With over 500 student organizations and almost 16,000 undergraduate students, Boston University can be overwhelming and, at the same time, an exhilarating place for any incoming student. While it’s flattering for students to know they have been accepted to a school ranked 41st in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, new students should also look forward to the countless events BU offers.
To make the transition as easy and fun as possible for entering freshman, here’s a list of some of BU’s most interesting, can’t-miss events.
Splash: While the location has recently changed from Nickerson Field to Cummington Mall (behind Warren Towers), Splash is a great way to get a taste of some of the student activities BU has to offer. The event, held just after Matriculation, is a carnival-like festival that offers food and music by BU’s award-winning radio station WTBU, allows students the opportunity to get to know the rest of their student body and get a glimpse at the different clubs, intramural and club sport teams, Greek Life and other student organizations. Splash makes our massive university feel a little bit smaller. Make sure you check out our story on how to navigate Splash without getting lost in the crowd.
Fall Welcome Week: Each year, the Student Activities Office puts together a series of events and activities to celebrate the arrival of the incoming class. In the past, SAO has hosted an outdoor, drive-in style movie, a range of comedians and an R-rated hypnotist at the George Sherman Union. Check out SAO’s website as Matriculation approaches to see what they have in store for this year.
Terrier Tailgate: What better way to kick-off the beginning of the men’s soccer season than a tailgate with students, alumni, faculty and staff? Terrier Tailgate gives students a chance to celebrate the beginning of the BU sports seasons, as well as the beginning of the school year, with the BU Band, BU athletes and good food on Nickerson Field. The tailgate is held at the opening of the soccer season in September.
Sorority/Fraternity Recruitment: Over 1,500 students are members of BU’s 12 fraternities and 13 sororities. While fraternities have recruitment at the beginning of both fall and spring semesters, sorority recruitment is offered only once prior to the beginning of spring semester. Greek Life may not be for everyone, but going through sorority or fraternity recruitment, or at least the open houses prior to recruitment, gives students the opportunity to get a glimpse into the activities of the sororities and fraternities and become acquainted with their members. Recruitment gives students a chance to make campus a little bit smaller by getting to know their brothers and sisters through philanthropy events, community service, social activities and study hours.
Dining Events at BU Dining Halls: BU’s Dining Services are award-winning to begin with, but with events such as Lobster Night, Chocolate Extravaganza, Breakfast for Dinner and even a Visiting Chef series, students are offered a variety of dining experiences and have the opportunity to eat food from other areas of the nation, from different cultures, or made by world-famous chefs.
BU Hockey: The BU men’s hockey season starts in October, and each game at Agganis Arena is a great opportunity to cheer on our five-time national championship team. A specially reserved student section is guaranteed to get rowdy on game days, especially when we play against our historic rival, the Boston College Eagles.
Head of the Charles: The Head of the Charles Regatta, a rowing race held annually in October during Parent’s Weekend, is the largest two-day regatta in the world. Countless athletes from schools across the country travel to the Charles River to face off in this incredibly competitive race, and vendors and spectators populate the bank of the Charles to cheer on rowers from their respective schools.
Concerts at Agganis Arena: Agganis Arena has hosted several famous artists, such as Alicia Keys, J. Cole, Robin Thicke and Romeo Santo, and has a list of upcoming performances by New Edition, Bastille and Marc Anthony. A concert is always fun, but with the venue on campus, going to concerts and shows at Agganis takes nothing more than the cost of a ticket and a quick walk or bus ride.
A capella Concerts: Twelve student-run a capella groups make BU a great place to hear your fellow Terriers’ vocal performances. From the all-male Dear Abbeys to the all-female Aural Fixation, and the hindi-fusion Suno to the co-ed Jewish group Kol Echad, there’s bound to be an a capella group that caters to your tastes.
BU Improv: BU is home to several student-run improvisational comedy groups that hold performances and workshops throughout the year. The Callbacks and Liquid Fun feature sketch and short-form improv performances, while Sons of Liberty specialize in long-form improv. Slow Children at Play write and perform original sketch comedy as well. You can catch all of BU’s improv groups at BU Central in the basement of the George Sherman Union — look out for posters advertising their shows across campus.
BU on Broadway: Musical theatre organization BU on Broadway hosts countless shows throughout the school year, from musical classics to avant-garde performances. Most recently, BU on Broadway brought Shrek The Musical to the Tsai Center at the College of Arts and Sciences.
Latkepalooza: BU’s Florence & Chafetz Hillel House hosts Latkepalooza each December, serving thousands of free latkes to the student body regardless of their affiliation with Judaism. A live DJ and lots of food make Latkepalooza a great way to get to know Hillel and celebrate with students of all religious backgrounds.
Relay for Life: Relay for Life at BU is an opportunity to volunteer with the American Cancer Society and help them in their fight against cancer. It was held on April 5 this past year at BU’s Track and Tennis Center. The campus community rallies around Relay for Life each year to honor cancer survivors, promote ways to reduce the risk of developing cancer and raise money to help fund cancer research.
Global Days of Service: Global Days of Service is a month-long event held in April with the purpose of raising the spirit of community worldwide and at BU through a variety of service projects. Students volunteer to clean up parks, help out at homeless shelters, give a hand at soup kitchens and work with animals. Global Days of Service gives students the opportunity to give back to their Boston community.
Holi Celebration: Holi, or the Festival of Colors, celebrates the expression of love and encourages the spirit of brotherhood. Every year towards the end of the spring semester, the BU Hindu Students Council hosts the festival, which is typically held on Cummington Mall. Students wear white and get covered in bright colors and dance to music played over loudspeakers. Holi is a fun way to end the school year with friends and other BU students.
If you would like to add an event to this listing, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drew Schwartz contributed to this article.