Students raising their hands to an illuminated Light of Reason

Light the Night, an annual first-year tradition

Campus traditions are at the core of a university's culture. At Brandeis, we celebrate inclusivity, activism and self-expression. 

That's not to say that we don't do the classics. Turning out the whole campus for a Judges playoff game? You bet — the Jury will be there in force. Celebrating the spring weather with a stellar concert lineup? Break out the glitter and good vibes.

But there are other traditions here that you just won't find anywhere else — from sled races to cultural celebrations to dance performances that raise latex body paint to a fine art form (ask The New York Times). They're just part of what makes Brandeis, Brandeis.

Instrumentalists playing music, wearing Brandeis University shirts

The Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts

Leonard Bernstein is one of history's great musicians and composers — and one of Brandeis' most revered professors. Every April, in his honor, Brandeis hosts the Festival of the Creative Arts — an immersive showcase of campus talent as well as nationally acclaimed performers and visual artists, involving literally hundreds of students, faculty, staff and alumni. 

It's a creative tour de force, encapsulating music, dance, theater, film and art. You may even perform in the festival yourself!

A person playing a violin and a person at a computer, on stage at Culture X

Culture X

Every April, 16 student organizations combine their powers to put on Culture X — an evening of multicultural revelry in the form of dance, music, poetry and other creative expression from across our community and the world.

A genuine labor of love produced with the help of the Intercultural Center, Culture X is one of our  most powerful and popular shows of the year. 

Exterior of Chum's

Evenings at Chum’s

Brandeis' campus coffeehouse is officially called Cholmondeley's — but that's a mouthful. So we call it 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 put on by Brandeis' 200+ 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.

Paint colors in containers

Liquid Latex

You won't find this annual festival anywhere else. Liquid Latex features Brandeis students dancing, as the event's name suggests, in latex paint — and only latex paint. 

Come together with your friends to choreograph dances, design costumes and deliver a knockout performance on a theme of your choice — from modern takes on classic mythology and folk legends to modern takes on modern classics, like Pokémon. Or just enjoy the show!

Springfest concert


We love our idyllic New England winters, but when spring rolls around, we make the good weather count — and there's no better way to mark the change in season than with music and food in the sunshine. 

Springfest, our annual concert held on Chapels Field the weekend before final exams, has included Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Icona Pop, supported by a mix of local acts and Brandeis's own up-and-coming musicians. 

Whether you want to get up close to the action or take in the view on a grassy hill (with ready access to a fleet of food trucks), Springfest is a chance to have fun and let loose — whatever your speed. 

Soccer players on the field

We, the Jury

Brandeis is a friendly, welcoming, inclusive community — but that doesn't mean we don't love to win. Our student-athletes have earned national titles and All-American honors, and gone on to represent their countries at the Olympics. 

And with 19 varsity teams ranging from soccer and basketball to fencing and track, there's no shortage of chances for the Jury superfans to turn out in force to support the Judges. 

So break out the signs, the chants and the body paint, and get ready to make some noise as the Judges deliver justice across the UAA and DIII competition. 

Performers on stage holding colorful balls

The 24-Hour Musical

Every fall, the Undergraduate Theater Collective — Brandeis' largest student-run theater group — stages the ambitious 24-Hour Musical. Actors and singers have 24 hours' notice to memorize lines, make costumes and prepare sets for musical performances like "Legally Blonde" or "High School Musical."

Sound impossible? Think again. The finished product is an always delightful mix of humorous renditions and truly impressive performances. 

Students enjoying the Midnight Buffet

Midnight Buffet

Each semester, the Brandeis Student Union organizes a takeout dinner for the entire campus known as the Midnight Buffet.

You'll want to be at the Usdan Student Center when the clock strikes 12:00. Enjoy a mouthwatering buffet of dishes from restaurants across Waltham's impressive foodie scene, representing an eclectic spectrum of cuisines — from pizza and Chinese takeout to Ethiopian sambusas and froyo.

The food is definitely the main event, but if you can look up from your plate, you might have a chance to snag some swag as it's thrown from the balcony by the Student Union!

Person sledding down a hill on campus

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. 

No sled? No problem! Grab some cardboard, a trash can lid or anything that looks slide-y and get out there!