Ah… another year, another round of accepted applicants ready to take Uptown New Orleans by storm. If you’re reading this, you (or if you’re an overzealous parent: your child) have been admitted to Tulane and thus, will be joining us this Fall. First off: CONGRATS! Though I may sound like President Fitts is holding a gun to my head while I write this, it is an objective fact that Tulane’s acceptance rate goes down every year, making it more competitive and thus, more impressive that you will be joining us.
If you’re like me, coming to Tulane is exciting, though perhaps overwhelming for the majority of you. On top of this, college has vastly changed since I was a freshman– COVID-19 hit a few months into the second semester of my first year, which altered my college experience, as well as everyone else’s greatly. Alas, we are now able to slowly and safely get back to what makes college fun: the activities, clubs, and events that will make your education memorable. Let’s lay out some ground rules:
- Every activity mentioned in this article will take place either on campus or within walking distance off campus, as many of you don’t have cars (and it’s expensive as all hell to park on campus).
- This list applies to the Fall semester of 2022, thus, if you are reading this in the future, some things may have changed. If you’re reading this in the past, go back a little further and tell my younger self not to get bangs. They do not suit you, queen.
- There are so many wonderful things that I will not be able to get to within this article, and I highly recommend that you explore the city yourself. Everyone’s college experience is different and subsequently, every memory is as well. Go make as many as you can while you’re here.
CLUBS ON CAMPUS
Like any self respecting higher education institution, Tulane hosts a Club Fair at the beginning of each semester. There, you can talk to representatives of clubs and shop around a little to see what you may like to join. You’re going to sign up to be on email lists for a lot of clubs that you will never go to and that’s okay. You might find something that will transform your college experience for the better.
Like all self-respecting collegiate institutions, Tulane is home to 6 active a capella groups. Whether it’s the notable Green Envy or THEM– who will be holding auditions on September 10th and 11th, more info here– there is no shortage of music and singing organizations for you to get involved in.
Location: The MakerSpace is on Engineering Road, along the boundary between the Tulane and Loyola campuses. Look for the yellow I-beam.
The MakerSpace on campus is a workshop full of laser cutters, 3D printers, and other machinery to allow students to flex their creativity. The best part? It’s completely free. All you need to do is go in, sign up, and take a manageable training course in order to know how to safely use the machines. After that, you’re off to the races.
Charles Tyndal, a rising senior and what they refer to as a “MakerSpace Ninja” has been involved since his early days at Tulane. “Having a place where you are able to create whatever you want where the primary limitation is your own creativity is extremely liberating. It allows me to express myself in a fun way by creating art or fun mechanical projects,” Charles told me.
If you’d like more information on the MakerSpace and how to get involved, they have a complete Wiki here that will give you all of the information and more. Happy making!
Alpha Phi Omega Tulane Chapter (APO)
Alpha Phi Omega, lovingly referred to as APO by the Tulane community, is the school’s community service fraternity.
“It’s nice to find like minded people. It’s a group centered around service that helps to lead you to good people who are not homogenous,” said Lily Kanigher, a Senior and one of the Service VPs.
Maddie Mancuso, also a Senior and the Philanthropy Chair of the organization expressed that it helps her to get more involved in the community of New Orleans.
“If you want to be around well rounded people who care about the community outside of Tulane, this is a great organization to be a part of,” she said.
“Our pillars are leadership, friendship, and service. It’s a great opportunity to meet people who have similar values in regards to connecting with the New Orleans community. You can bond over something important and more than yourself.”
If you want more information on APO, you can follow their brand new Instagram @tulane_alpha_phi_omega.
Tulane Women’s Rugby
The Tulane Women’s Rugby team is the perfect place for you if you’re looking to try a new sport without committing to aggressive D1 and D2 schedules. This club sports team is an amazing group of people who first and foremost want you to learn the game and have fun.
Olivia Pacheco, a current player, expressed that the group of people you’re playing with is really the highlight of practices and games.
“I love the team dynamic of the group. We encourage and support each other on and off the field. I have met some of my closest friends at school through rugby,” she said.
Don’t know how to play? No problem.
“I did not know how to play rugby coming in, so it was an enjoyable experience to learn how to play something new,” Olivia told me. The team will be practicing on Tuesdays from 5-7 on the quad in front of the LBC and on Thursdays from 5-7 in Yulman stadium. All you need to bring are cleats or running shoes and a water bottle. For more info, you can follow them on Instagram @TulaneWRFC.
Tulane Ballroom Dance Club
For those of you who love to dance but don’t have time in your schedule to take one of Tulane’s amazing dance courses, this club is for you. The Tulane Ballroom Dance Club focuses on teaching members different partner dancing styles and having fun while doing so.
Molly Graham, the club’s Co-President, expressed that this club has really shaped her time here at Tulane.
“Ballroom was the first club I joined at Tulane, and it was the first place that made me feel a part of a community. The people are so nice and dancing is a great way to engage my mind and body after classes,” she said. “We learn and practice a variety of Ballroom Styles and focus on a recreational and social atmosphere. Beginners welcome!”
The group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8pm in the Lakeside room of Reily. For more info, you can follow their Instagram @TuBallroom.
Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi)
Like many new students, Greek Life might be something you’re interested in doing. Tulane fraternities and sororities rush second semester, so you can look forward to that when you’re more established within the community! One prominent sorority is ADPi. Ellen Schindel is a Senior who is involved heavily with the sorority and she says that joining ADPi helped her find her community on campus.
“I joined a Greek organization because I was looking for a sisterhood that I had once found on my high school team,” she said. “Having the opportunity to be a part of an organization that supports its members but also others in the community is refreshing to find in a competitive environment like Tulane.”
For more information, you can follow ADPi’s Instagram @tulaneadpi.
“ON YOUR OWN” ACTIVITIES ON CAMPUS
You’re going to have various degrees of free time, and sometimes you just need to hang out. While laying in your bed in your dorm room is always fun, there are so many spaces on campus that you can utilize.
Visiting the Campus Cats
One walk around Tulane’s campus and it becomes clear that the school is home to numerous cats. These cats are very kind and allow students to pet them and sometimes will even climb up to sit on your lap. The club helps to feed the cats and take care of them including providing medical assistance when needed. These cats are beloved by all and a major part of the overall moral on campus– you’ll notice more visits occur around finals.
Skating on McAlister
As we all know, New Orleans is not the most skateboard friendly place. Luckily, Tulane maintains the various concrete sidewalks and McAllister quite well, making it a popular place to skate. In front of McAllister auditorium is particularly popular, as the concrete staircases make it an exciting place to try out tricks without being afraid that a crack in the sidewalk will take you to the ground. Plus, if you land something cool, all eyes will be on you and your street cred will go up. WIn-Win situation.
Lounging or picnicking on the Quad
Even though the Quad in front of Newcomb still houses the architecture students, the Quad in front of the LBC– formally named the Berger Family Lawn– is a perfect place to put out a blanket and eat lunch, read, or just hang out. Grab some food from the LBC and sit back and relax for a bit.
Exploring the Library
It seems like this one would be obvious, but most people just use the Howard Tilton Library– lovingly known as Howie T– to study. What they don’t know is that Tulane has a large collection of interesting literature, magazines, and even movies. Alongside their vast digital archives, Tulane has a section on the 6th floor where you can rent rare and interesting DVDs. If you don’t have a DVD player, the library also has numerous books on all floors, assuring that you will never run out of materials.
SHOWS ON CAMPUS
There’s always something fun to go watch on campus. Tulane has a plethora of comedy groups, a cappella groups, and various concerts that students can attend– often for free!
Office Hours Sketch Comedy
Although I may be biased, I can say with complete certainty that you won’t find any better sketch comedy on campus than with Office Hours. Full transparency, I am one of the Co-Presidents this year. Regardless, we strive to provide quality shows and have been doing so for over 10 years now. Office Hours hosts one show at the end of first semester and tries to host two shows second semester. Within the club, you write, edit, and perform original sketches while collaborating with your fellow comedians. There is truly nothing like it and I feel that it has given me some of the most valuable memories and friendships during my time in college.
Auditions to join this group will take place on September 7th and 8th. If you’d like more information, you can follow Office Hours on instagram @OfficeHoursComedy.
TUCP, also known as Tulane University Campus Programming, is a student organization incharge of bringing concerts, speakers, and comedians to Tulane. Within my time here, we’ve Zoomed with Cody Ko, seen an in-person stand-up show from SNL cast member Chris Redd, and even listened to an interview from Raymond Santana and Kevin Richardson of the ‘Exonerated Five’. These events are what makes college interesting and informative, as TUCP provides events that people may not have access to anywhere else. Most of the events are also free, so all you need is your SplashCard to get in. For more information, you can follow TUCP on instagram @geauxtucp. They also have a LinkTree in their bio which will give you everything you need to make the most out of the scheduled events on campus!
ACTIVITIES OFF CAMPUS
Beginning your journey out of the “Tulane Bubble” is important, but you don’t need a car to experience the community around you. Numerous activities are just a short walk away!
Visit a Cafe to Study or Just Grab a Cup of Coffee
A staple in every college experience is taking the pilgrimage off campus to a fun coffee shop in order to escape the cold clutch of PJ’s that holds Tulane hostage. A little closer to home is the Starbucks on Loyola’s campus. You can simply cross Freret and navigate your way into the Danna Student Center, but beware, this Starbucks is small and can get busy during mornings and afternoons after school.
On the opposite side, a favorite amongst students (myself included) is Petite Rouge, an adorable little cafe that is the perfect place to study or just take a break. I wrote a profile of the cafe last year that you can read here. Petite Rouge is located across S. Claiborne Ave. at 3146 Calhoun Street and is a 10-15 minute walk from the center of campus.
Not sure what to get? I recommend their homemade cookies, their Frozen Cafe Au Lait, and their cold brew, which is always perfect for a hot day. You truly can’t go wrong with anything you get.
Walk, Skate, or Bike the Trail Around Audubon Park
We are lucky to live in a place with wonderful greenspaces right in our backyard. If the weather is good– or at least tolerable– you can walk to Audubon park which is located across St. Charles Ave. There are not only large patches of grass to picnic, hang out, or study on, but also a paved trail around the park where you can walk, roller skate, or even bike. Going with a group of friends or even by yourself can help you to get outside and get moving, all while exploring the landscape off campus.
Clubs on campus like the Tulane Roller Skating Club get together to skate around the park once a week (at the moment, Sundays) so you can get to know people and safely roll around the park. You can connect with them on Instagram @tu_rsc for more information and more up to date events!
No matter what you do on or off campus, your college experience is what you make it, so make it a good one. This is a great city to go to school, so I highly recommend heading more into the city once you have the opportunity. Regardless, welcome to Tulane, we’re happy to have you. Roll Wave.
Featured Image via Mercedes Ohlen
Mercedes was The Crescent’s Editor-in-Chief from 2022-2023. She graduated from Tulane with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She enjoys going to the movies, fashion, and writing about the great city of New Orleans. She will be pursuing a career lifestyle journalism, publishing, or a job within comedy upon her graduation from Tulane. No topic is too obscure, and no story too niche. Roll Wave!