The most popular groups on campus are without a doubt fraternities and sororities. They do own a lot of the bars for parties on a Friday night and have their greek week festivities that take over the campus. That's not to say that there aren't other outlets. I'm really involved on campus, have met great people through these organizations and I'm not a sister. The student government is really productive and active on campus and Campus Activities Council is a great group to get involved in. They put on events like homecoming, parents weekend and little sibs weekend. Aside from these traditional groups found on every campus Miami offers over 300 groups with things like "parachute club" "tae-kwan do" "men against rape," really anything that you would be looking for. there's a fair at the beginning of the year where a variety of organizations and groups set up tables to pass out brochures so students can find out what they are all about. I signed up for the student newspaper and was writing a story for them by the following week. It's easy to get involved if you choose too. In freshman dorms, students are really willing to meet people. THey leave their doors open, they go to other floors to meet people--everyone is really open to meeting new friends. All freshman are feeling awkward, uncomfortable and like the freshman they are. Since everyone is in the same boat it's nice. The older dorms are a little harder because people are already set in their friends. The events offered on campus vary and are really great. We have concerts like O.A.R., guitar hero competitions, Colin Powell came to speak, the CEO of Bob Evans, we have dance performances and african culture exhibitions. There really is something for everyone. Students attend these events sometimes because they have to and a few out of interest. It really depends. when it comes to dating it's pretty much the same as every college campus. Long distance boyfriends and girlfriends fade rather quickly (though not all) because of all the new people you get to meet and experiences there are to enjoy. Freshman year everyone lives it up and few are looking to settle down. There can be one night stands, there are the bar makeouts, there's the friend from the dorm who becomes a little more and incest amongst friends. You're surrounded by 16,000 other 18-24 yr olds so in that sense it's a little easier to meet someone but it's still just as nervewracking dropping the "how you doinngg" line in a bar to someone. My closest friends are the ones I originally met in my dorm. We all just somehow found each other and after activities done on freshman orientation days and dinner get togethers we became the best friends we are. Friends from classes I see out but perhaps don't hang out with as much on a regular basis. One great event at Miami is green beer day. THis is the day before Spring Break and in celebration of St. Patty's day everyone basically buys any of the numerous shirts proclaiming how they tend to start drinking and make it last all day. Teachers get pretty strict and police come otu to play, but the day is a great last hurrah before the week away. It's a big drinking school, as I imagine most colleges are. We are small town and there's not too much to do. Organizations on campus still try to make non-alocholic events available to the campus. There's concerts and comedy skits that are brought. There's youth groups that meet on Friday nights as an alternate. The towns close by have a drive-in or a skating rink. There is still other options, perhaps not a ton, but always somethign to do. This weekend I went to the comedy show then drinking at a friends house, then uptown to dance. That's a pretty standard weekend for students which is why as you get older and have more friends with more houses or apartments to party at. It's hard if you're not a guy and not in a fraternity to meet people. Unless you find a solid group of guys from the start who are with you in the non greek boat. Girls have it slightly easier, cause um, we have boobs. So we can get into frats even if we're not in a sorority and have hot friends. Intramurals are a great time at Miami. We're known for broomball, which is a sport we call our own that people sign up to play. All sports are available for the non-die-hard athletes out there.
Partying is big--people lovvvve their parties here. Sororities and fraternities are constantly having some party or another, and people are always having house parties. It was kind of overwhelming at first; I did not come to school a partier and really have not turned into a "partier," but I definitely enjoy going out. This isn't New York City, so don't expect a really hot club scene, but there are a good number of places, and people have their favorites. Some of the bars are 21 and up, so that kind of sucks for the younger crowd, but there are still a good number of places for them. Brick Street, Stadium, Pachinko's and 45 East are good for dancing, 18 and up. Skipper's is the bar everyone goes to--at all hours, and their outdoor patio is usually full of people. We've got some great restaurants open late too, for the hungry...and often inebriated crowd. Bagel and Deli is a favorite--great bagel sandwiches. Bruno's sells pizzas on the sidewalk outside their restaurant on the weekends, making it more accessible to the people on their way after going out. You can also get take out calzones from D.P. Dough, apparently really great when you've had a few drinks. I personally love dancing, so if I'm uptown, it's usually at 45 East. The dance floor is a little less clautrophobic, and you can go downstairs if you need a break. It's also easier to request songs. Brick Street is a classic--and on Mondays, they have karaoke, which is always fun. Uptown bars usually have local bands playing on the weekends, which is cool for a different kind of vibe. If you don't want to dance, you can always go to Kofenya, which is a coffee shop uptown that has local acts playing acoustic on the weekends. They also have board games and great paninis if you want a more chill atmosphere one night. A lot of people come here during the week to study as well. There are also more non-drinking activities, although you can do pretty much any of these things and still have a blast sober. But they do offer "AfterDark," which is movie screenings on Friday nights, or other events, like concerts that come to our student center on the weekends. The most popular extracurricular on campus is Greek life. No matter how small the community supposedly is, it's everywhere on campus. But there is also the theater crowd, musicians, both singers and instrumentalists, and a lot of great writing organizations. I used to write for an on-campus magazine, MQ, which is mostly opinion/columns of things students are interested in. Miami does bring in a lot of guest speakers, and they are generally pretty popular, ranging from former Speakers of the House to authors doing readings of their books. There really are a lot of things to do on campus, and if you aren't interested in Greek life, you just have to dig a little deeper to find your fit.
Undoubtedly, the most popular of all student run organizations is Greek life. Miami University is one of the oldest, and with that has many different sororities and fraternities that are very active. Because of this, partying is a large subculture at Miami University. On weekends, many students either go to house parties of bars uptown. Still, a large number of students do not engage in these activities. If you do not wish to engage in drinking, there are plenty of other things to do. Miami University always plans activities such as movie nights, lectures, ice skating, bus trips, and cultural events; there is always something else to do. Outside of Greek life, student publications, such as the television station, radio station, Miami Student newspaper, and literary magazines attract many members. Even if a student is not involved in one of these media-based organizations, he or she is very aware of them, as they are made accessible to the student body. Religious organizations tend to be very popular as well, with a wide variety available to students depending on size, religion and social preference. Coupled with the many churches available on campus and in Oxford, religious activities are a big part of life at Miami. Athletics are also very prominent at Miami University. Football games always attract many students, and weekends often revolve around games. Men’s hockey also sells many tickets, and students become very spirited for the games. Varsity athletics receive a lot of support, and for other students there are club sports and intramurals. Miami University is definitely a very active campus, with students running or walking at all times of the day, all seasons of the year. With top notch facilities, both leisure and formal sports activities dominate student life, and most students value being physically and socially active. The biggest drawback to student life lies is Oxford itself. It is a small college town, and does not offer very much in form of entertainment. The uptown area consists of a few restaurants, bars, and gift stores. There is also a public library, art building, Kroger’s, and small movie theater with limited showings. There is nothing wrong with Oxford; it is simply limited in what it offers. Most students find more things to do either on campus or, if they so choose, drive to Cincinnati or Dayton, which are relatively close by. The student life is very active, however, and most instead find something to do on campus.
One of the most popular student activities is our Greek life here at Miami University. Don't let that set you back from doing something other than joining a fraternity or sorority, though! Miami does offer an incredibly vast amount of other activities ranging from activities involving your major all the way to volunteer work! As a non-greek affiliated student, I have found many other activities and groups that are just as enjoyable! One of my best experiences here at Miami involving an organization was when I was accepted into the National Society of Leadership and Success. This is a society that is, indeed, nationwide but offers chapters for different colleges. It was an amazing experience involving success leadership teams where five society members came together every other week to discuss long-term or short-term goals. It motivated us all to be the best we could be and not become discouraged if something went wrong! From my experience at Miami University, most of the friends I have made came from the dorms in which I have resided. My freshman year I met some of my best friends and I continue to meet new people every day! There is always a smiling face walking through the hallway ready to greet you! Many of my friends decided to join a sorority and fraternity, but this has not kept us from being the best of friends still! If anything, my friends in Greek life have introduced me to new people, creating the opportunity to make new friends! Athletics at Miami University are very prominent, especially our Hockey team! You can find most students waiting in line at the Goggin Ice Center on the weekends to watch the big game! During the fall, students also enjoy attending football games at Yager Stadium. It's always a great time to meet friends there, even if you don't watch the game closely! This is a great way to show your Miami pride by cheering on the student athletes! If on a Saturday night you'd prefer not to drink, do not worry! Miami University has a great program that offers plenty of fun activities on the weekends! You can enjoy a movie at the Shriver Center or even find your community council baking down in the kitchen of your dorm or painting bricks or coffee mugs! There is always something to do and there is no added pressure to drink on the weekends!
Groups at Miami are all over the board. Greek life and Campus Crusade for Christ are two particularly strong and prominent groups on campus. Also, the student government and intramural sports are big. In terms of varsity sports men's hockey is really the only team that garners a significant amount of support from students, but the athletic community itself seems to be a very tight knit group of people. In my time at Miami I got involved with numerous organizations and two of my favorites were being part of the student radio station and writing/editing for campus publications. These are smaller organizations, but because of this you get great hands-on experience and make great friendships. Social life outside of organizations is tons of fun at Miami as well. In college your weekend begins on Thursday nights. This usually means going Uptown to bars with friends. You have to be 18, minimum, to get into bars Uptown and some are 21 and up. The bars are a lot of fun and are the main source of entertainment during the weekend. There are places to dance, play pool or just sit and talk. Many bars have specialty nights as well such as 90s night or dollar draft beer night. Big house parties are few and far between, and don't usually welcome strangers or freshman. The exception to this rule is fraternity house parties that usually get pretty crowded. Day drinking and drinking games such as beer pong are also two of the pleasures of college life. People get pretty rowdy on weekends so it is important to go out with people you trust and know will look out for you if things get out of hand. Know your limits when it comes to drinking, because there are many consequences if you get in trouble. For starters, any run-ins with the police result in a "code" through the university. This is a mark put on your record that can get you kicked out if you get multiple codes, depending on the level. Codes also come with a form of punishment, like sitting through very, very long alcohol awareness classes on Saturdays. Another reason to practice some self-control is that the police reports get printed in the school newspaper for the students and professors alike to read. And they do. All in all if you are smart about your activities it is easy to stay out of trouble.
As I mentioned, Greek life (involvement in sororities and fraternities) is very prevalent at Miami. Sororities and fraternities team up to promote philanthropic causes like the Ronald McDonald House or Cincinnati Children's Hospital, host social events, and recruit members. "Rush" is a huge deal on campus at the end of every fall semester for incoming students. I am not involved in the Greek community (I didn't "rush"), but I still feel like I am a part of the Miami community. Occasionally I feel left out of conversations among a group of sorority girls who are all going to the same party one night, but I have a tight group of friends and feel like I'm a part of other subsets of Miami "culture." Student orgs/clubs are incredibly popular at Miami. Clubs range from professional groups (business, engineering, teaching societies, etc.) to philanthropic groups (who put on events to raise money for charity) to club sports (including Quidditch) to interest groups (people who are concerned about recycling; a student-run radio station) to cultural groups (Asian American Associations, Indian Student Association, Black Student Association, Middle-Eastern Student groups, Latin American student groups...the list goes on!). All of my friends are involved in at least two clubs- one is in Associated Student Government, another founded her own club that started a Writing Festival, another is in an Architecture society, and another is in a dental club. There's a club for everyone at Miami, and if there's not, you can start one! Partying and "going Uptown" (to High Street in Oxford, where there are many bars and restaurants) is a big part of Miami social life. You can enter bars when you're 18, but, obviously, can't buy drinks until you're 21. House parties are common in the residential part of Oxford, especially at fraternity houses (there are no sorority houses). However, bars and "clubs" (where there is a dance floor) seem to be more popular at Miami than other universities I've visited.
The Miami hockey team is very popular on campus. When a big team comes to town, students sleep in tents in line to get tickets to the game the next day. Football, basketball, and soccer are not as popular but still have great student attendance and come up in conversation around campus. Student groups are popular and there is usually a group for every student based on what their likes and interests are. Miami is also known for sponsoring many guest speakers. Last year, Miami brought in the Dalai Lama and Condoleezza Rice to speak. Students always have their dorm doors open for friends to stop by and talk or hangout. Doors are usually only closed at night, during class, or while studying. The dating scene at Miami is active. People enjoy going on dates and enjoy meeting new people at parties or other social events. I met my closest friends in my freshman dorm building and then uptown this past year. The key is to be open and realize everyone is in the same situation as you in terms of meeting new people. Fraternities and sororities are very important on campus and have a large presence. Miami is known for a very popular greek life. However, greek like is not the only way to get involved and is just a sliver of the social atmosphere at Miami. People "party" mostly on the weekends (thursday-Saturday). Unless there is a special event or schedule, rarely are students partying during mid week. There is plenty to do that doesn't involve drinking. You can hangout in the dorm rooms, rec rooms (most dorms have a basement with a pool table, big screen tv, etc.), go uptown to a movie or out to eat, and go to the rec and play basketball. Off campus activities can involve or not involve drinking if you want them to.
Meeting people at Miami University is not a difficult task. The campus is overflowing with thousands of students, and opportunities to encounter them are prevalent as well. However, finding the people that have the potential to be your best friend takes some time. I was lucky enough to encounter an amazing group of students within my first semester as a freshman: the hip hop dance team. I tried out for the team without any hopes of actually becoming a member. My whole life I was acutely aware of my love for dance. Varsity Cheerleading functioned as a replacement for my passion throughout my high school years, but I always knew I belonged on a dance team. When I received the call informing me that I made Miami's Coed Hip Hop Dance Team, I raced out of my Chemistry Lab class to hide my jumps and jigs of joy. Being on the team not only led to my meeting some of my closest friends, but it also introduced me to various other activities and groups on campus. Our biggest performance of the semester happened to take place at Dance Marathon, an event where all of the major dance teams performed. Vision Dance Team, Hip Hop Dance Team, Miami Dance Team - all of these teams and more put on a show for this charitable event. Due to the number of dance oriented groups on campus, the popularity of dance on campus is obvious. However, the amount of group activities on campus is hard to keep count of as a result of their abundance. There is a team for nearly everything. Like arguing? Join debate team. Like being a leader? Join Community Council. Like dancing? Join Miami Coed Hip Hop Dance Team.
It would not be fair to not name Greek life as being one of the dominating student groups on campus. Almost 50% of the students on the Oxford campus are greek. This can end up being a great way for students to make friends, socialize and it also makes the campus seem smaller. Each fraternity or sorority also has a philanthropy for which they have open events to raise money throughout the year. A group which I am a part of is called Adopt-A-School. I love it because it was created by a group of Miami students and places volunteers in different schools around Oxford to help in the classroom. It is a great way to get real-life experience while also feel like you're making a difference. Hockey games are a HUGE deal on campus. People bring tents and camp outside the rink just to be first in line to get tickets for the student section, which is always full. There is a large number of student groups and organizations and at the beginning of each semester there is a fair where each one sets up a booth for interested student to come and learn about the different opportunities. "Uptown" is a popular place to go, especially Thursday through Saturday nights because all of the bars are open late. My favorite memories, however, come from sitting with my friends hanging out in the basement or living rooms of our dorm, talking, laughing and (sometimes)studying until the middle of the night.
The social aspect is by far my favorite part of Miami. There's so much going on all the time. There are plenty of different organizations to choose from, IM sports teams, events and parties all of the time. Meeting people is pretty easy as most people leave their doors open in the dorms and there's no shortage of girls to meet either; I met my girlfriend and closest friends by just talking to people whose doors were open at the beginning of my first year. My favorite thing to do is go the hockey games on friday and saturday nights. We line up for hours to watch Miami's best team and it gets crazy. There are also plenty of concerts going on occasionally either at Miami or at the clubs uptown. Other than that, your typical weekend night if you drink is probably going to be going to a frat party (after a little pre-gaming at the dorms) before heading up to the clubs uptown until they shut down. Parties are pretty much always going on, even on weekdays. Miami has a bunch of traditions too, the most famous of which is probably Green Beer Day, when everyone gets up at 5 30 am on the thursday before spring break, wears green and drinks until it's time to go to class. If you don't drink, there is still plenty to do; there is an organization that puts stuff together like late night movies and such. The only thing really to do off campus is either eat out or go to the clubs.