Colgate University Top Questions

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Heather

There are a lot of popular student groups and activities. Many students are involved in some kind of athletics, whether it be varsity, club, or intramural. Likewise, Greek-life has a fairly large presence on campus. These groups participate in leadership and service activities. It also is a really good chance to familiarize with and expand the amount of your social cohorts. Additionally, there are a lot of students that are active at the COVE (the community service center). The COVE has a lot of different service opportunities. There are chances to tutor, clean-up the earth, work with under-privileged children and adults, to build sites, and to travel the country for service. It is a great resource that I have loved being involved with.

Heather

There are a lot of popular student groups and activities. Many students are involved in some kind of athletics, whether it be varsity, club, or intramural. Likewise, Greek-life has a fairly large presence on campus. These groups participate in leadership and service activities. It also is a really good chance to familiarize with and expand the amount of your social cohorts. Additionally, there are a lot of students that are active at the COVE (the community service center). The COVE has a lot of different service opportunities. There are chances to tutor, clean-up the earth, work with under-privileged children and adults, to build sites, and to travel the country for service. It is a great resource that I have loved being involved with.

Jim

The greek system tends to dominate the social scene. There is always at least one house having a party every Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday. When the weather is nice on Saturdays, day drinking, aka Fraterdays are popular. Once you turn 19, you can get into the Jug, which is about as embedded in the culture of the school as Adam and Eve (our swans). Its a bar/dancefloor, using the term loosely, where the mixture of too many drinks and horny co-eds turns into magic. Remember: jug make outs don't count. Although usually you can't remember these in the first place....

James

We are in upstate New York so most students spend little time outside of the 'Colgate Bubble'- on campus or downtown. The social scene mainly consists of beer soaked frat parties and the six bars downtown, but we make the most of it and have a great time doing so. Kids at Colgate rarely date, and if they do, its only after hooking up for awhile before hand. Social events revolve around drinking and its pretty safe to say this contributes to the hook up culture. You quickly learn how to deal with seeing the person you hooked up with the night before in the sober light of day. Those who do not drink or are unwilling to go out frequently may want to consider looking elsewhere.

Catherine

A senior tries his hand at the chubby bunny challenge, with raucous background support from some crazy Colgate kids.

Laura

There is a large social life on campus, if that is what you are looking for but there are a million ways to get around the drinking scene and still have fun. There are greek organizations at Colgate yet they do not dominate everyones life, I personally was not part of them yet still was able to attend events and have a great time. There is a super small dating scene at colgate, most people are just there to study, have fun, and make great friends.

Ryan

Many activities are available around campus, and are encouraged to join them. Social life is drinking, with more drinking sometimes available. SPRING PARTY WEEKEND.

Alex

Freshman year involves a lot of drinking in dorm rooms. Greek life is pretty big on campus. Off campus houses are also good for parties, but more for upperclassmen. There is more random hooking up than dating at Colgate, although old fashioned dating does happen. Intramurals are extremely competitive. I made some of my best friends through my intramural football team. There is nothing on a Saturday that doesn't involve drinking. Yea, I smoke cigarettes that I roll myself, if you catch my drift. Supposedly there is cocaine use in the frat houses, but I have no experience with it myself. Alot of kids have tried shrooms. I mean, its college.

Brooke

The ice hockey team and lacrosse team are very good and draw a big fan base. We aren't known for football but considering our size, tailgates draw in a massive crowd. People tend to go out 3 times a week on average (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday). Fraternity life is really big as is the COVE, the outreach volunteer center. The COVE is the place to go when it comes time to narrow down which volunteer organizations you want to join. Students do leave their dorm rooms open. Acapella groups and Dancefest, the dance event held each semester draw massive, massive groups to see both the talented singer and dancers that live among us but also to cheer on friends, roommates and classmates. Colgate is the perfect size when it comes to meeting people. It may take a while to find your niche but Colgate is self-contained making it very easy to meet people, and see known and unknown faces throughout your 4 years.

Shannon

There are fraternities and sororities at Colgate, but students are not allowed to pledge until their sophomore year. This allows students to make friends their freshman year before joining a greek organization. There have been great guest speakers this year including Ben Stein and the Dalai Lama. It is typical for a Colgate student to go out three nights a week and still maintain a great GPA. The campus feels extremely safe, and it's normal for students to wave, smile and say hello across the quad between classes.

Meghan

Having the Dalai Lama was a guest speaker speaks to the prestige of the university. You can always find something to do at Colgate whether it be partying or school sponsored events. If your worried about being bored don't be.

allison

Frats and sororities definitely seem to play a big part in the social atmosphere. As small as the school is, it seems like many students want to rush and join. When I lived in a dorm we usually locked our door. There are different cultural and ethnic events held throughout the year. There are concerts and dance fest twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring. The Dalai Lama came to speak this past spring semester and there was definitely a lot of reception with that. However, it still seems to take a lot to get students to come to different events sponsored and held by the university. I'd say there's a pretty big party scene at Colgate. While the students are smart and work hard, they also know how to party hard.

Scott

There are plenty of ways to get involved but for a guy fraternities are pretty fun. As long as you find a group of people that you enjoy spending time with you will have plenty to do. While drinking and that scene is the most prevalent extracurricular activity there is plenty to do.

Wil

There are numerous students groups on campus and if one isnt available for the student to participate, they can start their own. Drinking is readily available for those who wish to partake, however, there are alternatives which are available for those who do not want to drink.

Jack

At Colgate, students are socially greek, play a sport, are black, or host their own house parties. Just about everyone gets wasted on the weekends, and Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday are also popular nights to go out. Spring Party Weekend and Alumni Weekend are always shitshows. As far as sports go, people care more about tailgating football than football but hockey games are always rowdy and fun. Personally I met my closest friends within my fraternity (I know I'm such a meathead) Theta Chi and I have memories there that I wouldn't trade for anything save living Hugh Hefner's life (before his Viagra days). Everyone at Colgate hooks up, and most hook up a lot. Its always funny walking down Broad Street and 8-9am Saturday morning in last nights outfit and exchanging knowing glances with those who walk by you. Oh and a Saturday night without drinking isn't a Saturday night at all. My typical Friday night would include pregaming at a townhouse, partying at my frat, heading downtown to the bars, and then going home with someone or settling for a piece of pizza at "Slices".

Torry

see the big picture

Charlie

I spent the first semester of my freshman year sober. I almost want to say that I had a hard time avoiding alcohol, in order not to sound cliche, but really, I never felt much pressure to drink. Sure, it was available, so it wasn't simply a matter of not being able to obtain it. It was just that no one ever really made me feel like I was missing out. When I went to parties, I played beer pong with water in my cups, and the other team made sure to rinse the ball well. I played flip cup with soda, which was almost harder because of the carbonation. Of course, I wasn't much fun at games where the punishment or the purpose was to make someone drink, but that didn't bother me much. And if I didn't want to be around alcohol, there was always something else to do, besides. It's surprising that in a culture so devoted to drinking, I really didn't get the sense that I was unwelcome. I suppose that the quality of people says more about Colgate than the quantity of Keystone consumed does, in the end.

Jordan

I would say Colgate is a very social campus but the majority of things revolve around partying. Athletic events do not get the turnout I would like and usually if I'm doing something social it's either hanging out in a friend's room or going to a party.

Alex

Colgate administration and student groups host tons of concerts, parties, and other events year round which are fun to go to, but Colgate there are certain things you absolutely cannot miss. Dancefest is an awesome concert twice a year when a bunch of dance clubs at Colgate perform in the Chapel in front of a jam packed audience. Spring Party Weekend is the most outrageous couple of days of your life, guaranteed. I can't think of words that can accurately describe it -- you have to experience it. Football games are somewhat popular to go to, as are the lacrosse games, if they are good that year. Hockey games are good too, especially when playing Cornell (SUNY-Ithaca). Actually, almost any sporting event is great to attend if you're hammered. The university has been trying hard to get students more passionate about sports teams. Frats parties are reliable for a good time. I've never been to a sorority party though; never really had to.

Whitney

All athletic teams tend to spend their time together but this is not to say that athletes and non-athletes are not friends. There are parties almost every night in one place or another but Monday and Tuesday nights are the only ones that can be dead. Most people choose not to be in a relationship but that does not mean that relationships arent around. My closest friends were met in my freshman dorm, freshman classes and on my softball team. There are also many things to do for people who dont want to drink, there is a movie theater in town, a couple resteraunts and nearly every weekend there is an event of some kind put on by the school's many groups.

Kathleen

A lot of students are really involved at Colgate, especially because we are a D1 school. If you are looking to play a D3 sport, you might initially be disappointed because it's either D1 or club sports, but you'll probably find a niche after a few years. A ton of students are involved in Greek Life, but I no longer think that's so terrible. There is are low key frats and sororities that offer mixers and brother/sisterhood without all the hazing. Also, I opted out of Greek life and still feel strongly a part of the Colgate community. You just have to keep an open mind. Another thing that's cool about Colgate is that you can change things. Through "The Psychology of Leadership," a course that is a part of the (optional) Sophomore Year Experience, students invest in a semester long project concerning an issue they would like to change at Colgate or Hamilton, the world, etc. This empowers students to create their own social options and to even seek funding for them! Past projects include "Bring Back the Date," which received funding to provide dating options for Colgate students, and "Ba" which provided students with the opportunity to engage in more authentic conversations on campus. I think this is a unique feature of Colgate that exemplifies how things will work out because the faculty and students are so passionate about their Colgate experience.

Patrick

There are over 400 registered activities on campus a semester and 96% of all of the students stay on campus during the weekends...there is always something to do.

Nina

Students live in dorms for 2 years; Greek housing or apartments for last 2 years; and optional off campus last year. You meet your friends through your initial living arrangments and Greek/social life if you choose. Also other activities help you meet students. The school is small, so you may hear of people, then run into them and become good friends from there. Big going out nights are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Seniors choose to go out a lot on Mondays and Thursdays because there are less drunk freshmen. The Jug is the most famous bar because 19 year olds get it. It's ridiculous and also somewhat famous. Some people choose not to party, and that's ok too. Honestly, it's a really accepting place. Fun doesn't mean drunkenness if you don't want it too. Off campus there are movie theaters and Syracuse (mall and civilization) is 45 minutes away. There are also gorgeous places to go. Skiing and outdoor wintery stuff, etc. Lake Moraine has sailboats and stuff for students. Colgate is ultra traditional - go to the website because all they say is tradition this and that. But it's a lot of fun and really unifies the student body and university itself.

Michelle

Rugby is a very populat Club sport team on the Colgate campus. I am involved with Club Volleyball which is great because it is not too serious and is not a great time commitment since we have two scheduled practices per week. Intramural sports are great to keep you active and to give you time to enjoy yourself with your friends. Most students feel comfortable to leave their dorm rooms open which provides a friendly atmosphere. Each year Colgate has Spring Party Weekend which is basically the last weekend that all students go out before finals in the spring semester. A band is hired to play on Whitnall Field and all students completely disregard their school work for this one week. It's a great way to enjoy the weather [if it's nice out] and just have a great, stress free time with your friends. My brother graduated from Colgate right as I entered in as a freshmen and this is the one weekend he keeps coming back for. Greek life is very prevalent among the Colgate students. For males I believe it is a much bigger deal since fraternity pledge classes are small forcing the students to truly bond with one another. Also most fraternity members live in their respective houses further isolating themselves from non greek males. Sororities on the other hand are not a big deal at all. Sororities only enable girls to attend mixers with fraternities as well as formals. Half of my friends are in one and half are not and to be honest, all the guys don't even realize who is in one and who is not in one.

Joe

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday are probably the most popular nights to go out.

Emily

I am the President of my class and love it. I plan activities for my class and combine with other classes as well, promoting interactions amongst the many different groups on campus. The dating scene is virtually non-existent; random, and occasionally, long-term hook-ups are extremely prevalent. Drunken make-out sessions are essentially equal to shaking someone's hand. The days for going out are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Social life essentially revolves around the Greek scene, but if you aren't involved or interested in being Greek, or don't like to drink, you can always find other parties at the townhouses, dorms or apartments or attend many of the sober offerings, such as free movies, game nights, formals or one of the many lectures, guest speakers or performances constantly happening on campus.

Charlene

There are many things to get involved with at Colgate and a majority of the student body takes advantage of this. Most people play some sort of sport either varsity, club, or intramural. There are also a lot of clubs and organizations that cater to almost anything you can dream of. If there is a club that does not exist it is easy to get a new one started and the participation is usually pretty good.

Evan

So varied. Sorry, but I can't answer that one. There are lots of places to drink and not as many places not to.

Blake

It's hard to say what the most active groups on campus are, because for the most part, colgate lacks enough space to host any large student run events. dorms are generally left open, though its recommended you lock your actual room door. Again, students are rather apathetic and don't attend too many events. Spring Party Weekend is the major event on campus- 3 days (10 if you count the week prior) of drunkenness. Most people keep pretty late hours academically, especially during finals. Though, it's not uncommon for people to party 4 days a week.

Caroline

The social life at colgate is great for such a small school. 5 out of the 7 nights a week there is something going on for the particularly party driven student. For those who choose not to enjoy the frats or the infamous jug, there are many other options, including theater events, free movies, music, etc. Speakers are very well attended, as Colgate draws an impressive crowd of eloquent and intelligent people to bestow their knowledge upon us. There are some great yearly events that draw major crowds, including spring party weekend, which is a weekend in spring where groups hold events that allow people to have fun before the onset of finals.

Jessica

Lots of partying..We study hard but party even harder which is great..there are also social events and movies provided by the school if you do not drink..

Nick

Frats, beer, Beirut, random hookups. There are parties Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Jill

I am in a sorority and on the soccer team. I have met my closest friends from my team and other teams. The friends I have met at Colgate are amazing and will be in my life for ever. Sports are dominant but athletes are NOT exclusive. My sorority has plenty of athletes, along with the others.

Jesse

Not a lot to do here, therefore everyone drinks A LOT

Alex

PARTY PARTY PARTY. Biggest hook up school; the administration even had to create a group on campus to "bring back the date"

Colleen

The Colgate environment is extremely safe. I don't think I ever locked the door to my freshman dorm room, and my housemates and I rarely lock our door now, even living off campus. There is next to no crime in the town of Hamilton, nor on the Colgate campus. I have never once been nervous to walk around by myself at night. Seriously, the scariest thing around here is almost being sprayed by a skunk! Along the lines of the area being safe, everyone is very comfortable with each other. There is always something to do, and people are always inviting you to something. Athletics are huge on the Colgate campus - almost a fifth of students are varsity athletes, and almost all the rest are involved in intramural or club sports. Games are fun to go to or participate in yourself. The Greek scene is also really big. I think it's great that we don't go through recruitment until sophomore year. That way, you have a full year here to check out the scene and see if its right for you. You can also make a group of friends before joining a Greek organization, and that way it doesn't dictate to you who your friends are. I have friends in all the Greek organizations, which makes them all cooperate well. Even if you don't join a Greek organization, you can still tangentially participate by going to parties, dances, or helping out their philanthropies. There are tons of clubs to be involved in as well. I think the majority of Colgate students list at least three organizations or activities that they are involved in. We dedicate a lot of time to our schooling, but studying is by far not the only thing we do.

Andy

The campus is very safe, although there have been recent robberies in the dorms. There is no dating scene. Students travel up and down the hill by Cruiser buses that make the same routes daily. The school is very big on traditions and there is even a senior honor society devouted to maintaining the "Colgate Mission" or whatever. The greek scene is more important for guys than girls, but you;ll be just fine if that isn't yoru thing. Everybody drinks on the weekends, but you can always see movies, go to sporting events or just tackle the never ending amounts of work you have.

Daniel

Nightlife at Colgate IS the Jug. The Jug is a bar/club that every night at Colgate inevitably ends at. People show up at about midnight and stay until closing at 2:30. After that, the night is over. Frats and bars kick people out after that hour. Due to a convenient lawsuit with local police, the Jug is able to serve 19 year olds who show student ID. However, a recent state police raid on the Jug has shut the bar down and some question when it will return. Inevitably, I believe, it will be back in action in Fall 2008. All other activities at night seem to be pregaming the trip down to the Jug. That isn't to say there's nothing to do; houses, apartments, and frats all over host drinking and beer pong two or more nights per week. People will usually find themselves doing the same (sometimes the exact same) things weekend after weekend.

Sarah

The social life at Colgate is amazing. Although several events are alcohol oriented, there are other opportunities for students who do not wish to drink. Everyone has the perception that all we do at Colgate is get drunk, when the fact of the matter is that several students opt out of fraternity parties to go into town and watch a movie, or go just about anywhere to hang out with friends.

John

If you are looking to party, then coming to Colgate is the right decision!

Angelica

Colgate is a small college, in a small town. There's not much to do but get drunk and go to parties. The general consensus is that a party isn't a "cool" party without alcohol, and this upsets me because the drinking environment creates an unhealthy "hookup" environment. As someone who rarely drinks, and probably never would if there were better alternatives, I feel a bit excluded from the fun. I would like to go out and party without watching people get sick and men hump girls that can barely stand. What is more frustrating is that Colgate has some really cool events going on and the attendance rates are just depressing. Provocative speakers, and talented musicians and performers take time out of their hands to enrich our community.

Becca

A large part of the social scene is drinking, but if I've found that you don't need to drink to have fun. There are game nights, sponsored by The Game's Afoot!, the Colgate gaming club, that offer nerf battles, Risk, Smash Brothers, Rock Band, and any other game you can think of to play. The movie theater has the latest movies, and there are always concerts and interesting lectures available. You also have the option of joining any number of clubs or recreational sports teams. I'm an Outdoor Education staff member, so I often spend my weekends out skiing, whitewater canoeing, or mountain biking. It's a pretty awesome job, and a great way to get to know people.

Jon

Division I athletics are an enormous part of Colgate's extracurricular scene, but the school offers something for everyone. We have a strong arts program on campus, encompassing studio arts, music, and theater. There are political groups, cultural groups, and media communications groups. Room selection will almost certainly place you with others from similar extracurricular interests. In terms of social life, as I've addressed, this is a party-oriented campus, but not everyone parties or drinks. For those who do, we have six fraternities, three bars, and a downtown club-like place called the Jug. For those who don't, we have the Take Two movie series, as well as various student performances (e.g. a capella groups). There's something for everyone.

caryn

You think you are involved now...I don't know one Colgate student who isn't the President of Club X and leader in Activity Y. We are all involved and active on campus and that is why we love it so much. Running from one meeting to the next, studying with friends, hanging out between classes, we find time for it all.

John

Colgate is a fairly large drinking school, which is probably understandable considering its location and its proximity to any major city.. or lack thereof. For the most part, a good number of students party pretty much on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, with much smaller days being tuesday and then the almost non-existent sunday night. But there's still plenty to do on Campus that doesn't involve alcohol, there's a number of groups and clubs like the Game's Afoot which has tons of gaming nights throughout the year, movies every friday and saturday night, dance parties and other events. There's also really no pressure to drink if you don't want to from what i've seen, people here seem pretty chill about the whole thing and generally tend to follow a "more for me" attitude if you decide not to. The one thing i do have to say though is, if you're looking for a dating relationship, Colgate is DEFINITELY not the place for you. Colgate's dating scene, although there have been several attempts made this past year to "bring back the date" is virtually non-existent. The main thing is for people to go to the Jug in town at night and come back with random hook-ups for the day.

Whitney

There is not much to do at Colgate for a social life besides going to the Frats and the Jug( a bar). There are plenty of activities though and events. We also have a really good outdoor Ed. program. I went caving last semester and to D.C. for a rally and Colgate paid for it all.

Susan

Everyone plays squash... Actually, quite a few do but a lot of the campus is a varsity athlete and if not then they play a club sport or intramurals are popular. Groups like Breat Cancer awareness, WeFunk, SGAC are very popular. I am apart of the club tennis and ice hockey team. Both are very relaxed, low stress teams. It was a big shock coming from competitive varsity sports to club. Most everyone I know leaves their doors unlocked or open. Colgate feels very safe and is very welcoming, rarely does anyone knock. Athletic events are not well attended but you can always find someone to go with. Guest speakers are spotty, it depends on how well they are advertised. Dating scene is there but Colgate is mostly a hook-up school. Sometimes there are one-night stands sometimes they are repetative, but dating is rare. I met my closest friend on the pre-orientation outdoor adventure that Colgate provides. My other friends are my roommates and who they are friends with through class and clubs. If it were 2am on a Tuesday, you are either sleeping, watching a movie with friends, just leaving the library (it closes at 2) or in the 24 study room. Frats and sororities are a major presence on campus. Frat parties are very popular and rushing a sorority is a big deal sophomore year. Last weekend was Spring Party Weekend. It's a series of bands, parties, BBQs, events and competition that spans the entire weekend. Lots of fun! A Saturday night without drinking, you can go to the CAB sponsored movie at 7 and 9 pm. Watch a movie in the dorm, or create your own fun in the dorm or outside. In the winter, sledding down the ski hill is a popular past-time. Off campus is some good restaurants, a grocery store and a Wise Buys. In the fall there is a farmer's market on Saturday morning.

Gene

Colgate brings in a good number of cool, well-known guest speakers, which is fun. Greek life is very prevalent but there are tons of people that do not participate. The Greek community is very welcoming, always hosting parties and the like. There are only four sororities, each with a very specific personality, which I find to be a negative thing - wish they had more options. I think that being on an athletic team or being in Greek life is very necessary to having a group of friends. Freshman year, it's easy to make friends I'd say, but people find their group and click. As a freshman, I've heard that you kind of lose out/miss out in the later years if you don't have a solid group that you've found (whether it's the outdoor education leaders, Greek life, or an athletic team, it's something pretty large that has various outlets).

Grant

Greek life is pretty important here. Not dying as administration tried to do to it several years ago. Theres even some dating here. Things can be a little closed down at times socially but the open parties are great and the freshmen all do their own thing up the hill in the dorms. It's a really great thing that they're separated because you really get to know your class year well. Speakers are also amazing. We got the Lama for god sake. If you're into theater we actually have a pretty good program too.

Mike

Hockey is the most respected sport here. People spend their time wisely; they study early so tha they can go out every night (for the most part) except for Sundays and Tuesdays.

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