Circus club is pretty cool, as is Anime club.
Yes, there are parties, but they're often poorly attended. Gatherings phenomenally turn into parties at Hampshire - whoever's sitting on those two boxes of Franzia and a bit of herb is most likely having a party this instant. Dorm life is crazy that way, and it's part of why mods are preferable. Mod communities are welcoming, but not constantly consuming substance.
The big parties every year are Hampshire Halloween in the Fall and Easter Keg Hunt in the Spring. There used to be a Drag Ball, but persons in the trans community expressed upset in 2009, ruining the tradition which had brought Kurt Cobain to Hampshire.
Yes, people in the dorms leave their doors opened, but it's like I said: this environment becomes tiresome within a year. The dorms had ought to be featured on The Wire -there's more substance exchanged and more people tripping in those buildings than in the whole of Western Mass. That said, kids get sick of this fast - it's all part of growing up. We can't stay eighteen forever - your first evaluations may reflect this truth.
The dating scene? Phenomenal or nonexistent. Sorry straight guys: you don't approach; you are approached. Otherwise you're doubtlessly behaving in an affronting and offensive manner - you'll be contrived as a misogynist for engaging in simple, sexually suggestive (equal) manners. The LGBTQ community seems to have the best sex and dating life - it still isn't as good as the less-standoffish LGBTQ community I witnessed studying abroad in Edinburgh. And this is funny to me, because Hampshire is one of few schools where your physical 'roommate' may be of the opposite sex, if you so choose. I only know a few couples of the opposite sex who do this - it seems to be a lovely set-up, though I could see disaster pending if the relationship weren't solid.
Things to do not involving sex, drugs, and rock-and-hiphop: we host a variety of lecturers from all over the world, as do the other colleges, almost every week. Though we don't have competitive 'sports' or 'frats,' we do have a variety of athletic clubs and student groups. I'm a 'signor' for the new Roosevelt Institute public policy Chapter at Hampshire; there are a hundred plus other groups doing all sorts of exciting things. For those who don't drink (as I'm cutting back on doing): there are both sub-free designated living spaces and groups that meet commonly. On the average night, if you check your announcement-emails, you can usually score free pizza and a movie at these meetings. If all else fails: there's porn in the world. xD
Off campus life is vibrant - there are all sorts of parties at the other colleges, few of which I can remember. Amherst and Northampton are feel-good towns with too much to do to list here.
Hampshire Halloween, Spring Jam, and the Easter Keg Hunt are big deals on Hampshire. Obviously, they involve a lot of debaucherous fun. The theatre community is thriving, but it can get catty (like any theatre department, I'm sure). Athletics are wayyy on the back-burner, although Hampshire guys are trying to build up a respectable soccer team. It can be hard to get students to regularly come to club meetings, because everyone is so in their own head space. Usually the promise of food helps. There is zero Greek life. That said, many a PBR is consumed each "weekend"--that is, Thursday-Saturday nights. There are usually one or two parties per weekend night, and everyone crams into a sweaty room and dances, drinks, and makes out. It can be really fun, and it can be really sketchy. Plenty of people are up all night playing guitar and ordering pizza.
Hampshire students play Vivaldi's Four Seasons
Giant Pillow fight during Halloween in 2007
most popular team is probably frsibee, although basketball does fairly well. I'm a signer for the Black Student Union, UMOJA, and play on the basketball and soccer teams. Dorms are mostly for freshmen, (we call them first years) the rest of us have apartment style living, so it's open. We usually cook meals together in our mods (houses). Traditions:: Keg hunt (hampshire kids go into the woods early easter morning and tap kegs, people stumble back onto campus drunkenly later), Hampshire Halloween (famous party every year the friday b4 halloween. everyone wants tog et on the guyest list, your off campus friends will thank you forever if you get them in. spring jam. concerts, free food and rides all day in the spring. usually the day accepted students visit too. this year we had Dead Prez...
The most popular groups... hmm... probably the twice yearly 5 college wide Dungeons and Dragons tournaments are the biggest draws in terms of raw numbers. There are tons of groups and clubs on campus and it's really easy to start any sort of club you would want to, even if you just want an excuse for the school to buy you and your friends a pizza every week.
Athletic events are not a big deal on campus, though friends always go to watch each other play.
I joined an a cappella group this year. We started UltraSounds, an all-girl group, this year after a large group of us didn't make it into the other two a cappella groups on campus. It's been great fun and we ended up sounding very good, if I do say so myself.
Guest speakers get big crowds, though it depends on the topic. The ongoing lecture series on God and science gets great crowds for every speaker.
Dorm life depends greatly on where you live, even down to which floor you're on. I was on the sub-free floor last year and it was wonderful! No noise, and while no one left their door open, why would I care? I just went off to my friends' dorm rooms. On the floor above me, however, all the students got to be (the rest of us thought) weirdly close. They had a very strong hall identity and were in and out of each other's rooms all the time.
I met my closest friends in the dining hall in those first few weeks of frantic friend-making at the beginning of the year.
There are no frats or sororities on campus. Parties abound, but no hazing. Best of all worlds.
Many students are bored on campus, and say that there is little to do. This is not true since there are many groups. But often, the groups are very specific to one cause and do not collaborate, see and understand that they are fighting for the same issues only from different perspectives.
Still, there could be more activities geared towards students, more of an institutional role in getting students interested. People are concerned that many students smoke pot at Hampshire, why do they do this? Because they are not interested or do not know about what is going on. While this is in part their own fault, the administration is also not getting through to them either, something must be done about this as well.
Depends on where you live on campus and who your friends are. Its pretty split even between partyers and non-partyers. no frats. no sports, except frisbee. but i take karate and yoga and mountain biking and rock climbing, and i teach yoga too. there's some improv groups that perform a lot, and lots of bands.
People can be extremely studious, usually a typical weekend for me is studying on Thursday night, maybe smoking weed or just hanging out on Friday night, and drinking on Saturday night. There are usually parties on the weekends, but often its more fun to drink and talk in one persons room. There are a lot of events in the area if you want to get off campus, but during the winter thats really unappealing. Hampshire halloween is a really fun party, as is drag ball.
Mixed nuts is awesome, our amazing co-op! also join our sustainability group to help hampshire go green! students in dorms definity leave there doors open, but not so much in mods. athletic events are not popular. homosexuality is widely accepted and not uncommon.
People are generally friendly and most living areas are open-door: go in, introduce yourself, borrow a cup of sugar, etc. Party scene is decent if you like blow-out dance parties, otherwise there are all kinds of other things to do like flims, music, circus performances, bike-fixing-BBQs, stand-up comedy, etc. It gets clique-ey especially along identity/political lines but there's cross-over if you look for it. If you can't find it you can make a student group about it and other people will just find you.
I'd say most people can't remember how they met their closest friends; you all kind of end up together and feel like family pretty quickly. Div III's tend to hole up in their rooms/labs/studios/etc. and a lot of people stick with their core group of friends from their first year but almost everyone makes a lot of friends along class lines.
there's something for everyone. really.
Hampshire has a lot of people with varied interests, and it is very easy to start a club- 3 students as signers is all you need to get a budget for one year. The most popular groups include the two a cappella groups (a third all-female group has recently started), the two improv troupes, the incredibly talented Hampshire Circus, the Frisbee team (the Red Scare, and our only serious sport, although we have other teams that come and go- all sports are of the informal, anyone-can-join, intramural variety), and groups that organize some of the bigger events on campus- Drag Ball is run by the Queer Community Alliance (which is a pretty active group in general), Deathfest is a huge Dungeons & Dragons-based tournament (most of the characters and rules changed to reflect Hampshire culture) run by Mythos (they also organize weekly Capture the Flag games). There's a campus newspaper, the Climax, and there's a magazine, the Omen (it publishes anything submitted to it, and is thus frequently a point of great controversy). The Dean of Students has a knitting circle that is a Hampshire Institution. Most Hampshire groups, however, are short-lived, but there are always a lot to choose from, and, if no one's doing what you want, you can just grab two friends and start your own.
Hampshire housing tends to create a unique community as well- we have two buildings of traditional dorms, and the rest of the housing is in what we call mods- basically 4-10 person apartments, with a shared kitchen and common space. The dorms are mostly single rooms, which means that you are nearly guaranteed a single your first year. Most mods have one double room. Mods are usually filled with close friends, and mod culture and dorm culture are different. Students in the dorms eat in the dining hall and have more chance to see other students. Some students who live in the mods get more insular- rarely leaving their own mod or grouping of mods, and others spend a lot of time in other people's mods and hanging out with friends who aren't modmates. The mods are definitely the site of the most parties, and each of the 3 mod groupings has a different reputation- Prescott is known for hipsters, wild parties, and drugs. Greenwich is usually the home of 2nd and 3rd years, and often the quietest of the mods, although it attracts a wide range of people. Enfield is considered the most desirable housing, and often has mostly Div IIIs, who host a lot of parties early in the year, when their Div IIIs are still in infancy, and and at the very end of the year, when they've finally finished. In between, it's an area that fluctuates- never as wild as Prescott, but usually not as quiet as Greenwich. Each mod can differ greatly based on who is living in it, of course. The dorms are the domain of first and second-years almost exclusively, and the social scene reflects that- the dorms aren't usually the site of many parties, though.
Hampshire students have a lot of social options, in spite of the small size of the campus. If you don't want to party, it's not hard to find friends who are similarly more interested in quieter evenings. The Gamer Hall (another Hampshire institution) has at least 3 consoles going at almost any hour of the day or night, keeping its population busy. Hampshire students are inclined to have dinner parties, tea parties, board game nights, or any manner of other amusements. Just like in our academic life, we really have the opportunity to make our social life exactly what we want.
There are no fraternities or sororities on campus, and most Hampshire students like it that way. If you crave Greek parties for some reason or another, UMass has a pretty active Greek life- in fact, the 5 College community ensures that if, for some reason, nothing you want to do is going on at Hampshire, you can probably find it at one of the other schools.
Hampshire theater is one of the hugest "departments" at Hampshire, and there are always more shows a semester than there is space for- you could see a Hampshire-produced play every week if you wanted. The shows are usually pretty good, and there are also a ton of Hampshire students who are in bands, or do dance performances, or the like, in addition to the incredibly talented performing arts groups of the other colleges.
Hampshire has 2 really big events each year- Hampshire Halloween (legend by this point) and Drag Ball. Halloween is the kind of even that actually closes down campus- anyone who isn't a Hampshire student has to be personally invited by a Hampshire student to be there. Every band on campus performs, the circus performs, the belly-dance troupe performs. Every House has events, and the event is known for very prevalent drug and alcohol use, although it is definitely possible to enjoy it without substances. Drag Ball happens in the spring, and is also hugely popular- Hampshire students perform in drag (and we have some very talented drag kings and queens in our student body), almost everyone comes in costume, and proceeds to dance their hearts out while seeing how amazing or ridiculous everyone else they know has managed to look.
Most people leave their doors open. Its warm, inviting. There is great theater, lots of people interested in film and photography. Lots of gay dating, less straight dating.
Hampshire has a fantastically active social life. One that is so great it often distracts people from their studies. But a party at Hampshire, makes any frat party you will attend in the future incredibly dull shallow and depressingly sexist and desperate by comparison. The people are great and excited, and conversations and arguments break out all over the place. The only "party's" to advoid at Hampshire are those thrown by the res life interns, which all tend to be incredibly awkward, like high school dances, would be if only 5 people showed up. The frisbee team is great (and the only serious sports team on campus) but is often very clicky and the most jock-like group on campus. Guest speakers are almost non existent, although if desired they can be seen at other colleges. The art scene is fantastic and leaves something to be desired for all art outside of Hampshire. That said there is also a lot of terrible art there... The music scene is great, and people are always dancing with it. Also there are always a lot of great campfires. Easter keg hunt is great, drag ball is great. Apparently trip or treat (Halloween) used to be great until the administration started organizing it. Also as stated above it is a great area to hike, bike rock climb, canoe, any outdoor activity really. I however wouldn't recomend road biking, the drivers are terrible, the shoulders narrow and the roads riddled with pot holes. Off campus there are not as many great activities. Also it is an incredibly safe campus, I have rarely heard of anyone having anything stolen (and almost everyone leaves their doors open) and when things have been it is almost always by people who aren't students.
Their are tons of student groups on campus, but very few of these groups have large numbers. There is a community here, its just not anywhere near as focused as almost anyother school. Because Hampshire is self-driven many students become engulfed in their individual studies and their small cliques largely definied by living space.
Hampshire also has a drug reputation, which if you chose too, it can be lived up too. However, it is possible to be sub-free here although I honestly don't think you meet as many people that way (being mostly sub-free myself).
Overall, Hampshire people are friendly, fascinating people who tend to get wrapped up in their course of study or pet group/activity.
JOIN A GROUP. meet people. Here are some examples of awesome groups on campus. The Hampshire EMTS (of which I am one). We hang out at odd hours, holding radios and eating junk food, and then run places to help hurt people. The Ultimate Frisbee Team. The Circus (rocks). Video clubs, geeks, ubber-hippies, fucking hipsters (you all know who you are, and of which their are so many), scientists, philosophers, druggies, straight-edged vegans, pre-meds and pre-laws.
You don't go to Hampshire if you are not active outside of academics. Everyone is active in everything, its incredible.
The atmosphere is very open and friendly usually. Most kids are gay or open to it, so the dating scene can be kind of confusing.
There is no greek life. If you say the word fraternity, the students will give you directions to Umass Amherst and tell you not to come back.
People at Hampshire are typically very friendly and most students leave their doors open and are always open to a conversation or an adventure. It's very easy to get involved and meet people either through living with them, through classes, or through the tons of clubs you can join.
In terms of having fun and partying, week days are pretty tame, though the smell of pot is pretty much always prevalent throughout the dorm halls. The weekend starts on Thursday, the low-key part of the weekend, and it usually involves drinking or smoking pot with small groups of friends in dorms (the doors DO get closed at this point, unless you want to get caught by an intern). Fridays and Saturdays are more high energy- there's always parties in the mods, and always at least one crazy-themed dance party. Of course, all the partying requires some relaxation- weekend brunch at the dining hall is always full of unkempt, tired-looking students who are nursing hangovers with tatertots and water.
In terms of large-scale events, we have about three major traditions that happen every year. First is Hampshire Halloween- a huge halloween party with the slogan "trip or treat" that's full of dance parties, fireworks, and crazy costumes- it's the biggest and best party of the year. Next is Easter Keg Hunt which is pretty self explanatory. Kegs are hidden by upperclassmen throughout the woods on campus and people wake up incredibly early to go find the kegs- most people are trashed by noon. Last is Spring Jam, a fun outdoors event that's full of moon bounces, carnival food, and great, live music. It's a nice, relaxed time to hang out with friends and chill out before spring finals start to get too heavy. As for other events, athletics aren't really a big thing- our basketball and frisbee teams get small audiences during games, and we don't have greek life. There are plenty of other clubs and music groups on campus that get a lot of attention, though.
Campus can get a little small sometimes, and there are plenty of things to do off campus- there's plenty of restaurants, shops, cinemas, and venues within a 15 minute radius, and tons of great places to explore on weekends in the surrounding towns. The PVTA bus (which is totally free!) takes you anywhere from Amherst center to Northampton, and if you can find a car, there's plenty to explore in the surrounding towns- from the butterfly conservatory in Deerfield to the Bookmill in Montague.
I hate to continue in such a negative vein, because Hampshire College really is awesome, and if you find the right people you can live it up pretty unfettered, but community and student life really are not our strong suites. There are a fair number of student organizations, and it isn't hard to start one. Most of them are political, some are special-interest (like manga clubs, anime clubs, japanese illustration clubs...) others are academic (like the right proud Hampshire Animal Behavior Group) and these permit upper classmen to help lower classmen arrange their programs, or keep posted on events, internship opportunities and the like. You can learn a lot from other students...provided you find the right ones.
Students are generally pretty trusting, a byproduct either of our college's small size or its "hippie" nature. Doors are left open and most people are approachable. There are virtually no activities, with the exception of Hampshire Halloween (which is sick-nasty, and you should go even if you don't wind up at Hampshire), which encourage the student body to congregate in full. The party scene at the school is weak at best, and essentially a lot of New England Prudes Turned Hippies dancing in small circles by themselves, never touching a member of the opposite sex. This dismal report is not universally the case, however. Some parties are legitimately awesome. Again, it's a matter of finding people you like.
Off-Campus events are a better bet. Whether it's a concert in Northampton or an Amherst event, you may be able to find your fragment of the five college community in their natural environment.
Frizbee and circus tend to be the most popular activities. Circus is great. It's mostly a bunch of nice sub free kids who like to juggle and hang upside down. There are no frats etc on campus, but there are still parties. Housing at Hampshire is set up so that half the students live in dorms and the other half live in on campus apartments called Mods. The parties tend to be in the mods. Personally, i dont like to party, but i never have a hard time finding stuff to do. There is always something going on at one of the colleges. College clubs are usually open to students from all colleges, so if there is a club that you want to participate in, and Hampshire dosn't have it, one of the other colleges probably does.
There are no frats or sororities, which is wonderful. People do leave their dorms open, for better or for worse. There is little athletics at Hampshire, let alone athletic events. The dating scene is normal, people find people and that's that. I met my closest friends sharing a cigarette with them. If I'm awake late during the week (ie: 4am), which I usually am, I'm doing anything from work to talking to smoking to painting. On Saturday night without drinking you can go out to eat at the local towns (Northampton, Amherst, Hadley, etc), you can go to concerts, which there are a lot of, or you can just hang around with friends and stay sober. There are also a lot of parties in peoples' dorms and mods (on campus apartments), which are sometimes busted by Public Safety but whatever.
Any group you want to exist, you can work to start it. Theres everything from bellydancing, and live action roleplaying, to any social justice issue you can imagine. Sports is practically non-existant (soccer, basketball, and frisbee are the only teams I've heard of), but there are a lot of political speakers, and theatrical performances.
Theres always something to do or someone to hang out with. I've gone for walks at 4 AM on a weeknight and have found kids hanging out.
The towns nearby generally close down pretty early, with the exception of some pizza shops, and so many complain that there is nothing to do.
Political groups are very popular at Hampshire. Some groups: Students for a Free Tibet, Students for Justice in Palestine, Civil Liberties and Public Policy (mostly focused on reproductive freedom), a chapter of Amnesty International, Building Awareness Across Bars (focused on civil liberties of those incarcerated), the Feminist United Collective, and the Union of Progressive Zionists. We also have the less intellectually intense groups: Hampshire College Climber's Coalition, the Connoisseurs Club (meet and eat fabulous things), Hampshire College Red Scare (communist frisbee team), Spinsters Unite (spinning/yarn club), and The Society for the Creative Realization of a Weirder You (SCREWY...who knows...).
There are no frats or sororities, but parties happen all the same. I would say there is probably a good dance party once a month, and people host everything from soirées to beruit tournaments. There are a lot of drugs, a lot of drinking...but these things can be avoided if you so choose. Also, there is a lot of sex.
People do a lot of drugs here, but there are also many fun events that happen on campus and at nearby campuses. You will not have trouble finding fun things to do at Hampshire, whether you do drugs or not: and I speak from experience, since I am one of the few drug-free Hampsters.
There are a lot of traditional events that happen at Hampshire like Hampshire Halloween, Keg hunt, Drag ball, etc. These type of events are popular and people from the five colleges like to come to Hampshire for these.
It is most convienient at Hampshire to hang out with people that you live near. I met my closest friends by living with them. I was placed with them randomly since I came in as a transfer student.
Students in the dorms usually are very open, people in the same halls are all close friends, generally speaking. People who live together in the mods are also usually close.
There are sub-free living areas on campus and there are students who are committed to being substance free. They have their own events and parties. There are no fraternities/sororities. There is drinking and parties with drinking. The biggest and best parties are usually on Friday nights.
In terms of legal activities: If you can't find it at Hampshire, you can at another of the five colleges.
In terms of illegal activities: You can find it at Hampshire. Also at another one of the five colleges.
Hampshire has late quiet hours which are not always enforced. The campus is pretty laid back, though. Most people are trusting, although I've known a few to get computers stolen while in the shower. The bathrooms are co-ed, but this is fine. There are some loud halls/mods, some quiet. It really depends.
Traditions (Hampshire loves to make them):
Hampshire Halloween: this Halloween bash once made the top-ten for Rolling Stone's best parties of the country. Now excessive spending and administrative interference makes dropping acid and floating on top of costumed people less "totally rad."
Mustachio Bashio: Hosted by the Greenhouse mod, this is a large mustache-only party. Most people grow or buy their most extravagant facial hair. It's amusing to see men's faces change on Friday night before the big event.
Easter Keg-Hunt: Name says it all. Get out there early; it'll be gone by noon.
Drag Ball: Held in the dining commons. Last year, the president and his partner came decked out in drag. X is a popular drug choice at this event.
If you want any type of drug in large proportions, Hampshire is the place to go. Especially noted for psychedelics. The drug scene, though, is relatively easy to avoid, although not to ignore.
The farm is probably one of the best parts of Hampshire. Not only is everyone who works at the farm fantastic, but the animals (cows, sheep, pigs, chickens) are so much fun to work with. Fall is filled with harvesting, and spring is busy with maple syrup and lots of babies!
Even if you're not willing to get up in time for chores, you'd be missing out of you don't go visit.
There are a lot of student groups on campus, which are student-run. One popular group is New Leaf, a student group for environmental sustainability. Athletics are NOT big at Hampshire. The most popular sports team is our ultimate frisbee team, the Red Scare. There are also basketball and soccer teams (and possibly some others?) but they don't generally get a lot of attention on campus.
There are no fraternities or sororities at Hampshire. There is definitely partying that happens on campus, but I don't know much about it because that's not my social scene. Although there is a lot of alcohol and drug use (especially marijuana) on campus, it is also possible to find students who are not into that. There are sub-free halls in the dorms, as well as sub-free mods. There are also different noise level designations in the dorms and mods.
Hampshire Halloween is a very popular event that happens every year. Drag Ball is also popular. Midnight breakfast is served outside of the Merrill Living Room every Friday.
There is always something going around on Hampshire campus that is either totally organized by, or involving all students. Athletics are not very popular, and are basically there for the athletes to enjoy. Theater ranks among the most popular social events, as do the various musical performances that go on all the time.
Huge parties are not very common at Hampshire. Most parties will be no bigger then 20 or so people in an apartment drinking beers and smoking pot, sometimes dancing or playing beer pong. The occasional big party does happen though, usually with a live student band or blasting techno. These parties get very crowded, usually do not supply booze and usually center around dancing. Hampshire halloween is the biggest event of the year. Also known as "trip-or-treat" many of the students dress up and take hallucinogens or just get flat wasted. Another tradition is easter keg hunt, when fourth year students buy kegs and hide them in the forrest, and on easter morning all the students go out with cups looking for them. Everyone ends up wasted by noon. The music scene at Hampshire is OK, but nothing special.
This is not a party school. It is pretty small. Most parties are indie dance parties. Most weekends are just hanging out with the people you really like. People leave their doors open and unlocked. The dating scene is very open there is alot of sexual freedom accepted. There are no athletic events, (except the frisbee team), people are really into rock climbing ( we have a wall and bouldering cave) Most people are very friendly and willing to help out and most of all there is always interesting conversation.
Hampshire doesn't have as much of a social life as some other colleges, but the other four colleges in the area generally make up for that. There have been a few weekends when campus was dead, but generally there are multiple events being held on a Friday or Saturday night, both for sub-free and non-sub-free people.
Hampshire has really amazing traditions. One of them, that I think Hampshire is most famous for, is Hampshire Halloween. I'm not the hugest fan, but most people seem to have a good time. People come up with the craziest, most original costumes, and if you're going to head out, it's best that you follow suit. Another great Hampshire tradition is Drag Ball. It's really a huge, sweaty dance party where everyone dresses in drag (and tries to get laid). There are performances and a DJ, and it takes place in our dining commons. My favorite tradition is Spring Jam, which takes place a weekend or so after Drag Ball, in the Spring. There are blow up activies (obstacle course, moon bounce, sumo wrestling, jousting...), free sno-cones and cotton candy, and great live music that goes until really late at night. As long as it's sunny out, it's a guarenteed great time.
Ultimate Frisbee. otherwise no real sports teams on campus.... which isnt to say there arent those that play.
People leave their doors open, which sometimes bothered me. you'd have to look at them while you walked down the hall, obligated to say hi. but i can be kind of antisocial.
Parties are ok... mostly cramped. No frats or sororities. The best is just hanging outside with a few good friends, drinking... smoking... or not.
I met my best friends there while in the dorms. We'd have to eat at the dining hall so mostly we'd just complain about the food and diarrhea as ice breakers.
Hampshire is not a huge drinking school. It is true that there is a lot of pot, but also I think that people prefer smaller, more intimate social groups. I have more often gone out in the woods, built a fire, cooked dinner and drank beer with close friends than played beer pong.
No teams (aside from frisbee), not many real clubs or organizations. No frats. If one is awake at 2am on a tuesday its the day before a paper is due or they are too high to sleep. Reasonably good theater and arts seen. If you don't like drinking on saturdays you can smoke some weed (I'm only half joking). Dating seen is very odd, to say the least. My freinds randomly assorted from people living near me, and freinds of freinds, etc.
No one is involved. I have started clubs but no one cares. People are mostly out doing things that personally interest them by themselves or with a few friends. Some students leave their doors open but people do steal. People feel safe bacause Hampshire is this "fruity, drug loving, liberal hippi school" but people are still human and they do steal.
There are no athletic events save the occasional frisbee and basketball games which no one knows or cares about. There are rarely lectures at Hampshire worth going to although there are several other schools in the area.
Hampshire Halloween has started sucking really hardcore. The administration wants to do away with the drug loving image and so they have cracked down in an extreme way. No one wants drug dealers running the scene at Hampshire but everyone does want to have a good time. The students are almost enitrely opposed to the anti-drug actions of the administration.
How often do people party? Uhhh....depends on your definition of partying. How hard is it to find a group of people to smoke weed and drink with? Not hard at all. Drinking happends every weekend in excess even though there are never good parties. If you are planning to go to college for the awesome dance parties, skip Hampshire. Unless listening to jam bands and smelling unwashed bodies is your thing...
Off campus you can see a movie, go in the woods or eat out. These are the three things you can do off campus unless you travel outside the valley.
Hampshire is a really relaxed open place. There are always people chilling passing a bowl. There are a lot of dance parties, live funk music and the such. Our traditional parties include: Drag Ball, a gender confused prom. The Easter Keg Hunt, the whole school wandering around the woods in search of booze on easter sunday. Mustashio Bashio, a giant dance party in the greenhouse mod where everyone wears mustaches. And one of the most trippy Halloween parties on the east coast.
Well, we have a basketball team and an ultimate frisbee team. And next year a student is opening an Women's Rugby team. And thats about it for teams. Sports are almost dead here, at least competitive ones. However, whatever Hampshire lacks, there is also the five college system. So basically, if you dislike sports, its a great place to be. But, a lot of people here are outdoor-sy type people, and although they don't do sports, a lot of people enjoy walking, biking mountain climbing, etc.
There are a ton of on-campus activities and clubs, all the time. We've got everything from a cappella groups to a barbecue club to a horror and special effects club to a hip hop collective to our own circus troop. There are no fraternities or sororities, and I think everyone's pretty happy with that. There's so much going on every weekend that it's often pretty hard to decide what activities to do.
I have not found it challenging to do things on Saturday night that do no involve drinking. For example, Saturday nights are the official movie-screening time of the club Excalibur, a sci-fi/fantasy club that's been around for over 10 years. They show movies like "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" or "War Games", and episodes of various TV series like "Doctor Who" and "Firefly". And there are often snacks involved.
I joined the QCA my first year (Queer Community Association) and I ended up not having a lot of time for it. However they seem to be a very active group with a lot to do. They're very supportive and a good group of loving individuals. There are a lot of groups on campus, Amnesty International, Pre-Law group, Japanese Cinema/Manga groups, Knitting Circle, Improv Troupe, a Jewish group I don't remember them all, but there are a ton.
Most people leave their doors open and unlocked during the day. They like to socialize and hang out. During the evening when people are around in the dorms and mods (on campus apartments) people will just hangout in each other's rooms and relax. Most people sleep with their doors closed and presumably a lot locked. It is a college campus after all, but it's also a safe campus. We're in rural MA, pretty safe space.
There are a lot of sports, but they don't get much attention. We have a spectacular equestrian team, but they have to house their horses in nearby stables or at Mt. Holyoke. Our ultimate frisbee team (the Red Scare) does very well and is quite competitive. We also have men and women's basketball and soccer (they're not terribly competitive however).
There are a lot of parties. It's pretty easy to find a party almost every weekend, but none of them are MASSIVE and get out of hand. It's easy enough to call Public Safety if they're too disruptive after quiet hours or seem dangerous (which rarely happens).
We don't have frats or sororities. People can live together in the on campus apartments which are gained through a lottery system (for every semester attended you receive one lottery point which you pool together with friends to get a mod!).
Doors are always open. Everyone is really into meeting new people, so that's always helpful in making friends. Hampshire Halloween is the shit; so is Spring Jam. Lots of mod parties to go to, there's always beer around, and I'm not sure what sub-free kids do. Maybe it's Monopoly.
I partied a lot my first and second years. I had fun, but that was mostly because i got to drink and dance. parties just sort of pop up out of nowhere, they're not really advertised. a lot of people just chill and smoke pot on the weekends, some people stay sober (but you wouldn't really know it sometimes)...but the campus in general is boring with not a lot to do at night and on the weekends if you don't want to get trashed. get off campus, go to a nice restaurant in noho or amherst, go for a nice drive, go shopping, something.....
people don't date here, they have sex with random people or they're in relationships, as far as i can tell. dating is too "traditional" (not to mention, yeah, i'll say it.......classy) for a lot of people here.
One of the biggest groups on campus is Red Scare Ultimate Frisbee. We are NOT as intense as people think we are, and we love having new people join our team, which is open to everyone. Red Scare has been one of the constants in my Hampshire career. Though it is a close knit community within Hampshire, I was able to break out of it somewhat, expanding my social sphere.
HCEMS, a great program with great people always looking for new members and new leadership.
People party a lot, but partying doesn't mean drinking, necessarily. With the Ultimate team, we're usually gone most weekends for tournaments. But when I'm here, there's usually a party, or music, or a party with music, going on. Boston is close. NYC is close. But even Northampton has some big and small names come to town to play shows.
There are plenty of options at Hampshire to create the social life you would want, though as at most places, mindless drinking and dancing dominates the social scene. The outdoors program is pretty awesome though, providing opportunities to kayak, rock climb, hike, canoes etc.
Athletic events are nigh on non-existent, except for frisbie and some soccer. Most people party on weekend nights, and that can mean anything from dinner party to rager. There are no frats or sororities. Theater, live music and poetry regardless of quality, always draw a large crowd. The only reasons to go off campus are to take classes at one of the other Five Colleges, or to go to the Amherst Brewing Company or The Moan and Dove.
Popular clubs include, shotokan karate lead by a surprisingly well known shotokan teacher, the fermentation club that makes beer and cheese and other things, and circus.
Theater is popular at Hampshire and there are often student plays.
No frats, or sororities, and no sports except for ultimate Frisbee. Their are parties most Fridays and Saturdays at Hampshire.
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