Hampshire College Top Questions

What are the most popular student activities/groups?


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.


Things happen.


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.