What a wild weekend is like at St. FX, Canada’s top party school

From ‘greasy suite parties’ to using a vuvuzela to funnel beer, one student describes life outside the classroom at St. Francis Xavier University.

St. FX Kiss

Bishop’s Ball (Gordon La)

Maclean’s ranked the top party schools in Canada, and St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., topped the list as the place where students spend more than 7 hours on average — the high was 30 and the low was 0 — partying each week. According to our campus correspondent, the weekend begins on Wednesday and carries on to Sunday. What follows is a compiled account of party events at the Nova Scotia university that she has personally experienced, although not all on one weekend. If you want to read a similar compilation of party experiences from U of T, where students report they party the least, check out this story.*

Think your school is the real party powerhouse? Send us your party stories. Submissions should be under 300 words and emailed to letters@macleans.ca.


8:15 AM: Wake up for my morning class after resisting the urge to go out the night before. When St. FX weekends begin Wednesdays with Wing Night at The Golden X Inn and continue until Sunday, morning attendance is directly correlated to my willpower.

9:00 AM: My group chats are pinging silently throughout the class, determining where and with whom I will drink tonight. As I balance note-taking with replies to my friends, a plan is crafted for the night to come.

9:30 AM: I grab breakfast at meal hall before setting up camp in the library for the day. I try to be as productive as possible without focusing on the night to come.

3:30 PM: I pile into my friend’s car and we head to the liquor store to stock up for the weekend. We each buy a two-four (24 beer), and head back to the rental house I share with five friends I met in residence my first year.

5:00 PM: With house music softly thumping from the living-room sound system, I determine my outfit for the night. Factoring in the weather, the venue, and what my roommates are wearing, I bounce between closets and confirm my attire, grabbing a drink on the way back to my room.

5:45 PM: I join the other girls in our shared washroom, fighting for mirror space with curling wands in hand. Drinks line the window sill—a second for most, but for me, my third.

6:30 PM:  About a dozen friends arrive, each three or four drinks into their night. I help set out our customized beer pong table in the living room, partner up and begin playing.

8:30 PM: After several rounds of beer pong and an intense drinking/gambling card game called Ride the Bus, our group is ready to depart. The end goal, as per every Friday, is the Inn, our student-union run pub, but as the night is still young I depart for the first venue – an off-campus party.

9:15 PM: Arriving at the rented house, I quickly discover that past and present residents of MacIsaac Hall, a rival residence, are hosts. Signalling to my comrades not to disclose our freshman home, I follow them into the crowd, singing to the amateur DJ’s Friday-night mix.

10:30 PM: A fight breaks up the party, and I back away from the brawl. When the cops arrive, I join about 75 people rushing to campus, shielding the remaining liquor in my coat.

10:45 PM: We spot flashing lights coming from a residence hall. I determine they are coming from a suite occupied by the house president at Chillis, one of two all-female residences. Hardly spacious, we call these “greasy suite parties” or GSPs for short, because they are so cramped and hot. I usher my friends into the building.

11:00 PM: Singing along to a Lizzie McGuire classic, I find my match for the GSP. Dancing to a series of club bangers, he and I share no names, just the sway of our hips to the music.

11:45 PM: I’ve had my share of sweaty first- and second-year Chillis girls and neighbouring MacNeil boys dancing on tables, couches, and each other. Kissing my dance partner goodbye, I find my friends and stumble over to the Inn.

St. FX Keg Stand Cropped


12:00 AM: A three-minute walk quintuples as I coax a weeping friend from the ground. Reminded of an ex-boyfriend or a failed calculus assignment or God knows what, I persuade her to continue to the bar as it closes in an hour.

12:05 AM: It’s Justin Bieber night , filled with drunk girls and a surprising number of guys. Although not my preferred watering hole, the off-pitch screaming of Sorry was entertainment in itself.

1:20 AM: Shooed from the bar when the lights turn on, I dash to the Wheel Pizza and Sub shop, stuffing my face with a slice before hitting the hay.

10:00 AM: Conveniently for my hangover, the library doesn’t open until 10. Inconveniently for my to-do list, I’ve lost most of the morning. Once I find a highly-coveted table next to the window in the library reading room called the Hall of the Clans, I decide I’m staying in tonight.

7:45 PM: I have my head in  the books all day, until the closing bell sounds. Hoping my house is quiet enough to study, I trek home.

8:00 PM: I can hear the music when I turn the corner to my street. I ask what the plans are for the night, assessing the possibility of productivity. The destination is a frosh party at my old residence. A difficult offer to resist, I dig out my old residence t-shirt and hats and pull some beer from the fridge.

8:30 PM: To catch up fast, I down three beer before grabbing some drinking games and running to the party.

8:45 PM: It is filled to the brim with eager first-years hoping for a hit of campus culture. We cheer “drink frosh!” and watch the masses obey.

9:30 PM: Pulling a vuvuzela from my well-used frosh kit, I teach the kids how to convert it into a funnel. With four continuous beers poured in without a breath of air, I can sense my my insides trying to reverse the flow, but resist the urge to puke.

9:35 PM: I signal for a fifth beer to be poured in, which tips me over the edge. I run to the nearest bathroom to expel the contents of my stomach.

11:30 PM: After a post-funnel breather, some dancing, and a tequila shot for the road, I join the crowd of legal-aged peers heading to the pub – an Irish-style tavern that is converted into a mock dancehall after dark.

12:00 AM: After braving the lineup in sub-zero temperatures, my friends and I stumble through the door.  I stash my jacket behind the neon VLT machines before dancing into the crowd.

St. FX Dance

Bishops’ Ball dance-off (Gordon La)


2:00 AM: After shedding my weight in sweat from dancing, the bouncers signal for remaining patrons to leave. Making our way across the street to Kenny’s Pizza, I indulge once again in my after-bar favourite.

2:30 AM: The end of the weekend looming, I make friends with students in the same state. Ordering a nightcap —another beer— from the patient man behind the counter, I look around for the friends I started the night with.  I find a housemate and we stumble home.

10:30 AM: In the morning, I huddle in the living room with my friends, recounting what we know and would like to know from the night before. We air our misfortunes and celebrate/criticize those who followed us home and spent the night.

12:00 PM: The grind begins again, giving me a few days off before the temptation of Wing Night looms once again. After all, the real measure of success at StFX is maintaining good grades while having this much fun.

Julia O’Hanley is a third-year student studying political science at St. Francis Xavier University and serves as the editor-in-chief of the Xaverian Weekly.

* Correction: The introduction has been changed from the original published version to reflect the fact that the events depicted, although real, did not happen in chronological order over one weekend. Maclean’s regrets the impression that they happened all at once.


What a wild weekend is like at St. FX, Canada’s top party school

  1. This is cool that an Acadia Student is writing about her weekend at X! I’m glad you came to visit our awesome school! The first thing that tipped me off about your slight misunderstanding of the party culture at X was the fact you didn’t go out on a Thursday, silly, everyone know Thursday Night is Splitties Night at Split Crow… The second being you didn’t start drinking until late that night, classic mixup, everyone knows that once you finish meal hall you rush back to Res no later than 6 and start getting absolutely polluted. Blacking out by the time you get to the party is the overall goal. At Acadia I am sure you awake from your slumber at 8 am to go to the library but let’s be honest even Burke won’t stumble into Angus until after Lunch… 5 beers in one gulp? That Is impressive and impossible even for Jack Gillis. So next time you talk about a weekend at X maybe you should talk to someone who goes there…

  2. Seriously? This is a series? Is your editor a high-schooler?

  3. Ridiculous way to spend your youth. Repulsive, immature behaviour. Grow up and stop wasting your life.

  4. Since when did binge drinking and bragging about it become national news? In light of the news item this past week about the 18 year old student who died playing one of these drinking games, it’s in poor taste for Macleans to be publishing and encouraging such articles. I always thought of Macleans magazine as being a news magazine for intelligent people – – obviously, I was mistaken. I can only imagine how “proud” O’Hanleys family on PEI is of her “accomplishments”.

  5. It’s easy to write an entire page on drinking while at university; this experience isn’t solely at STFX. I must point out that that articles you publish are completely dependent on the people who write them; in this case, the person willingly went drinking and partying. This is not a forced initiation, but rather a choice. One that happens alot for some, but little for others. This article barely highlighted the downtime, and schoolwork that goes on between the nights out. Nights out aren’t everything to everyone. This is only a small portion of people at X, and if you only allow those who party alot to write your articles, then you’ll only attract more people that party alot. Expand your articles, McLean, into other subjects. Perhaps focus on the tremendous national scholarships some students hold that the university, the musical talents that have emerged from the community, or the family-like feeling that you obtain when you attend STFX. There are so many other parts of STFX that this article leaves out. Maybe, just maybe, good articles would focus on something more meaningful and specific to STFX than a general university stereotype.

    • Very well said!

      Just keep in mind “a lot” is two words not one. (Assumed it wasn’t a typo because you wrote it twice.) Us X Grads have to look out for each other!

  6. The only surprising thing about this article is that a Poli Sci major actually spends that much time in the library.

  7. I think it is time the poor the government started to cut funding to these colleges and universities.
    Looks like our taxpayer money is being wasted. If students are really behaving like this then
    it explains their high student debt. Apparently most of it gets spent on booze, bars and partying.
    Too stupid for words.

    • WOW! So you are saying the government funding that goes to universities is being invested on booze and bars and parties for alcoholics?? I had no idea! Maybe the Child Tax Benefit should be cut so Moms and Dads stop buying weed instead of baby formula.

  8. The author of this, Julia O’Hanley, has admitted that she fabricated this story so kudos for posting a work of fiction MacLean’s magazine!
    Thank you STFX for providing me with an excellent undergraduate experience that has left me gainfully employed for the past 14 years and counting.
    I look forward to my daughter attending St.FXU next year because it is the best school in Canada, in my opinion.

Sign in to comment.