The most popular groups are service based, but I feel like these groups only participate in one or two major events or builds each year and this serves more to pad resumés. There are a lot of really interesting clubs... one of which is The Juggling Club, which meets on the rooftop of our parking garage to juggle, but who also run a bike repair desk and have a pretty cool garden. There's also a French speaking club that meets once a week and only talks in French, a wine and cheese club and a couple political organizations. I am the Program Director and a DJ at WTUL which is our FM radio station. I DJ for 2 hours every week and get awesome phone calls from listeners and get to rip all kinds of music onto my laptop. DJs also get to do artist interviews and have in-studio performances. One of my friends just did an interview with St. Vincent! While there isn't a ton of DJ-interaction, we do get together to do service projects and have parties. This past week we had an open-to-the-public holiday party with two bands at Tipitina's. I also get a ton of free concert tickets in return for how much work I put in at the station. I met most of my close friends freshman year in my dorm, though they didn't live on my floor. I hated nearly everyone on my floor for whatever reason, so I hung out on my best friend's floor all the time and met all the girls who lived there. The next year I lived in a suite style set-up with seven other girls and we always left our doors open. The dating scene at Tulane is odd. Most guys are more interested in casual hook ups than dating, though most of my friends ended up with boyfriends eventually. Mardi Gras is as much fun as you think it will be. When I was a Freshman, I would go to frat parties for the free booze, but they are generally very sloppy and gross. I don't usually drink during the week, nor do my friends, but there are people who do. I was talking to a girl in a 6 PM Wednesday class last week and quickly realized she was drunk and had just gotten back from happy hour. As an example of a typical Friday night, last night I got back from the library around 9 PM. (Wooo!) I drank a Red Bull, rallied my energy, and went to a small party at a good friend's house, then went to a divey, but cool bar on Magazine. Now that I live off campus, a lot of evenings my roommates and I will invite friends over, cook dinner and have drinks. There are a lot of things to do on a Saturday night that don't involve drinking. One fun, non-drinking event is St. Claude Art Walk which happens once a month on a weekend night in the Bywater. All the art galleries in that area stay open late that night and have some pretty cool work on display. There is wine served, but it's not necessary to be drunk... I must say though, why are you in New Orleans if you don't drink?!
Greek life is the most popular organization on campus. Kappa Alpha Theta is a national panhellenic sorority dedicated to bringing girls together for their common interest of scholarship, leadership, and social activities. The doors are only really open in the freshmen housing. I highly recommend living in Freshmen dorms. It's a great social atmosphere to get to know everyone. Baseball is the only sport that really draws out the fans. Guest speakers are sometimes very crowded. We have a lot of great speakers. The theater does not have well attendance. Tulane dating is non existent. The girls are catty and the guys are immature. I think the fact that the social life is so strong, people do not commit to serious relationships. Frequent random hook ups is the way to go at Tulane. I met my closest friends by joining a sorority. I'm at 50 cent night at the Boot. The Boot is a bar basically on Tulane's campus. You pay $5, and get 50 cent drinks all night. It's pretty popular. We have a huge Crawfest (crawfish boil) every year. It involves bands all day along with 15,000 lbs. of crawfish free to all alum, locals, faculty, and students. They show the Rocky Horror Picture Show every year on Halloween in the auditorium. Everyone dresses up very provocatively. They also show a porno in the auditorium once a year. The average student goes out three nights a week. We party a lot. Fraternities and sororities are obviously a great network of friends within the school, but they aren't everything. Only 30 % of the students are Greek. As a Greek, I obvious think it is really important, because I absolutely love it. Most of my friends are Greek. We have a lot of parties only for our members. Last Friday I went to a fraternity house to hang out. During the day on Saturday, we initiated our new members. That night I went to sleep early, because I had gone out Wed., Thurs, and Friday that week. Sunday, I went to the Hornets game, then attended Chapter meeting for my sorority. After meeting, we had catered dinner, and I studied the rest of the night. If you don't want to drink, New Orleans has a good music scene. You can go downtown to a place like the Neutral Ground or House of Blues, and here a band or two. One can also go see a movie or just hang out in the dorms. I work off campus at a law firm.
I have to admit, I'm not a huge athletics fan. And, from what I have heard, our athletics teams are generally not very good, except for baseball? Maybe, baseball... But I do know many other students do attend tailgating parties and cheer on our teams. I think one of the biggest areas of student involvement is community service. Due to the community service required by Tulane, most people find themselves completing at least some service during their time at Tulane. This manifests in a lot of different ways, as many of the biggest traditions on campus tend to revolve around causes. Such as 'Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,' where many of the guys put on heels and walk a mile, raising awareness for sexual violence. It's a good cause, and it's hilarious. In terms of the party scene, there are a few options. Bourbon St., one of the most famous party streets in the country, tends to be where people bring their friends if they have never been to New Orleans, but it's expensive and honestly just a little gross if you think about it while sober. There is also a pretty big Frat/Sorority scene, with at least a couple parties most weekends. The parties are always free and they are usually a lot of fun, especially the parties that the Frats are known for such as the 'Delts around the world party' or 'the bayou bash.' Frats tend to go all out for their headliner parties and even people who usually don't show up to Frat events come. There are also a few bars not far from campus. And there are many things to do that aren't drinking. As a theater and dance person, I go out to a lot of shows. Not to long ago I went to the New Orleans Fringe Festival, which presents fringe theater in many strange locations, such as old abandoned churches, coffee shops, hidden bars and just some person's front yard. New Orleans has a wonderful theater scene and even when Fringe isn't happening there is usually something to see. Tulane also offers some 'Take Back the Night' activities, which are late night things that are on campus. There are movies played on the quad, music and other options. Plus, there is always the fun and relaxing evenings watching movies in your floor common room or inviting some friends to watch a movie in your room. If you're looking for something to do that isn't drinking, there are always a lot of options.
Thanks to movies and tv shows, a common thought about college is that once you get there, you'll be bombarded with recruitment people telling you to "go greek!" Yes, Tulane has greek life. Yes, a large number of people join sororities and fraternities. And yes, you'll still have friends (inside and out of the greek population) if you don't rush. If joining a frat or sorority is for you, then Tulane offers that opportunity. If it isn't something you can afford or just not something you're interested in, it does not hinder you not to join. Also, there are tons of other groups you can join that are tailored to your interests, and if you can't find one: start one. It's a cliche thing to say, but Tulane will let you start your own club. It might take a lot of work on your part, but if it's something you're passionate about, it'll definitely be worth it. The great thing about it is that you can get involved in as many or as few things as you like. Tulane also runs a lot of cheesy events freshman year geared towards students meeting each other. They're silly and full of those ice breakers that everyone hates, but I met most of my best friends at some of them. It's also easy to meet people in class or in PJs, the on campus coffee shop when you're in there studying at 3am on a Monday night. I won't say that Tulane, located in the center of New Orleans, is not a party school, but there are a lot of things you can do on the weekends that don't involve alcohol if that's not for you. Every year there's a festival called Fringe Festival that lets you go to many venues downtown and watch inexpensive plays. A lot of them sound like they're going to be really stupid and then surprise you and have you laughing like crazy. Fringe isn't the only festival though: this is New Orleans, remember? There's a festival almost every week. You can spend all day at Po-Boy fest eating and then use the night to catch up on the school work you didn't do. Or if you don't want to leave campus, Tulane generally runs programs at one of the on-campus restaurants for students who don't want to go out. They have open mic night, karaoke, swing dancing, etc. At Tulane and in New Orleans, there is always something to do.
Greek life is popular at Tulane, but it's not the end of your social life if you don't get involved in it. While the image of Tulane as a party school has typically been linked to frats and sororities, controversy in the past ten years has led to a big crack-down in how wild Greek life gets. It's worth checking out the Greek system, but if you aren't involved in it there are many other ways to make friends. Activities like WTUL (the campus radio station) are great if you are interested in the local music scene. Students also connect with each other through the on and off campus jobs offered through the university, which is probably the best way to make friends at the school. Tulane Football plays in the Louisiana Superdome, and admission is free for all students. While going to games are fun, you won't find the same sort of excitement for sports that you'd get at other Southern schools like LSU. A lot of students actually travel to Baton Rouge to tailgate for the Tigers rather than cheer on the Green Wave, who are, well, not the best college football team. Nightlife at Tulane is centered around the college bars. The most popular of these are The Boot, The Palms and the Maple Street bars like TJ Quills and Rocco's Tavern. As students get older they inevitably gravitate farther from the university to check out more interesting 21+ venues. The social scene is not frat party oriented, most freshmen connect at bars instead of house parties, which makes it feel a lot less exclusive than other colleges. If you don't like to drink or party Tulane probably isn't a great fit for you, but there are plenty of fun things to do in New Orleans(most do involve excessive drinking, though.) There's over 400 festivals a year in the New Orleans area, and only 365 days. The most popular festivals for Tulane students are Mardi Gras, music festivals like Voodoo and Jazz Fest, the Po-Boy festival in November, and Tulane's annual crawfish boil, Crawfest. If you enjoy live music and food Tulane is a great choice, as you get opportunities to experience new tastes and sounds every day.
Most of my close friends are the ones I met in my dorm my freshman year, but you also meet people who can be your best friend in your classes. Students leave their doors open if they have a doorstop, but other than that, none of the people I lived with ever had a problem just opening their neighbors' door and walking into their room. Students are very open about sharing their space. Athletic events are not that popular. The theater program puts on some excellent productions and it is always worth a Friday or Saturday night to go watch one of their performances. The plays are different and sometimes are student written, plus there is lots of talent among the theater students. There are lots of guest speakers, and some of the best come through the Newcomb Women's Institute, which also has weekly lunches that include a lecture by a female author, a feminist, or a variety of professors or other speakers who discuss a range of different topics. If a student gets hungry, The Rat is a restaurant located in the basement of the student union. It's greasy, fried southern food is delicious and excellent 2 am study break food. There is always something going on around Tulane, any day of the week Plus, it's New Orleans, which is filled with music and cultural events. Any of the festivals that are held in New Orleans, such a Voodoo Festival, French Quarter Festival, and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, are always worth the money to attend. On the weekends, it is often difficult to find something to do that doesn't involved drinking or sitting in your dorm watching movies every weekend. The school could definitely do a better job of having more activity choices for students, like the concerts that happen outside of the student union during homecoming, or the movies they show in McAlister Auditorium on select weekends. Tulane has a Greek system, but it is fairly small. There is usually a frat party going on during the weekends, but they are definitely more active during the spring semester.
I am involved in a few different groups on campus, and I am always welcome to other group activities if I want to go. I am involved with IATU (Indian Association of Tulane University), and I always perform choreographed dances when they have special events and shows. They also have movie events and parties and those are always fun. I also used to work for the There are lots of athletic events on campus, like baseball, basketball, and volleyball. The basketball games are a ton of fun, and both students and alumni go to those. I love going to them, and the baseball games are fun, too. They are especially fun because we are good at baseball and we win. There are football games at the Superdome, and everyone has to go to at least one, but it's more difficult to get to the games. We are also terrible at football, so it's mostly just depressing to go. There isn't a lot of school spirit from a day-to-day basis, but if there is a game or event, chances are there will be painted and yelling people. Which is always fun. Sororities and fraternities are important - to the people who join them. Rush isn't until the Spring, so all the parties in the Fall are open to everyone. It's a fun way to hang out and meet new people, and check out different sororities or fraternities to see if you want to join. I am not in a sorority, but my roommate is, and so I hear a lot about them. It seems like it's fun, but also difficult and taxing. I don't see the advantage, and there isn't really any pressure to join. And if there are people who will snub you if you aren't in their sorority or fraternity, do you really want to hang out with them anyway? There are lots of theaters around campus, there is great shopping and tons of good restaurants. There are also lots of cool museums and different venues with live music almost every night. There is always something fun to do on or off campus in New Orleans.
The most popular organization is probably TUCP, or campus programming, who procures musical guests and other events. A great source of school spirit is these events and concerts, moreso than sports teams, although they too draw many spectators. Club sports are a big draw, and fraternities usually compete in these for bragging rights and an excuse to throw victory parties. Personally, although I attend the basketball games frequently because I know some of the players, I am more involved with WTUL, or Tulane radio. There is an abundance of musical diversions, both affiliated with the school and elsewhere, because the city places a high value on music of all kinds. If I am awake on a Tuesday, I could be out at a bar, studying, talking with friends, watching a movie projected on the quad, or any number of diverse things; the night hours are just as good as day ones! Fraternities and Sororities are very important to those who are in them, but they are not universal by any means. People party very frequently, every night except sunday and monday, and maybe these if there is a good football game on. If you don't want to drink on a Saturday night, you could see a concert at the school or in town, have a fun movie party with your dorm, some popcorn and cupcakes, play frisbee on the quad with an LED equipped disk (amazing technology), or simply make a blanket and pillow fort with your significant other. With regard to the dating scene, all one really has to do is put himself or herself out there; many people meet in bars or while drinking and socializing, but class, the gym, or even a student senate meeting could all be occasion to make a romantic connection.
It's really easy to get involved at Tulane, and there is an activity for every interest. Student Government is very popular, and there is an undergraduate government as well as separate councils for each school. Cactus is one of the largest student organizations, and it spearheads many community service opportunities. Another popular organization is TUCP, which plans campus programming, and brings musicians, speakers and activities to campus. One of the major events of the year is Crawfest, which is free to Tulane students, and basically involves eating unlimited Crawfish while tanning on the quad listening to local bands. This is something almost all students participate in, and it is not to be missed. There are also a lot of events within the city, such as Po-boy fest, Southern Decadence, Mardi Gras (obviously), that attract Tulane students. Frats and sororities are exactly as important to you as you want them to be. If you want nothing to do with them, that is absolutely fine, and you can spend your time at clubs and bars around the city. If you want to join one, you will likely have best friends for life, but might also be subject to unnecessary drama. Frats have a lot of fun themed parties, and they are much more popular among underclassmen. Drinking is a huge part of Tulane nightlife, and New Orleans culture in general. However, Tulane does have a program called Tulane After Dark, which hosts comedians and other fun events on Thursday and Friday nights. There is no pressure to drink, but it is definitely a popular way to spend your time.
Choir is awesome!! There is theater, but non theater majors almost never get good parts in the plays. No musical theater during the school year because the school is just so small. There are all kinds of club sports including ultimate frisbee and ping pong. Lots of student organizations, student government, residence hall government There are all kinds of great guest speakers and performers that have come here including Salmon Rushdie, Ludacris, John Legend, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, etc. They say the dating scene is bad, that most guys are interested in hook-ups. I'm currently in a relationship with another Tulane student, so I guess I am not one of those guys. It really depends what your scene is. However, there are definitely the creepy types who like to pick up drunk girls in bars and take advantage of them. Frats are everywhere, so are sororities. Pike is awful!! They burned pledges with crawfish boil and have been suspended now. They also roofie people. Just watch out for Pikes. Frats and sororities are not my thing, but there is a significant variety of them ehre. People party all the time, but if that isn't your thing (it certainly is not mine), there are TONS of other things, including free music department performannces, plays by the theater department, and TONS OF ACTIVITIES off campus: museums, zoo (in beautiful Audobon Park across the street from campus), aquarium, clubs, theaters, malls, movie theaters, antique stores, anything that interests you!