Cornell is considered one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. There are more than 500 registered student
organizations, running the interest gamut from kayaking to full-armor jousting, from gospel choirs and a capella groups to improvisational theatre from political clubs and publications to chess and video game clubs. Cornell also boasts one of the largest
fraternity and sorority systems in North
America, with over 60 chapters involving up to a third of the student body.The large number of organizations can cater to any interest or taste. Many are subsidized financially through a mandatory
Student Activity Fee levied by the Cornell University Student Assembly, the student government. However, the ability
to socialize with numerous people of a particular interest does not necessarily breed inter-communication between groups.
Criticism of this phenomenon in the numerous ethnic/religious based groups is acute.
University housing is broadly divided into three sections: West Campus, Collegetown and North Campus. As a result of President
Hunter R. Rawlings III's 1997 Residential
Campus houses mostly transfer and returning students, whereas North Campus is almost entirely populated by freshmen. The only
options for living on North Campus for upper classmen are the program houses, like the Holland International Living Center,
Risley Residential College (fine and performing arts program house) and JAM ("Just About Music" program house).Completion of the North Campus housing initiative in Fall 2001, which included the
addition of two large dormitories, has created a disparity in non-program-non-co-op housing, resulting in 671 freshmen unable to
find standard housing after their freshman year 
.There is a residential college project under construction
on West Campus, spearheaded by the completion of Alice H. Cook House in 2004. Completion of the five-"House" "residential
college" campus will occur in 2010 
. The campus dining services
have been rated as one of the top college dining services many times in recent years.A variety of off-campus housing options exist. Many homes in the East Hill neighborhoods adjacent to the University have been
converted to apartments, and several high-rise apartment complexes have been constructed in the Collegetown neighborhood. A
significant number of undergraduate students live in fraternity and sorority houses. Many "co-op" or other independent living
units such as Watermargin, Telluride House, Young Israel,
and the Wait Cooperative also exist.