Have you ever wondered what there is to do in college besides go to class, grind on homework, and hang out with friends? Sure, you can always go out to eat, go for a hike, or hit up the nearest Dave & Buster’s, but some days, you just really don’t want to leave campus or spend money. Oftentimes, your university will have a whole host of events you can attend that are great opportunities to connect with other students, faculty, and alumni. These types of events are both engaging in their own right and may be the gateway to a previously undiscovered field of study, career, or student organization. And, of course, there will be abundant options that serve no other purpose than just having a good time!

Southwestern University has a wide range of recurring events that are great for educational and professional enrichment or for having fun with fellow students.

Academic and educational
  • Brown Symposium: This is a biennial conference featuring lectures, Q&As, art exhibitions, theater performances, book signings, and other events featuring nationally and internationally recognized researchers, authors, artists, and musicians working in a wide array of fields. The event is one of the most widely attended at the University by members of not just the Southwestern community but the city of Georgetown as well. Past symposia have included The Anthropocene, which focused on human impact on the environment; Art and Revolution; and What Things May Come: 3D Printing in the Fine Arts and Sciences.
  • Research and Creative Works Symposium: This annual all-day event showcases the accomplishments of Southwestern students from across all disciplines who have engaged in innovative undergraduate research, art, and entrepreneurial projects.
  • Documentary screenings: Southwestern screens award-winning and eye-opening documentaries on campus each year, including films such as 13th, We Don’t Haze, and Dirt Rich.
  • First-Year Seminar Research Symposium: This is a showcase of the work done by students in their first-year seminar courses. Topics range from whether humans can create emotional bonds with robots, the benefits and ethics of gene editing, the health effects of racism, and the transportive experience of wearing masks.
  • Shilling Lecture: A biennial forum where speakers of international renown offer insightful and unique perspectives on a wide array of issues and open a dialogue on some of the most difficult issues our world is currently faced with. Some recent lecture topics and speakers include Jonathan Haidt’s presentation, The Age of Outrage and What It’s Doing to Our Universities and Our Country”; a moderated discussion between Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile and former presidential advisor Mary Matalin; and Sister Helen Prejean, an anti–death penalty activist who’s presentation was entitled “Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues.”
  • Spring Powwow: Hosted by SU NATIVE (Native Americans Teaching Indigenous Values Everywhere), this free annual event is a place where students and the public can experience Native American culture firsthand, with dancers from tribes as far as Canada participating. Vendors sell a variety of Native American crafts and artwork, such as dreamcatchers, bead work, sand paintings, and flutes. 
  • Study abroad group advising: The Office of Intercultural Learning offers general advising sessions for all students interested in studying abroad in locations such as the U.K., Argentina, Switzerland, and Spain. It’s a great way to get all of your questions answered and to meet other students with similar interests.
  • Career Café drop-in advising: Located in the award-winning Center for Career & Professional Development, the café provides a cozy place to stop by and have your résumé, cover letter, or other application materials critiqued or your questions about postgraduate endeavors answered—all while enjoying a free cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa. 
  • Career Connections Barbecue: This is a chance for students to meet up with alumni in a variety of fields to receive career-related advice and network over a catered BBQ lunch.
  • Free Friday Fotos: Need a headshot for LinkedIn or a job application? Stop by the Center for Career & Professional Development in professional attire and get your photo taken for free!
  • Funded internship information session: This group information session tells you everything you need to know about applying for internship funding. By attending just once, you will always be eligible to apply for internship funding thereafter. 
  • SOAR: The Skills, Opportunities, Action, and Results (SOAR) summit is a two-day interactive conference for sophomores meant to focus on the expansion of career opportunities. Students get the chance to listen to distinguished keynote speakers, work with deputy career advisors, and receive help searching for and securing internships.
For fun!
  • Cinematic Saturday: Head down to the Cove to enjoy showings of movies just out of theaters, such as Spectre, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and pretty much every Marvel movie ever. And best of all, it’s free.
  • Comedy in the Cove: Watch a live stand-up routine performed by a professional comedian as a part of Friday Night Live.
  • Karaoke Night: It’s exactly what it sounds like.
  • Music on the Mall: Each year, SU’s Student Life staff and student organizers put on a live music event hosted on the Academic Mall featuring local bands.
  • Musicals: Every semester, the theater department puts on several plays and musicals with free admission for students. From big-name productions like Heathers to more indie hits like The Effect, there’s guaranteed to be a production you’ll love. 
  • Late-Night Breakfast: Held during the Tuesday of finals week, this is an event where students can do two things very few college kids do during finals: eat and have fun. Head down to the Mabee Commons, pile your plate high with pancakes and other breakfast foods, and sing your heart out at karaoke!
  • Fountainwood Observatory: Southwestern University has its very own observatory, which holds public viewing nights and is located at one of the best spots in Georgetown for viewing the night sky.
  • SING!: Watch members of student organizations perform themed short musical skits, and vote on your favorite. This event is especially popular with members of Greek life.
  • Trivia Night: Bring your friends to the Cove, form a team, and compete for prizes.