University of Rochester Top Questions

What are the most popular student activities/groups?


The vast majority of my close friends lived on my freshman hall. Actually they lived on the floor above me, which I basically adopted as my own. I think a lot of people remain friends with their freshman neighbors, although you also make friends in classes and activities and at parties. Freshman year the frat quad is the place to be Thursday-Saturday nights. That being said, I think I have been to the frat quad less than 10 times in 3 years. There are plenty of things to do and people to hang out with if you're not into the drunken party scene. You just have to look a little harder. After freshman year people tend to have suite-parties more and it gets a little weird to go to the frat quad all the time if you're not friends with the brothers. The school has $2 movies playing in an auditorium Friday and Saturday nights throughout the year which are sometimes really popular. There are usually a couple big concerts each year, and often you can find people singing and playing guitar in the coffee shops on weekend nights. I think the biggest off-campus activity for a lot of people is restaurants, although there are a lot of bar-parties as well, where groups rent out a bar on a weeknight and they run shuttle buses. Generally though, we tend to stay on campus. In the fall Meliora weekend is alumni weekend, homecoming weekend, and parents weekend all in one. There are tons of performances and speakers and activities and it's a little overwhelming but pretty cool. There's also Yellowjacket weekend which is one of the first weekends in the fall, right at the end of orientation, and there are carnival rides and games and fried dough and they give out free school spirit t-shirts which are very popular. In spring there's the infamous D-Day (D stands for either dandelion or drunk, depending on who you talk to). There used to be carnival rides and a concert and stuff, but the school is really cracking down so there are no rides anymore, and there are rumors of getting rid of it all together. The main focus of the day for most students is drinking, starting from early in the morning and going all day long. The school getting rid of things is not going to cut down on the drinking, although it does make it less fun for those of us who are not.


If you don't want to drink on a Saturday night you can go watch one of the movies on campus that only costs a few dollars.


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.


Some of the more known organizations are the A Capella groups, the dance groups, the sports teams. There are many speakers that come to campus that include famous entrepreneurs (Russell Simmons,) comedians (Drew Carey, Curb Your Enthusiasm cast, Sarah Silverman, Lewis Black,) and politicians (Colin Powell.) Those events are quite popular and I think are a great addition to the life here. The freshman dorms are very social and that is how most people meet their first friends or girlfriends and this makes it pretty easy to find a group of friends you like when you first get here because of the diverse selection of cliques. If I'm up at 2am on a tuesday, I am studying. That is something that is still disappointing here because I was somewhat of a trouble maker in high school and there simply isn't anything going on late at night here because everyone is so studious. Every year there are many very highly advertised events such as listed above and there is an event called Dandelion Day which is in the spring and the school brings in a big name band and many different activities around campus and its a fun day before finals start where everyone gets to have a good time. Partying is up to the student but most weeks there are 4 days a week where you can go and have a good time, two of those being during the week at bar parties that are sponsored by sororities or other groups. If you aren't on a sports team I think that fraternities and sororities are pretty important. About 25% of the school pledges but keep in mind that about half the school never goes out so that leaves you with half the people that go out are in some kind of frat/sorority. You don't have to live in the frat house and it gives you the chance to participate in the mixers (parties between a fraternity and a sorority that is closed to the public) and its a good way to socialize. Every Saturday night there will be an activity on campus that doesn't involve drinking. Last weekend it was a dance party hosted by a famous DJ that the university brought in and next weekend it is a concert by one of the musical groups.


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!


Most (all) parties are thrown by fraternities or sororities. Unless you have a close group of friends or know tons of people on campus, it's hard to find parties outside of greek life, they can get old fast. But then again, you can always count on them to show you a thurs/fri/sat night filled with alcohol!