College Campus Life Is a Blast with UST’s Student Activities

As you begin to settle into your academic semester, you may wonder what your social life will look like for the rest of the year. Maximize your college experience by amping up your activities, learning things outside of the classroom and making the best of college campus life. Don’t let your college experience be “all work and no play.”

With so much to do around campus, there’s a little something for everyone. Here are some fun student activities to add to your social calendar this year. You can also find a full list of student activities on the Campus Events Calendar.

Recurring Campus Events

You’ll find plenty of fun campus events and parties to attend here at UST. In fact, it’s important to take your mind off school work sometimes and invest in a social life to help avoid burnout.

Neewollah

Neewollah is an annual Halloween bash and a 50-year-old campus tradition. Join in on the legacy by putting on your best costume on Halloween night. The organizers at the Student Activities Board always plan a huge party, including a costume contest, pumpkin carving, great food and dancing.

University of St. Thomas – Houston students at the annual Halloween party, Neewollah

Neewollah, the annual Halloween party at the University of St. Thomas

International Festival

Celebrate the diversity that UST campus life has to offer. At the International Festival, students have the opportunity to sample the world’s cuisines, walk through an international bazaar and enjoy incredible cultural performances. Have fun, be social and learn something new about a culture you’ve never experienced. The International Student Society makes this amazing event happen every fall, and you don’t want to miss it.

The student body at the University of St. Thomas – Houston is ethnically diverse

University of St. Thomas students embrace and enjoy a diverse college experience

Musicians entertain the crowd at the University of St. Thomas – Houston International Festival

Performers entertain the crowd at the University of St. Thomas International Festival

St. Augustine’s Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest offers a great opportunity to show your family what college campus life is all about! Every fall, students enjoy Oktoberfest during Family & Alumni Weekend, when they can relax and reconnect with family, alumni and faculty. This campus event is packed with food, interactive inflatable games and a beer garden. Have some relaxed fun and show your family what makes UST your home away from home.

University of St. Thomas – Houston students enjoy German-inspired food at St. Augustine’s Oktoberfest

UST Houston students enjoy German-inspired food at St. Augustine’s Oktoberfest

St. Augustine’s Oktoberfest at the University of St. Thomas – Houston is packed with student activities including games

UST’s St. Augustine’s Oktoberfest is packed with student activities, such as interactive games

Deck the Mall at Christmas

Celebrate the end of the semester and the most magical time of the year at the Deck the Mall event in December. Enjoy snow (yes, snow!), Christmas carols and St. Nick himself alongside UST peers, faculty and family. Per tradition, University President Dr. Ludwick will ceremoniously light the UST Christmas tree at the academic mall, and students will enjoy student activities such as singing carols, a petting zoo and hay rides around campus.

Students enjoy a rare snowball fight at Deck the Mall at the University of St. Thomas - Houston

Students enjoy a rare snowball fight at Deck the Mall

University of St. Thomas - Houston student meets Santa at Deck the Mall

Students meet and greet with Santa at UST’s on-campus holiday event

Chili Cook-Off Competition

Sample chili at UST’s annual Chili Cook-Off competition. This fun event boasts chili recipes from a number of competitive teams (individuals, organizations and even faculty members) who are all vying for the title of Best Chili. Find out who can cook the best chili on campus. Maybe it will be you! Contact the Center for Faith and Culture at 713-942-5066 to get more info and register your team.

Campus Performances & Exhibits

Do you have a love for the arts and other cultures? You can attend numerous student activities that feature amazing arts and performances from UST students, Houston neighbors and even talents from around the world. Experience the wonders of the arts on campus grounds.

Menil Collection

The University of St. Thomas campus is within walking distance of the renowned Menil Collection. This gallery features the private art collection of John and Dominique de Menil, housing more than 1,700 pieces of 20th century art.

UST Art Gallery

Wander over to our very own UST Art Gallery at 3907 Yoakum Boulevard. The gallery hosts various art exhibitions every month, showcasing brilliant students and artists from around the globe.

University of St. Thomas – Houston student in the UST Art Gallery

The UST Art Gallery on Yoakum Blvd displays works from students and international artists

Performing Arts

If performing arts are your passion, check out our original performances each semester by the UST Drama department at Jones Theater, with tickets starting at $5. Watch your classmates and friends showcase their talents on stage at the university.

Fill your ears with a symphony of sounds at Cullen Recital Hall. From string soloists to a full-blown orchestra, you can always find wonderful performances to delight you.

University of St. Thomas - Houston play in Jones Theater

UST students star in plays at Jones Theater

Musicians play on stage in Cullen Recital Hall at the University of St. Thomas - Houston

Musicians play to a live crowd at UST’s Cullen Recital Hall

Utilize College Campus Facilities

Have some time between classes? Enjoy the many amenities that the UST campus has to offer.

Pump It Up and Sweat It Out

All of UST’s current students can enjoy a free membership to the many great features of Jerabeck Activity and Athletic Center, which include:

  • Full-service gym
  • Group fitness classes
  • Large outdoor pool
  • Dance rooms
  • Outdoor sand volleyball court
University of St. Thomas – Houston students exercise in the Jerabeck Activity and Athletic Center

Students enjoy a free membership at UST’s Jerabeck Activity and Athletic Center

University of St. Thomas – Houston students play sand volleyball outside the Jerabeck Activity and Athletic Center

Students play sand volleyball outside the Jerabeck Activity and Athletic Center

University of St. Thomas - Houston students cool off in the campus pool outside the Jerabeck Activity and Athletic Center

UST students cool off in the campus pool

Old Book Store Student Lounge

If you need to unwind and have some fun, catch a quick game of foosball, play a video game on the Xbox and even play an old-school Pac-Man arcade game at the campus Student Lounge (also referred to as the Old Book Store).

Arcade games in the University of St. Thomas - Houston Student Lounge

Unwind in the UST Student Lounge with a variety of arcade games

University of St. Thomas - Houston students play foosball in the Student Lounge

Students join in on a game of foosball in the UST Student Lounge

Career Services and Tutoring Center

Visit Career Services and the Tutoring Center, where you can improve your skills in writing, creating résumés and going on interviews, or participate in several workshops organized to help you achieve success.

A University of St. Thomas – Houston student works with a tutor in the UST Tutoring Center

The UST Tutoring Center offers help in writing, résumés and interviews

Roar for the Celts

Here at UST, there are three things to know about our athletics team: We are called the Celts, our mascot is a roaring lion and our team spirit is a huge part of campus life. Get into the college spirit and cheer on our UST sports teams as they compete against other colleges.

Another great reason to support the sports at UST is that some of our games help raise funds for charity, such as the Pink Game. Games are also held during UST Family Weekend & Senior Night in October, so the whole family can get involved. Get the full college experience by attending one of our Celts games. Check out the Celts schedule for all the games this semester.

Want to get even more involved in sports at UST? If you have what it takes to become a Celt rather than sitting in the stands, find out how you can get recruited by visiting the UST Celts page. You can choose from a huge variety of sports for both men and women, including basketball, soccer, golf and cross-country. Discover your athletic potential and represent UST as an official Celt!

Student athletes, UST Celts, compete in a University of St. Thomas – Houston basketball game

Students enjoy Celts basketball at UST

Student athletes, UST Celts, compete in a University of St. Thomas – Houston volleyball game

Celts women battle in a fierce game of UST volleyball

Student athletes, UST Celts, compete in a University of St. Thomas – Houston soccer match

The UST soccer team plays great playoffs with other colleges at Houston Sports Park

More to College Life – Join a Student Organization or Club

Our student organizations provide a variety of opportunities for students to get involved. Joining a club or student organization is a great way to develop a new interest, pursue your favorite activities, foster your leadership skills and connect with other students and faculty members.

From graduate and departmental clubs to non-profit and council clubs, students have a chance to explore beyond their classroom and enhance their overall college experience.

Students take a break on the University of St. Thomas – Houston campus

The college experience at UST is all about community in campus life

Attend UST’s Club Fair in early September and find out more about the different student organizations that you can join, including:

Student Government Association (SGA)

Let your voice be heard and make a real impact on college campus life for UST students. With several roles available, you can find the one that best suits your interests and talents. With your involvement, you have the opportunity to enrich other student experiences and make a real difference in your campus community.

University of St. Thomas – Houston students participate in the UST Student Government Association

Make your impact now by joining the UST Student Government Association

Student Activities Board (SAB)

Get more involved and be the brains and hands behind organizing student events on campus. Grow your skills in event planning, project management and leadership by bringing together UST students through movie nights, lectures, dances, special events and even next year’s Spring Formal.

Student attends University of St. Thomas – Houston evening event

UST hosts large events, dances, lectures and cultural celebrations

University of St. Thomas – Houston students exercise outside

Students work out in a group fitness class

Celts Toastmasters

Want to get rid of a looming fear of public speaking and improve your leadership skills? Celts Toastmasters provides the opportunity to build confidence by providing a learn-by-doing, supportive and positive environment.

University of St. Thomas – Houston student gives UST Celts Toastmasters speech

Conquer public speaking fears by joining the UST Celts Toastmasters

Psi Chi Club

One of the many departmental student clubs on campus, this club serves students who are interested in psychology. The Psi Chi Club holds a variety of student activities and workshops, from lectures to community service, for both undergraduate and graduate students.

University of St. Thomas – Houston students in UST’s Psi Chi Club listen to speaker

UST’s Psi Chi Club helps students learn more about psychology

University of St. Thomas – Houston Psi Chi Club member teaches psychology to children

Work with the UST community to teach psychology to new generations

Our list of clubs and organization is always growing. Don’t see a club you’re interested in? Create your own! UST students are encouraged to grow their potential through college campus life, even if that means starting a new tradition or group. Browse through all the possibilities on the Clubs and Student Organizations page.

Experience College with Faith

The University of St. Thomas and the Basilian Fathers hold the values of goodness, discipline and knowledge. We are committed to the religious ethical and intellectual traditions of Catholic higher education. Our university thrives on these values to ensure that students are educated as leaders of faith and character. Students have the option to attend any of the masses at the Chapel of St. Basil, available seven days a week.

To get more involved, check out the numerous events held by on-campus organizations such as Campus Ministry, Celts for Life Club and Blessed Sacrament, all of which can help you grow your faith and relationship with God. For further information, visit our Catholic Identity page.

University of St. Thomas – Houston Campus Ministry students share info at their table

On-campus organizations help UST students become more involved with their faith

University of St. Thomas - Houston students and clergy member exit the Chapel of St. Basil

The Chapel of St. Basil brings spiritual life to the University of St. Thomas campus

Students at the University of St. Thomas – Houston attend mass in the Chapel of St. Basil

It’s easy to make your faith a part of your campus life at UST

You’ll never run out of fun things to do on the University of St. Thomas campus. If you have questions about campus activities or would like more guidance about getting involved, call the Student Affairs office at 713-525-3570.

Ready to visit the University of St. Thomas campus and experience college campus life yourself? Just fill out this form to schedule a visit!

By Azma Aslam and Cody White

About the Author — StThomasHouston

The University of St. Thomas is the only Catholic, liberal arts university in Houston, Texas. We have 35+ undergraduate majors including STEM, Nursing, Business, Education and Pre-Med. Located in a vibrant urban environment just minutes from downtown and the famed Texas Medical Center, we welcome students of all races and religions to our diverse and collaborative campus.

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