Mount Vernon, IA
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College Freshman

Nightlife: I'm more focused on my school work, so I don't go to many parties. But I heard that the ones during pledge week were pretty great.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: while it doesn't quite compare to larger schools, parties at cornell are still extremely fun. there is also a uniqueness factor at cornell (some parties take place over multiple nights, some have different themes, etc.).

3 College Senior

Nightlife: I don't really engage with the partying too much. Many people go out to the bars in town or party off campus, but to really get things started you need to go into Iowa City.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: We like to drink and have fun. There are shuttles2

3 College Junior

Nightlife: It is a very small school so everyone knows what is going on, doesn't matter if it is on or off campus. People can get to the parties they want, but if they are invite only people are very serious about that.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 290th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 368th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1080th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Erin McNeill
Foristell, MO
Sociology/Anthropology, English
View all previous student authors

Nightlife at Cornell doesn’t smack you upside the head as soon as the sun goes down. Weeknights are pretty quiet, both on and off campus, because skipping one night of homework can put you way behind. On the weekend, students often gather in small groups in dorm rooms to watch movies or drink, but large parties almost always get busted in the residence halls. Head off campus to one of the unofficial Greek or athletic houses and you’re more likely to find the typical college party scene. Kegs of Keystone are the norm and most groups charge $5 for all-you-can-drink beer. There are three local bars of varying degrees of newness—and cleanliness. Lately, the bar scene has not been as popular as it has in the past, but if you manage to pick the right night, they will be packed by bar time, usually around 11 p.m. Only one of the bars charges cover, and only for underagers on certain nights—usually weekends. The bars in downtown Cedar Rapids are all 21-and-over to get in, so students looking for a club with a dance floor usually head to the Ped Mall in Iowa City.

If drinking isn’t your thing or you’re underage, there is still plenty to do. The local bowling alley offers affordable fun. PAAC, the student organization which receives the biggest annual budget from the student senate, brings entertainment of some sort to campus, two to three times a block. Bands, comedians, hypnotists, and game show nights are popular attractions with many students.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
1st Street West-where all three bars are located.
Other Places to Check Out
  • Donmar Lanes
  • Lincoln Wine Bar
Local Specialties
Pitcher of Fun: A legacy at Chameleon's, this drink is exactly what it sounds like: lots of fun (alcohol) in a pitcher.
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer Pong
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • Facebook
  • OC Banners-parties and events are advertised here.
  • Today@Cornell-lists events sponsored by Cornell or organizations.
  • Word of mouth
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Chameleon's hosts quarter draws each Wednesday. An 8-ounce cup of one of the four to five beers on tap will cost you just $0.25.
Organization Parties
Many of the Greek groups throw parties off campus-especially during the biannual pre-pledge season. A few other organizations, like Chess and Games, also host parties throughout the year. KRNL-FM, the local radio station, sometimes hosts dance parties in the Ratt.

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Scorz Bar and Grill

Scorz is the newest hot spot on the Mount Vernon bar scene. It boasts a bar with two dance poles, a pool table, and lots of seating.

109 First St. W

Mount Vernon

(319) 895-8453

Chameleon's Pub and Grub

Chameleon's offers a great selection of typical bar food-including the ever popular corn nuggets-during the day and is a hub for Mount Vernon residents and students alike at night.

119 First St. W

Mount Vernon

(319) 895-8654

C & D Lounge

C & D's is a bit on the dingy side, but has a pool table and sometimes live music on weekends.

102 First St. W

Mount Vernon

(319) 895-6160

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

PAAC Events

Cornell's Performing Arts and Activities Council (PAAC) sponsors a variety of nighttime events throughout the school year, including bands, comedians, and game show nights.

On campus

Bijou Theater

The Bijou is a single-screen theater with lots of small-town charm, including a drawing for free popcorn before each showing.

123 Second St. SW

Mount Vernon

(319) 895-6165

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 31 responses

Very poor
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 30 responses

  • 10% There are no good options.
  • 17% Use a designated driver.
  • 3% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 0% Public transportation.
  • 0% Taxis.
  • 70% Walk.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 32 responses

  • 6% Parties? What parties?
  • 6% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 50% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 38% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 0% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.


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