Greek life isn't that important. Frat parties are only a big deal to the freshmen. On any given Tuesday you're gonna have to fight for the bus to go downtown, as most kids will be heading out. Albany students take the party school image pretty seriously. Albany's basketball team got us riled up two years go, and when they start playing people get excited again, but it never takes over Albany life. The only single event that completely takes over UA life is Fountain Day. It sounds horrible; splashing and knocking your friends around in a gigantic cement fountain all while drunk and bruised, but it really is a lot of fun. It does get rowdy and administration seems to lack the ability to handle it. Do not get thousands of kids pumped for one day. They will riot. Each weekend is different, since there is something always going on. Weekends seems to go by in a second and be compact with so much as well. Your Friday night might be completely different from your Saturday night. And on Sunday you'll know it's worth it. On campus, there are always guest speakers arriving for the Writer's Institute. We've had Frank McCourt the author of "Angela's Ashes" come read and lecture. Gregory McGuire, the author of "Wicked" is one of our alums and also came to talk. The theater department runs really well and shows are put on fairly regularly. The art department is attempting to make a name for itself. It is pretty reputable, with professors and TAs that have names for themselves in the art world. Downtown at Lark there is First Friday which not only showcases artists but also opens up new stores and bars act as galleries as people wander Lark St. Albany always has a party atmosphere, whether it is the "underage" bars located on Madison and Washington or the real bars on North Pearl that have a very New York City feel, or the artsy First Friday, there is always, ALWAYS, something to do. It's just a matter of choosing.
One of the biggest student groups at the school is ATV- the student television station. It is a great organization and, as a member myself, I can tell you that after working with them for a little while, you begin to feel like you're part of a big family. Besides that, we have a huge variation of clubs from dance to sketch comedy, acapella to even laser tag. There is pretty much something for everyone. Fraternities and sororities are small, which allows everyone in them to really form bonds. They are, however, rising in status and becoming a more organized system. There is a bus that is free for students to go to the mall where you can catch a movie, or shop. There is also a laser tag place in the mall and a cheap bowling alley downtown (about 15 minutes by bus). Every year we have something called Larkfest downtown in the Fall, where on Lark st. there is a collection of vendors and live music. In the Spring we have Tulipfest which is similar, but in a park, so there are more vendors and nicer weather. We also have what we call Fallfest and Parkfest, which are our Fall and Spring concerts, sponsored by the school. Most recently, we had LMFAO and Far East Movement perform.
Hands-down, the most popular culture students subscribe to is the Fraternity/Sorority life. This gives students a sense of belonging. Also, almost to all student groups are community service groups. I am personally a part of on organization called Doctors 4 Hope Organization (D4H Org.). What D4H Org, does is giving back to the health fields while creating and opportunity for its members (who are mainly pre-med) gain some clinical hours in hospitals/health centers. D4H Org. also provides research options to it members. it is also a heavily community service group. Also most student groups organize trips outside of the university to its members on most weekends. This helps to create a sense of community among students. The university also organizes a "Speaker Series" every year in which they invite prominent figures to give speeches to students. Bill Clinton came last year and this year Magic Johnson did us the honors.
The most popular organization on campus is the student association which over sees all groups and clubs and provides the groups with funding. Student Association also provides funding for the spring and fall concerts and other campus events. Students in dorms often leave the doors closed in order to avoid theft and tend to live in suite style rooms so they get to meet more then just their roommate. Saturday nights can be a movie at the mall, there are plenty of restaurants and there is also something called danes after dark, which is something Student Association funds and it provides movies on campus, video games, competitions, pool, television, and snacks like movie theater popcorn, so not every student is drinking on a Friday or Saturday night. Half of students tend to party maybe twice a week, if that, so it is not required that students drink to have fun.
c'mon folks we are in college we can do whatever we want, come home/ go out whenever we want until whatever time we want. And the students at the university here definitely live by those rules. You can find a group and something to do anytime or any day of the week. There are sororities, frats, profreesional frats, multi cultural groups, sports teams, and activites/event to take part in. We take part in the Capital Region events such as festivals and fairs that you can find plenty of UA students at.
The most popular groups on campus are intermural sports. Also Albany Student Press, Albany Television and also many different diversity groups. There are also business groups like ABLE and other specific major groups. Guest Speakers are great. We have a speaker series that has included Bill Clinton, Magic Johnson, Barbara Walters, etc. Traditions: Big Purple Growl (our homecoming basketball game), Fountain Day, two concerts (FallFest and ParkFest). Frats and sororities are not a big deal here.
On campus events are not well attended, if they ever occur. The students are apathetic and not friendly. The social life is vibrant- clubs, bars and house parties are available in the city of Albany. If you like to drink, albany is the place for you. We party hard, and often. If you don't like to drink, you better think about starting. You can always meet new people. There is no shortage of college aged boys and girls. Greek like is not a big portion of the student body, but it is prominent.
Since the schools recognition a few years ago as one of the top party schools many come here just for that. But the reality is that most do not fit this mold. I did not drink while I was here, so I turned to dorms and student groups to network. The student activity fund is managed by students for students, and there are many opportunities to get involved there. There are also many student groups, non-D1 sports and job opportunities around campus.
One of the largest student-run organizations on campus is the University Dance Council. This organization offers students the opportunity to dance. Whether it is tap, hip-hop, ballet, jazz, or contemporary, students have the opportunity to take a break from the books and express their emotions through dance. It just so happens that i had the opportunity to be the President of this organization my senior year.
There's a lot of opportunity to do sports, either in the University Varsity team, or in intramurals, where you can assemble your own team. I've been playing soccer pretty much every week of the semester (even the last few weeks when it was freezing). There's definitely a lot of partying. Most people go out on thursdays and fridays, but the tuesdays and saturdays are pretty good as well.