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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Just Davis things


Debunking UC Davis myths, stereotypes

Does the entire campus actually have the scent of the Tercero dairy cows? Is taking Chem 2A truly the worst decision any undergraduate student could ever make? Is Davis really surrounded by desolate farmland? UC Davis is subject to a variety of myths and stereotypes, however, some tend to be truer than others.

There is no doubt that UC Davis has cows. In fact, cows are not only an animal on campus, but they are also a destination — visiting the dairy cows next to the Tercero dorms is number four on the Aggie Traditions List. However, the potent scent that these cows bring has founded the stereotype that UC Davis is a “cow town.”

“I don’t think it’s an actual stereotype — it smells by the freshman dorms because they’re closer to the actual dairy,” said Lizzie Riggall, a second-year animal science major who has interned at the dairy. “I haven’t smelled it on the main part of campus, but I could just be used to it by now.”

Although the Davis cow town stereotype can seem to prevail, class rumors floating around, such as the first course in the lower division Chemistry series, CHE 2A, being an impossible feat, appear to be relative to the student.

“The freshman come into it not really knowing how to study yet,” said Kimberly Trevino, a first-year graduate student in the department of chemistry and chemistry tutor. “They think they can just attend lecture to get through [CHE 2A], but in actuality you have to attend lecture and go through all the practice problems to master them, because when coming to the exam […] you should just know how to do it.”

Another overarching stereotype that other UCs have coined for UC Davis is that farmland isolates Davis from the rest of the world, the only fun thing available on the weekends being to visit Yoloberry for some frozen yogurt. However, this is not necessarily true, for if someone is seeking adventure, Davis is in between most activities imaginable.

“I just got back from guiding a six day Yosemite trip,” said Jess Tierney, a fourth-year environmental science major and Outdoor Adventure guide. “Point Reyes is also pretty close [and] our day hikes usually go to Auburn which is just east of Sacramento. We go to the Sierras, there is a car camping trip to Tahoe and sea kayaking in Tahoe and Tamalpais bay. Everything is relatively close and if you wanted to take a trip on your own it’s pretty easy to get to those spots.”

An event that is stressed every year in the months leading up to spring is UC Davis’ well-known Picnic Day. The community, students, plus campus organizations and departments that showcase their year’s work for the city during this April festival usually agree that this is an important day of the year.

“Picnic Day is a very fun day on campus and allows clubs and organizations to show the interested and active lifestyle of students,” said Oscar McBain, a second-year international relations student. “It’s a very well-rounded day and it appeals to both parents and students. It really brings people together.”

Of all the stereotypes other parts of California may designate to the UC Davis campus, Davis being a bike town is one that will stand true for the years to come.

“I’ve heard at least statistically that [Davis] is the second highest city in the world for biking,” said Jeremiah Kepner, a Davis resident who held a free bike repair event last Wednesday. “It is very much a bike town, and everyone uses bikes to either commute or road bike for fun. It’s easy to get to where I need to be, and I don’t have to worry about how long I am parked.”


Written by: Austin Carroll – features@theaggie.org


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