There are too many clubs to name, and each has a good purpose that ultimately helps the community, the school, or the students. Athletes are everywhere, but sometimes you can't tell when they aren't at practice or a game. W&L athletes play because they love the game. Being a D-3 school sports aren't that popular, but lacrosse and soccer seem to get pretty popular. Football games are mainly a social event, and most don't stay for the whole game. The school provides many extra activities such as well-known speakers and movies that have not reached the stores. The IFC and Panhel also bring in speakers; all are well-received. The Greek system is more the just a party scene: it's where you meet your best friends, and gives you a chance to be more involved. All Greek affiliations are involved with community service and play a big role in improving the school itself. But it is a source for social events, as well. If you want to go out, there will probably be a party on any given night. The biggest nights are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday. Some of the more popular parties are the weekend events like Homecoming, Christmas Weekend, Fraternity Formals, Fancy Dress, and most recently, Mock Con. Mixers are also frequent, and sororities have formals, too. More than 80% of the student body is involved in the Greek system. It's not so much being able to say you are in a certain fraternity or sorority, but it's more of just being involved. It is harder for boys to not be in a frat than girls, because fraternities throw most of the parties. Yes, the social life tends to revolve around the Greeks, but it is not a negative aspect. You have your friends: it's not that certain people aren't invited, it's that there are different groups that just choose to be apart.
The students at W&L like to be involved. The outing club is the most popular club on campus. Through the outing club, a student can borrow any equipment necessary to adventure into the beautiful area surrounding Lexington and it is common for students to go camping with a group of friends. The dorms are always open, as are the classrooms. The library is a popular place on campus, almost as popular as the gym. Students are in great shape and take pride in thier appearance. Weekends are the most fun at W&L because generally Saturday is spent with friends attending sporting events, driving on road trips or just relaxing. Most students study all day on Sunday but with our workload that is necessary. The parties are awesome, with such a small student body most students go to the same set of parties and its nice to see everyone together. Most social activities happen off campus, but in Lexington its a maximum of 15 minutes to drive anywhere. The social life at W&L is the best part. You learn as much from talking to fellow students as you do in the classroom and its great to be able to build lasting relationships that could potentially lead to jobs after school.
Social life at Washington and Lee is very lively. Like I have said, the students here know how to party and they do it quite often. There is almost never a night when you cannot find someone having a party. Unfortunately, the social life is predominantly greek-based which makes it difficult for non-greek students to maintain a lively social life unless they are friends with members of these organizations. Thus, the interaction between greek students and non-greek students are currently being worked upon with organizations on campus that try to bring these groups together to socialize in a neutral and comfortable atmosphere. Some traditions that happen each year are our huge Fancy Dress Ball which is open to everyone and is a great opportunity to get dolled up in your best look. It is kind of like a college prom and it is great to go to with your boyfriend/girlfriend or just a group of friends. It is more than 100 years old and is still going strong. Also, there are things to do that do not involve drinking and partying such as movies and Roanoke is nearby, which offers you a chance to do some shopping and even see a movie.
Social life is all about drinking... It is a shit show all the time. You can always find drugs and alcohol if you want them. It is much easier to get them as a guy than as a woman. It is a lot more acceptable for guys to do drugs than women. So women, just drink, but don't black out or you will be raped. It is a delicate balance. And if you drink, don't eat. If you are not thin, no one will like you. M, W, F, S are the big going out days. Tuesday and Thursday are reserved for special occasions. There is no bar scene, because if you have/use a fake ID anywhere in the US you will be expelled (if you are caught). Don't get a fake and don't use it in VA for sure. There is no dating scene. You hook up with people and then maybe you become bf/gf later. Guys are looking to hook up, not date unless you are exceedingly awesome.
There's no accepted social opportunities outside of the party scene. The administration keeps trying and trying in vain. If that's your scene, there's a place for you, safer than anywhere else -- we have a student-run sober-ride system that has made it extraordinarily safe -- and does, as a result, enable the irresponsible behavior. However, if that's not your scene, don't fret! The first week, it's overwhelming, and then you start figuring out that there's plenty of other students like you. I am a senior, and in all four years, I have never touched a drink at a frat party. You say "no thanks" and people respect that. I went out with my friends for a while, but after so many years, now we plan our own parties -- game night w a glass of wine, or a picnic by the river, or a wild excursion, or a movie, or hiking ...
Over 80% of the students are in a fraternity or sorority, but students also enjoy volunteering and the outdoors. Students strive to have a perfectly balanced resume, so any activity that will look good on a resume is usually done. Due to the amount of activities most students are involved in, there is rarely a minute wasted during the day. This creates a "work hard, party hard" mentality that most students fall into shortly after arrival. Since W&L is full of tradition, the students go all out during the big events. The sporting events are not well attended, but any annual frat party is packed. Mock Convention and Fancy Dress Ball are the two most important and formal parties, and are accompanied by cocktail parties and returning alumni.
Outing Club is by far the most popular club on campus and for good reason. Lexington sits right on the Appalachian trail and is cut through by the Maury River. Guest speakers are very well attended, as are all of the student theater performances. Tickets are usually very cheap too. Fancy Dress in March is by far the best function of the year. Fraternities and Sororities are very important on campus. Although because so many students are "Greek," being Greek is not something that defines you, simply because almost everyone is. There is literally a sorority and fraternity for EVERY type of person, regardless of whether you are a nerd or a srat star.
Doors are open at all times, all the parties are open, the beer is free and the dancing is fun. There is always an opprotunity to be social, but because it's an academic oriented school, nobody will question you if you stay in the library on a saturday night either. I've gone out Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then stayed in on Saturday... that's not typical but it's totally acceptable. 90% of students stay on campus EVERY weekend. More people come to visit us than we go to visit them.
Students here can find organizations to join that relate to any interest you can think of. And, on the off chance that there isn't an organization for your interest, it's really easy to start a new one. Most students here do join a Greek organization, but it's not an exclusive process. We don't rush until January, so there's plenty of time to decide if the system is right for you. Also, most students who want to do well here don't party more than one or two nights a week.
The most popular groups on campus are Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Phi Delt, Kappa Alpha, Phi Kap and Sigma Chi; those are the sororities or fraternities you want to be in. I am involved in Kappa Delta and it has been one the greatest experiences; if you go to W&L you have to be in the greek system. There is nothing to do on the weekend besides drink; that's what everyone does.