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Davis, California

Monday, October 25, 2021

Just Davis-y things

ALEXA FONTANILLA / AGGIE
ALEXA FONTANILLA / AGGIE

Students discuss UC Davis-specific phenomena

Like most college campuses, there are some trends at UC Davis that are truly unique to Davis students. From petting the cows to the phenomenon that is ucdsnaps, most Davis students are aware of the popular sights on campus.

As a leading agricultural university, UC Davis is home to many animals, including the famous dairy cows that neighbor Tercero. Taking selfies with animals has become a UC Davis tradition.

“When you live in Tercero […] next to the cows, you have to take cow selfies — it’s [one of] the Aggie traditions,” said Keara Bergin, a first-year nutritional science major. “[When I first visited], I went over and took a selfie, and the cow started eating my hair. I have a picture on Instagram.”

Though the cows are a popular trend on campus, they are not the only animal phenomenon at Davis. Many students also report sightings of “the duck couple” roaming around campus.

“I heard of [the duck couple] from my friend,” said Yashodhan Kulkarni, a first-year computer science major. “Whenever I came back from class at night, I used to see them just walking randomly. They’re sort of independent; they just walk wherever they want.”

According to Kulkarni, the duck couple is often accompanied by a third duck.

“I think [the ducks] have their own group,” Kulkarni said.

The UC Davis Quad is another defining feature of the campus, perhaps because of a few familiar people that regularly walk its grounds, such as Casey Davis, penny whistle musician and Student Academic Success Center specialist. Davis can be easily recognized by his signature green cape and brown brimmed hat.

“I usually just hang out around the Quad if I’ve got some spare time during my lunch break,” Davis said. “I just go find a bench and sit down and start playing some tunes. People walk by, [and] some people stop to listen.”

Davis has been playing the penny whistle, a woodwind instrument similar to a flute, for approximately 20 years.

“My parents have been playing Irish folk music off and on for most of my life, and so I already had a whole bunch of the tunes bouncing around inside of my head,” Davis said.

He bought his first penny whistle on his way home from watching the Irish film The Secret of Roan Inish. Inspired by the movie’s Irish folk music soundtrack, Davis decided to teach himself basic fingering methods.

“I started playing some of the tunes I had heard my parents [playing],” Davis said. “When I got to college, I started performing at renaissance fairs and learning music there. I just keep getting more tunes and more styles.”

Davis currently performs at various Renaissance faires as well as for the English Country Dancers club on campus. He highly recommends learning the penny whistle to those interested.

Davis has one word of advice to students at UC Davis: “Be kind to people, never stop learning and make music.”

While the legend of the penny whistler resides on the Quad, the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) is also home to a famous UC Davis trend: claiming a spot on the photo wall inside the ARC. Many students strive to get their photo added to the wall, which includes photos of club sports teams and intramural champions.

“There’s definitely a pride [factor] in getting [on the wall],” said third-year civil engineering major Jace Jackson. “It’s on every UC Davis student’s bucket list.”

Jackson made it onto the wall two years ago by winning the intramural table tennis tournament in a final match against his roommate at the time.

“It was cool because I got to get on [the wall] as a freshman,” Jackson said. “[It was] kind of an ego booster.”

In the same tournament, Jackson made the wall a second time in a doubles table tennis tournament.

“My mom came and visited me for the first time, [and] I didn’t tell her I was on the wall,” Jackson said. “[Then when] I was showing her around [the ARC], I was like, ‘Oh, check out that guy.’”

Another trending topic among UC Davis students is the unofficial UC Davis Snapchat account, “ucdsnaps.” The account is followed by a large population of UC Davis students and posts various Snapchat submissions, with subjects ranging from sunsets to naked body parts.

“I don’t think a lot of the stuff on “ucdsnaps” is even legal,” said first-year animal science major Nina Hahn. “People seem to use it as a means to find various drugs and hookup[s], which I guess is why it’s super popular.”

Hahn believes that the appeal of “ucdsnaps” is the anonymity of posts, which only last 24 hours.

“It’s easy and it’s fast and it can be kind of entertaining,” Hahn said. “Someone in Davis has a pet duck, which I like to see on “ucdsnaps” every once in awhile.”

Written by: Allyson Tsuji – features@theaggie.org

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