There are a lot of different clubs. Although this is cliché there really is something for everyone. I am on the Ultimate Frisbee Club and I absolutely love it. The people are so chill. Spring is our season and for spring break we went down to Georgia and played teams from all over the US. It was one of the most exihilerating experiences of my life. Well due to fire safety laws we can't leave our doors propped open because it is technically a fire hazard but if that law didn't exist people would probably have their doors open a lot more and people still do it is just not encouraged. They have planned some really cool acts to come and visit us on campus from musicians to comedians they really want to set a fun environment for the students. I guess Gym Class Heroes came one year. One of the biggest traditions on this campus is D-day. It stands for Dandelion day but it is basically a day where everyone on the campus gets totally smashed and stays that way for the entire day. Pledging is a big deal but at the same time it isn't. Like it is a great experience for those who do but you won't be left out if you don't. Pledging is probably the minority in terms of the entire student body but they are still incredibly active on campus and a lot them are really cool people especially Phi Sigma Sigma. On Friday and Saturday nights, they show up and coming popular movies on campus in one of the lecture halls on this big screen for only two dollars. They showed Across the Universe and also Pulp Fiction and the student body gets to vote on what movies they want to show during the semester its a really great time and they also sell refreshments there to help to set the mood of a movie theater.
There are many different student organizations on campus, and most students are involved in something. Sports aren't really all that big here, as we only have one Division One team (the squash team), but sporting events are relatively well attended. Regarding the party scene (which every prospective college student is curious about, but will never feel comfortable enough to openly ask about), there are occasional over/under bar parties during the week, and the Fraternity Quadrangle (Frat Quad) consistently has parties on Fridays and Saturdays. Unfortunatly, the fraternities on the Frat Quad tend to attract stereotypical frat boys, which is good if you're into that type of thing, I guess. There are also fraternities off campus, and the only one of these worth mentioning is Chi Phi, which not only has the best parties at Rochester, but also has the coolest brothers, who tend to not be assholes. Sororities are present on campus, and many girls join them, but they don't really ever throw parties or host events. They frequently have mixers with the fraternities, but if you are not a brother somewhere, you might not notice they exist.
A Cappella is a popular activity on campus, especially for freshman girls who want to dote on their favorite singer in any of the several groups. Off Broadway On Campus (OBOC) is another popular group, theatre-oriented. Greek life is extremely popular. I'm involved with WRUR, the campus radio station, which is a nice activity here but not as well known. Athletic events are not very popular; Rochester is known to not be the best in this area. I try not to leave my dorm room door open. Recently a student had their laptop stolen while they were gone for five minutes in the bathroom. Next year, however, Ill be living in an on-campus house where I will feel safer. I met my closest friends by chance; we lived nearby in a freshman dorm and were at the same party together during freshman week. The dating scene consists mostly of getting drunk and meeting people at parties. Surprisingly, this ends up with just about as many one night stands as it does relationships.
At Rochester, people study hard and party even harder. Even if people were out all night, they're usually up early the next day getting over their hangover in Danforth with their books ready to head to the library. There are also plenty of groups and organizations that people are involved with that have nothing to do with academics or drinking. And it's fairly easy to create more with free support from the University. As for traditions, nothing is bigger than D-Day (Dandelion Day). This day is the definition of the "study hard, party harder" motto. On the last weekend before the end of classes, just as the April rains begin to depart Rochester, everyone heads out to celebrate the arrival of spring. The day's activities have been undergoing some reconsideration in the last few years, but the tradition will continue on in way or another.
The most popular student groups on campus are the minority groups such as the Black Students Union, the Chinese Students Union, and the Greek life. Although students in certain student groups will interact and socialize with others, there is a bond formed in them that can make it difficult for outsiders. There are plenty of social activities and interactions, and more often than not the challenge is deciding which events to attend as opposed to boredom from having nothing to do. Parties are certainly relevant at Rochester, but there is no pressure to be a part of that lifestyle by the majority of the student population (although there may be some in one's own personal peer group).
The a capella groups on campus are probably the most popular because they're actually amazing. We also have a division one squash team which is definitely something to brag about. Music is popular because we are affiliated with the Eastman school, athletics are popular among people who like athletics. Greek life is really excellent here because it isn't overbearing or obnoxious, it's basically like having a group of your regular friends with a name on top. The sororities host bar parties and events throughout the year and the fraternities have lots of parties on the weekend, and once you find a place you're especially comfortable you'll definitely make lasting friends.
The dating scene couldn't be any more pathetic. All partying on campus either stems from a sports team, or almost always a greek party. The greek scene is completely dominent on the social scene. Athletic events are mildly popular. There are almost always movies playing every friday and saturday nights. Having a car on campus is the only way to have any sortof independance/mobility while at school. There are a lot of events on campus involving performances from student groups, as well as performances and lectures that the school imports.
I think there is a terrible misconception about Rochester students being locked up in the library all the time. I've been to the library 4 times this year (it's April) and I'm still on Dean's List. Granted I get effective studying done in my room. There are plenty of people that like to have a good time on the weekends. My complaint with social life is there are no fun traditions, aside from D-Day and Meliora Weekend, at the school. Come on, I thought every school had some kind of streaking tradition.
One of the coolest traditions that Rochester has to offer is the Boar's Head Dinner in November or December. It has been going on for over 70 years at the College and students join faculty and friends in a medieval feast with wonderful food and singing. All the student and faculty participant get dressed up in medieval costumes too. When I went to the dinner this year, one of the religion professors even got up and sang a rap song! Definitely a good time!
Students leave the dorm doors open as the campus has a very neighbourly and safe feeling. Athletic events are very popular as soon as a team starts to do well, and the d3 teams are all ranked as some of the best in the country. Study hard through the week, relax on the weekend days and party hard at night. Off campus there are nearby malls, movie theatres, restaurants, all easy to get to by the school's shuttle bus system.