Johns Hopkins University Top Questions

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Elena

A Capella is popular, newspapers and magazines are as well. There is a niche for almost anything that you would like. I'd recommend that anyone at any college try out a variety of groups to find the right one.

Kathryn

It’s difficult to discern which groups are the most popular on campus, as there are so many extracurricular activities. Lacrosse is definitely the most popular sport, many people attend the games. Other than Lacrosse, there is not too much interest in other sports around campus. Other popular extracurriculars include a multitude of tutoring organizations, Model United Nations, and Spring Fair committee (they help organize the giant festival that happens in April at Hopkins). I am involved in Model UN, a tutoring organization, and an organization that brings speakers to debate American foreign affairs on campus. 25% of students are involved in Greek life, so it is pretty big around campus (I am in a sorority as well). Still, it is not necessary to be in a sorority or fraternity to have fun on campus. Most parties though, at least the ones that freshmen and sophomores frequent are centered around frats (sororities have no houses). There are also a few bars around campus that students go to. Most students go out on Fridays and Saturdays to drink, but sometimes more. From Sunday to Wednesday though, most students stay in and study. Students who don’t want to drink will still be able to find lots of things to do on campus, and won’t feel uncomfortable with the amount of drinking that goes on. The dorms are social, but

Michelle

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Sarah

About 25% of the school is involved in Greek life, but there are always non-Greeks at parties. There are a lot of community service organizations that do work in Baltimore, at local elementary schools, local hospitals, etc. Students seem to be very involved in service since there are so many service organizations. My experience in campus dorms has been great: students are very friendly and open, and I've met some of my best friends from living on the same hall. Homecoming and Spring Fair are two of the biggest campus events, both held in the spring, that nearly the whole campus attends. There is also plenty to do off campus: the school provides shuttles that take students to the Inner Harbor or Towson for free, where students can go to the mall, movies, grocery store, restaurants, museums, and much more. It is also very cheap to travel to D.C., which is another population destination for students.

Miranda

Student groups - JHUMUNC (model UN) is really big, and Tutorial Project (elementary school tutoring) is really popular as well. There's about 350 student groups though, and practically everyone I know is involved with at least two of them. Dorm life is awesome, I've met most of my really good friends that way. There are parties always on Friday and Saturday, and sometimes on weeknights (usually smaller events). Frat parties are more for underclassmen, and then upperclassmen do apartment/house parties.

Nicholas

Greek life is pretty popular and is something which I'm involved in. There are many other student groups, so its hard to choose a few as "most popular". Students typically get involved in several, and are able to become very involved on campus. Students in dorms are usually very willing to leave their doors open and are receptive to visitors. The party scene relies heavily on Greek life, but occasional there are individuals who host something.

Sam

At Hopkins, there are many different groups that students can get involved in. One of the most popular groups are sports teams. Many students are members of an athletic team. I myself am a member of the men's tennis team, and it is like a family within the organization. My teammates and I all get along great and tend to go out a lot together. However, for students not involved with athletics, there are countless clubs and other opportunities that Hopkins offers for students, whether it be volunteering, outdoors clubs, choral groups, etc. Most all students find their niche soon and get involved early in something that they are interested in. Aside from clubs, frats and sororities are also options for students. Frats are pretty big at Hopkins, with rush and pledging in the spring. However, sororities are smaller. Sororities do not have houses at Hopkins, and thus are not as big as frats. However, many girls still get involved, and I have heard that they are a great experience all the same.

Sydney

There are a lot of different groups on campus! The most popular is probably the tutorial project, where students tutor elementary school kids. Also, if you come to the Hop, you have to love lacrosse! We have one of the best teams in the nation! As far as partying goes, there are lots of different levels of partying. Some kids don't party at all, some kids party a ton. No matter what level of social life you want, you'll probably find a group that fits your style.

Connor

Overall, students at Hopkins seem relatively uninvolved. There is a huge lack of school spirit or pride, and this is reflected at athletic events which attract little to no fan base. All sports are D3 except Lacrosse, which is D1, and definitely demands the most attention of all sports. Games in the spring usually have somewhat moderate attendance, but more so than any other sport. Also, some games/tournaments are offered downtown at the M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore Ravens), which always makes it a little more exciting. It seems that the school is attempting to counter this lack of school spirit, however, by attempting to develop new traditions, some of which have worked more than others. Within the social scene, greek organizations are relatively significant, with parties, formals, and mixers largely dominating the social scene. Baltimore is an awesome city. Like many, it has good parts and bad parts, but I suppose the transitions in Baltimore between the two are just more distinguished. Having said that, there are many different boroughs that have bars and restaurants ranging from eclectic, to traditional, trashy, upscale, etc. The Inner Harbor offers a somewhat 'touristy' experience with the National Aquarium, stores, and many chain-restuarants. The more you can explore Baltimore, the more you will come to love it.

Jacqueline

If you want to be involved in it, it either exists or it's really easy to make the club. We have theatre, debate, model un, Chinese lion dancing, club sports, service clubs - just too many to count! Service clubs seem to be very popular, as do research opportunities with professors. A lot of kids volunteer at the hospital, which is a short bus ride away.

Kevin

At Hopkins, many of the students are involved in some sort of mentoring/tutoring group, and there are a great number of these groups, including Jail Tutorial, Project Tutorial, Incentive Mentoring Program (IMP) just to name a few. IMP is a group dedicated to mentoring at-risk high school students with not only academics, but also social, economic, legal guidance. Thus, the focus of the group is not solely academic, but covers a wide range of topics and activities. Many of the rest of these questions depend on the students. Many students do keep their doors open, but it also depends on some personal preference (obviously) or the dorm you live in. Athletic events tend to be less popular (mostly Division III sports) except for lacrosse, which Hopkins is very competitive in. Partying depends on the student. Some go as often as once or twice a week, while others never go party. Frats and sororities do play a role in Hopkins life, especially if you want to go party. If not, there's always Inner Harbor, which, among other things, has the National Aquarium (which is awesome). There are usually very good turn outs for any guest speaker events, as the guest speakers are usually pretty famous. Speakers in the past few years included Bob Woodward, Thomas Friedman, Jerry Springer, etc.

Trisha

There are 1034928509248093 clubs on campus and TONS of ways to get involved. The student body is interested in so many different things, that I honestly can't say that there is one club or group that most students are in!

Ruthie

Greek life has a pretty solid presence on campus, but it's by no means exclusionary; you can still be social without pledging with a fraternity/sorority. On any given weekend, there's multiple frat parties or mixers, and sports houses typically have something too. Outside of the party scene, there are always concerts going on nearby, guest speakers, free Friday night screenings of recent movies, poetry readings, and more. The most popular athletic events are the lacrosse games in the spring (our Homecoming is actually in the spring because of lacrosse!) but there's still a good turnout at the Division 3 games like soccer and football in the fall. Specifically for freshmen, people say that the AMR's are the best/most social dorms because they're traditional hall style, but I live in Wolman (a suite-style dorm) and I'm friends with almost everyone on my floor. People's doors are always open, and we all go out together, study together, or just hang out and watch TV in the common room together.

Ian

There are literally more than 250 student groups on campus. No group 'category' predominates over the other. Performing arts are a lot of fun and I enjoy attending the dance or a-capella shows. Greek life is present if you want to get involved but it does not predominate the social scene. Dorm life is a lot of fun and people usually leave their dorm rooms open so as to encourage socialization. The nightlife is also fun and helps keep students' busy lives balanced.

Allysa

There are always a TON of events sponsored and run by different clubs, organizations, and extracirriculars. I would think many students participate in volunteering - a popular one is JHU Tutorial. Other students play club sports like lacrosse or soccer or participate in the arts - like dance, acapella (very popular), film, and theater. There's also Greek life, which often throws many fun events.

Ryan

Lacrosse is really big here, though I haven't been to a single game. I met my good friends through Hillel- the best way to make friends is to join activities. Fraternities are sororities are really big. Because Hopkins is not the most social campus, the way many people make friends is putting themselves in social groups to meet people. Baltimore has a pretty solid music scene, so a lot of people go to concerts on the weekend. The Baltimore Inner Harbor is also gorgeous.

Logan

I think this has changed quite a bit since my day. If I was awake very late on a weekday, I was either in the Hut undergrad reading room cramming a semester of the history of Occidental Civilization into 3 days or dancing in the basement of a fraternity house. Sororities and Fraternities were big, but not in a state school kind of way. They were just social groups that offered some fun parties and comraderie and an opportunity to meet people you wouldn't necessarily meet in your dorm. As for sports, lacrosse is a big deal. Soccer is occasionally exciting and that's about it.

Jerry

If it's a club or organization, we probably have it. It's pretty normal that someone's social life takes a back seat to school work, but usually not for too long a period of time. Also, if you make friends with the right people you never have to go out and still have a great time. If you do go out, though (especially to frats), if you don't like drinking and/or dancing, you won't have a good time so don't bother.

Alex

I think that the most popular social groups on campus are the sororities, fraternities and sports teams such as soccer, lacrosse, baseball, waterpolo etc. because they make it easier for everyone to meet and socialize. On the other hand, I wouldn't say that they dominate the social scene. I'm a member of Alpha Phi, and even though I have alot of friends outside of the sorority and the greek system, I'm glad I joined because it allowed me to meet and become friends with so many more people. The AMR freshman dorms were also a greet environment to meet everyone. Lacrosse games and big name guest speakers are always popular as well as the Barnstormers plays and comedy events. I met my closest friends during freshman year in my dorm and through friends. The dating scene is pretty active on campus and it's relatively easy to meet people, but not everyone is in long term relationships. The events that happen each year that are a lot of fun are fall festival and spring fair. For fall festival, they normally bring a comedian to campus (last year was Bob Saget) and spring fair always has a band and tons of stalls with food, jewelry, clothes etc as well as a beer garden.

Shelby

People party thursday, friday, saturday. Sometimes even Sunday. On a Tuesday night, you're probably hanging out in someone's living room eating ice cream.

Amy

Bill Nye the Science Guy was awesome and he wore his bowtie. there are always things to do if you look for them. i go eat at the inner harbor and little italy.

Jess

I don't like the party scene at Hopkins because it focuses so much on binge drinking and emotionless hook-ups. Instead I take advantage of the student groups - I am part of the orchestra and also the outdoors club. These are great ways to either escape the stresses of the campus or to let my mind escape the rigors of the academic challenges of Hopkins.

Gregory

There are many students groups that are very active. Additionally, most students are active within at least one student group, which makes for a very lively community. Activities/events hosted by the university can sometimes be few and far between, but there has been much improvement in this area over the years. There isn't much to do in the immediate neighborhood around Hopkins, so most students either have to go downtown or up to Towson (we're pretty much right in the middle of the two). However, the university does provide free transportation for students to get to these places.

Alex

Most of the social scene is based around off-campus frat parties or smaller group activities. Those who live on campus tend to be more social, especially in freshman housing. It is easy to travel to other cities on the train but most people stay on campus or in the surrounding areas. There seem to be more planned activities on campus than students who want to attend them, so most events will either be sparsely attended or packed.

Lauren

The most popular groups on campus are the fraternities and sororities. I'm involved with the Student Art League which is a brand new group on campus that was formed because there is an obvious lack of art on campus (we don't have enough funding, enough classes, enough facilities, etc.) I find the dating scene to be somewhat limited because lots of people who go here are Asian (not my type), frat brothers (not really my type), or waaaay to nerdy for me. I met my closest friends last year because we all lived in the same house in AMR II - Clark. People definitely party every weekend - work hard, play hard. Last weekend I did the first 3 performances of the musical Pippin and went to a cast party on Saturday night. Off campus I go to D.C. just to enjoy the city, go to the Inner Harbor, go to restaurants, shop at Cloud 9 or Urban Outfitters, etc.

Ben

Much of freshman life revolves around frat parties, which quickly get old for most students who move onto other social activities such as finding things to do around baltimore

Gene

There are constantly speakers coming to visit. Even in the so called un-social dorms there is constantly people in the hallways.

Cody

Hopkins Baseball is by far the greatest social organization on campus. There are a million baseball players and they all like to get out and have a good time. Often overlooked the D-III sports program at Hopkins is highly competitive nationally and the athletes are much more approachable than the D-I counterparts at Hopkins. The athletic community at Hopkins is very tight knit, but more importantly very open to meeting and embracing new people.

Lane

Dorm doors are closed most of the time, I guess because people use them as study rooms or just spend most of the time outside, esp. in the library, and don't want their stuff stolen. That's reasonable. I actually didn't get to meet one of my closest friends until the Senior Week at graduation. But finding a great friend through socialization wasn't really on my priority list while I was a student - I'd rather get a respectable grade, get to help other people study by tutoring them, and get involved with volunteer / community service activities. That's how I met people and I was perfectly happy not spending additional time with people. I met my sweetheart in Terrace while dining with other church friends. We were both of similar international backgrounds and we spoke 3 common languages (almost) + the language of BME, so we had a lot to share. I am indebted to him for introducing me to Student Technology Services, one of the greatest places to work on campus. Through training at STS, I spent a lot of time drawing and designing digital art for student websites. I became so passionate in it that I would spend whole weekends at it. Naturally I had a lot to share with my fellow digital artists and programmers at STS. STS was indeed a very comfortable place to be: the director Debbie Savage might be a little intimidating at first, but she made sure everybody was on their feet. STS really worked as a team.

Devon

Students in freshman dorms leave their doors open. Doors in other dorms can't physically stay open. I met my friends through activities. Some people party all the time, some never. Frats are important freshman year and sororities just don't make sense. Why anyone would rush is beyond me -- there are no houses, no parties and generally nothing worhtwhile associated with sororities.

Shawn

Alpha Phi Omega - community service frat which is very popular Lacrosse is very popular Freshman usually keep dorm doors open I am involved with the American Red Cross JHU Chapter and we had the opportunity to host the National Youth Convention this yera.

Jessica

Pre-meds love service groups! Greek life keeps growing. There are a lot of really subversive sorority girls. Thoroughfare magazine publishes fiction, poetry, art, video, etc. on CD format and on the Internet. We begin every meeting by making jokes about K-Pop and Youtube. I don't know; I don't go. I will go to a lacrosse game drunk this year, though. People don't date. A lot of people don't have sex (!!!), but just make out. All my friends have serious SOs. Long distance is popular. The dorm became best buddies for a while but that faded away. I met my current best friend when his friend who had a crush on me brought me to an awkward, pretentious video-watching in his dorm and my BFF and I got into a fight about shoegaze. I met my other friend because I had a rabbit pelt on the first day of orientation and other people thought it was gross but she thought it was cool. I met other people at Writing Seminars readings. I'm writing a paper! I'm thinking about going to therapy! I AM ALWAYS AWAKE AT 2AM ON TUESDAY! If it were Monday, I might be sobering up from drinking beer with redheads, but if it's a Tuesday I'm writing a paper for Queer class and writing obsessively in my journal. My roommates are sleeping. WE HAVE A LIGHTING OF THE QUAD! IT IS GREAT! THERE IS FREE HOT COCOA!!! Lacrosse games are tradition. Normal-cool people go out at LEAST once a weekend. Some Writing Seminars kids or affiliates have been known to drink seriously and do drugs five nights a week. Some people NEVER GO OUT. I don't know how they live, though. I guess they're really important. I was opposed to them, but I have quite a few Greek friends. I danced at the Lithuanian Dance Hall with a bunch of JHU kids and the woman who runs the bike collective and the dude who runs the anarchist book store / coffee house. The next day I had RAINN hotline training and was super tired so some writerly friends and I had a quiet craft night where we watched basketball, drank wine, ate cheese and designed tee shirts. OH yeah, I should mention that International Relations girls LOVE wine and cheese parties. Like no other. There is one happening all the freaking time. Also costume parties. Go to a concert, have a dance party in a campus building, play dress up and take photos, write love notes and hand-deliver them, go to the Charles and see a movie, um...do homework. I THINK I HAVE ANSWERED THIS QUESTION ALREADY.

Lorie

There is a scene for everyone on Campus. Whether you would rather spend your nights studying with a friend for a midterm, sharing a coffee and dessert, going out clubbing, going to a football game, dancing at a frat house or just hanging out and watching a movie with friends, there is a scene for you.

Natalie

Lacrosse is famous. Guest speakers are great --though turnout isn't necessarily always high. Spring fair every year is great. Fraternities and sororities are a great way to get into social circles. There's a great movie theater, The Charles, near campus and a creperie next door that is a fun alternative to drinking on a Saturday night.

Andy

The largest groups on campus are mostly academic, service or ethnically oriented. The sports teams, although popular, are not the biggest group of students, at least from my perspective. Academics plays a big part, so much so that many things are pushed aside. The dorms can be a area for a lot of interaction, if you are very social. However not everyone is social and some people do on occasion develop a small and close knit group of good friends. For most people the dating scene is fairly barren, once you are a sophomore you tend to meet everyone you will ever hang out with at JHU, so you either end up sleeping around or committing to one relationship or two. Though my view could be skewed as someone that has a small group of friends and relatively unsocial. Since campus is small and if you do plan on being social you tend to see the same people again and again a lot branch out into the city and meet locals, though that isn't a wide spread thing. Most nights are quiet, spent studying or just watching a movie with friends in someone's apt. Other times parties or bar hopping. There are some events that everyone looks forward to, such a Spring Fair and for some Lacrosse season.

Andy

Theater productions usually have pretty good showings (depending on how good the advertisements are). There are a lot of opportunities for the inexperienced to participate. Theater is relatively low key with lots of student written pieces produced. This means lots of chances to get cast.

Josh

The only sport that is huge on campus is lacrosse. Other sports are well represented and well attended, but nothing brings out Hopkins spirit like lacrosse season. Other than sports, there are lots of performing arts groups that are fun to go to. Big name speakers come to Hopkins to give speeches. Greek life isn't huge here on campus, but it does constitute about 25% of the undergrad population. It's there if you want it, but if you don't that's cool too. There is a lot to do for fun in the area including exploring Baltimore's different villages, taking a trip to the Inner Harbor, or watching a movie at The Charles Theater. If Baltimore isn't enough for you, DC is only a short train ride away.

Mandy

I live in Wolman Hall, which is suite-style for Freshmen. Walking down my floor, you'll often find suite doors propped open with students studying together or just hanging out, or you'll find students in our floor's common room which has a TV, DVD player and couches. I'm not involved with many groups on campus but there are TONS and I know a lot of people who are involved in several and love them all. There's a group for pretty much any interest, and it's a great way to meet new people. As for a Saturday night at Hopkins, there are plenty of parties held by the fraternities, but there is also plenty to do other than that. Baltimore's Inner Harbor is a great place for dinner and a bit of shopping, the Charles Theater is amazing for seeing lesser-known movies, and there's typically things going on around campus as well. If nothing else, it's always nice to stay in and watch movies with friends.

Stefanie

Performing arts is very popular at Hopkins. Whether it's the Gospel Choir or the Allnighters (the all male acappella group), the student body is excited and out to support them. The freshmen dorms are very active and traditional in the fact that doors are kept open. However, dorms for sophomores and up tend to be a bit quieter.

Jamie

The lacrosse team. National champions last season, which makes it something like the ninth time. I don't follow sports much, so that's the extent of my knowledge on JHU sports. The a capella groups are popular. There are at least six. I think the three biggest ones are the All-Nighters, the Sirens, and the Octopodes. They always sing to a crammed house - people sitting in the aisles, standing in the back. For guest speakers, it depends on who is the guest speaker, really. When Bill Nye came, Shriver Hall was filled possibly past capacity, but when David Simon came, it was maybe two thirds full. (To be fair in that comparison...well, everyone knows Bill Nye.) Theater groups are pretty popular, too, from what I can tell. If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I'm probably just bumming around online, or doing homework. I have a really strange sleeping schedule. I'm not much into Greek life, can't tell you about the parties...usually I hang with people off campus. Party in their apartments, or just watch movies there, or go out for Korean BBQ at this awesome restaurant on 20th and Maryland... Nothing special.

Jordan

There are a ton of clubs, and most of them are pretty small. The biggest one is probably the co-ed volunteer fraternity, which is essentially just a way for premed kids to boost their resume. Lacrosse is big, all other events less so. Popular speaks (Bill Nye, etc) get a big turnout, but there are plenty of people who visit without anyone ever knowing. The dating scene is horrible. Don't come here if you actually want to meet somebody. Most people are perfectly nice but majorly socially awkward. This is a school of nerds. Frats and sororities are there to throw parties for the rest of us. Some people join them, but it's not as huge here as it is at other schools. At least one of them can be counted on to throw a party every weekend, though. I met most of my friends through class, which I think is atypical - most people meet their friends through their dorms freshman and sophomore year. You can always hang out with friends Saturday night, but most people consider drinking the highest form of entertainment. There isn't a lot off campus, except the Inner Harbor, which loses its appeal by freshman year, and the mall in Towson. My friend tells me there's a pretty good club and dance scene, and there are two small music venues within a short walk/cab ride of campus.

Tristan

The dorms are typically how you meet people freshmen year. If you do not end up in a social dorm, it may be somewhat of a problem. While some of the older dorms are said to be more social, it really depends on the people who reside there. Overall, people leave their doors open and even the dorms that are full of suites are social because of the common room with a TV on each floor. Many people meet their closest friends this way, but you can meet people through other activities. The intramural and club sports are competitive and fun. There are also Dorm Wars between the different frehsmen and sophomore housing buildings, where the dorms compete in different sports and activities. The theater groups and acapella groups on campus do draw big crowds. In particular, the all male acapella group, the All-Nighters are great for laughs and listening to some of your favorite songs. The Buttered Niblets, an improv comedy group are also a campus favorite, and have some great improv games; they are a crowd favorite. Volunteer organizations like The Tutorial Project, where JHU students tutor inner-city kids, and other clubs acting out of the Center for Social Concern are popular amongst students. Outdoor Pursuits is a campus group that goes hiking, rock-climbing, and kayaking in local areas, is very popular among students. Many people attend the MSE Symposium, which brings popular and controversal speakers such as Bill Nye, Jason Alexander, Ralph Nader, and Howard Dean. The Foreign Affairs Symposium also brings some controversal and internationally renowed speakers. While the people on campus are not the most friendly, and it may seem at times difficult to meet new people, one just needs to be outgoing and friendly. The Student Council sets up many events and parties and there are weekly showings of recently released movies. People can definitely find things to do that do not involve drinking. We are in a city that offers tons of opportunities, and people can always find something to do or something to see whether it be on or off campus. That being said, there are also plenty of frat parties and off-campus parties that people attend. Annual themed parties draw tons of people to the frats, but there are also local bars and clubs that people frequent including PJ's a local bar and The Den, a somewhat fancy club. Both of these are close to campus, but there are of course, plenty of opportunities to go clubbing in downtown Baltimore. Many Hopkins people date one another, and in fact, there is suppose to be a high percentage of Hopkins couples that marry each other. Hopkins is a suprisingly social place and while there are people that study each night, there are also people that go out to party every single night. Fraternities and Sororities are under 30%, but it seems to be a bit more. The good thing about sororities is that the girls do not live together, so there is not a complete feeling of exclusivity. Many people are in sororities and are friends with those who aren't. It does seem like a lot of people pledge, but at the same time people are down to earth and friendly and it really doesn't affect friendships or relationships at all. Finally, Spring Fair and the Duke Lacrosse game are events that draw even the most reclusive person. The intense rivalry between Hopkins and Duke is energetic and extremely exciting. Kids go all out to support their team when Duke comes to the Homewood Field. Spring Fair, an annual campus event, brings a big-name musician as well as tons of vendors,games, and activities. Open to the Baltimore Community, it is a great event to experience Hopkins at its best. It is fun and social, and nobody should miss it.