Every college has traditions. Ours celebrate inclusivity, self-expression and activism. At Brandeis, you’ll find the familiar alongside the unique. Think rousing sports events and Liquid Latex. Culture X and sledding at Chapels Field.

 

Jamele Adams taking a selfie with students
Jamele Adams takes a selfie with new students

This Is Our House Rally

This Is Our House is the first class-wide event you’ll attend at Brandeis as part of New Undergraduate Student Orientation.

Emceed by Dean of Students Jamele Adams, This Is Our House celebrates the Brandeis community. Slam poetry, art and musical performances highlight our founding values of inclusivity and equality and our shared mission to make the world a better place. It’s a memorable introduction to the campus vibe.

Two students: one is playing a violin; the other has headphones on in front of DJ turntablesCulture X

Every April, students produce Culture X, an evening of dance, music, poetry and other forms of artistic expression. It’s a celebration of our multicultural community.

With 16 affiliated student clubs helping, the Intercultural Center organizes Culture X, one of the most powerful and popular shows at Brandeis.

Evenings at Chum’s

The campus coffeehouse is officially called Cholmondeley’s, but everyone on campus knows it as Chum’s. Tucked at the base of the iconic Usen Castle towers, Chum’s is a student-run hangout that hosts open mic nights, musical performances and other events by Brandeis clubs and organizations.

Weekends or weeknights, you’ll find Chum’s is buzzing. Show up and take a seat on a comfy sofa. Order a pressed sandwich, milkshake, or an exotic blend of coffee. Then sit back and enjoy the show.

You never know who might take the stage: Tracy Chapman, Adam Sandler, Mike Posner, OK Go, and Genesis have all performed at Chum’s.

Liquid Latex

You won’t find this annual festival anywhere else. Liquid Latex features Brandeis students dancing in latex paint – and only latex paint. Students come together with friends to choreograph dances, design latex costumes and perform before their peers. Liquid Latex has even been featured in the New York Times. Past performances have included choreographed dances to Hansel and Gretel, Pokémon, and Greek and Roman mythology.

Springfest

Students in a crowd sing along with a performer on stage

Kendrick Lamar, Icona Pop, Childish Gambino, American Authors and Jessie J are just a handful of the artists who have performed at Brandeis in recent years at Springfest, a yearly concert on Chapels Field held the weekend before final exams.

Along with the headliners, local musicians – and maybe even some of your peers at Brandeis – share the spotlight and perform.

You can get close to the action and dance by the stage, or listen from a distance. Gather with your friends on the grassy hill overlooking the performances and get lunch from one of the many food trucks at the event.

Soccer players celebrate a victoryWe, The Jury

Brandeis student-athletes have won national titles, earned All-American honors and gone on to represent their countries at the Olympics. Cheer on all 17 Judges varsity teams. Whether you attend a soccer or basketball game, a track meet or a fencing competition, you are part of The Jury.

Watch a video about athletics.

The 24-Hour Musical

Every fall, the Undergraduate Theater Collective – Brandeis’ largest student-run theater group – stages the ambitious 24-Hour Musical. 

The actors and singers have 24 hours’ notice to memorize lines, make costumes and prepare sets for a musical performance. You’ll find that the finished product is a humorous and impressive display of acting chops and singing skill. 

Recent renditions include “Legally Blonde,” “Seussical the Musical” and “High School Musical.”

Midnight Buffet

Students tossing shirts from a balcony to students belowEach semester the Brandeis Student Union organizes a takeout dinner known as the Midnight Buffet for the entire campus.

You’ll want to be at the Usdan Student Center when the clock strikes 12. Enjoy food from restaurants across Waltham served buffet style and representing an eclectic spectrum of cuisines, from pizza and Chinese takeout to Ethiopian samosas and froyo. 

After the feast, you’ll have a chance to catch a tank top or T-shirt thrown from the balcony by the Student Union organizers.

Students playing saxophones and a trombone outside the campus centerThe Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts

Every April, Brandeis hosts the Festival of the Creative Arts, named for former Brandeis music professor and world renowned composer Leonard Bernstein.

The Festival of the Creative Arts showcases nationally acclaimed performers and visual artists through music, dance, theater, film and art, and involves hundreds of students, faculty, staff and alumni. You may even perform in the festival yourself.

Library Hill Sled Races

Snowstorms and blizzards are part of New England winters, along with beautiful winterscapes and the occasional snow day. That’s when you’ll see classmates sledding down a steep hill between Chapels Field and the library. 

Don’t have a sled? No problem. Grab some cardboard and join your friends.