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Davis, California

Friday, October 15, 2021

Seize opportunities to get involved on campus

You’ve made it to college. Got the grades, did the extracurricular activities, took the SATs. Now you’re going to one of the largest campuses in the UC system, which may be as great as it is overwhelming.

But one way to help navigate through that first year of college at UC Davis is to get involved in some of the student clubs and organizations on campus.

Paul Cody, a coordinator for the Campus Union for Student Involvement, encourages students to get involved in all that UC Davis has to offer.

“With 30,000 students here … getting involved helps with a greater connection to the campus and finding a smaller group helps with the transition,” Cody said.

The 300 student-run functions and organizations on campus not only reflect the campus’s diversity, but also its creativity, athleticism, passion and humanity.

So, to make it a little easier for incoming first-year and transfer students, here is a guide of the many ways to get involved on campus.

Student Government

Students interested in having a role in student affairs, a passion for politics or just a general interest in how money is being used on campus will find common company with the Associated Student of UC Davis (ASUCD).

ASUCD Vice President Previn Witana, a fifth-year senior biological science major, wants students to know of all the opportunities for involvement no matter their interests or major.

Organized in a traditional three branch government model, with executive, legislative and judicial branches, ASUCD is unique in that it is independent of the University of California Student Association and it is the closest UC student government to the state capital.

In addition, ASUCD has a variety of student commissions in charge of different campus activities, student bodies and concerns including academic affairs, gender and sexuality, business and finance and the environmental commissions.

“There’s a little bit out there for anyone. It’s never too late to get involved … we are always here with open arms,” Witana said.

Outreach Assembly Speaker Sabrina Dias suggests the best way for students to get involved is to check listings for positions available in ASUCD at vacancy.ucdavis.edu.

To find out more about student government, students can attend open senate meetings every Thursday at 6 p.m.

Greek Life

UC Davis has over 76 different fraternities and sororities on campus with 12 percent of the student population participating.

There are many different kinds of fraternities and sororities on campus. From social fraternities to community service-oriented sororities to even professional fraternities, there is something for everyone.

Joaquin Feliciano, UC Davis’s Greek life coordinator, wants students to know that the Greek life is not what you see on TV or movies.

“[The Greek system] is well-organized and a tight community, where students get good advice, networking and tremendous academic and social support. And when [you] leave Davis [you] will have brothers and sisters wherever you go,” Feliciano said.

A great resource for interested students is the Greek Finder, at greeklife.ucdavis.edu, which narrows down a student’s interests to specific categories and finds a fraternity or sorority that matches with your interests.

Outside Recreation

What’s a better way to meet some new people than to join a sport, explore the wildness or while taking an arts and craft class? At UC Davis, you can do all that and more.

Intramural sports offer students of all athletic levels to join or form teams in more than 25 varying sports from basketball and flag football to inner tube water polo and dodge ball. Online registrations for fall quarter and instructions can be found on campusrecreation.ucdavis.edu.

Outdoor Adventures (OA) located next to the Silo gives students the opportunity to explore and discover the wilderness with a guide.

Ali Grechko, a career staff coordinator at OA, feels that students should really take advantage of OA sooner than later.

“If we do get first-year or transfer students early, they get leadership opportunities [in our guide schools],” Grechko said.

Specific trips Grechko recommends for first-year and transfer students are the kayaking trips, which provide transportation, and the Point Reyes backpacking trip over Thanksgiving, during the time when the dorms are closed.

Students who want to explore their creative or artistic sides will find the Craft Center as a great resource. With more than 100 classes including photography, woodworking, screen printing and welding, there is something for every budding artist. Craft Center volunteers will receive a discount on its classes and free use of the facility.

Student Clubs

There is a wealth of student clubs and organizations on campus ranging in interests, community involvement and multicultural, religious and academic emphasis. Here are examples of just a few.

H.E.L.P. (Help and Education Leading to Prevention) is a student organization devoted to fighting and educating about poverty. Volunteer opportunities include working with local homeless shelters and foster homes. H.E.L.P. hosts a weekly soup kitchen and will hold a two-day event called ‘Empathy not Apathy’ this year.

TOMS Shoes Campus Club is inspired by the shoe brand’s 1-for-1 movement. For every pair of shoes bought, TOMS Shoes donates a pair for a child in developing countries. Junior biomedical engineering major Laura Cantu said that anyone that is enthusiastic about TOMS and their mission should join. Owning a pair of TOMS shoes is not required.

Popping Club is a recreational club focused on the style of dancing called popping, popularized by Michael Jackson. Senior biochemistry major Lawrence Wong said the Popping Club is open to dancers of all levels.

“Popping Club is very open to everyone and is a great way to meet people and be bonded through the interest of dance,” Wong said.

To find out more information about these and other campus clubs go to spac.ucdavis.edu. An Activities Fair will be held Oct.13 on the West Quad.

Experimental College

A fixture on the UC Davis campus since 1966, the Experimental College (EC) is a chance for students to take alternative and unique classes, not offered by the campus. From belly dancing to a circus school for dogs and classes in holistic health, the EC, located in the South Silo building, is a chance for students to experience something new.

Hannah Moore, EC office coordinator, said the EC is affordable, student run and for community as well as the students.

“It’s a place where students come to learn and be connected,” Moore said.

Moore recommends the bike maintenance class for UC Davis students. Popular classes include Hapkido, a martial arts class, and the winter cooking classes.

JESSY WEI can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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