The U will never be mistaken for a hardcore "party" school, but it's not entirely lacking in the social department. Downtown Salt Lake City is just minutes from campus with plenty of bars and clubs, and Greek Row is just north of campus. Utah does have some strange liquor laws that have to be navigated through (for instance, no kegs allowed at private residences) but good times can be found. Football games at the U are some of the most raucous experiences on campus. Those strict Utah liquor laws are relaxed a bit for the throngs of tailgaters that attend each home game. And, the team ain't bad either -- Utah was the first non-BCS conference school to bust the BCS Bowl Series (in 2004) and finished the year undefeated. Currently, the Utes have won seven consecutive bowl games, the second-longest active streak in the nation. What the U may lack in the party scene it definitely makes up with its recreational opportunities. Skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, camping, climbing, boating, you name it, the U's got it. Another perk at the U is the amount of great speakers that visit campus each year. The U has one of the top Middle East Centers in the country and its Hinckley Institute of Politics is also a top draw. This past academic year alone, Bill Clinton, Cornell West, Sherin Ebadi, Ralph Nader and dozens of other luminaries have spoken at the U. Generally such events are free to students. If worse comes to worse and you're feeling devilish, Wendover, Nevada is only 80 minutes from SLC across the Bonneville Salt Flats -- home to the land speed world-record. Though it's no Las Vegas, good times can be had in the casinos of Wendover, and if need be, you can pick up a keg to smuggle back into the state. (Just remember to keep the kegs underwraps.)
The U has so many activities available. World famous guest speakers constantly grace our campus. There is a performing arts theater right on campus, and plenty of venues for local and world-famous bands to perform. Utah has a strong dedication to its athletics programs, and are constantly successful within their respective conference and the nation as a whole. Campus life, like I said before, is more watered down than other schools. Being that Utah is a commuter school where over half the student body lives either at home or somewhere of campus, the social life isn't as good as it could be. This is especially true at many sporting events. The U gets student participation, but not nearly as much as the size of the school would suggest. The campus is also huge and the dorms are isolated from the rest of campus, so it's highly likely that the majority of U students will never set foot inside a Utah dormitory. The U does have a great Greek Row that is just off campus. The U also has a great pizza place, called The Pie, just a few steps off campus, as well as a nice little hole-in-the-wall pub and a hamburger joint B&D Burgers which is also authentic to the area. One of the great thing about the U is it is so close to downtown Salt lake City, so often times the nightlife of campus extends down there. The U tries to do a good job holding events that keep students on campus longer, but the response has only been mild at best.
I'm a student leader at the Newman Center. This is a Catholic Group on campus. We help plan service projects, student activities at the church, and the newman center has 2 trips that students can go on durring spring break and fall break. I don't live in the dorms but I have been in them a few times and there are always doors open but usually there are ppl in their rooms at the time. Athletics are popular: football and gymnastics are popular to attend. My closest friends I met at Newman Center functions or at the "Crimson Nights" (a party put on by the university at the student Union.) The dorms have different things that go on on different floors, they have movie nights and sometimes go to the union to go bowlng or play pool. We have trax that picks up right by the dorms and can take you downtown where there is a multitude of things to do off campus (outdoor mall, movie theater, ice skating rink, library, coffee shops, etc.)
i am most involved in the residents halls. and NO most residents in the halls do not leave their door open. Ther are the few that have their door open and willing to get to know other people though. i meet my closest friends when i go to social events or parties with other friends i know. frats and sororities are important for the non working white straight male and female. BUT are just an anoyance to anyone else. as a white gay male i know i will not be harmed if i go to a frat party or event, but the issure is i dont feel comfortable. i feel like i wont be accepted especially because in my experiences i cant tell you how many frat guys i have heard say "thats so gay." last weekend i cheered at the basketball game and hung out with my boyfriend. then went swimming with my gay swim team, worked, and did homework.
Football and basketball, of course, are very popular. I play soccer for the Men's club team. We're working to become NCAA sanctioned, but right now we play in the NIRSA league. It's a very competitive league and is big. I don't know, never lived in the dorms. Athletic events involve the entire community, which is good. Dating scene is hot. I've known most for years, but I have a lot of friends whom I've met working and going to class. Imagine that. I am finishing the paper at The Daily Utah Chronicle. There are a lot... Parties happen a lot, depends where you live. Eh, I've never thought to join one, but they're popular. Partied, of course. You can go all around town. There are plenty of things to do. Movies and parties.
- The most important group around campus is ASUU (our Student Government) and UPC (which plans monthly parties on campus). - A group I'm affiliated with, Student Interfaith Council, specializes in braking down common walls differnet religious groups might put against each other and brings different people together--all so others can understand more about their faiths. We even attend each other's services. - Besides the typical--movies, dining-- there are clubs in Salt Lake City that outlaw drinking, a Planetarium, various gardens and parks, many shops and malls, etc.
Most popular groups? I don't know. My groups? I guess I'm kind of a neurology geek, I work in a neurology lab and hang out with other science and neurology majors. I live in Gateway and people are constantly partying, its a bit too noisy for my liking; I don't care much about fraternities or sororities; I hung out with some friends lat weekend, Saturday night I studied biology and chem. I don't do much off campus besides hang out with my family and friends since I live on campus.
There are many different clubs on campus. I have been involved in the Greek sororities, the Bennion center which is a volunteer center, the student government which is called ASUU, and other organizations. The athletic events are really fun and there is a lot of school spirit. There are many fun events like Red Fest (a concert) and Crimson Nights. There are many, many unique and diverse clubs to join and many different departmental groups.
As a Christian in the Mormon state of Utah, I spend most of my time involved with the various Christian groups on campus. My favorite group by far is Ute-Nited (www.utenited.com), although Cru, a.k.a. Campus Crusade (www.utahcru.com), is an excellent group as well. Both groups provide excellent fellowship with other Christians on campus, and a means to pursue your faith and dig deeper into what it really means to be a follower of Jesus.
I lived in the dorms until just recently, and it is not the thing to do if you're looking to build a social life...unless you're a perpetually drunken Freshman looking to get groped by the football team. This may sound outrageous, but so were my experiences with my roommates and pretty much everybody in my building.