St. Thomas students love to get involved on campus. There are too many clubs and organizations to even attempt to list. The most popular activites would probably include the athletic teams and clubs. St. Thomas is known for athletic excellence despite the fact that it is a Division III school. Many students participate in the official St. Thomas teams, but there are also many clubs that play just for fun. They are often co-ed and you can find a club for just about any sport you can think of from Frizbee Golf, to Tennis, to Rugby. There are numberous other types of clubs other than athletics however. STAR is a popular organization to get involved in because they are responsible for all the entertainment that is brought to St. Thomas. Earlier this fall, STAR was able to get Dirks Bently (a famous country singer) to give a free concert in our gym. Joining organizations is a great way to meet new people. I met some of my closest friends at St. Thomas by joining a club called CLU. CLU is a Christain organization that allows students to come and talk about issues in their life or community and relate it to how Christians should act or react. It is a small club now, but it is steadily growing. Besides committing to a club or organization, a student can participate in many other activities on and off campus as part of their social adventures. If one is a partier, there are often parties thrown by students who live in the houses off campus. These aren't usually free-for-all, blow-out parties that cause trouble, but are fun to attend. There are also a lot of popular clubs that students like to go to on the weekends to dance and hang out. I personally am not a fan of partying or dancing, and neither are my friends, but we are avid music and movie fans. St. Thomas often has musicians come to perform at Scooters or will play popular movies in our auditorium. My friends and I always take advantage of this free form of entertainment. There are a lot of ways to get involved and have fun on campus, what you find yourself doing in your spare time is virtually only limited to your own personal preferences.
Undergraduate Student Government and Pulse are popular activities on campus. Undergraduate Student Government (USG) gets students together in an attempt to create change on campus. For example, this year USG is working to make the University of St. Thomas a smoke-free campus and make it mandatory for the cafeteria to post nutritional information about the meals they serve. Pulse is also a popular group on campus. Pulse is a dance group that performs shows throughout the year. The songs performed by Pulse are popular and stimulating. The dancing is phenomenal as well. The dancers perform different styles of dance such as hip-hop, interpretive, ballet, salsa and many, many more. Varsity athletics are popular as well. I am on the swim team and even though it requires a lot of hard work, joining the team was one of the best decisions I made because of the support it offers. Everyone on the team helps each other with everything. We spend endless hours together studying at the library, talking to each other about what we want to do after graduation and going out on weekends. Most of my best friends are on the swim team. From what I have heard, the other athletic teams at the University of St. Thomas are similar in their support of each other.
Athletic games are pretty well attended- basketball and football are the most popular, especially the Tommie-Johnnie games against our rival St. John's. Organizations on campus like STAR (St. Thomas Activities and Recreation) and Fanamaniac host different events for students throughout the year like tailgate parties, free concerts, dances, laser tag, cookie decorating, T-shirt tye-dying, trips to the Mall of Americ, etc. Plus the RAs (resident advisors) on each floor really work to have everyone get to know each other. That's how I met all of my closest friends- by going to different events my RA planned. Everyone on the floor usually keeps their doors open so people can stop by and introduce themeselves. Plus you get to know each other so well by just hanging out in your room, watching Youtube videos at 1am. St. Thomas is not a huge party school. Yes, parties are going on in college houses in the area, but it's not like that's the only you can do on the weekends. My friends and I go on little adventures around the Twin Cities to find something new to do. Some new things I've done this year: tried sushi, went to a Timberwolves games, and went to an improv comedy club.
The student group I'm involved with is Saint Paul's Outreach, which is a Catholic outreach group on campus. We are trying to build relationships with people. befriend people, and lead them to the Gospel. We have small groups on campus where we foster friendships with all different kinds of people and learn about the Gospel together. We have social events and monthly praise and worship and learning nights. We are fairly popular in the Christian scene on campus. There are only two Christian\Catholic groups. I don't think that there is one student group on campus that is the most popular. Many of them are pretty small and intimate. There are many niches at St. Thomas and you just have to pick one and you could spend all of your time with that group. On campus though, many students are part of the Residence Hall Association or STAR which is the student activities group. There isn't one group that stands out over all of them. I think is nice because it doesn't create a popular group and every other group is inferior to that group. Because they're all fairly small, the groups are on the same plane.
The most popular groups are specifically for various major fields, like marketing, accounting or justice & peace studies. STAR, which organizes different on-campus events, has many students involved. The rock climbing club has gained popularity recently. The Dance Club is nationally ranked and a very popular group. Athletic events, although free with your student ID, are not especially popular. Of course, when the team does really well or it's Homecoming week, the attendence is greater. Free items like t-shirts get more students through the doors. If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday, that means I have a huge exam the next day OR my roommates and I are up talking or watching a movie. Fraternities and sororities are not big on campus.
St. Thomas offers everything from DIII varsity athletics to choirs, pre-professional clubs, service clubs, club sports and social clubs. Athletic events like football and basketball games are popular, but plenty of students choose other things to do. I met my closest friends through a mixture of my freshman dorm floor, classes and my team. There's never a shortage of things to do both on and off campus. St. Thomas always has discounted tickets to musicals and movies, tons of free stuff like shirts, hats and mugs and free campus activities like speakers, cook-outs and social events. Some of the best traditions at UST are the Tommie/Johnnie games, Homecoming events, Spring Fling dance and concert and Late Night Breakfast.
There are many different popular clubs or groups at St. Thomas! I think that the group "STAR" is fairly prominent. STAR does a lot of fundraising and promoting for organizations on campus. They also deal with social activities such as concerts or dances. They are a great group to be apart of and welcome many students to their organization each semester. I met my closest friends at UST in the dorms. Many people left their doors closed in the dorms, but we always kept ours open. This was a great way to stop in and meet new people. It's an easy way to show that you want to make new friends! We do not have frats/sororities at St. Thomas. We have many different clubs that give students an alternative to partying or drinking.
UST has over 100 clubs and organizations. If for some reason we don't have the club you are looking for, you can start it! Just find ten friends and a professor to sponsor you and you can create any club you want. The dorm life here allows students to be very involved as well. Different dorms organize activities and events, as do different floors. There are always guest speakers, movie nights, or athletic events, so keep an eye on the bulletin boards around campus! Some of my favorite events this year have been: going to a Twins game, attending a free screening of Avatar, seeing Mary Poppins (the Broadway musical) in Downtown Minneapolis, and attending a lecture by Jerry of Ben and Jerry's.
There are dozens of clubs and organizations to join on campus...I walked in the homecoming parade this year with the Globally Minded Student Association, and made t-shirts for National Coming Out Day with the Allies. Sometimes, I have to pick one meeting over another, there are so many options! Plus, with the free bus to the Minneapolis campus, you are only a block away from Nicollet Mall, the two-story Target, and the light-rail station to the Mall of America. As a bonus, you're in one of the best neighborhoods in St. Paul, with restaurants and entertainment only a mile or two away on Grand or in Highland Park.
I'm involved with theater and choir, and I love the people I've met through these activities! A bunch of us all hang out after our friday afternoon choir rehearsals, and several choir people have wound up living together off-campus and taking road trips together in the summer. Athletic events are very well attended, there's ton of school spirit. As far as dorms go, most people leave their doors open when they're around and people stop in and hang out all the time. That's how I met most of my friends actually! Greek life isn't real big on campus, so sorry if that's what you're looking for.