Campus Activities Board
USD students spend their time doing all sorts of activities. There are opportunities nearby for hiking, camping, golfing, disc-golfing, fishing, and cycling all within a couple of miles of Vermillion.
The university also does a great job of bringing in live performers at least once a semester, and the student government truly works hard to make life easier for students during hectic times such as finals week by offering free breakfasts during late-night study sessions, among other things.
In terms of dating, the campus seems to be split pretty evenly between men and women, but I might venture to say that the female population is a bit higher. Partying is large part of most students' social lives, and many people opt to drink underage or at house parties instead of downtown, where things truly get out of control during certain times of year.
Dakota Days always brings about drunk hooligans, for example, and St. Patricks Day is no better.
Vermillion can easily be considered a ‘party town’ and many students drink on the weekends (and sometimes during the week) at house parties or downtown at the bars. I would say that there is an equal split between students that spend their time engaged strictly with academic activities, or at least constructive activities and those who party like a rock star every chance they get. If I am awake at 2 A.M. on a Tuesday, I can guarantee that I am working on homework for the next day’s class. ?If you wanted to do something besides drink on a Saturday night, there are usually a few bands playing at random locations, open-mike nights, two movie theatres that give student discounts, bowling, or a number of varying activities put on at the dorms and student centers (video games, arts and crafts, team games, etc.). Most students that want to stay connected or interact with others will leave their dorm doors open. Although I don’t live in the dorms anymore, I hear that almost everyone leaves their door open while they are there. Greek life is a huge deal on campus, with over 30 fraternities/sororities to become a part of and each one supporting a system of life-long friendships (I know from friends involved with several different Greek houses). Athletic events gain the most popularity of all campus activities, especially football, but theatre productions are definitely a must-see among the USD community. Depending on the guest speaker, there will be an influx of students attending the event, especially when it is mandatory for credit in a particular class. In my experience, I have found the guest speakers to be very interesting, especially when related to my field of study. Personally, I spend most of my time off campus working or hanging out with friends at some of the previously mentioned hang-outs. I met my closest friends not on campus, but through my job at a local restaurant. Most of my co-workers are students as well, but I would probably never have met them through classes alone. In fact, with the help of a friend from work, I started the Improv Club on campus last semester. I love being a part of something I am so interesting in and we always have so much fun with it. We meet once a week for a couple hours and basically just play improv games and learn about the craft from my co-founder, who teaches us what he knows about improv from his experience. Hopefully by the end of the year we will be ready to perform for an audience! It is one of my proudest accomplishments since I have been at USD and I have formed many important friendships since we started the group.
As a person who is very active, I am very involved. Some big student groups are Crusaders for Christ aka CRU, 10%, AWOL, and over a hundred more. There is always something going on, on campus from the international student days to art student craft sale etc.
I met my closest friends walking down the pathway my second day of school. They were upper class man and very accepting to me. The relationship I have with them is amazing because I have only known them a short while but we are very close.
The list of activites at the University of South Dakota seems endless, and not just student organizations. Living in the dorms is one of the greatest experiences of college at USD. As a freshman the dorms are a center for activity-- whether it's nerf gun wars, water balloon fights, or more tame activities such as cooking floor dinners, video game tournaments, movie nights or playing music. University housing provides a great environment for students.
There are also a long list of university activities. Personally, I have decided to join Habitat for Humanity along with my intramural sports. Habitat for Humanity is a great activity for busy students. Meeting are only fifteen minutes every week and extra participation is always voluntary. Habitat for Humanity has events on campus such as spaghetti feeds, or Sleep Out to Help Out where members camp outside overnight to raise awareness and money for the homeless. The group also does community builds over the weekends with free lunches. The organization also provides Spring Break trips as an option where students can participate in builds in places such as New Orleans, Wyoming, Miami, etc. The trips aren't all work though: students participate in activities such as skiing, swimming, amusement parks, or whatever the particular trip location has to offer.
Greek life has a large following at the University of South Dakota. Rush week is a great time to meet new people, check out the organizations, participate in activities, and eat some great free food. I chose not to become a sorority member. However, I'm very close with many sorority and fraternity members. You can still be involved with Greek life without actually joining. Sororities and fraternities hold a variety of events such as sand volleyball tournaments, pancake feeds, carnivals, etc. that are open to all USD students. Greek life is also involved in many philanthropic events around campus. Formals are also a tradition for Greek chapters, whether the members stay in town or travel, these events are always a great time. Fraternities and sororities are like small families on campus. However, you won't feel left out if you don't join. Greek members are greatly involved in campus life altogether and although you may not experience all the benefits of Greek life without joining, it's still possible to be involved in Greek life without the commitment.
A great tradition that USD has every year is the Strollers show. The Strollers host the show providing comedic skits between performances. The performances consist of a dance/skit created by USD students. Anyone can join The Strollers, or MCs of the show. Performances are split up by grouping fraternity and sororities together, but independent students also have their own group so no one is left out. Students practice night and day to prepare for the show, but also have their own fun between practices. The show is held for three nights with a specific night for parents. The show is always hilarious, entertaining, and provides a friendly competition for both Greek and non Greek members to prove who can put on the best show. Whether you participate in the show or just come to watch, the Strollers Show is an event to look forward to every year.
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