Fraternities and sororities are the largest student groups on campus. There are many other clubs students can get involved in, and starting a club of your own is not horribly difficult. I am involved in UA Exercise and Physiology Club which is involved in personal training, faculty exercise programs, marathons and cancer walks, and field work that can help students gain experience in the Kinesiology or Sports Science and Medicine majors. The University of Alabama is known for their amazing football team who has 14 National Championships, that is more than any other colleges! Football is a big deal here. Other athletic evens such as basketball and gymnastics are less popular but still very supported by the student body. The Rec Center has nearly every club sport available for any students interested in continuing their game. The dating scene is good for fraternities and sororities but is only okay for the rest students. Bars and off-campus parties are the most common ways to meet other singles if you are not Greek affiliated. My closest friends are still the ones from high school that also go to UA, but I have met many other friends that I hang out with on a regular basis. Most social life begins thursday night, and the weekends are always filled with activities. Their is normally at least one party a weekend, and when there is not the bars are always packed. Drinking is not necessary, but like at many colleges, is always around. I do have friends that will not drink and have no intention of doing so anytime soon, and that is perfectly acceptable. I am not involved in a fraternity so my social life is mostly off campus at friends apartments or downtown at the bars. Even though I am not Greek, I still have plenty of fun and meet a lot of fun and interesting people.
Most known groups on campus would be Sor./Frat. groups, SGA senate and officers, Capstone Men and Women, and the football team. I am involved in Student Alumni Association. I will hopefully form that organization into being more known on campus and a much bigger deal to be apart of. I did not leave my dorm room open unless i was in it freshman year. Athletic events are most popular (football and gymnastics being the most attended). that normally depends on if we are good or bad. theater and speakers are popular if its required for a class. I have only met a few guys i would consider dating, if that tells you anything. and none of them are fraternaty guys. Met my friends and roommates through bible study. If i am awake at 2 am on tuesday is because im studying, or me and my roommates are hanging out in the apt. Traditions = football and tailgating. You can find someone partying at any moments on anyday. The students make being apart of a sor/frat very important. I went to a dinner and a movie with friends last friday and then came home to study. Staying at home with other friends who dont drink, bowling, a movie, a concert...are things you can do that doesnt involve drinking. but people who do drink do the same things, just have alcohol with them. I live off campus.
By far the most popular thing to do here is to be a spectator at the sporting events. From the football team, to the basketball team, and even the swim team, students are always planning on going to events to cheer on our Crimson Tide athletes. People will meet up with their friends and then all go to the sporting event together, to hang out with each other while catching a game. Just last week, I met up with a few of my good friends, went out to lunch, and then headed over to the men's basketball games. Its a great thing to do and be social. On any given weekend you can always find something to do. Like I said before, sporting events happen almost every week you can at least cheer on one team, but getting together with friends, grabbing dinner, going shopping, and then having a movie night at someones places is a great way to spend the weekend without having to drink. People do a lot of drinking around here, but as I said, there are many things to do that do not involve alcohol. If you are on a tight budget, then why not go to a dining hall, then watch a movie off of Netflix. This way no one has to spend money they do not have. Plus, being around people you like is what it is all about.
The most popular organization on campus, I guess would have to be the fraternities and sororities. A lot of people are involved in them, but not everyone. Students will leave their doors open in the dorms. On my side of the hall, I know all the girls and they know me. Athletic events are the place to be! They are so much fun, whether it be gymnastics, baseball, basketball, or football. You will always have a lot of fun tat them. I met my closet friends through church and the BCM. Both of these do a lot of things at the beginning of the semester to help and make new students feel at home. During the week, me and some of my closet friends go out to eat and then later come back to my dorm and watch the O.C. Some of my guy friends do the same thing, except they watch LOST. On Saturday nights, my friends and I are all about finding something fun to do without drinking. We usually watch a movie, or go play Frisbee Golf on the Quad. We always find something fun to do. Off campus, you can go to the River and walk or run, go to the mall, or even go roller skating. One thing I wish we had here near UA is Putt Putt Golf, the old one closed down.
There are definitely the groups who go out partying and drinking every weekend but there are so many alternatives around town. There are two bowling alleys, a theatre, coffee shops, and a Recreation Center with basketball, racquetball, and other sports to play. This is not an exhaustive list but just a brief description of all there is to do in Tuscaloosa on the weekends, so many of which don't involve drinking. Of course, football is one of the biggest things in the south so in the Fall semester, football games are the most popular events. Then in the Spring comes the basketball and baseball games which are free of charge to all students. The fraternities and sororities are not that important in my opinion. People join them to find friends but they merely find acquaintances. True friends wouldn't let the things that happen in the frats/sororities happen to each other. The true fraternity of friends is found in the ministry scene. I have found all of my closest friends through the ministry I'm involved with called Dunamis Campus Ministries which is led by former UA football star Jeremiah Castille.
In dorms around campus, I've seen a lot of people keeping their doors closed and a lot with them open. I live in Tutwiler Hall this year and just about everyone has their doors open at night, inviting other girls to come visit. However, across campus in Rose Towers and the new communities, like Ridgecrest and Lakeside, more people tend to keep their main doors closed and then their bedroom doors open. Athletic events are obviously VERY POPULAR around campus. Guest speakers, not so much, but usually going to cultural events are required from some classes, so students still find themselves going to see guest speakers and are sometimes surprised when they learn something new. If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday, it's usually because I'm finishing a paper. HAHA. I'm such a procrastinator. Either that, or I'm out with friends getting Taco Bell!!! On a Saturday night, other than drinking, go to a friend's place, get a whole bunch of people together, and play multiplayer video games, like Guitar Hero and Mario Kart. HAHA. You find yourself having the most fun you will ever have and of course, you will stay sober.
Again a lot of what you do with activities and social events depends on your personality. There are a lot of groups, clubs, teams, etc to get involved with. Some students in dorms leave their doors opened. Athletic events (especially football and gymnastics) are very popular. Guest speakers (ALLELE series) are prevalent all over campus throughout the year talking about a wide range of topics. The theater department on campus is amazing. I've probably been to over 30 plays. I met a lot of my friends through classes and working in the lab. If I'm awake on Tuesday at 2am I'm unfortunately studying or doing a paper that I've been procrastinating about. Homecoming is a really big deal here every year. A-day is also huge. People party all the time. If you want to party you can probably find other people to party with. Frats/sororities are here but not obtrusive. I slept last weekend. Finals are coming up. On a Saturday night, you can go to a movie, go bowling, go to dinner, or do something on campus if you don't drink.
Unfortunately Greek organizations are the most important organizations on the football team. They host a lot of the parties on the campus and are promoted by the university. Students in dorms do leave their dorms open. You will meet a lot of people in Burke West. That was the best experience of my life, because I met so many cool people thru living there. We developed a cool brotherhood because most of us were freshman at the time. Athletic events are the greatest. Due to the large number of sponsors and contributions, people are always giving away free stuff and the University of Alabama is normally competitive in just about every sport. If you're awake at 2a, you're studying. Alabama is full of tradition such as the Homecoming bonfire, and the A-Day Game, where the football team scrimmages. The Iron Bowl is a great rivalry and another tradition you pray to be a part of. Partying at the University of Alabama begins on Wednesday. Enough said. Off campus is the bar scene.
Getting involved on campus is easy. The most popular way is through fraternities and sororities. But there are hundreds of organizations to get involved in. Many churches have an student organization such as the Wesley Foundations made up those affiliated to the Methodist church. There are also organizations that deal with community service or being cheer sections for different sports. Besides football there are other events. There are gymnastics, basketball, plays, and other events around campus. The organizations help you meet new people. Even in some of the dorms you can leave your door open such as in Tutwiller, but in Riverside, Lakeside, and Ridgecrest the doors are too heavy to leave open. I meet my closest friends through a winter guard that is made up of Bama students, but the guard is not the University's. The guard is Amor Winter Guard. But I have also meet people through UnAshamed. UnAshamed is a non-dominational worship service.
Some of the most important social events of the year revolve around football games: University Programs hosts a concert for Homecoming week, the fraternities and sororities have competitions during Homecoming, and fraternities host band parties every weekend in the fall. With my sorority, I have a few date parties a semester, that I can invite my boyfriend or a guy friend to go with me to. I also try to go to all of the swaps at fraternity houses with my pledge sisters so that I can get to know my friends better, and met new people. There is always a show put on UA Department of Theatre and Dance and they are usually very good to see. My favorite is Dance Alabama!, which is held once every semester. University Programs also sponsors guest speakers, there are many festivals that you can attend, foreign food tastings, etc. Church groups also host social events on campus. No matter your interests or friends you can always find something to do.