There are a lot of clubs on campus, and there is a day every year where they all line Campus Walk so students can come by and sign-up. They could be anything from club soccer to the Women of Color, are all student run, and can apply for some money from the school (say $500 a year if you're lucky and a larger club). Sport wise we have some very good sports teams (Men's and Women's Tennis, Rowing, ect.) that are nationally ranked every year. Many people attend the basketball games of both sexes, as well as the soccer and to a lesser extent lacrosse. There is a wonderful, new tennis complex with 6 indoor courts and 12 outdoor courts. And though our tennis teams, specifically the women's, have been ranked in the top 20 for the last 2 years (this year we were 6 and made it to the Elite 8), they have very few fans outside family. This is the case with many of our teams outside the big three. In addition, the administration got rid of our Rowing Teams at the beginning of this year, though we finished the previous season ranked #7 in the nation. The problem was legitimate (loss of their training waters), but the bigger issue was that the administration made almost no attempt to reconcile the problem until a wealthy relative of one of the players stepped in. They were completely content to simply get rid of a program that was not as "popular" as say basketball, regardless of how hard the players worked and how much better they were on a national level (our Men's Basketball Team struggles to make the tournament each year). And as i mentioned before, though basketball is pretty popular, there are only two sets of bleachers in the gym (on one side), and no football or other team to rally around. The biggest activity among the students is drinking. Not to say that this isn't the case all around the country, but on Friday/Saturday nights a good portion of the student body regardless of class, is at one of the sporting houses or other upperclass houses drinking. And of course the cops come around about an hour and a half into the party to break it up anyway. And drinking is not simply reserved to the weekends, as the sports players in my hall were obserdly intoxicated on at least 2 weekdays every week as well. Though i was a Junior living with an RA, they were all freshmen. This may not bother you, which is fine, but the housing situation will. This year there are over 150 students who don't have housing yet for next fall (4,000 students go to Mary Wash, though a great deal of them live off campus), and will probably have the same fate as the students in their situation this past year, who were placed in a hotel until Residents Life 'forced triples' (putting three people in a room designed for two, which by the way are already "cozy" to begin with"). Registration of housing is much worse than for classes, and the dorms themselves are old and many have 'roach' problems.
The most popular clubs are probably the political groups, service oriented groups, and religious groups. We have several very active service groups who are involved in a wide range of projects. I am involved in COAR or Community Outreach and Resources, which is the largest on-campus community service group on campus. They have more than 15 weekly programs that get students involved in actively volunteering in the Fredericksburg Community. COAR also provides on-campus events for the community (like a Trick-or-Treat for kids and a Spring Egg Hunt). There is also a group on campus called Students Helping Honduras that fundraises large amounts of money and organizes trips down to Honduras over all student Holidays. Athletic events have definitely become more popular and fun to go to since I've been a student at Mary Wash. Guest Speakers are always around and are usually pretty popular, depending on the field. I've seen Madeline Albright, Senator Webber, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, several big comedians, and several big authors on academic works. We have a very active Theatre department that puts on several plays, musicals, and short acts on-campus that are very cheap for students. We also have several Acapella groups that bring other groups on-campus to perform. The dating scene, unfortunately, is a little slow. There is a pretty big guy-girl ratio gap...maybe 45-65. So if you're looking for guys, the pickings are pretty slim. I met my closest friends from activities on campus that I started doing with people I met in my dorm freshmen year. It's all linked... If I'm awake on a Tuesday at 2am, I'm studying or writing a paper. On weekends, I'm probably watching a movie or at a party. I'd say on average people party one night a week. There are people who party every night of the week, and those that don't at all, so you can find where you fit in. Frats don't exist, except for the underground one that puts on pretty fun parties at a local "club" if you can call it that. If I didn't want to go out, I could catch a late cheap seats movie for a dollar and then go to the Washroom to chill out and eat some food at late night. Off campus, downtown often has fun stuff to do, like big parades or concerts. Oh yeah, did I mention I saw Plain White T's and Lupe Fiasco on campus too this past year??
Most popular groups on campus? He..ck if I know. There are so many. I was involved with Cheerleading, and while it was time consuming it was well worth it. Student clubs are a lot of fun and they're very easy to get involved with-- you just have to make the effort! People in dorms definitely leave their doors open, especially in freshman dorms. You'll meet tons of people that way. I met my closest friends within my classes in my department, through clubs and activities, at sporting events, etc. People are very friendly at UMW, they honestly want to meet new people. Sporting events are somewhat popular, but could use more involvement. People have a lot of pride in their school at UMW but that doesn't always mean they take the time to attend sporting events. Uh, if I was awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I was studying. I doubt that's uniform across the board, but I'm a huge big nerd and studying was what I did during the week. The weekends, however, were different. If you want to party, there are parties within walking distance. If you don't, you don't have to. It's definitely not a party school, but there are certainly parties on the weekends that you can attend, and have a lot of fun. Downtown there are bars (if you're 21), and lots of other activities. Central Park has a lot of stuff to do as well, and if you don't have a car there is the Fred to get you there or you can use your upperclass friends. If drinking isn't your thing you will definitely find friends that feel the same way.
Some of the most popular clubs on campus include COAR (a service club), Honor Council (makes sure the honor code is being used around campus), rugby during homecoming weekend, and many others. I am involved in two groups: Circle K International (the college level of Key Club) and ARH (association of residence halls). I'm vice president of CKI and president of my hall council. Students do not usually leave their doors open. People usually do that more freshmen year, but as we grow older we get busier. Usually when upperclassmen are in their rooms, they are either working or sleeping and don't want to be disturbed. Athletics aren't really big on campus. We do not have a football team. The reason for this is because it would cost millions to start one. UMW is trying to get more school spirit through Eagle Nation. I met my closest friends either in my dorm or through clubs I am involved in. Traditional events on campus include but not limited to devil/goat day, club carnival, Mr. UMW, and Friday night dry. People do party at this school, but not excessively. I am not the party type, and I am not surrounded by parties. It's your choice to party or not. Sororities are not big on campus at all. We have no Greek life. My typical weekend includes working, doing volunteer work and homework, and hanging out with friends. If you don't want to drink, there is cheap seats where you pay a dollar to see a movie, you can go off campus to Central Park, or just chill and talk with friends.
i am on the umw equestrian team and may i say we are the best team in the country:) we finished 7th in the nation would have been alot higher if i didnt mess up but anyways the team is amazing. i ahve meet some really great friends on it. I feel like i am part of something at school may riding teams are not sports btu at mary wash we r a recognized cersity sport which makes us feel included. in the doorms we left our doors open for a while but as we all made our friends we stopped leaving our door open because we wanted our privacy. The athletic events are well known. i mostly went to the baseball and rugby games, but the basketball and volleyball are quit popular. the dating scene is fine there are not alot of creepers , even though there is alot of gay guys there is a equal amount of cute single boys................traditions- there is the one day where we pull pranks on all the juniors and then there is initiation for soccer and basesball and rugby which is sooooo funny...faternities are not important they are quit gross so dont go to them...ewwy... we party alll the time:) and its really easy to find booze most of the time haha
UMW does have a lot of social activities, and my best advice for people would be to get involved in them. One of the biggest organizations is SHH, which is Students Helping Hondoras." And there are a lot of volunteer opportunities through Circle K and Rotaract. Perhaps because of the university's small size, it is very easy to get involved in activities and then to acquire leasership positions in them later on. We don't have a football team, and we have Division 3 sports, so sports are not that popular. We don't have a Greek life--UMW just approved the first co-ed fraternity this year. A lot of partying can go on in the freshman dorms during Fridays and Saturdays, though I am told that in the upperclass dorms a lot of people will go home. As far as the dating scene goes, you don't stand much of a chance, since the student body is only 1/3 male. UMW has a strong honor system, so students can feel free to leave their dorm doors open or leave stuff in public and still expect to find it when they return. Sometimes people feel that the honor system is more based off of fear, however.
The most popular groups on campus are the athletes. In the freshman dorms, students always leave their doors upon, but once you are in an upperclass dorm, expect to meet few people. Females outnumber the men, so guys who are jerk still get girls. I met my closest friends through living with them and playing sports with them. Students don't really participate in events on campus unless a free t-shirt is involved. The University does not recognize social frats or sororities. We have a fake frat off-campus that most students hate. Just last school year, the University recognized a co-ed frat, but that is about all they will tolerate. People party all the time at UMW. There is usually a coupel big parties on the weekends, but you end up seeing the same people at them every week. Students drink a lot, because there isn't much else to do.
Activities are great if you do them. People complain but its because they don't try. Im involved in groups and clubs, particularly political things and the campus is active politically. I mad friends from every walk of life from both parties through politics. There is alot to do if you want to do it. Not a big party school but better than the rep suits it. People go out all the time there is something every night you want to party but you dont have to every party to make friends. Parties are not huge, but fun house parties happen every week. They do get busted alot but its never a big deal you just move onto the next party. You are so close to DC...GO! People waste time when they could volunteer travel, walk around the historic places. Great place to run, bike, hike, fish, kayak.... many complain but they don't try.
Most popular: SSH- Students helping Hondoras ( started by a guy who used to go to UMW a couple years back), The Ecology club is the most active helping the environment. the ROwing team is like a cult. I think the other teams have just as much loyalty towards their sport as well. Only Frosh halls really have people leave their doors open. Once you're done with first year, the door stays shut. Athletic events are always the most popular. Guest speakers are more popular with townspeople rather than college kids. Theatre is popular, but needs to be more so. Dating scene: gotta work for it. Going to only a couple events won't allow you to meet a lot of people, but go to a few, and dating is easy. The community type environment, where you can see people more than once, facilitates it.
Dorms communities: Freshman year is typically the year that everyone leaves their doors open. Unless you get an air conditioned building. (AC helps the first three weeks, but isn't so great the rest of the year). Usually, the next years you keep your doors closed, and hang out with your own group of friends. Some buildings are more open (in the way that they seem more like a community with open doors) than others (Alvey and WIllard - closed; Custis and Ball - open) I met my closests friends from religious group. There is the BCM and the Grace Campus ministries (they provide free dinners once a week!!) and I got involved in a bible study group. I also went on a missions trip out of the country for Spring Break.