Getting Involved in DU

College time is invaluable not only because of the load of precious knowledge, but also because it can help develop the “whole student”. The concept of “whole student” was introduced at the beginning of the 21st century by many colleges and universities. This concept means that students who attend colleges and universities should not only be able to grow in terms of their knowledge, but also in terms of the connections they have, their networks or physically. At DU, students definitely have the same opportunity to grow in every aspect. Students can join various organizations, student-run clubs and sport clubs. Through these kinds of involvements, international students will be tremendously benefited and will gain memorable experiences that will enhance their college experience.

  1. Student Organizations/Clubs

At DU, there are more than 150 student organizations and clubs that are devoted to helping you meet students that all share the same interests. DU students have the privilege to find an organization for almost anything they want. There is an organization on-campus for almost any interest/hobby. If you go to the link with all of DU’s organizations, you will see that the options vary from Asian Student Alliance(ASA), to Doctors Without Borders DU, or the Society of Women Engineers. Joining a club will not only bring you into an immediate family on campus, but will also guarantee you the best American experience that can even make some domestic students jealous.

To start your journey with a club, you can kick off your search at the Involvement Fair at the beginning of the Fall quarter every year. The hustling environment that is amped up with music is also a great way to kick off your quarter. 

Here’s a quick useful tip: You should sign up for every club email list that even remotely interests you. You will likely find it useful later. 

In case you miss the fair, you can check the DU newsroom anytime since they have compiled a list of some of the most popular clubs around campus. 

To save you the headache of choosing a club for you out of hundreds of them in the list, here are the top clubs that are exclusive to DU students.

  1. The Alpine Club

Once you attend DU, you will be surprised by how famous the Alpine Club is around campus. The club was founded in 1928, so the Alpine Club serves as the oldest and largest individual club at DU. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, no matter your level of expertise – congratulations!!!!! You have found your club. You can check their website at to find out more information about the club and upcoming trips. In the 2018-2019 school year, the Alpine Club successfully held 30 trips in Colorado and New Mexico, Utah, and Montana with up to 375 members. After all, the Alpine Club is dedicated to bring outdoor activities to DU students at all ability levels at affordable prices.

Source: the Alpine Club

  1. A World With 

If the Alpine Club is a club for outdoor lovers, the A World With is a club for elephant advocacy at DU. The club serves a great and ambitious mission, and that is to end the ivory trade around the world since this is the major cause that is leading to the potential extinction of elephants. Since the beginning of the club, the club has now grown into a movement so it welcomes and encourages every student to join.

  1. Late Night @ DU

To international students, many of you may be familiar with movies about the stereotypical American college students who party like crazy and go wild. However, once you get into DU, you’ll learn that Late Night @ DU sheds a bit of light on alternative healthy yet fun late night events besides partying. Comedy shows, poetry reading or open mic nights are provided by the club. Furthermore, the club has also partnered with some campus organizations to host events every week. 

2. DU Sports

If you are into sports, DU is definitely the right place for you. DU is the proud home of 33 NCAA national champions and 17 varsity teams. As mentioned previously, everyone at DU will find their place. That being said, if you are really good at a specific sport, but not as good as NCAA-level athletes, you can go to the tryouts for that respective club. Getting into these DU clubs can be a challenge since you have to train intensely like a pro player and compete regionally, or even nationally in intercollegiate competitions. DU also offers a lot of intramural sport competitions for students who just want to enjoy athletics and experience new sports, like flag football, ultimate frisbee and more. These intramural competitions are offered to all students, faculty, and staff. Feel free to sign up and test yourself!

Notable sport at DU

Although right now DU doesn’t have a football team like most of other universities, DU sports ranks 13th for having the most NCAA Division I champions. The men’s ice hockey team is also incredibly good. The DU Men’s Ice Hockey team has won 8 national titles and ranks second among all of the NCAA team. The regular hockey season starts in October and lasts until April. That means the season almost aligns up with the normal school year, which opens a great opportunity for students to enjoy the game and atmosphere at the Magness Arena, which is located right inside the Richie Center. Tickets are sold two hours prior to the game at affordable prices from $5 to $10 for students. OR if you want to have a season-long pass for free, DU has a yearly tradition that is guaranteed to satisfy you. Every year, DU students camp out about a week before the first game starts, and the first 200 students in line are provided with free season tickets. That sounds amazing, doesn’t it? The tradition started in 2001, when the hockey coach purchased season tickets for only the first two students. However, everything changed since Chancellor Rebecca Chop arrived at DU, as she made the tradition as it is today. 

A DU hockey game at the Magness Arena
Source: Georgia Kyriacou
Student camp out to get the free season-long pass.
Source: University of Denver

Besides the Men’s hockey team, the Ski team is also another outstanding club at DU that won the most titles in the US. During the period of 2000-2010, the team earned seven titles in just ten years, as the team chalked up 785.5 points, bringing to DU nine All-Americans and three individual titles.

3. Other Activities

Other than joining a club or being active in a sport, DU offers many separate events that helps bring students together. 

a. DU Pioneer Carnival

If you attend DU for the first time in the Fall quarter, the DU Pioneer Carnival will be the first proper thing that helps you connect with other fellow students. The Carnival is a week-long series of activities hosted by Discoveries Orientation. During the week, students will take part in various activities like the Scavenger Hunt, or watching a movie under the stars, or playing sports during rec night. At the beginning of the week, all of the new students gather at the soccer stadium for the “One DU” photo, a DU tradition.

Source: Madison Heller – University of Denver

b. DU Night at the Zoo Lights

DU Night at the Zoo is an annual event that is exclusive to only DU students, alumni, staff and family. As a visitor, you will be among the first ones to experience 70 amazingly illuminated acres of lights. Sculpted animated animal covered with light will be everywhere at the zoo, including ones that swing through the trees, jump across lawns, or appear where you least expect them!

c. DU Winter Carnival

The Winter Carnival is another yearly tradition that is hosted by DU to provide the best college experience and strengthen bonds between students. The carnival is a week full of free festivities starting on campus, and ends at the Keystone Ski resort with an extra, yet discounted, cost.

To sum it up, at DU, every student, no matter what their interests are, will surely find their niche one way or another.

Author: Tam Nguyen

Editor: Ronnie Cheng

Learn more about other international student experiences at the University of Denver:

6 Useful Resources Every Student at DU Needs to Know

Scholarships and Other Ways to Fund Your DU Tuition

Getting Around Campus with our Shuttle Program!

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