The residential environment is an important part of a Susquehanna education. The university offers a broad variety of living arrangements, student services and extracurricular programs to help students identify and achieve their desired academic, personal and professional goals.
Extracurricular Activities and Organizations
Cultural Opportunities. The Arts at Susquehanna. The university regularly sponsors nationally and internationally acclaimed artists and programs for the enrichment of the university community. Students have the opportunity to meet and learn from artists of stature in music, dance and theatre. Recent performances include ZUM, Philadanco, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and The Nutcracker starring the Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet Theatre. Tickets for performances are free to students.
The Visiting Writers Series, in conjunction with the university Writers' Institute, brings six prominent writers to campus each year for short-term and long-term teaching residencies and public readings.
Susquehanna is one of about 55 colleges and universities participating in the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Program and has hosted a Visiting Fellow each year since 1976. The program promotes greater contact, understanding and sharing of ideas and experiences between the academic community and the world of practical affairs. The Foundation invites distinguished public figures and scholars to spend a week on campus meeting formally and informally with students and members of the university community. Recently Susquehanna has welcomed community activists, former ambassadors, international education leaders, politicians, journalists, and artists in this distinguished series.
The Department of Music regularly presents recitals by faculty members and solo and ensemble programs by students. The Department of Theatre annually presents a modern musical theatre production, a classic production, a modern play, and student-directed one-act plays. Academic departments and student clubs and organizations frequently sponsor lectures.
Student Organizations and Activities. There are more than 100 student organizations on the Susquehanna campus. Among these are 21 honor societies; a variety of club and intramural sports; and academic groups, including language, business and science clubs. There are also special interest organizations, including America Reads, SU International, the Black Student Union, WomenSpeak, the Gospel Choir, Computer Consultants, Catholic Campus Ministry, and the national coed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. Another student group, the SU Ambassadors, assists the offices of alumni relations and admissions in hosting events for Susquehanna graduates and prospective students.
The Student Activities Committee plans many of the major social events on campus. It sponsors activities for all students, ranging from dances to coffee houses with entertainment, films, videos and lectures. Annual special activities include the Spotlight talent show, Spring Weekend, hypnotists, casino night, and two major concerts featuring such contemporary performers as Gym Class Heroes, Better than Ezra, Guster, and Dierks Bentley.
Charlie’s Coffeehouse, a student-run facility, is where the university community can enjoy food, drinks, and activities such as movies, poetry readings, craft nights and game nights. TRAX, another student-operated venue, is a campus nightclub that hosts themed dance parties, bands, and comedians.
Student Government. The Student Government Association provides a responsible and representative student organization to assure an active student voice and role in governing the university. The Student Senate, the legislative branch of the Association, provides a forum for student opinions. It deals with issues of concern to the entire student body and seeks solutions to campus problems. The Senate allocates funds collected through the student activity fee. Student representatives serve on university committees and the board of trustees to promote communication and cooperation among students, faculty and the administration.
Student Publications. The Crusader is the official student newspaper. It is published weekly throughout the school year except during vacation and examination periods.
The Lanthorn, Susquehanna's annual yearbook, contains a record of college life in pictures and prose.
The Susquehanna Review is a student-edited and produced, nationally distributed magazine that includes work from undergraduate writers from schools throughout the United States.
Essay is a student-written and edited magazine exclusively featuring creative nonfiction and photo-essays from Susquehanna students.
Rivercraft is the Susquehanna University literary magazine. It includes stories, poems, and essays written and edited by a staff of creative writing majors.
Variance is a literary magazine focused on the exploration of diversity. It features nonfiction essays, articles, and personal stories and poetry written by students, staff, and faculty.
Multicultural Organizations. The university offers many programs designed to affirm cultural diversity and prepare students to live in a pluralistic society. The Diversity Council is made up of representatives from recognized student groups, including the Asian Student Coalition; the Black Student Union; the Brotherhood organization for men; the Hispanic Organization for Latino Awareness; the Gay-Straight Alliance, which also helps support the Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Susquehanna University, a confidential support group for GLBTQ persons; Susquehanna University International; and Sigma Gamma Rho, a national traditionally Black sorority. All multicultural activities and organizations are open to all interested persons; you do not need to be a member of a minority group to join. These organizations are supported by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, located in the Degenstein Campus Center.
Theatre, Radio and Television. Susquehanna University Theatre offers students instruction in theatre through classes and three faculty-directed productions each year. In addition, a student-directed One-Act Play Festival is held annually.
WQSU-FM is a licensed, noncommercial, public radio station serving the Central Susquehanna Valley with an effective radiated power of 12,000 watts. It is the third most powerful college station in Pennsylvania and has a potential audience of 250,000 listeners. The station is an integral part of the academic program of the Department of Communications.
A state-of-the-art television studio is located in Apfelbaum Hall and features sophisticated equipment to offer students hands-on experience in program production, studio camera techniques, computer-generated graphics and special effects. A nonlinear Macintosh video editing system accommodates both traditional video and high-definition television (HDTV).
Musical Organizations. The music department sponsors a variety of performing ensembles with members from the entire student body. Some groups require an audition.
The University Choir performs choral repertoire from all musical periods. A smaller, more selective group, the Chamber Singers, performs an a cappella repertoire of chamber music. The groups present campus concerts and several area concerts. The University Choir makes an annual concert tour. Membership is by audition. The University Chorale is open to all students by audition. It rehearses and performs a wide variety of sacred and secular choral literature for campus concerts.
The University Orchestra specializes in music for chamber orchestra and is open to all university students by audition. The Jazz Ensemble specializes in all types of jazz repertoire from traditional tunes to contemporary charts. The Musical Pit Orchestra is a specialized ensemble formed for the annual musical production. Membership is by audition. The Symphonic Band, open to all students, by audition, presents concerts on campus. Its repertoire reflects all periods, concentrating on works for the wind band. The Susquehanna University Stadium Band performs throughout the fall at football games, pep rallies and special events. Membership is open to all students.
Smaller woodwind, brass and string ensembles study and perform chamber music literature and give recitals both on and off campus.
Honor Societies. There are 21 departmental and university-wide honor societies.
- Alpha Epsilon Rho is a national broadcasting honor society. To be eligible, a student must be at least a sophomore, have maintained a 3.0 GPA in broadcast studies, and be active in WQSU radio activities. The Susquehanna chapter was chartered in 1985.
- Alpha Lambda Delta is a national honor society that recognizes first-year students with outstanding academic records. Active membership continues through the sophomore year. The Susquehanna chapter affiliated with the national Alpha Lambda Delta chapter in 1977. Members who maintain the initiating average through the senior year are eligible to apply for graduate fellowships offered by the national society.
- Alpha Psi Omega is a national fraternity organized as an honor society for those meeting high performance standards in drama. The Susquehanna chapter, Theta Phi, was chartered in 1941.
- Beta Beta Beta is a national biology honor society seeking to stimulate scholarship, dissemination of scientific knowledge and promotion of biological research. The Susquehanna chapter was chartered in 1980.
- Beta Gamma Sigma is the honor society for collegiate schools of business. Membership in this group is the highest national recognition a student can receive in an undergraduate or master’s program in business or management accredited by the AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. To be eligible for membership, a student must rank in the upper seven percent of the junior class or the upper 10 percent of the senior class, and be committed to the principles and values of the society: honor and integrity, pursuit of wisdom, earnestness and life-long learning.
- Kappa Delta Pi is an international honor society in education. Selection is based on high academic achievement, a commitment to education as a career, and a professional attitude that assures steady growth in the profession. To be eligible, students must have a GPA of 3.4 or higher. The chapter was chartered in 1997.
- Kappa Mu Epsilon is a national mathematics honor society organized in 1931. To be eligible for membership, students must rank in the upper 35 percent of their class and have completed four mathematics courses at or above the Calculus I level with an overall average of B. The Susquehanna chapter was chartered in 1969.
- Lambda Pi Eta is the official honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA). It recognizes, fosters, and rewards outstanding scholastic achievement; stimulates interest in the field of communication; and provides an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas about the field. Membership requires that students have completed at least 60 semester hours at SU with a GPA of at least 3.0, have completed 12 hours in the area of communication study with a GPA of at least a 3.25, and be in the upper 35 percent of their graduating class. The Susquehanna chapter was chartered in 2003.
- Omicron Delta Epsilon is a national honor society in economics. It is available to juniors and seniors in any major who have taken at least 12 semester hours in economics, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in economics, and rank in the top one-third of their classes.
- Omicron Delta Kappa is the national leadership honor society for juniors and seniors that recognizes and encourages superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character. To be eligible, students must be among the top 50 of their class and exhibit leadership in two of five areas: scholarship; athletics; campus or community service, social, religious activities or campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; or creative and performing arts. The Susquehanna chapter, chartered in 1992, is named The Weber Circle in honor of Gustave Weber, university president from 1959 to 1977.
- The National Order of Omega is a national Greek honor society founded to recognize those fraternity men and women who have attained a high standard of leadership in interfraternity activities, to encourage them to continue along this line, and to inspire others to strive for similar conspicuous attainment; to bring together members of the faculty, alumni, and student members of the institution’s fraternities and sororities on a basis of mutual interest, understanding and helpfulness; to help create an atmosphere where ideas and issues can be discussed openly across Greek lines and to help work out solutions. To be eligible for membership, a student must be a junior or senior member of a social Greek organization, have a cumulative GPA equal to or higher than the all-Greek GPA, and be an active participant both within their own chapter, Greek life and campus life. The Epsilon Gamma chapter was chartered at Susquehanna in 1983.
- Phi Alpha Theta is an international history honor society organized in 1917. It promotes the study of history, research, and the exchange of learning and thought among historians. The Susquehanna chapter, Lambda Kappa, was established in 1966 and includes students and faculty. The chapter grants membership on the basis of excellence in the study of history and includes non-majors.
- Phi Sigma Iota is an international foreign language society that recognizes academic achievement in foreign language, literature and culture. Susquehanna's Kappa Omicron Chapter was founded in 1987. The largest society of its kind in the world, Phi Sigma Iota promotes international communication and understanding. To be eligible for membership, a student must be a junior or senior with a GPA of at least 3.00 in all college work and all foreign language courses. The student must be in at least third-year-level courses and rank in the top 35 percent of his or her class.
- Pi Delta Phi is a national French honor society organized to foster scholarship in the study of the French language, arts and culture. To become eligible for membership, a student must have completed one advanced French course, maintained a B average in French, and rank in the upper 35 percent of the class. Susquehanna's chapter, Zeta Alpha, was chartered in 1969.
- Pi Gamma Mu is a national honor society established to encourage and reward interest in the social sciences. The Pennsylvania Gamma Chapter was established in 1927. Its members include faculty, alumni and students. Selection is based on evidence of special interest in the social sciences and a completion of a stipulated number of courses with at least a B average.
- Pi Sigma Alpha is a national political science honorary organization. The Susquehanna chapter, Theta Xi, was chartered in 1977 to promote scholarship and interest in the study of politics. Membership is open to junior and senior majors and non-majors alike, who have completed a specified number of credit hours, have a B average, and who are in the top third of their class.
- Psi Chi, a national psychology honor society, was chartered at Susquehanna in 1968 to advance the science of psychology and encourage scholarship in all academic fields, particularly psychology. To become a member, a student should have completed three courses in psychology with at least a B average, rank in the top 35 percent of her or his class and be accepted by vote.
- Sigma Gamma Epsilon is a national earth sciences honor society. Membership is based on the scholastic and scientific advancement of its members; the extension of the relations of friendship and assistance between the university and scientific schools of the United States and Canada; and the advancement of the earth sciences. High scholarship and active interest in the pursuit of work in the earth sciences are fundamental requirements for membership. The Susquehanna chapter was chartered in May 2003.
- Sigma Pi Sigma is the national physics honor society. The society's motto, translated from the Greek, is "investigation, the forerunner of knowledge." To be elected, a student must have finished five courses in physics, have a 3.0 GPA in physics and a 3.0 overall GPA, and rank in the top one-third of his or her class. The Susquehanna chapter was chartered in 1988.
- Sigma Tau Delta is a national English honor society organized to promote respect for the study of the English language and literature. The Susquehanna chapter, Theta Chi, was chartered in 1987.
- The Society for Collegiate Journalists is a national mass communication honor society that was created in 1975 by the merger of Pi Delta Epsilon and Alpha Phi Gamma. The Susquehanna University chapter was chartered in 1993 and includes students, alumni, faculty and staff. To be eligible for membership, a student must serve a campus communications medium for one year and be in good academic standing. Active membership is limited to 20 students.
Athletics. Susquehanna recognizes the important role that sports play in college life. The athletic program, under advisement by a faculty/student committee, is an integral part of the educational objectives of the university. More than half the student body participates in intercollegiate, intramural or club sports.
Susquehanna is a NCAA Division III member and offers the following varsity sports: baseball, basketball (M/W), cross country (M/W), field hockey, football, golf (M/W), indoor track (M/W), lacrosse (M/W), outdoor track (M/W), soccer (M/W), softball, swimming (M/W), tennis (M/W) and volleyball (W).
Susquehanna currently offers the following intramural sports activities: flag football, tennis, racquetball, dodgeball, volleyball, three-on-three basketball, five-on-five basketball, outdoor soccer, indoor soccer, softball, ultimate Frisbee, floor hockey, sports trivia tournament, whiffleball, and flag football tournament. The university also offers Pilates and cardio kickboxing fitness activities.
Fraternities and Sororities. Approximately 20 percent of Susquehanna’s students are members of Greek organizations. There are four national fraternities for men: Theta Chi (Beta Omega chapter), Phi Sigma Kappa (Delta Hexaton chapter), Sigma Phi Epsilon (Pennsylvania Phi chapter), and Tau Kappa Epsilon (colony). There are five national sororities for women: Alpha Delta Pi (Gamma Omicron chapter), Kappa Delta (Beta Upsilon chapter), Sigma Gamma Rho (Rho Theta chapter), Sigma Kappa (Epsilon Delta chapter) and Zeta Tau Alpha (Iota Nu chapter).
First-year and transfer students may not join a Greek organization until their second semester on campus. They are eligible only with a cumulative and previous semester GPA of at least 2.24.
Volunteer Programs. Many students are active in volunteer programs with agencies in the local community. Programs are sponsored by the Department of Residence Life & Volunteer Programs, the Office of the Chaplain, fraternities and sororities. Groups of students may also propose volunteer projects and live together in university housing under Susquehanna’s Volunteer Project House System (described in the Residence Life section). Initiatives include environmental and sustainability projects, tutoring middle school students, and working with the elderly and people with disabilities. There is also a campus chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national coed service fraternity founded in 1925 and open to all college students. The Susquehanna chapter was organized in 2000. Susquehanna is also home to a nationally-renowned Hurricane Relief Team program in which three teams of faculty, staff and students are deployed to the Gulf Coast each year
Religious Life. Susquehanna is affiliated with the Lutheran Church (ELCA) and welcomes students of all religious backgrounds as well as those with no religious affiliation. Like the ELCA, the university is open and ecumenical, and seeks to develop an understanding of our ethical and spiritual responsibilities. The Chapel Council coordinates the activities of 13 different religious groups including Catholic Campus Ministry, the Gospel Choir, Hillel, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Lutheran Student Movement. The university chaplain and three student deacons conduct a wide variety of programs of worship, learning, service and spiritual growth, and the chaplain is available for consultation and counseling. A number of students and faculty also participate in various churches, temples and other religious institutions in the area.