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Hamilton College

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What are the most popular student activities/groups?

No one is really most popular. I guess the fraternities because they throw the parties, but if you're not in a frat you aren't missing out on anything. I am not involved in any groups. I tried to get involved with one of the music events groups, but they were pretty snobby. Yes, most students leave their rooms open. Events are not very popular and I doubt anyone would go if they weren't required to for class. The dating scene is just like high school. I met my closest friends by living in the same dorm with them. I would either be studying or having a hard time sleeping. I don't know of any traditions or events that happen each year. There was Feb Fest, but that was pretty stupid. Most people go out Friday and Saturday. Some will go out on Thursday as well. Not too many hardcore partiers at Hamilton. The Greek scene is not important to be involved with. They just throw the parties which are usually free and open to anyone. Last weekend I did not do very much. Mostly sat around with friends. You can do anything thats going on on a Saturday nigh without drinking. There is no pressure to drink. I don't do anything off campus. It is way too inconvenient to get off campus if you do not have your own car. Maybe twice a month I will hang out at a house downtown.

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I met my closest friends from my Adirondack Adventure trip during pre-orientation and in the dorms my freshman year. It's really easy to meet people though, as long as you put yourself out there in extracurricular activities. Most students leave their doors open so when you're walking by you stop in and say hello. Overall, students stay up really late on campus, which is why Cape Opus is open late for caffeine fixes. It's common to see people watching TV shows or movies until early in the morning or pulling all-nighters in the Science Center. People party two or three nights a week usually. Fraternities and sororities have a presence on campus because a third of the student body is involved with one. They don't have a great reputation, but I think we have the best of both worlds at Hamilton because we have them for people who are interested, but they are not isolated in their own dorms on campus. If you don't want to go Greek, you don't have to. When I was looking at colleges, I specifically sought on campuses without Greek life, but ended up falling in love with a sorority at Hamilton and joining anyways!

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Rugby is a big sport. So is Hockey and Lacrosse. Everyone does something, but you're not pressured to be involved with everything. The dating scene is nonexistant. You're either very much together or just hooking up. There's no where to go on a date, and everyone knows each other (small campus) so it's not like you can wait three days and then call someone back after a good night with them. However, the "very much together" relationships tend to be very stable and normal. Couples in relationships tend to also be best friends-- that comes from predominantly co-ed dorms. Nothing's a mystery. Because it's a small campus, you have freinds everywhere. Frats/Sororities tend to throw the big parties in campus buildings designated specifically for parties (no frat houses on campus), but you get the feeling that they're throwing the party for the school, not for themselves. One weekend you can spend watching a marathon of Lord of the Rings and the next you're at a rave. It's a very fun campus in that way. Fun fact: We have a streaking team.

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We have all types of organizations: political, social, and religious groups tend to dominate. I am involved with the Debate team, and it is very exciting. Students almost always leave their doors open, and all of my floormates are some of my closest friends. Events on campus are very popular. People go to sporting events, concerts, or comedians. There are always substance free alternatives during the week and on the weekends. I met my closest friends on my pre orientation trip and in my dorm or my classes. If I am awake at 2am on a Tuesday night, I might be studying in the science center or in my dorm. People party during the weekend, but it is not uncommon for people not to drink. Fraternities and sororities are not dominant, but they exist. They throw a lot of parties where everyone can come hang out. The parties on campus are open to everyone, so no one is excluded. Off campus you can go to the mall or the movies.

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The rugby teams are definitely the most popular and supported teams, probably from their wide range of players. Many students in the same organizations/teams choose housing near one another and spend time in the dorms hanging out and playing drinking games. The dating scene is mostly just people hooking up, but the younger classes seem to be more keen on dating. I met my closest friends playing rugby, in my freshman year dorm, and in my chemistry classes. At 2am I am either in the science building finishing my work, or in my common room drinking a beer watching TV with my suitemates/closest guy friends. Most Saturday nights involve drinking, but if we have a game the next day or choose not to drink we go to the movies or spend a night in catching up on work. For students that do not drink, it is a more limited social scene but there are substance free houses where students hang out....I have never been to one.

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Hamilton's social life is greek in many ways, but it is not as greek as people think it is in actuality. There are lots of things to do if you are not in greek life and no greek events are closed. Greek life seems important freshman year but in actuality is not really that big of a deal and by the end there is a lot of bridging between social groups. You just need to take the initiative to meet people. People party hard 2-3 nights a week and rarely any more than that. The issue with the drinking culture is not that there is a drinking culture but instead that it is a culture of binge drinking. Often students go have just one drink and then go to a movie or then go to another concert or event. They drink, yet in a different way. If I am up late on a week night I am working. Working is a huge part of the weekday lifestyle for students and it occupies the vast majority of students time.

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Students in dorms don't usually leave their doors open..mostly unlocked. Dating scene..ha! Well, there are lots of random hook ups that people always talk about, but barely do you see any couples holding hands around campus. People party Thursday nights, but moost of the time people party Friday and saturday nights every weekend. The frats and sororities are important around here, mostly for those part of them. I partied last weekend and did some work on sunday. On a saturday night, you can't really do much that wouldn't involve drinking..you could go party hopping and just dance and have fun, but otherwise, the majority of students here do nothing but drink while partying during the weekends since theres nothing else for us to do here on campus..parties are fun tho lolz. I dont do much off campus..just take the jitney to go shopping.

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Students leave their doors open all the time, and many leave them unlocked as well. It's a pretty trusting community, although I would never leave my door unlocked. There is some, like anywhere theivery, but it's pretty rare. I met my closest freind through the HEOP program's 5 week summer intensive, and most of my other friends through the dorm I lived in my freshman year. There are always parties going on somewhere, especially Bundy, Milbank, Dunham, and South. Many students participate in "Thirsty Thursday" which is pretty much drinking in the middle of the week because you can. A fewer number of people do "Wasted Wednesday." There isn't a hell of a lot to do off campus since Hamilton is in a nowhere town, but if you have a good group of friends you make due.

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Although Hamilton tour guides dismiss frats and sororities, they are somewhat prevalent on campus. There is not a lot of pressure to join, but they do make their presence known. IM sports are very popular here, and the attendance is pretty good. Depending on the guest speaker, attendance is very good. Students do leave their doors open in their dorms. As my psych professor observed there are three basic relationships at Hamilton: Hook-ups, slow and steady, and glued to the hip. I met my closest friends during AA and the first week of classes freshman year. However, I did not meet my boyfriend until the fall of my junior year. I do go to a lot of parties, but I also participate in movie nights on the weekend with my friends who do not like parties.

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Considering the fact that we're located in the middle of nowhere, upstate New York, there's more to do than you would expect. The school does a good job in keeping clubs afloat and funding them so they can run events on campus. An organization that I'm involved in, the Emerson Literary Society (part club, part society), gets speakers to regularly come to campus (some recent lecture topics include organic farming and a coffee lecture/tasting), and we also sponser other clubs' events by donating money. Fortunately, fraternities and sororities don't play that major of a role. They do tend to throw a lot of parties that many people show up to, but by no means to they control the campus (only 30% of men and 20% of women are in them).

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