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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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What are the most popular student activities/groups?

It sucks. You drink your worries away. I find myself feeling somewhat robbed of the whole college experience.

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They don't exist.

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The biggest club on campus is the Ski and Snowboard club which organizes ski and snowboard trips to local mountains thoughout the winter season. We also have a Division 1 hockey team, which is the major sporting events on campus. We also have a relatively big greek life, which is popular with both sexes. I started RPI Swim Club my sophmore year, we are a club that meets twice a week to run swim practices for students who want to swim, learn how to swim and to play around in the pool. My other president and treasurer and I have all swam competitively since we were young and swam in high school; I swam at RPI for a year as well. We have on average about 20 people show up for swim practice. We play games and have fun too! When i lived in a dorm freshman year people on my floor kept their doors open for the first semester then second semester they were always closed. This seems to be true in the other dorm rooms, but generally the doors were always unlocked if people were in so you just opened a door to find someone. Hockey games are the big sporting events, and some of the theatre events can be big as well, especially the singing groups. My closest friends are my roommates and housemates, but next to them the people I am friends with I meet througha friend in her dorm. I am still best friends with people i met within the first week of being at RPI. The dating scene at RPI is difficult if you are a guy, there is a 4:1 ratio of guys to girls which makes it a little hard to find a date. But if you branch out and meet lots of people its easier. If I am awake at 2am on a tuesday night usually i am doing homework or partying. However, that rarely happens and i am usually in bed by 1. Every year there are 3 major events at RPI, one is fall rush for the fraternities. Its free food for all, chilling out in the sunshine and relaxing and meeting new people. Great way to get back into the school year. Two is GM week (Grand Marshall Week) which is where the student bodies votes for its president. During the week there are many different club based events that you can watch or participate in. There is also no class on wednesday and free food and a little carnival. The week is usually filled with students partying and enjoying a week of traditions, from different events to social events with the frats. There is fireworks on the friday night when the annouce the next GM! The third event of the year is Big Red Freakout which is a big hockey game event and impossible to get tickets for, the nice thing about Big Red Freakout even if you don't go to the hockey game the dinning hall has great food and there are big parties afterwards. Friday's and Saturday nights are big party nights at RPI. Parties are hosted by different clubs and organizations and frats. If you want to party its not hard to find one. Weekends that don't envolve drinking are either nights in, watching a movie or playing video games. Other things to do are go to the movies, or the local bowling alley. RPI doesn't really offer much else to do on saturday nights that doesn't evolve partying in some degree.

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There is soooo much to do on campus. The movies that UPAC puts on for Friday and Saturday nights are really popular. There are three show times so you can build a schedule around them. Hockey is the most popular sport. The hockey games are a big thing to go to. I LOVE being involved with the ski club. On the weekends we go on trips to local mountains. They even have equipment here at school that you can rent if you don't have your own. Most students really get along well with the other people in the dorms. My dorm is really social, everyone leaves their doors open and there are always groups of people congregated in rooms. There are a lot of guest speakers on campus. Most of them are academic, but every now and then there are some really fun ones. There is a drama club and they put on plays every month or two i think. The plays are well attended too. Surprisingly, a lot of people end up dating someone here. Even though the women are only 30% of the student body, most of them are really outgoing, and a lot of the men aren't, so it really evens out. My closest friends are on my same floor in the dorm, or down the hall, and around a corner. If I am up late on a weeknight it is probably because I procrastinated my homework to hang out with friends earlier and then after midnight realized I still had stuff to do for the next day. I usually work in the lounge area of my dorm, because there are fewer distractions than in my room. Most of the traditions here at RPI revolve around Hockey or Greek life. There are parties every weekend and occasionally small ones during the week. Frats and sorrorities aren't important, but a lot of people are involved in greek life, it is very big on campus, although it is mostly the frats. Last weekend I went skiing on friday night then to a frat party...got almost no sleep...woke up at 7am to go skiing again, and then relaxed Saturday night and watched tv and a movie with friends. On Sunday I worked on homework and hung out with friends. On a Saturday night if you don't drink, you can go see a movie on campus, or you can usually see a performance, or you can go to a sporting event/game, or you can catch a bus(free with student ID) into Albany and go out to dinner, or to a movie, or show.

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There are plenty of clubs on campus for any interest that anyone could possibly have. And if a club you are looking for does not exist, you can start a new one. People form new clubs every year. There are plenty of sports teams, clubs, and intramural options available for any skill level. And if you aren't into sports, there are religious groups, student government, community service organizations, student involvement groups, common interest groups, academic teams, music groups, and just about anything else you could imagine. Plus, if you need to get off campus, your student ID lets you ride the bus for free. This will take you to two malls in the area, a movie theater, or plenty of different stores and restaurants. Different clubs hold events every week. Many concerts are held on or near campus. Movies are shown for only a couple dollars every Friday and Saturday. The RPI players are always putting on a show of some sort. Music groups put on frequent performances. Comedians, magicians, hypnotists, and other guest speakers are brought onto campus on a regular basis. RPI is known to be antisocial, which is completely ridiculous. In most of the freshman five (the five "L" shaped freshman dorms on campus) people keep their doors open all the time. Many people hang out in the lounges or study rooms to watch movies, talk, play games, or just hang out. Last year in my dorm, our R.A. even held a program in our lounge teaching us to salsa dance. Greek life is huge on campus. A lot of guys join fraternities. Then again, there are plenty of guys who don't. It is not a requirement to "go Greek" by any stretch of the imagination. Guys can still get into parties at fraternities, even if they are not brothers. It is all about knowing brothers at some houses. At others, you just need to show up with a few girls as your ticket into the house. As far as sororities go, some girls join, some girls do not. The option is there for girls who want it, but it is not forced on girls who do not. Now, because Greek life is so large on RPI's campus, finding a party is never a problem. If you want to go out, the option is always there.

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There is a huge party scene at RPI. Frats and sororities are big, but unnecessary. Plenty of great people are not affiliated with Greek life and there isn't really a pressure to join. Most of my best friends I've met through my major, but I also met one of my best girlfriends on an NRB (freshman orientation) trip. Both of us registered late for the activities and we got stuck taking a steamboat ride on Lake George's Minnie-Ha-Ha. It was an awkward and unenjoyable experience until we found each other... then it wasn't so bad having to listen to an overly enthusiastic guide speak about lengthy history of steam usage and Lake George's 'illustrious' history. I would also strongly suggest that any person coming to RPI should try and get involved in things on campus. Who cares if it ends up being something uninteresting or different than what you expected - even if you meet one or two new friends, it will have been worth your time to attended. College is about meeting new people... people you didn't hang out with in high school. Ultimately, your college experience will be shaped by the people you spend your time with. If I'm awake on a Tuesday at 2 am I'd probably be in studio drinking coffee. Troy and some RPI students do this great thing called Troy Night Out, where on the first Friday of every month, art galleries, antique stores and restaurants open their doors to residents and students alike, and it's a great way to meet people and have a great time. The 'cultural' part is usually followed by an awesome dance party afterward.

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GROUND ZERO is a music venue on campus that ROCKS. There's also RPI Hockey, though the crowd tends to be more interesting nowadays than the game. Some dorms have an open-door policy, other's don't. Athletic events are typically unpopular- hockey being the exception. We have guests from other colleges and industry tycoons, a comedy group or two, a "playhouse" (that's theater) with a whole frat dedicated to it... a movie theater... we got activities covered. Dating can be tough. Where do you take your date in Troy? The pizzeria? And where are you going to find a date? I met my closest friends in freshman year. We were on the same floor, and either had compatible personalities or an overwhelming number of shared interests, usually both. I've got a lot of friends. At 2AM on Tuesday, I'm either doing homework, sleeping, or burning some midnight oil on an evil scientist type of project. Annual traditions include the Big Red Freakout (a hockey fan event), the walk for cancer, GM week (where we hold union elections), and a few other neat events. Family orientation day counts, I guess. I don't do frats. A lot of other people do, though, so, whatever boats your float. Last weekend I chilled out, prepared for an interview and acted as a host for my visiting parents.

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Each year it changes in the dorms. One year everyone leaves them closed and no one gets to know each other, and the next there is a very close community within each dorm. Hockey is huge here. Theater is definitely not a big deal though. The dating scene sucks because of the 3 to 1 boy to girl ratio. Boys are constantly complaining about how bitchy and manipulative girls are to take advantage of the ratio, and girls are constantly complaining about how boys stalk them or male friends will disappear as soon as they find out she's not interested. I met a good friend through a class I took, who in turn introduced me to his co-ed fraternity, which I subsequently joined. Generally, if you're awake at 2am on a Tuesday, you're studying, a lot, and you shouldn't expect to be asleep before 5am. People work really hard on the weekdays, and party really hard on the weekends. There are approximately 30 fraternities at RPI, and they are huge. However, there are only 5 sororities. Last weekend I attended a small get together with about 10 friends hanging out in a living room with a few bottles of wine. There are always events happening on campus that don't involve drinking though.

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It is what you make of it. If you want to study on weeknights, people do it. If you want to go out to a party on a weeknight, find people to go with. I met most of my closest friends Freshman year in my dorm. We lived in Barton. My roommate Soph-Sr year lived in Barton and we played tennis together. The guys that I hung out with also lived in Barton and 8 of them moved into a house together for 3 years. They really are what helped me survive being a Comm major at RPI. The graphics club was a huge deal to me. Small group with a lot of spirit. But we just started in 2003, so it's a very small club. I made a good deal of friends in my industry who've helped me grow as a designer. RenX was another important thing to me. It was a part time job but also a good chance to meet people from other majors and years. RenX is a part time job where you call alumni to get donations. It sounds awful, but you get paid good commission and get fed. If you play tennis, don't join the tennis team. It will make you miserable. Join the tennis club and play for fun. It's much more worth your time. The coach is not a good one.

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Guys should go greek if they want to have a social life and meet most of the girls. Girls can go greek but there are only 3 national sororities as of now. Leadership House is the best place to live if you want to know everyone in your dorm. Doors are always open and the halls are filled at night of people just sitting and talking. Women should consider getting a mentor their freshman year so that they have a unbiased opinion of teachers, back work, and a source to go to since the campus is predominantly male. Every weekend can involve drinking and even some school nights if you have time. The Frats always seem to have something going on and nothing really overlaps. Outside of that every Friday and Saturday movies play in the DCC (ones that aren't out on video, but are out of theaters). There are also concerts and such people can attend. Hockey games are tons of fun to go to, and football games too. Less people attend the football games because its hot and outside. Most of my friends right now as a freshman are from my dorm, but others i met through the summer orientation session, or through friends.

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