California Institute of Technology Top Questions

What are the most popular student activities/groups?


Theatre majors James and Tim explain who's involved with the Student One-Act plays and the importance of theatre in the Wabash culture.


Students Russ, Josue, and Kyle talk about the importance of art and music on Wabash at the All-Campus Talent Show.


Very little if you are working 100 hours /week


People don't really have time for many activities. The average student has about two slightly time consuming activities outside schoolwork. More would be impossible. These range from sports to singing, dancing, playing video games or being involved in student government. Students are generally always consulted on issues that concern them. There are several committees who serve these roles, and students serve on them by volunteering or being elected in the houses. Not may people leave campus, mainly because of lack of time. The most often is diner and a movie on weekends off campus. People stay up very late doing work. It's usual to hear people saying they went to bed after 5 am. Sleeping is rare and very precious. Many people complain about the social scene especially because of the male/female ratio and the smallness of the college. But most of the time people just hang out and talk. I like this very much because it's more entertaining. You find out stuff, you laugh. There are also parties, but not as often as in other colleges. The dorm life is very intense, there's always something going on, everyone keeps their doors open and music goes on till 4 am.


Almost everyone you will meet from 'tech will give their two cents about the social life there: a skewed male-female ratio, nerdy and eccentric students, etc. As far as the ratio goes, if you are a guy, you're going to be in for some tough times with the women for the next 4 years. All the desirable girls are usually picked up within the first 1/2 of freshman year, leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves. My buddies and I were able to meet girls outside of school, however, since 'tech is within walking distance of PCC, and driving distance of UCLA. But all in all, on-campus dating is a nightmare, that not only creates frustration for the guys, but creates this weird social divide amongst the women that I cannot fully describe nor comprehend (This would be a good thesis topic for some of you sociology majors out there. The rest of the partying that you would associate with any college environment is actually quite intact at Caltech. At least once every year, each "house" within campus will host a mega-party, complete with a custom-built structure that students will spend weeks of their academic term building. Also, expect friendly but nerdy conversation in whichever dorm you live in.


Caltech uses a 'housing' system. There are 8 dorm buildings, each of which is a house with a strong sense of community. In a way, it's like a mixed gender fraternity/sorority, but since everyone is a member of at least one house, they don't all have the party atmosphere. Some howses can be described as more studious, others more athletic, and others more of a party enviornment. Within a house, almost everyone knows everyone else, and people are generally particularly friendly and helpful to members of their own house. Since most people in a house live together, most of your friends are in your house. The housing system also provides a good way to find people if you need help with anything.


Problem sets are very prevalent in Techers' lives. Some people even adjust their sleep around when sets are due. Despite all this, we do have fun. There are generally two prevailing mindsets, though. There are people who do their work and then have fun, and there are people who procrastinate on their work by having fun. Both have its pros and cons. Each Hovse has its own traditions, but people can always choose to not participate. The biggest party on campus is Interhovse, where the four South Hovses team up with the three North Houses and Avery. In addition to Interhovse, each Hovse puts together its own party throughout the course of the year. The amount of preparation for these parties, which can in and of itself act as a social event, depends on the particular Hovse. The (male to female) ratio is pretty bad. That's because we don't admit women just because they're women. This results in a lot of misery and bitterness for everybody. Glomming (a number of men hitting on one woman) is common, and a common saying among the upperclassmen around prefrosh weekend or rotation is "Don't fuck the prefrosh." Go to bed, frosh, Ditch Day is tomorrow.