Student life @Purdue University in West Lafayette
About one-third of the single undergraduate students on the West Lafayette campus are housed in University Residences. The rest live in fraternities, sororities, cooperatives, or private off-campus housing. There are 11,844 spaces available for undergraduate students, graduate students, and student families who choose to live on campus. Sixteen percent of the undergraduate student body are members of the 40 fraternities and 20 sororities on campus.
Purdue University operates fifteen separate residence halls for its undergraduate and graduate students, including Cary Quadrangle, Earhart Hall, First Street Towers, Harrison Hall, Hawkins Hall, Hillenbrand Hall, Hilltop Apartments, McCutcheon Hall, Meredith Hall, Owen Hall, Purdue Village, Shreve Hall, Tarkington Hall, Third Street Suites, Wiley Hall, and the 5 Windsor Halls: Duhme, Shealy, Warren, Wood, and Vawter. Of the residence halls, Cary and Tarkington are male-only while Windsor is female-only; the remainder are coed.
There are 12 cooperative houses at Purdue (5 men's houses and 7 women's houses). The men's houses include Circle Pines, Fairway, Marwood, Chauncey, and Gemini. The women's houses include Ann Tweedale, Glenwood, Twin Pines, Maclure, Stewart, Devonshire, and Shoemaker. All cooperative houses are governed under the Purdue Cooperative Council which is led by Purdue University students who live in these houses. The cooperative system allows for a much lower cost of living than other types of housing, averaging $2900 annually with all-inclusive monthly rent ranging from $250-$625 varying by house. The members take an active role in sharing chores and cooking all meals themselves, as opposed to hiring out cleaning and cooking staff.
Purdue University hosts the nation's third largest Greek community, with approximately 5,000 students participating in one of the 46 men's fraternities or 29 women's sororities. Several of Purdue's most distinguished graduates are members of fraternities and sororities.Purdue's Greek system is very strong and works together in various aspects, including the Inter-Fraternity Council, Panhellenic, and many very successful philanthropies. Every chapter has their own national philanthropy dedicated to a certain cause that many chapters also participate in. Besides philanthropy, Purdue Greeks are involved all over campus, including College Mentors for Kids, Purdue University Dance Marathon, Boiler Gold Rush, Purdue Student Government, and other activities.
Activities and events
Students at Purdue participate in more than 900 student organizations that cover a variety of interests. Some of the notable clubs founded by Purdue students include the Purdue Reamer Club (a school spirit organization that cares for the Boilermaker Special mascot and raises funds for scholarships) and two clubs that eventually became nationwide organizations: the National Society of Black Engineersand the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.
Several campus-wide programs are planned by the Purdue Alumni Student Experience (part of the Alumni Association), Purdue Student Union Board, Purdue Student Government (PSG), or the Purdue Graduate Student Government (PGSG). PSG and PGSC are made up of representatives from each of the university's academic colleges and give recommendations to the faculty, administration, and sometimes to the state legislature.
Annual campus events include Boiler Gold Rush, Spring Fest, and Grand Prix. Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) is Purdue's new-student orientation program. BGR, which takes place before each fall semester, was formed to ease the transition to college for incoming students and to help them get acquainted with successful college life. Boiler Gold Rush activities include speaker presentations from various academic, cultural, safety and professional organizations on campus, campus tours led by Team Leaders, academic 'meet the schools' picnic and interest sessions, late night events at the Purdue Memorial Union, Recreational Sports Center and local stores, and a sports pep rally. Spring Fest is an annual carnival with entertaining exhibits from many academic departments. A highlight of the weekend is the Entomology Department's Bug Bowl, where the sport of cricket spitting was invented in 1997. The Purdue Grand Prix, a 50-mile, 160-lap go-kart race is "The Greatest Spectacle in College Racing" and wraps up Gala Week each year. All 33 participating karts are made from scratch by student teams. The event has been raising money for student scholarships since it began in 1958.
The Purdue Exponent, an independent student newspaper, has the largest circulation of any Indiana college newspaper, with a daily circulation of 17,500 copies during the spring and fall semesters. From 1889 to 2008 Purdue published a yearbook called the Debris.
WBAA is a radio station owned by Purdue University. The station operates on the AM frequency of 920 kHz and FM frequency of 101.3 MHz. Its studios are in the Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music on the Purdue campus, and the transmitters are located in Lafayette, Indiana. WBAA is the longest continuously-operating radio station in Indiana, having been licensed on April 4, 1922. WBAA airs NPR and local news/talk programming during the day. Overnight, the AM station airs jazz while the FM station airs classical music.
There are also a few campus radio stations on campus. Currently, three radio stations operate from residence halls, broadcasting via internet only; WCCR from Cary Quadrangle (not to be confused with the current WCCR FM or WCCR-LP stations in other states), WILY from Wiley Hall, and WHHR from Harrison Hall.
W9YB is the callsign of the Amateur Radio Club at Purdue University. W9YB is the longest standing club on campus and also holds the self declared title of having one of the largest and most active collegiate amateur radio stations in the country. W9YB actively participates in emergency management for the Tippecanoe County area and maintains ready status with its members in skills to assist. W9YB is among the longest standing amateur radio clubs in the United States, with the current callsign dating back to 1932 and the previous callsign 9YB dating back to 1920.
On October 26, 1891, a newspaper in Crawfordsville, Indiana, called Purdue's football team the "Boiler Makers" when writing about their trouncing of Wabash College. Lafayette newspapers soon picked up the name, and in October 1892, The Purdue Exponent, Purdue's student newspaper, gave it the stamp of approval. In the early days of Purdue football, the team was called other names as well, including "haymakers," "railsplitters," "sluggers," and "cornfield sailors." This heritage is reflected in Purdue's current mascots: the Boilermaker Special (a truck-like vehicle that resembles a locomotive) and Purdue Pete (a muscular hammer-wielding boilermaker). The school colors of old gold and black were selected by Purdue's first football team in 1887 to resemble the orange and black of Princeton's then-successful team. The best known fight song is "Hail Purdue!".
Purdue has one of the few college athletic programs that is not funded by student fees or subsidized by the university. It is home to 18 Division I/I-A NCAA teams including football, basketball, cross country, tennis, wrestling, golf, volleyball, and others. Purdue is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference, and played a central role in its creation. Traditional rivals include Big Ten colleagues the Indiana Hoosiers, the Illinois Fighting Illini, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Purdue’s baseball facility was named in honor of two alumni, Anna Margaret Ross Alexander and her husband, John Arthur Alexander, when the new stadium was dedicated in 2013.
The Boilermaker football team represents Purdue University in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Darrell Hazell is Purdue's current head coach, the 35th in the program's history. Purdue plays its home games at Ross-Ade Stadium on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The Boilermakers compete in the Big Ten Conference as a member of the West Division. With a 592–515–48 record, Purdue has the 49th most victories among NCAA FBS programs. Purdue was originally classified as a Major College school in the 1937 season until 1972. Purdue received Division I classification in 1973, becoming a Division I-A program from 1978 to 2006 and an FBS program from 2006 to the present. The Boilermakers have registered 64 winning seasons in their history, with 19 of those seasons resulting in eight victories or more, 10 seasons resulting in at least nine wins, and just one season with ten victories or more. Of those successful campaigns, Purdue has produced five unbeaten seasons in its history, going 4–0 in 1891, 8–0 in 1892, 8–0 in 1929, 7–0–1 in 1932 and 9–0 in 1943. The Boilermakers have won a total of 12 conference championships in their history, including four Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles and eight Big Ten Conference titles. The program is also notable for being one of only two universities – the other being the University of Alabama – to produce three Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.
Found on a farm in southern Indiana, the Old Oaken Bucket is one of the oldest football trophies in the nation. The winner of the annual Purdue vs. Indiana University American football game gets to add a bronze "P" or "I" chain link and keep the trophy until the next face-off. Ironically, the first competition in 1925 led to a 0–0 tie, resulting in the first link on the chain being an "IP." Purdue currently leads the trophy series at 57-27-3.
During "Breakfast Club", best described as a cross between a pep rally and a Halloween party, students and even some alumni dress up in costumes, from traditional Halloween garb to creative hand-made costumes, as they bar-hop before Boilermaker home football games. The Breakfast Club plays a significant role during the football season and is informally a part of Purdue tradition. Many Boilermaker fans are dedicated; getting up at 5 am on Saturdays and lining up at the bars on Chauncey Hill and the levee by 6 am. The Breakfast Club tradition also takes place the day of the annual Purdue Grand Prix race in April.
The Purdue Boilermakers basketball team competes in NCAA Division I and is a member of the Big Ten Conference. In 2005, Matt Painter became the head coach in West Lafayette. Painter took over the head coaching job from the winningest coach in school history, Gene Keady, becoming the second former Boilermaker basketball player to take the lead role. Purdue basketball holds the record for most Big Ten Championships with 22. The Boilermakers have reached two NCAA Tournament Final Fours and won a non-NCAA recognized National Championship for the 1932 season, awarded several years later by the Helms Athletic Foundation. It has sent more than 30 players to the NBA including two overall No. 1 picks in the NBA draft. Purdue shares a traditional rivalry with in-state foe Indiana University, and holds a 112-88 series lead, although Indiana leads the series by a significant margin since the 1939 NCAA tournament era. The Boilermaker men's and women's basketball teams have won more Big Ten Championships than any other conference school, with 27 conference banners. Purdue men's basketball has an all-time winning record against all Big Ten schools except Ohio State.