The most popular student groups, activities and teams on campus are Greek life, the Student Programming Council, College Council, Wonderful Wednesdays, No Strings Attached a cappella group, the Indian Cultural Exchange, Korean Undergraduate Student Association, the mens' soccer, baseball and basketball teams, Karma Bhangra dance group, and AHANA dance group. I've been a part of the Student Programming Council since I was a freshman, and now as a senior, I'm the president. SPC, as we're known, is responsible for planning all the university-wide student events, including concerts, comedians, carnivals, field days, trivia nights, etc. In the past we've brought artists, such as Big Boi, Wiz Khalifa, NERD, Third Eye Blind, Matt and Kim, One Republic, Girl Talk, Super Mash Bros, B.O.B. and T.I. We also give out the most free t-shirts and food to students throughout the year. We plan the biggest events on campus, like Homecoming Week and Dooley's Week, dedicated to our unofficial skeleton mascot. These weeklong events usually include a couple of concerts and a comedian. Being a member has been one of the best and most fun experiences I've had at Emory. Student government groups, like the College Council and the Student Government Association, bring educational speakers like Soledad O'Brien, Spike Lee and Cornell West. Athletic events don't get too much of a show at Emory. Few students usually attend sporting events, but the most popular among them are the men's soccer, baseball and basketball games. Dance, theater and cultural groups are also a big source of Emory student activities. There are at least two dance shows per semester, as well as at least two theater productions per semester. Tickets usually sell out quickly so students buy them in advance. Emory also has a really great student activity called Wonderful Wednesdays where student groups gather in the center of campus at Asbury Circle every Wednesday for a few hours to publicize future events, promote their clubs or just to hang out. There's usually free food and there's always music playing. The tradition stemmed from the 1970s when the then president of Emory cancelled Wednesday classes in hopes that a mid-week break would encourage students to study more. Classes were reinstated some time later and Wonderful Wednesdays came back in 2005, thanks to the work of a secret society, as the weekly club gathering it is today. It's almost impossible to avoid stopping and hanging out for a while at WW. Social life at Emory gets a bad reputation because we're known as a smart school, but most students generally go out every weekend. Students in Greek life tend to party and go out the most about 3-4 nights a week to frat parties or local bars. Students who aren't in Greek life often go to house parties or local bar areas around Atlanta. There's a lot to do in Atlanta and on campus if you're not Greek. To show a little bit of that variety, last weekend I went to a Christmas-themed frat party one night and the next night I went to a small, local bar that encourages its patrons to play board games while they drink. Tuesday and Thursday nights are also really big going out nights at Emory. There are fewer weekend activities on campus that don't involve drinking than those activities that do, but there is a lot of university-sponsored late night programming on Friday and Saturday nights, like karaoke, food fairs and movie nights in our cinema. Students can also go off campus through our shuttle programs to museums, parks, malls or the aquarium, which is really popular in Atlanta. Greek life is quite big at Emory, more than most people who don't go to Emory think, but it's not as big as it would be in a state school for example. I have as many friends in Greek life as I do outside of Greek life. Most of my current close friends lived in my hall freshman year but I've also met many more close friends through my sorority and through Greek life. In the residence halls, it seems that most students in older dorms leave their doors open more than students who live in the newer dorms that have been built throughout the last four years. In any case, it's really easy to meet people at Emory, whether it be through your residence hall, Greek life, student clubs or through mutual friends.
Emory's student activities cover a broad range, although some are definitely more popular than others. Religious and ethnic groups are generally large and very active, setting up events not just for their constituents but for the student body at large as well. Volunteer Emory runs events constantly, and many students involve themselves in the service projects around the community. Political groups also have large followings, and attract prominent speakers throughout the year. Candidates for political offices in Georgia make campaign stops on campus, and prominent politicians from across the country, most recently Mitt Romney. Fraternities and sororities make up a large part of the Emory social scene, with most estimates being around one third of undergraduates. Weekends are typically dominated by frat parties, although service trips during the day and occasional alcohol-free programming happen too. Clubs are popular for weeknights as well. although many students choose not to drink, a large amount of Emory students do - it's not difficult to get access to drinks if you're interested, even as an underage student. Marijuana is definitely popular on campus, but harder drugs are much rarer, although not completely non-existent. Emory's dating scene is more typically a hook-up culture, although some people do end up in committed relationships. Sporting events are not very popular, due partly to the lack of any big time sports programs and also to the lack of publicity for sporting events, but the arts are definitely prominent at Emory. Theater, a capella performances, concerts and art galleries often sell out, and there are typically events of some sort occurring every week. Emory has a few very fun customs. The year begins for Freshmen with Songfest, which takes place at the very end of orientation. Each Freshman Hall spends the week practicing song and dance routines that were written by the RAs and SAs in each building, and then have to perform it in front of the entire class. Although some kids decide not to go, most Freshman attend, and the atmosphere gets very intense as people try and win the competition. Another major tradition is Dooley's Week, which takes place in the spring. Dooley, a skeleton who is the unofficial mascot of Emory, wanders around campus throughout the week dismissing students from class by showing up. The entire week is full of partying and events, including food tasting, comedians, and concerts (this year features Kid Cudi and Girl Talk).
I think almost everyone on campus is involved with either a community service initiative or a part of Greek life, or in both. There are a bunch of multicultural organizations, but they tend to stick together moreso than the other members of community service and greek life who seem to branch out more to others. I am involved with numerous global health organizations since health is a big part of Emory's curriculum. Students are involved with the Atlanta community as a part of Volunteer Emory or other service organizations. Athletic events aren't really big here, but I think artistic student groups are pretty fun and well attended. A lot of alums attend the soccer games, but other than that, I am not sure about the other sports. The dating scene usually starts as an upperclassmen, but the hook up culture is definitely prevalent. A lot of the activities for students in their free time involve playing sports, going to frat parties, and checking out local clubs/bars in the Atlanta area. Traditions like Wonderful Wednesday, Homecoming parade, concerts on campus, and alumni day, etc. all help to bring the Emory community together. People here know how to prioritize and so a lot of studying occurs before a lot of partying. I think there's almost as much studying as there is partying, which is a lot, but I think students know what is more important. I think Greek life is a big thing here, but it is actually okay to not be a part of since it isn't the only thing you can do. There are so many students not involved in Greek life but also know how to have a good time. However, if you are looking for a socially organized schedule of events and you spend a lot of time at the frats, you should rush. Dance, acapella, and cultural performances can also be found around campus, just be on the lookout because these are hidden gems!
Greek life is definitely a prominent aspect of Emory's social life. There are constantly parties on frat row, date parties on the weekend and mixers throughout the year. Letter shirts and bags are a large part of students wardrobe and Rush in the Spring is a very big deal. I am a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and I have met some of my closest friends since joining as well as enjoyed some of my best moments from the parties. Many students want to be a part of Greek life here, many students become a part of it and many students make it their entire lives. BUT, Greek life at Emory is what you make of it. Yes, it can define who you are during your four years here and yes, it can determine your entire social life but only if you want it to. Given most Emory students are involved in so many other activities, Greek life is not the biggest part of people's lives at this school. Many students like myself, use it as a social outlet only but become involved in many other things on campus. Unlike many other schools, the sorority or fraternity you join does not dictate your friend group. Emory students have friends from all greek affiliations and other organizations on campus. And if you don't want to go Greek, don't worry about it, thats great too. You do not have to be in Greek life to have a social life at Emory at all. There are so many social outlets and so many other student groups and types of people here that it doesn't even matter. Not to mention, students rush in the Spring which gives you ample time to develop a group of friends and get involved before Greek life even starts. So if you want to join a sorority or fraternity, you will have an amazing time. If you don't think its for you, I promise you will still have an incredible experience at Emory.
There are not any "most popular" organizations or groups on campus. I can't really think of one that is predominant, I just know that there are a lot out there for pretty much anything a person wants to do. There are religious groups, academic groups, fine arts groups, athletic groups, pretty much anything you want to do. Students in freshman dorms leave their doors open, students in other dorms are usually rooming with people they want to and the doors are kind of heavy to prop open for that random person walking down the hall. Your friends would probably be in your room already. Theater is pretty vibrant but I would say that the same people attend the events on a regular basis rather than the entire student body partaking of them. I haven't found anyone I want to date, but then, I'm not a social butterfly and don't know half the student body either. I met my closest friends in my dorm freshman year. We still hang out and genuinely like each other. Other's I've met through those same friends. If you're awake on at 2 am on a Tuesday morning, you're hanging out with your friends while pretending to study because you seriously have a test coming up or paper to finish or book to read so you don't look like a butt in class in the morning. People usually party every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Fraternities and sororities are more important to the people in them than anybody else. Last weekend I did homework, went to cabaret practice and worked. But then I'm one of the more boring people on campus I suppose.
The most popular groups and orginizations are the fraternities and sororities. I am involved with the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and so far my experience with them has been one of the best experiences of my life. Almost all students in dorms leave their doors open. Athletic events are never popular. There are no big guest speakers that come, the theater does not attract that many people. The dating scene is pretty good as well. I met my closest friends through my fraternity. If I am awake at 2am on Tuesday I am probably out socializing or studying. There are many traditions and events like wonderful events that happen during the year. People party at most 4 nights a week, and at least probably 1 or 2. Fraternities and sororities are probably the single most important social outlet on campus. Last weekend I went to a couple of different fraternities parties and I hung out with my friends. You can do plenty on a Saturday night without drinking, in fact you can go out with your friends and just socialize and not drink. I eat off campus a lot.
The student group that I am most involved with is the newspaper, The Emory Wheel. It is a great group of people for working with and for just hanging out with. I am not involved with Greek life directly but thee sororities and fraternities do have a pretty large presence on our campus. Even if you are not Greek, you can attend most of the frat parties and mixers. The brothers and sisters are very open to hanging out with non-Greeks. My two favorite student activities are Dooley's Week and SongFest. Dooley's Week is an annual celebration in the spring that honors our unofficial mascot named Dooley. The week involves lots of free food, usually a stand up comedian and of course a few concerts and its all for free. SongFest is something that you go through only once at the beginning of your freshmen year. You and your dorm sing and dance in the Woodruff PE Center (aka the WoodPEC), competing against the other dorms.
Emory has every club available and if they don't have one you can make one. I have seen several clubs start up -student government also provides funding to startups. Emory stresses volunteering on its applications so the majority of the students continue this thread while at school. Volunteer Emory is a large organization that has many service trips that span different charities throughout the year. For students interested in business, Goizueta Investors is the most popular club and connects underclassman with those in the business school. Greek Life dominates 1/3 of the school and provides a social outlet for those who want to be involved. Club tennis and soccer are also played frequently. For those interested in different niches Emory offers everything from culinary cub to salsa club. All of these clubs are a great way to meet new people and learn as well as better adjust to campus.
Social life really revolves around the frats here. Like 35% of students are in greek life. They throw the only all-Emory parties, have mixers and date parties between frats and sororities, and take part in all the IM sports. I really can't say enough about the greek life on campus. It's so much better than what I thought it would be, and what I had envisioned it being before I came here. There are big traditional parties that happen in each frat every year...a lot of fun and different stuff happens all the time in regards to parties and night-time events. Party nights are Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday. A lot of people who go out on Thursday won't go out on Friday, and then they'll go out Saturday night. Awake on a Tuesday night at 2am? I could be out partying, but there's a 95% chance that I'm either studying or screwing around in my room or in the dorm with my friends.
THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO, but you have to get out there and get involved on your own. No one is going to force you to do anything, so its up to you how involved you get. There are so many clubs its unreal. There used to be more social outings, like club nights for mostly Emory kids, when I was a freshmen, not so much now. I don't mind it, but I'm sure the freshmen do, I know I would have. Tuesdays are popular for upperclassmen and those with fake IDs. That's when people go to the bars. Frat parties are every other weekend or so. They're fun if you like to drink. If drinking isn't your thing, there are plenty of music concerts that come through Atlanta, shows, the movies, festivals, awesome restaurants. There's always something to do. You may have to do some research, though, for cool off-campus stuff.