I might be a little biased, but I'm really proud of the Greek community on Marquette's campus! We have started small but are progressively getting bigger and looking to hopefully expand. The sororities and fraternities really work together to form a great Greek community that is much less dog-eat-dog than it is at some bigger schools. I've been in a sorority for 3 years and have loved how it makes me feel so much more connected on campus. I can't take a class without having at least one of my sorority sisters in it, which is a nice problem to have!! Club sports are also pretty big on campus. We are a D1 school so we obviously have great regular athletic teams, but we also have club sports teams for just about every sport. These are great opportunities to meet people and stay in shape to avoid the freshman 15! The dorms on Marquette(especially sophomore year) are generally very social. McCormick is our most popular freshman hall and I know so many people who are still friends as seniors with their wing from freshman year. I was an RA in a sophomore building and I would say that although students tend to not be as social sophomore year since they have friends, you'll still definitely find lots of activity and social opportunities in the halls (living in dorms is required for your first two years). Marquette does try really hard to provide alcohol alternatives. I would describe the drinking culture on Marquette as very present. It's there if you want to participate, but there are still plenty of things to do if you don't. We have discounted movies, excisions downtown, speakers (our last one was Frank from PostSecret- so awesome) to keep you busy on the weekends. And it actually isn't uncommon to hear about someone staying in a weekend night to go to "Club Raynor" aka our library, because we do have an academically motivated campus.
We have so many groups to choose from ranging from club sports, fine arts, cultural orgs, service orgs, academic honors societies and greek life. I wouldn't say there's one particular one that is most popular. They offer a lot of opportunities to get involved and are not difficult to locate of contact which is very important. The residence halls are very fun and where I met a lot of my close friends. In McCormick, where I lived freshman year, our doors were constantly open and we bonded a lot as a wing. The RA's and building staff are great and very supportive and helpful. Besides basketball there are a lot of fun things to do on campus. The student government and other student organizations sponsor and hosts events throughout the year, like recent box office hits every Friday and Saturday, Night of Chocolate (all you can eat chocolate), Snowball (winter semi-formal), Carnivals, Brewer's game tailgates, speakers, concerts and more. There is a lot of inter-cultural and diversity programming as well, which offers a lot of unique experiences. The city itself is a great place to explore and the University really encourages students to step outside campus limits and see what it has to offer both for entertainment purposes and community immersion and service. I've had great experiences with social life on campus. Whether you want to go out and party or are looking for a more laid back evening, there always seems to be something to do. There are also a couple of great campus bars for the 21 year old and older crowd as well as some unique spots throughout the city.
Marquette is has one of the most involved campuses. Many students are involved in a plethora of organizations. I myself am highly involved in four organizations currently. A large majority of these groups are service or social awareness. There are over 200 organizations for students to choose from to get involved. Many departments of Marquette, such as the Office of Community Service and the Office of Student Development, work hard to see that students get involved with what works best for them. In fact, I just established a service organization this semester with a few friends and have received tremendous support. While I am involved in three service organizations, I am also a member of a sorority on campus. Although only about 12% of campus is involved in Greek life, there has been a dramatic increase the past few years and seems to only be growing. In addition, many of the Greeks are members of other organizations as well. Unlike at some state schools or Big 10 schools, Greeks are not so much about drinking and partying (although we do really enjoy that), but also actively being involved with campus, especially service. Marquette in general has been dubbed a "drinking school" partly because we are in one of the beer-capitals of the world. Most weekends, students can be found at house parties, at the local bars, or Water Street. During the winter, men's basketball games are a popular attraction on the weekends. If drinking isn't your thing, Marquette sponsors "Late Night" events which are super fun alternatives to partying.
MU basketball is the favored sport, where our team plays in the Big East. Games in the winter are typically very well attended, with many people buying season tickets at the beginning of the year. Guest speakers are also common and popular. I met my closest friends largely by chance and association. MU offers wide options for meeting people, so it's common to meet others in unlikely places. The dating scene, however, is not the greatest, with many people already being in some kind of relationship. Fraternities and sororities are generally not important at all at MU, with only a very few pledging each year. In fact, Greek life is often criticized as "buying your friends."
There are different stduent organizations that are diverse and which hundreds of people partake in. I was not a big part of the student government, but I did enjoy many of the events they put on. The best thing to get involved with campus life, is to attend the O-Fests held at the beginning of each semester. marquette puts on so many different events, sponsored by the university as well as other events around the city, that students are never bored on campus. Also, there are restaurants and bars on and off campus, plus a whole city of fun activities to explore, where students tend to gather and group up. Its a fun social life at MU, you just have to make it what you want.
While Greek Life isn't important, it's really the only thing I truly like about Marquette. I greatly suggest it. Greek Life isn't a necessity, but the students who are in Greek Life are the backbone of everything happening on campus. I like residence life as well. They make underclassmen feel welcome and hire good RAs and other people who are great. My RA was like a big brother of my floor. While we had fun with him at times, but he also kept us in line (not in a bad way, but in a way that I appreciate - a big-brotherly way).
Basketball games. The biggest school spirit shows up at basketball games. Depends on which dorm you live in, but most tend to form close friends. Some will leave doors open, some will not. Not many join clubs. Not many join greek life, but they are popular for parties. Lots of drinking and partying on weekends. MU students live by the philosophy "work hard, play hard". Most students will be partying every weekend. Milwaukee has tons of alcohol to go around.
Dorms are a blast to live in because everyone keeps there doors open; however, Marquette's dorm rules are ridiculously strict. Its much harder to meet people after you move out of the dorms. I met all my close friends through first extracirricular activities and then through friends of friends. People usually party three days a week.
Marquette has a structured social pyramid that must be followed closely in order to rise the student body ranks. The party scene can be lame as there are only a few house parties and 2,000 freshmen trying to get into them all. If you have connections you are set. Or a fake ID.
There is not one student organization at Marquette that does not have a major service event planned for the year. Orgs will do everything from holding fashion shows benefiting a non-profit to cleaning up neighborhood homes.