The motto around Grounds is "work hard, play hard". Students at the University take this motto seriously, and they combine
their academic pursuits with a lot of exercise and partying (not necessarily at the same time). It is often joked that "everyone
is a runner" at the University, and many students can be seen on a run in any season of the year. Indeed, the 2005 Kaplan/Newsweek guide "How to Get into College"
, which lists twenty-five universities its
editors consider notable in some respect, recognizes UVa for being the "Hottest for Fitness", mentioning that 94% of the students
take advantage of at least one of the four recreation centers. Rugby Road and the fraternities are home to much of the social scene, as are private apartments
along Jefferson Park
Avenue and around the outskirts of the University.Student life at UVa is marked by a number of unique traditions that set the University apart from other American colleges. The
campus of the University is referred to as "the Grounds," and seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen are instead called
Fourth, Third, Second and First Years. A number of benevolent, secret societies, from The 7 Society to The Z Society, have operated at the
University for decades, leaving painted marks on buildings which they help to fund. Other significant secret societies include
IMP, the Purple Shadows, the Raven Society, and the Rotunda Burning Society.A positive attitude regarding the libraries exists among the students. A national publication's survey recently revealed that
UVa's students give their library system higher marks than students at any other school in the United States. The most famous
library may be Alderman Library for the humanities and social sciences, which contains seemingly endless stacks of arcane subject
matters (and many useful study nooks hidden among them). UVa's renowned Small Special Collections Library feature one of the
premier collections of American Literature in the country. Clemons Library, next to Alderman, is a popular study spot. Hundreds
of students can be found gathered on its various quiet floors on any given night. Clark Hall, home of the Engineering Library,
also gets high marks.Relative to nearly all other public universities, the University of Virginia has minimal red tape, paperwork, or bureaucracy.
UVa's ratio of staff-to-faculty is kept low, allowing for an efficient allocation of funds directly into paying faculty (who
enjoy the top 1% among public university salaries across the country) and educating its students. It is also a frequent
observation that the faculty are very approachable and enjoy interacting with their students. Several of the faculty live on
Grounds, either on the Lawn in the various Pavilions or as fellows at one of three residential colleges (Brown, Hereford, and
International).Volunteerism at the University is centered around Madison House, which offers numerous opportunities to serve others. Among the numerous programs offered
are Tutoring, Housing Improvement, and Hoos Against Hunger (where leftover food made at restaurants is given to Charlottesville's
homeless rather than being thrown away).The ideas of student governance, left from the school's Jeffersonian roots, still hold strong at UVa. UVa's Honor System
originated in 1842 and was the first to be administered by student elected officials, with
student juries. In this "single sanction" system, the penalty for lying, cheating, or stealing is expulsion from the University.
The Honor System here was the model for similar systems in place at West Point, Washington and Lee, and other American universities notable for their adherence to systems of
honor. A well-known verse written by a student over 100 years ago (James Hay Jr. in 1903)
ends "I have worn the Honors of Honor; I graduated from Virginia.