It takes a swipe card and a key to access a dorm room, with the swipe card allowing entry to the dorm and the key entry to a student's specific room, so no, the dorms are not usually left open, except under certain specific circumstances (like move-in or move-out weeks, or fire drills). Athletic events are extremely popular, especially football, with basketball coming in at a close second. Tailgating before football games is common as well, and cops love to patrol the tents and cookouts, so underage students either choose not to drink, are extremely careful, or end up with an MIP sometime during the season. The dating scene seems similar to any other campus, and many people meet their future friends/girlfriends/boyfriends in class, or at social events, clubs, or house parties. Everyone on campus is extremely friendly, and it's easy to find yourself knowing somebody through a friend of a friend of a friend.. If I'm awake at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday i'm either studying at WCL (West Campus Library is open all night), or hanging out with friends on Northgate (the bar scene), depending on class schedules/homework/exams. Partying is usually a Thursday-Saturday thing at TAMU, though the amount of "going out" usually depends on a student's particular major, as well as their devotion to grades and attendance. The Greek scene isn't huge, but it's there. Fraternities and sororities contribute a lot in and around campus with fundraisers and compunity service projects, and their parties are usually pretty open and fun. If you want to spend Saturday night out without drinking, it's possible to attend parties and events without doing so, or there are two nice theatres available (one in College Station and one in Bryan), a skating rink, a bowling alley, a free rec center.. and then there's always the library.. Everything is pretty much centered around campus, and the great thing about TAMU is that you never really have to drive very far, no matter where you're going, who you're seeing, or what you're planning on doing. Each year, BIG EVENT (a huge campus community service day), Chilifest (a 2 day concert in Snook, right outside of College Station), and Gig 'Em Week (the week before classes where welcoming events occur to incoming students) take place.
Popular organizations: Fish Camp, FLOs (Freshman Leadership Organizations), MSC, Greek, Intramural teams, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Women's Soccer, Women's Softball, Big Event Involved with Big Event which is the largest one day student run service project in the nation. It was about 90 students working together to get the event organized for about 10000 participants. Some people leave their doors open in the dorms. However, my dorm was a balcony so people didn't do that so much. However, everyone in the dorms was very friendly. Athletic Events: VERY popular, had to wait in line to get tickets and to get in. Guest speakers: the bigger the speaker, the more popular Theater: popular, more popular with the community than with students because ticket prices were high Dating scene: Most people met through organizations, classes or school related activities. Most people at A&M say they want to marry an Aggie. A lot of people get engaged. A lot of fun bars around so some dating started there. I met my closest friends through student organizations. I am either studying, hanging out with friends, watching a movie or just getting home from a bar. SO many traditions: football games and 12th man, aggie ring, muster, silver tapps (every month) People party a lot at A&M. However, I think that those who party too much see a significant decrease in their grades. It's a balance. Frats and sororities are not as big at A&M as they are at other schools. However, Greek life is taking hold more and more. On a Saturday night you can play putt putt, go to the movies, shop, hang with friends, on-campus sporting events, sleep, study, work out, go to church if you don't want to drink. Off Campus there are tons of bars, restaurants, parks, concerts.
There are over 800 organizations on campus, and if you can't find one you are interested in, you can make one yourself. I am involved in Pi Beta Phi Sorority, Aggie Habitat for Humanity, Sports for Kids, and Sport Management Society. Dorms are friendly for the most part, but I lived in Clements Hall and the entire dorm did everything together to make every feel included, and everyone leaves their door open to welcome others. Athletic events are a must. Our teams have so much pride and are so talented. Every game is so exciting and you have to go to a football game to understand the intensity of 12th man. The best quote we have that I believe is so true is "From the outside looking in you can't understand it, and from the inside looking out you can't explain it." Another tradition held every year is Muster, where Aggies from all over the world gather in remembrance for fallen Aggies of that current year. On the other hand, people are always partying. Between house parties, the Hall, and bars on Northgate, you are guaranteed a fun time. There are always country and rock bands as well as dance halls that are full of students. Don't get me wrong, there are alot of students who don't party. Fraternities and sororities are not that important relative to other schools. We do have 12 strong sororities and about 22 fraternities, but A&M is not based on Greek life.
There are soooo many groups and organizations you can get involved in at A&M. I am a part of the greek life and I loved it. It is not too overwhelming and I met most of my best friends there. It's definitely not a "go greek or go home" school at all! Athletic events are very popular to go to. Let's just say if you aren't at the football games on Saturday, you better be out of town, because I dont know what else you would be doing. There are tailgates all over the campus before the game, and once you go into the stadium you will be blown away. If you're awake at 2am on Tuesday.. if I was a freshman I was probably studying, sophomore up late talking with girlfriends in the sorority house, junior - talking to roomies or at a party, senior - watching tv or at a bar. Bar scene - Northgate is a 2-block strip of bars all next to each other, its not just the Dixie Chicken as some people may say. There are some bars where if you show up in jean shorts and a tshirt so is everyone else probably, and there are some dressier clubs, dance clubs, chill bars, pretty much anything. A lot of people have house parties, kegs, or there are other things to do on the weekend other than the bars. There are alot of religious groups that hang out at coffee shops, etc. Movies, or just hang out at home.
Probably the single largest campus organization would be fish camp. The vast majority of freshman go to fish camp in the summer before they start school. A huge amount of students then decide to be counselors. Fish camp is a way that tons of students make friendships and get involved. Many freshmen get involved in FLOs (freshmen leadership organizations). These organizations have many different areas of focus, but all involve service and community building. The organizations are selective and not everyone gets in. Many of my friends were involved and most had a positive experience. I'm involved in an organization called CARPOOL (Caring Aggies R Protecting Over Our Lives). CARPOOL is a student-run organization that runs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday providing free rides home to anyone in the Bryan/College Station area night. As a member I have to work 6 nights a semester and participate in large organization events. CARPOOL provides me an opportunity to make great friends and provide a valuable service to the community.
Its impossible to determine popularity in such a large scale place... I guess Hurricane Harry's is as close to a popular place as you can get. I love judo. Its where we can beat the crap out of each other and not get mad. Students don't leave doors open and crime is disproportionately low (to an extreme). Athletic events are very popular as well as guest speakers and theatre. I would not be the person to go to for dating advice. I was cheated on and then dumped with my last and only real girlfriend. That was four years ago. I met my closest friends before I came to A&M. If I'm awake at 2 on tuesday I'm wondering why the hell I'm not in bed! Please don't ask about traditions, there is so much stuff here its rediculous. I think people party every night by getting drunk. The importance of a frat or soroity are important to those in them and that's about it. Last weekend I canoed down the Navasota River. My friends and I can rock out! Off campus is where I do pretty much everything.
At A&M, football games are a must. But basketball and baseball also draw decent crowds. There's also art exhibits, plays, dance groups, movie showings, intermural sports, dorm events, etc. etc. There are always lots of things to get involved with; not just fraternities/sororities. A&M is not a school where if you want to be social, you to join a fraternity or sorority. There are so many different clubs and organizations to get involved in! Whatever you're interested in, you can probably find a group of other people that like to do that at A&M. Every year, we have Aggie Muster, E-Walk (for juniors), Elephant Walk (for Seniors), Ring Dance, Boot Dance, Fish Camp, Big Event, Replant, Parent's Weekend, etc. Every month (as needed) we have Silver Taps to honor current Aggies who have passed away in the previous month. And every week (in the fall) we have Yell Practice. The biggest night for partying at A&M is Thursday night. Kind of strange, right?
Seems like the groups I hear the most about are religious organizations. I have been active with groups aimed at diversity education. I have never lived in a dorm. Athletic events are hugely popular, as are guest speakers and theater events. The dating scene seems to be alive and well. I met most of my closest friends at local bars. At 2am on a tuesday all the bars are just shutting down, but most save their partying for thursday through saturday. There are way too many traditions to list. People party often as they do at most schools. Frats and sororities mostly suck and are a haven for those who have to buy their friends. Last weekend I relaxed and had some friends over for dinner. This town has plenty to do that doesn't involve drinking, but having a drink in this town is always cheap and entertaining. I live off campus and prefer to keep it that way. I'm a 30 year old and socialize with people my own age for the most part.
Freshmen Leadership Organizations (FLOs) are extremely popular freshman year, although they are also very selective. Dorms camraderie varies from dorm to dorm. If you want to be involved with your dorm, try to get into one on North side. The Commons on Southside may not be as involved in dorm specific activities, but their residents always seem to know lots of other people in their dorm. Greek life is available but definitely not required like it is at some schools. I met my closest friends through the organizations I joined, not in classes or in the dorms, so that is a big reason to get involved in something. Drinking is optional as there is always something to do if you don't want to drink like hanging out at Rumor's, going to sporting events, chilling in one of the movie lounges, pond hopping, working out at the Rec, etc.
Fish Camp is very popular, as is Student Government, and Carpool. Class Councils puts on class-specific activities for the student body, such as Elephant Walk and Ring Dance. Athletic events are very popular, especiall football. Theatre and guest speakers are attended, but also by community members as well. I met my closest friends through organizations we shared. Bonfire used to be an important annual tradition, but no longer. Partying is very widespread, with most of the student body participating. Greek life is present and thriving, but by no means defines the student body. last weekend I went to the bars, saw a couple concerts. There are non-alcoholic activities, but it's been forever since I've participated. I live off campus, and it's where most of the fun happens.