the most competitive of people at Brandeis, sometimes to the point where certain members they are insufferably cocky and form their own distinct cliques. A Capella and other musical groups also tend to be very tight night.
Athletic events bring fairly sizable audiences. Basketball, one of the sports Brandeis is better at, draws large crowds from across campus. However, compared to other more athletic schools with longer traditions, Brandeis cares far less about sports teams.
Like other good schools, Brandeis tends to draw some interesting speakers. When former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton came to speak, the crowds filled even the largest areas in the gymnasium. The total number of those attending always does depend on the popularity of the speaker as well as the food being served at the location. Still, for the most part these events are well attended.
The social scene at Brandeis is always a mixed blessing. While fraternities at Brandeis are not officially recognized and many students refuse to party, there usually are several things going on every weekend whether on or near campus. It is not hard at all to make friends at Brandeis, even if there is some initial awkwardness. Once you have enough friends, you are bound to hear something about parties on weekends if you asked. Some of the official dances sponsored by the Student Union aren't bad either, as long as you pre-game sufficiently beforehand. Alcohol is not difficult to find, as long as you know a few people who can help you with it. Really, Brandeis is not as bad as some people say in terms of partying.
Worst comes to worst, if there's nothing to do on campus, there's always Boston.
Most popular organizations are political and SEA (students for environmental action)
I am involved with the Ultimate frisbee team. It's a great group of people and most of my closest friends are on the team.
I'm the Waltham Group, which is the student-run community service organization. There are 13 programs, and students can get involved in as many as they want. They address issues of housing, education, healthcare, immigration, and homelessness.
Students leave their doors open until they go to sleep, when they lock them. It's a safe campus, and people are generally open to visitors.
I met my closest friends by living in the same dorms.
The dating scene is very chill. People generally meet through friends or at a party, and then hang out until something happens. A lot of people end up dating their close friends.
If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I'm probably talking to my friends, watching TV, playing video games, or smoking/drinking.
There are parties every Friday and Saturday, along with smaller party-like gatherings on Thursdays, and sometimes earlier in the week. There are a few bars off campus that students over 21 go to on Wednesdays. There are plenty of people who drink heavily every day, and plenty of people who abstain entirely.
There is a small unofficial greek scene at Brandeis. Their only point is really to throw parties. There is no pressure to join them, and they are not an overwhelming part of campus life. They don't think of themselves as being different than anyone else, and they're not cocky like fraternities and sororities at other schools. It's easy to be friends with them if you're not involved in Greek life.
There are always enough university-sponsored events on Saturdays (guest speakers, dances, shows, concerts) that you don't need to drink to have fun. There is also an hourly shuttle that goes into Cambridge and Boston, so you can go there if you're bored of campus.
Waltham is kind of ugly and if you live off campus you get to experience interesting things.....
like firecrackers or gunshots
or older people living in your basement that may or may not be selling drugs
or people claiming to pee in your driveway after your bike was stolen ten minutes prior
or being followed by four young men in a car while you walk the block to CVS... and then followed inside after they asked you where you were going, and whether you wanted a ride... at midnight after a blizzard
Anyway, parties happen and if you want you can go to 1 to 4 parties every Friday and Saturday night. Some are kind of naked, others are kind of fratty, and yet others might include wine and cheese.
If you take your academics seriously and haven't learned the art of bullshitting like many Brandeis students have, then going into Boston will be difficult because it is far enough away to take up a considerable amount of time.
I don't think there is one team or club that is big on campus, although SEA (students for environmental action), Hillel, and the sports club are very noticeable.
I'm most involved with the women's ultimate team. We practice, have tournaments, are very close.
I never closed my door.
I met my closest friends in ultimate and at other random events.
I'm always up at 2 am hanging out with friends.
There's always something going on around campus.
Fraternities/sororities are barely there.
The most popular groups on campus are a capella and improv groups. I'm involved with the ultimate women's frisbee team and love it. It was a great way for me to meet a lot of upperclassmen. People do leave their doors open, and most of my friends walk into my room without knocking. My closest friends live on my hall, were in my roommate's orientation group, and live in my building. Also my other closests friends are on the frisbee team. If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday I am probably attempting to study in the lounge on my hall but instead I am getting distracted and having a good time with my friends from the hall. One tradition is Pachanga, which happens every semester and is the biggest on campus dance. Another tradition is the freshman Black and White Semi-Formal Dance, the Sophomore Royal Ball, and the Junior-Senior Formal. Dating takes the form of hanging out on campus/ in each others dorm rooms. Not a lot of people "go on dates". People party on the weekends. Fraternities/Sororities are not that important here. There are 4 frats and 2 sororities. The sororities do not have houses so they don't really add anything to the social life here. The frats are not like other colleges, they are really chill and a great place to hang out with friends on Friday/Saturday nights when they hold parties. All the guys are really nice. People tend to make a face if you say that you're in a sorority. Last weekend I went to Maryland for a frisbee tournament. The weekend before that I went to a frat party on Friday night with my friends, and Saturday night I went to Pachanga with my friends. On a Saturday night if you don't want to drink you can go into Harvard Square on the free shuttle and get dinner and see a movie with friends, or go into Boston. There are also a ton of shows (improv, theater, a capella) occuring.
1) The first ones that come to mind are Crew(as in the sport) and Ultimate Frisbee. Intramural sports are actually really big on campus. Crew, of course, is basically varsity, yet it's a club. That one confuses me. Ultimate Frisbee as a sport itself, too, would be considered varsity, but it does not qualify as a varsity sport in any university because it does not have referees. Other groups that are big are community service groups, especially one of which I do not remember the name. However, you can find basically ANY club on campus (bowling, figure drawing, videogaming, poker), and if it doesn't exist, you just make it.
2)As an example of obscure clubs, I'm in the Wun Hop Kuen Do club. What is Wun Hop Kuen Do, you ask? Exactly. It's a mixed martial art. Unfortunately, the martial arts scene on Brandeis is currently at a low point, because it's been overtaken by things like pilates and all that tomfoolery. It doesn't help that it seems to be a 1500 year-old tradition that different types of martial arts aren't allowed to get along, though my friends in different styles and I are trying to fix this problem, because none of us alone have many members, but together we can be a more persuasive force.
3)It depends if they want to chat with other people or not. I leave mine open if I want to. Then again, I live in a single, which has made me far more social. As for people locking them when they leave? Well, I do. I also know that there are plenty of people who don't.
4)The popularity of athletic events depends upon two factors: The first is whether the team is doing well or not, and the second, most important factor being whether or not there is free food available. The same goes for any event, actually -- free food means everyone on campus will be there. Guest speeches depend on who the speaker is. EVERYONE went to see Jimmy Carter. EVERYONE went to see Bill Clinton. Theater is a very exclusive niche on campus. It's not huge among non-theater majors, though non-theater students sometimes put on plays.
5)This will be very telling: I'm not interested in dating at all.
6)For some, it was taking classes with them. For others, it was leaving my door open.
7)Surfing the 'net. Some people would be up at 2am doing work; other people just . . . go to sleep at 2am on a regular basis for no reason.
8) There are a lot. Purim party (lots of drinking), Liquid Latex (a show where people only wear liquid latex), the Drag fashion show, Asian Lunar New Year, Pachanga (lots of drinking), Culture X . . . good times.
9) Depends on the person. A lot of people I know party every Friday and Saturday, others don't party at all.
10) Technically, they're not allowed to exist at Brandeis. Thus they are kept on the down-low.
11) Last weekend I said I was going to do work but I didn't do much. I went to Kung Fu and Fencing, played videogames with my friends, drew, read the Tao Te Ching, and modified the programming of a videogame.
12) Sleep or hang out with friends in the dorm. There is nothing to do on a Saturday night that does not involve drinking.
13) I go to BOSTON off campus. What DON'T I do off campus?
There are a lot of events that go on every week. You have to check the on-line calendar and e-mails to know about all of the theatrical performances, guest speakers, dances, etc.
They just opened a new late-nite dinner that's open until 3 am Wed. through Sun. On the weekends, people go to on-campus parties with drinking and music.
There are unrecognized frats and sororities off-campus that those interested participate in.
I'm involved in Student Union government and enjoy helping to oversee clubs and advocating for enhanced quality of life.
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