I'm not sure I could say which are the most popular student groups because there are so many. Sports are a big interest, but they wouldn't make up the majority. Many people choose to go Greek, but frats/sororities would only make up less than a quarter of the student body. Many of the student clubs are involved in THON, the dance marathon supporting the Hershey Medical Center's Pediatric Cancer research and Four Diamonds Fund. Last year, there were over 1,000 dancers from hundreds of student groups and branch campuses, and they all worked together in raising over $9.5 million towards the Four Diamonds Fund, supporting families of children with pediatric cancer.
Students in dorms are very friendly and the dorms are a great place to make friends. Drinking and partying is popular, just as at almost every other college in the US, but its not the only thing students do on weekends. There are several options for students who don't want to drink and the University does a great job of promoting the alternatives and providing things people would actually want to take part in. Every month there is a guest speaker provided by the university and several student organizations get speakers and put on events as well. There is always something unique to do any given night of the week.
It would be hard to say which are the most popular groups because there are so many at Penn State-- over 800 student groups! A big draw is THON, the student run philanthropy that benefits Hershey Medical Center's pediatric cancer research and the Four Diamonds Fund. It is the largest student run philanthropy in the WORLD (raising over $9.8 million last year) and a large majority of the clubs come together to raise money for it. Athletics are also very popular, especially football games. Less than a quarter of students go Greek, but frats and sororities still make themselves heard by holding multiple events each year. There of course are lots of parties but there is a ton to do that doesn't involve drinking on the weekends. Late Nite HUB offers some fun activities and concerts and shows movies every night of the week.
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