Student life @Rutgers
Rutgers University offers a variety of housing options. On the New Brunswick-Piscataway campus, students are given the option of on-campus housing in both traditional dorms or apartments. Freshman students, however, are allowed only a dorm, while upperclassmen have a wider array of on-campus housing choices, like apartments, but must apply for on-campus housing through the Rutgers online lottery process. Despite some overcrowding, most students seeking on-campus housing will be accommodated with a space, yet in 2008/2009 students were placed in a nearby hotel. Currently Rutgers University is undergoing a series of constructions to expand residence life. Many Rutgers students opt to rent apartments or houses off-campus within the city of New Brunswick. Similar setups are to be found in Rutgers–Newark and Rutgers–Camden, however a substantial portion of the students on those campuses commute and/or are enrolled on a part-time basis.
Rutgers University's four campuses are in the culturally-diverse, redeveloping urban areas (Newark, Camden, and New Brunswick) with convenient access to New York City and Philadelphia by either automobile, Amtrak or New Jersey Transit. US News & World Reportranked Rutgers–Newark the most diverse university campus in the United States. Because the area of Rutgers' New Brunswick-Piscataway campus—which is composed of several constituent colleges and professional schools—is sprawled across six municipalities, the individual campuses are connected by an inter-campus bus system. The Rutgers bus system is the second largest bus service in New Jersey, and one of the largest in the country.
Security and emergency services
Services provided by the university include Rutgers Police, Emergency Medical Services, an emergency management office, bus and shuttle service, inter- and intra-campus mail, and occupational and environmental health and safety.
Student organizations and activities
Rutgers University has a student government which controls funding to student groups. The student government is made up of campus councils and professional school councils. Those councils then send representatives to the student assembly as well as the university senate. An example of these campus councils is the University College Council, which represents adult, part-time, and military veteran students.
Rutgers hosts over 700 student organizations; among the first student groups was the first college newspaper in the United States of America. The Political Intelligencer and New Jersey Adviser began publication at Queen's College in 1783, and ceased operation in 1785. Continuing this tradition is the university's current college newspaper, The Daily Targum, established in 1869, which is the second-oldest college newspaper currently published in the United States, after The Dartmouth (1843). Both poet Joyce Kilmer and economist Milton Friedman served as editors. Also included are The Medium, Rutgers Entertainment Weekly, Rutgers Centurion, a conservative newspaper, the Rutgers University Glee Club, a male choral singing group established in 1872 (among the oldest in the country). More recently there has been increased national exposure among Rutgers a cappella groups as they have routinely placed well in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, including 2010 when The OrphanSporks placed second in the semifinals. Governed by the Rutgers University Student Assembly and funded by student fees, students can organize groups for practically any political ideology or issue, ethnic or religious affiliation, academic subject, activity, or hobby.
Rutgers University is home to chapters of many Greek organizations, and a significant percentage of the undergraduate student body is active in Greek life. Several fraternities and sororities maintain houses for their chapters in the area of Union Street (known familiarly as "Frat Row") in New Brunswick, within blocks of Rutgers' College Avenue Campus. Chapters of Zeta Psi and Delta Phi organized at Rutgers as early as 1845. The Alpha Rho chapter of Chi Psi fraternity, founded at Rutgers College in 1879, was the first fraternity at Rutgers to own a fraternity house, or "Lodge", purchased in 1887. The fraternity today still owns and occupies the same property at 114 College Avenue. Today, there are over 50 fraternities and sororities on the New Brunswick-Piscataway campus, ranging from traditional to historically African-American, Hispanic, Multicultural, and Asian interest organizations. The New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University has a chapter of the only active co-ed pre-medical fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon, as of 2008. Greek organizations are governed by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. Twelve organizations maintain chapters in New Brunswick without sanction by the University's administration. Students involved in Greek Life must meet academic eligibility requirements including maintaining a cumulative 2.5 GPA, completion of 12 credits, and be a currently enrolled full-time student. Some individual organizations hold a higher GPA requirement.
Many Greek Organizations hold fundraising events specific to their philanthropy. However, it's Rutgers tradition that our students participate in one of the largest student-run philanthropic events in New Jersey. All proceeds go to the non-profit organization, Embrace Kids Foundation. This foundation advocates for children with cancer and blood disorders. Dance Marathon includes over 400 dancers pledging to stay away and stand for 32 hours with the support and help of 500 volunteers. Dance Marathon 2015 collected a record breaking $692,046.67.
In the late 19th century, the University banned fraternities because of their unusual hazing practices. This caused them to go underground as secret societies. It also sparked the interest of some students to create their own societies. Cap and Skull was founded at Rutgers before the turn of the 20th century.
Today, Rutgers is well known for four of its vocal ensembles: Voorhees Choir (the university's women's ensemble), Kirkpatrick Choir (the university's most selective coed ensemble), Glee Club (the university's most esteemed male ensemble), and University Choir (a larger mixed choir).
In 2011, The Iota Psi chapter of Sigma Chi raised a national Greek record of $167,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network with the help of seven sororities: Alpha Chi Omega, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Phi Sigma Sigma, Sigma Delta Tau, Sigma Kappa, and Zeta Tau Alpha.
The Grease Trucks are a group of truck-based food vendors located on the College Avenue Campus. They serve traditional grill fare, Middle-Eastern specialties, and are especially well known for serving "Fat Sandwiches," a sub roll containing various ingredients such as cheesesteak, burgers, pork roll, chicken fingers, French fries, mozzarella sticks, eggs, bacon, gyro meat, marinara sauce, etc. The Rutgers Grease Trucks were located in a designated lot for nearly two decades until August 2013. Truck owners were forced to relocate due to the construction of a $84 million student apartment complex. Three trucks remain on the College Avenue Campus, while the remaining two were moved to the Cook/Douglass Campus.
The Dance Marathon is a student-run organization that consists of a year-long series of fundraisers and culminates with the annual Marathon on April 5–6 in the College Avenue Gym. At the Marathon over 400 dancers pledge to raise funds and remain standing for 32 hours without sleeping. The 'Dancers', along with over 500 volunteers and countless visitors, are entertained by live bands, comedians, prize giveaways, games, sports, a mechanical bull, computer and internet access, various theme hours and much more. Rutgers has held this tradition since 1999 and to date has raised in excess of $1.3 million for the Embrace Kids Foundation. In the seventies the Dance Marathon raised funds for the American Cancer Society. In the Eighties it was the Rutger Cancer Research Association.
RutgersFest was a day-long cultural event staged variously on either Livingston Campus or Busch Campus. It was designed to promote college spirit through student organization participation with activities and entertainment throughout the day, culminating with a free concert and fireworks at night. The event was free to all students and guests and was funded as part of an elected programming fee paid by all students as part tuition. Past musical guests have included: Kanye West, Everclear, Sugar Ray, Guster, Goldfinger, Ludacris, Reel Big Fish, Method Man and Redman, Fuel, Third Eye Blind, Hawthorne Heights, NAS, SR-71, Ok Go, N.E.R.D and Pitbull. The event would feature carnival attractions such as bungee bull, bouncy boxing, moon walk, electronic basketball, a recording studio and more. Attendance for the annual event was about 40,000–50,000, topping out at an estimated 65,000 in 2004 at the event which featured Kanye West and Sugar Ray. The event was staged by the Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA), formerly known as the Rutgers College Programming Committee (RCPC), as a year-end celebration before the start of the final examination period.
During its final year in 2011, the festival was held on Busch Campus. Invited musical guests included Yelawolf, Pitbull, and 3OH!3. Several violent incidents that year lead to the indefinite cancelation of the event. President Richard McCormick, in a letter to the Rutgers community, commented: "The problems that occur following Rutgersfest have grown beyond our capacity to manage them, and the only responsible course of action is to cancel the event."
Colors, mottos and mascots
Rutgers University's only school color is scarlet. Initially, students sought to make orange the school color, citing Rutgers' Dutch heritage and in reference to the Prince of Orange. The Rutgers student publication "Targum" (which would go on to become the Daily Targum) first proposed that scarlet be adopted in May 1869, claiming that it was a striking color and because scarlet ribbon was easily obtained. During the first intercollegiate football game with Princeton on November 6, 1869, the players from Rutgers wore scarlet-colored turbans and handkerchiefs to distinguish them as a team from the Princeton players. The Board of Trustees officially made scarlet the school color in 1900.
In its early days, Rutgers athletes were known informally as "The Scarlet" in reference to the school color, or as "Queensmen" in reference to the institution's first name, Queen's College. In 1925, the mascot was changed to Chanticleer, a fighting rooster from the medieval fable Reynard the Fox (Le Roman de Renart) which was used by Geoffrey Chaucer's in the Canterbury Tales. At the time, the student humour magazine at Rutgers was called Chanticleer, and one of its early arts editors, Ozzie Nelson (later of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet fame) was quarterback of the Rutgers team from 1924 to 1926. The Chanticleer mascot was unveiled at a football game against Lafayette College, in which Lafayette was also introducing a new mascot, a leopard. However, the choice of Chanticleer as a mascot was often the subject of ridicule because of its association with "being chicken." In 1955, the mascot was changed to the Scarlet Knight after a campus-wide election, beating out other contenders such as "Queensmen", the "Scarlet", the "Red Lions", the "Redmen" and the "Flying Dutchmen." Earlier proposed nicknames included "Pioneers" and "Cannoneers". When Harvey Harman, then coach of the football team, was asked why he supported changing the Rutgers mascot, he was quoted as saying, "You can call it the Chanticleer, you can call it a fighting cock, you can call it any damn thing you want, but everybody knows it's a chicken." Harman later is said to have bought the first "Scarlet Knight" mascot costume for the 1955 season, which was to be his final season as football coach at Rutgers.