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The best thing is the people who are nice and willing to help out with simple requests. I would like to change how the admi...
The best thing is the people who are nice and willing to help out with simple requests. I would like to change how the administration makes decisions about exam schedules in order to allow more flexibility for students so they do not have to stress out. The school is very large because I hardly ever run into the people that I want to, so it's hard to just run into each other and say hi, which means serious coordination is needed in order to meet up with someone. When I tell people I go to Davis, they ask me if I want to go into medicine. I spend most of my time on campus in classrooms attending lectures. People do know that we are a college town and I took a while getting used to it because I am more accustomed to the nightlife in the city, with lights on everywhere and the urban environment, but here, all the stores close early and downtown is not very busy, which is the opposite of the big city. My opinion is that there is a lot of bureaucracy in the administration, which discourages student complaint because they think their concerns will not be addressed anyway, so why bother. For example, I would like to know whether we can get a more effective process to change our testing schedules if we have multiple exams on the same day during finals without going through so much paperwork. I was so discouraged at the process that I just took all my tests and they were all in a row, so it was not a pleasant experience. Also, there should be more communication among the administration. I am not sure what the biggest recent controversy on campus was, but there was a food workers' protest a while ago and hey almost went on strike. There might be a lot of school pride from people who often attend sports games. I am not sure if there is anything unusual about UC Davis, besides that it's one of the few real college towns, since I heard that they're not that common anymore. One experience I will remember is going to the AFI concert on campus and rocking out! I'm not sure what the most frequent student complaints are but mine would be with the administration.
I think students are very welcome of diversity, and I always come across information about diversity resources. Everyone would feel in place here. I don't really notice what students wear to class, although I think I've made double takes at T-shirts with witty slogans on them Different types of students are likely to interact if they are in a group project together or join a club. I wouldn't know how to describe the students in the dining hall, but they are probably a group of friends who already know each other, since people rarely go join strangers at another table unless there's nowhere else to sit. Most students are from California, and many are from the northern part of the state. I think most people should be middle class in financial backgrounds, since these are the ones who most often go to college. I think students are politically active since there are always people asking passerby to register to vote or to sign petitions, and there are always signs telling people to vote, both for student government and for nationwide, state, or local politics. I think students are predominantly left since the state is, and most students are from here, although other political groups also have fair representation here. I don't really hear students talking about how much they'll earn one day, although my roommates and I talked about wanting stable careers that we want to like
no, because commmonly observed characteristics cannot be made into a representative generalization about the population
Professors know names if the class is small or if students go to office hours and mee them. I'm not sure if I've had a favorite class yet. I'm not sure if I've had a least favorite class, but the amount of work involved in all my classes kind of detracted my enjoyment of the material. There are always students studying in the library or in the 24 hour reading room, and in terms of me and my roommmates, I feel like all we do is study, so we never get to do anything fun, although we try to do something on special occasions like holidays, such as eating out. Class participation is somewhat commmon, although usually it's always the same students speaking and I only participate when I feel like it and have something really good to say that I want to share with everyone else. Students probably have intellectual conversations outside class, but I haven't joined in, although my roommates and I occassionally have intellectual discussions amongst ourselves. However, I don't like it when people throw around academic buzz words in common conversation just to show off their intelligence. Students probably are competitive although I don't like that. The most unique class I had was a technocultural studies class where I had to write a completely plagiarized essay by combining words and sentences from many sources to piece together a paper that reads like it was written by one person. My major is sociology with a general emphasis, and I chose it because the department had the most classes that sounded interesting to me. I don't really spend time with professors outside class because the few times when I went to office hours were kind of awkward, although I do want to ask some professors about their research in topics of interest to me, and I had a couple of nice TAs that are really nice and I want to correspond with even after the class The academic requirements are reasonable, although some majors have a substantial amount of prerequistite courses that students stress out about. I think the education is both about getting work and learning for its own sake, since it's best to mix these, but in the US, I think the goal of attending college is to find a career that results in wealth, so it's hard not to escape that mentality.
everyone is a premed or science major; cow tipping; everyone rides a bike
I think the most popular groups, organizations,clubs, and teams on campus are those that have sandwich boards outside, and Greek clubs seem to be abundant. I am involved with Student Housing Television, which runs free movies, important announcements and bulletins, and review sessions (every quarter) through the Student Housing Television channel. I think students in the conventional dorms might leave their doors open, but those in the suites do not usually do so. Athletic events are quite popular since they are always being mentioned, although I have not attended one. Guest speakers are somewhat popular depending on how well known they are. Theater is somewhat popular on an independent level. I haven't had experience with the dating scene, but I would not attend a singles mixer. I met my closest friends in high school and we continued our friendship here, but I haven't met any new close friends here. If I'm awake in the middle of the night, I'm mostly likely studying or doing homework. There are a few interesting traditions like Picnic Day, the Buzz, and the Whole Earth Festival which involve booths from local or school related interests and businesses, and I thinks some are nonprofit ventures. I think people probably party a lot, but my roommates and I never do because we are always too bust studying for upcoming tests. I think fraternities and sororities are important to the people in them because I am always getting flyers from people who want new members to rush. Last weekend, I wrote many papers for finals, although I usually like to go back home for weekends. On Saturday night, I watch SNL! and I don't drink. I go home when I'm off campus since I don't really hang out in the local area.
The best thing about UC Davis is the people. You see genuinley nice, friendly, and open people who are always willing to help...
The best thing about UC Davis is the people. You see genuinley nice, friendly, and open people who are always willing to help you out, even if it's just with reading a map.
Davis is wonderfully diverse and non-judgemental.
My professors all make an effort to get to know me and make an actual connection. They are never standoffish or too busy, and are always available in or outside of office hours.
That this is just a cow-town and isn't scholarly.
Unless you put yourself out there and get involved, Davis can be a fairly quiet town and a bit boring. It helps to make your own fun by joining clubs or sororities and fraternities and meeting people.
The best thing about Davis is the size. It's not too big, not too small. There isn't a feeling of crowding and because of tha...
The best thing about Davis is the size. It's not too big, not too small. There isn't a feeling of crowding and because of that you feel a bit more important to the school, not just another nameless face. One thing I'd change would be the cost of tuition. I remember when my brother went to school here, he paid a lot less than I had do, and it's only a 4 year difference. When I tell people I go to Davis, most people don't even know what I'm talking about or where it is. Some people who have heard of it, know it's a great school. Davis is most definitely a college town. From the bars, to the cafe's with internet access, the small town feel, and the majority of the residents being students;it's a college town. The UCD administration seems like it's trying it's best to offer the students the best education and the best opportunities here at UCD. However, it does not seem that enough is being done to ensure that money isn't spent in areas that could probably wait to be funded. The biggest recent controversy would be the bomb materials found in one of the dorms. UCD seems to have have a moderate amount of school pride, I think the Cal Aggie Band has the most though. Once experience here I'll always remember is my amazingly horrible bike accident on my first day.
My experience with the groups at UCD have been pretty minimal. But I am a big supporter of these groups being implemented. I believe that these groups bring support and awareness and are necessary. I don't know of any type of person that make feel out of place in Davis, maybe a very conservative person? Davis is very liberal and as such a person needs to be very open minded. It depends on the season, rainy season you see lots of rain boots and jackets. Spring brings lots of flip flops and t shirts. Finals week is when the comfy UCD sweatshirts come out. Most of the people who go to UCD are from central or northern California. It seems that upper middle class is the most prevalent here at UCD. Most students here are politically aware/active at least the people I hang out with. Definitely, a predominantly left group. Talking about how much we'll earn one day? Of course, we all worry about that. I will be living in a cardboard box.
Obviously not, we have a variety of people here. Most of the people here are here for veterinary purposes. Our mascot name may have to do with farming but it doesn't really have much to do with it.
Some professors know my name, depends on the size of the class and how much you go to office hours. My favorite class was African American Lit with Clarence Major. He is amazing and very passionate about the subject, it was the first class where having to read when I had a lot of other homework to do didn't feel forced, I was very engaged. Do UC Davis students have intellectual conversations outside of class? Of course they do. The best are usually at a gathering at a friends place or at a cafe downtown. I haven't noticed much competitiveness in my classes, probably for audition processes, yes. The most unique class I have taken was a Voice Class with Melanie Julian, it was an amazing learning experience. My double majors are Theater and English, both departments are completely different from the other. However they are both great, with awesome teachers and classes that really get you where you need to be. In the theatre department you can't help but talk to teachers outside of class. With ym English classes I tend to only do so when I believe I need the help. I think that UCD's academic requirements are great. They ask people to have a well rounded view of the world, and honestly, we really need that. Education at UCD is geared toward what you make it to be. It could be purely for learning purposes but if you make it for getting a job, then it will be. It depends on what classes you take, what major you pick and what opportunities you don't pass up.
That everyone is a farmer and all we do it cow tipping for fun.
I'm part of gospel choir and studio 301. I know in my dorm everyone left their down open. We were really that close. Athletic events, I have no idea about their popularity. As for guest speakers, it depends on the speaker, Bill Clinton got quite a turn out. Theater? I would like to hope it does pretty darn well. The dating scene in Davis? Ooooh I here complaints about this one all the time. I personally, have a boyfriend a couple of hours away. But most people here say that the dating pool is horrible here. My closest friends I met at work, Unitrans! Greek life isn't as prevalent here as I've noticed it is at other schools. But it does exist. Last weekend I went to the city to a club. Go bowling at the MUGA. Off campus? I go home! I'm usually on campus most of my day.
The best thing about UC Davis is its small-town atmosphere and the fun downtown. There are lots of restaurants and a few mov...
The best thing about UC Davis is its small-town atmosphere and the fun downtown. There are lots of restaurants and a few movie theaters in walking distance to the campus. This is especially nice if you are a freshman and not allowed to bring a car with you to school. As a student, I spent a lot of time in the Coffee House. This is a great place to grab lunch, coffee, read the paper, study, or people watch. There is a LOT of indoor and outdoor seating. The Coffee House is the heart of the UCD campus and backs up to the quad area, which is a big grassy lounge when the weather is nice. During the spring, the quad area is bustling with campus groups tabling, frisbee tossers, nap takers, class-ditchers, and friends catching up. Another great thing about Davis is how close it is to a lot of fun places in Northern California. San Francisco, Napa and Tahoe are all close enough to take a day trip. Sports events at UCD are really fun to attend. The Aggie Pack is a big student group on campus that pumps up the crowd at games. At football and basketball games they launch free UCD tube socks and burritos (wrapped in foil) into the crowd. A new football stadium was just constructed and 2007 was the first season it was used. I've heard it's a great facility. UCD just moved into Division 1 sports, so I think the teams are just starting to get better and better. If I could change one thing about Davis, I would add more conservative professors to balance out the unbalanced political rhetoric that gets spewed out in every class ad nauseam. (I discovered only one moderate professor during my four years of studying.) The caliber of professors at UCD, however, is quite impressive. I enjoyed almost all of my classes. Overall, UC Davis is a great school with a lot of fabulous people and wonderful professors.
UC Davis is generally very diverse and welcoming of differing points of view. There are many organizations on campus for whatever beliefs you hold. I'm not sure I can think of a particular type of student that may feel out of place at UCD - perhaps a student who is accustomed to surfing daily? The nearest beach is a few hours away. Most UCD students are from within California. It was pretty uncommon to find out-of-state students, but when I did, they seemed to really enjoy the change of pace. I would guess that the majority of students come from middle and upper-middle class family homes. Students at UCD tend to be overall very politically aware and active. Most of them are typically left of center, although there are groups on campus for conservative students as well. Regardless of your political beliefs, I think you can find a community that fits in with your views at Davis.
I don't think the cow-town stereotype is very accurate. Perhaps when the school was first created, that may have been the case since it was originally established as "University Farm," and emphasized agriculture. UCD students are like most other students at campus communities I have visited - diverse, engaging, fun. The college town atmosphere is definitely accurate, and is a selling point for many. As for the stereotype that there isn't much to do, I think that when you get 25,000 people together, all between the ages of 18 and 23, you are likely to find lots of fun activities in which to parttake. The student body is not a homogenous group, and there is probably a place for everyone to find their niche. The UC Davis campus is large and flat - perfect for bikes. I've never been to Shanhai, but after four years at UC Davis, I wouldn't doubt that the city ranks among the most bike-friendly towns in the world.
I highly recommend that incoming freshmen enroll in Freshman seminars. Coming from high school to a huge university can be intimidating because your classes suddenly have 500 people and you can feel lost. Freshman seminars are one unit classes about random and really interesting topics. There are usually about 10-15 students in each class, and it's a great way to get to know people. My favorite class was Rome and Mediterranean Classics. It was like a history course but with a little extra flavor. The professors I had who teach history courses were all outstanding. Prof. Rauchway teaches a great American history course, and Professor Landau has a few interesting courses on medieval history. The education at UCD is geared more towards learning than job training, which is how college should be, I believe. You learn job training on the job.
Greek life is fun and pretty popular at Davis. It is not nearly as popular as it is with a lot of schools in California, though. If you do not join a sorority or fraternity, you will still have no trouble finding a group of friends to hang out with. At UCD, there are a few different dorm options for incoming freshmen: Segundo, Tercero, Cuarto and Regan. Segundo and Regan will give you the traditional dorm-style rooms down a long hallway. People generally leave their doors open and this is a fun place to live, from what I hear. (Segundo is probably preferable to Regan because the buildings are nicer.) Cuarto dorms are located just off-campus, but are an easy bike ride (or free bus ride) to campus (and if you are a walker, the walk's not so bad either.) Cuarto offers apartment-style living, but without kitchens. Most of the buildings in Cuarto have pools, too. One drawback here is that Cuarto can sometimes be less social than a Segundo type dorm. I had a great experience in Cuarto and loved having a bathroom that was only shared by 4 people, but if I had to do it over again, I would opt for a traditional, Segundo-style dorm. The Tercero dorms are brand new, so I'm not familiar with their style and setup. We had some really cool guest speakers/performers visit campus while I was a student. (2002-2006.) Bill Clinton, one of the Simpsons' creators/producers, Bright Eyes, the father of a kid shot at Columbine...There were many more but those were the few I attended. One of the biggest events that happens at UC Davis is Picnic Day. This happens every year on a Saturday in April, and it's like a big huge carnival that takes over the whole town and campus. This event starts with a parade at around 8 in the morning. It includes fashion shows, dauchsund derbies (really cute), dog frisbee catching contests, cool speakers, food, booths galore, bands, and lots more. Many students start drinking when they wake up and don't stop until that night. People look forward to Picnic Day all year. It's a blast. Every Wednesday afternoon/evening and every Saturday morning, Central Park hosts a farmer's market. Central Park is located a block away from campus and this is one of my favorite things to do in Davis. Local growers bring fresh produce to sell, and students and families come to buy groceries and lay out a blanket on the grass. On Wednesday evenings, particularly in the Spring, students and lots of young parents come and sprawl out while their kids run around and a band plays. Local restaurants set up booths to sell delicious food as well. I highly recommend the Farmer's Market.
Davis is often stereotyped as a "cow town," where there isn't a lot to do. It's also considered one of the last few college towns in the country, meaning that about half of the town's population consists of students. It is also considered a bike friendly campus and town. I've heard that Davis has the most bikes per capita in the world, second only to Shanhai, China.
The best thing about Davis is the people. Everyone here is so friendly and outgoing. As a new student, people would go out ...
The best thing about Davis is the people. Everyone here is so friendly and outgoing. As a new student, people would go out of their way to see if I needed help. I didn't even have to ask anyone where anything was--they wanted to help me just because they noticed that I looked a little lost. Davis is definitely a college town. Most of the population here is students, so everything about the place is geared towards us--there are discounts available to students at most of the businesses downtown, most restaurants are open late a accommodate the college lifestyle. The campus is embedded into the community, so you never feel like just another anonymous person in the city. When you see someone with a Davis sweatshirt at the airport or around town, it doesn't feel awkward at all to say hello and have a conversation. The city and the campus both have a comfortable, inclusive feel. Most of the students live on or near campus so Davis doesn't feel like an commuter school. There is a lot of pride and a real connection between students and the school. The biggest complaint about Davis is that it feels like a small, quiet town. People who are used to a face-paced, big-city life style take some time to get used to it. Downtown is really quaint will small bookstores and shops.
There are lots of vocal student groups on campus, including ethnic clubs and fraternities. It's easy to start a new club, so I don't think there are too many people who feel like they can't make their voice heard. I've actually had the opportunity to speak with a few re-entry students who felt a little out of place when they first got to Davis because they were surrounded by 18-22 year olds. But they found it easier to connect to TAs and professors, and they adjusted well. I don't think kids at Davis are the type to judge anyone. The financial background of students never really comes up. How much money your parents make isn't really an issue and there aren't a whole bunch of rich kids trying to throw their money around. Most kids are middle class, and everyone I know uses financial aide to help pay for school--there isn't any emphasis at all on status or class. It's just a comfortable place where you can be yourself. The campus actually isn't very cliquey and groups mix relatively freely. I don't think anyone feels marginalized, and even if you did, like I said, it's easy to make your voice heard.
It is true that Davis is well-known for our agricultural department and that Veterinary Medicine is a very popular and well-respected course of study here. But Davis offers over 100 different majors ranging from textiles and fashion design to political science and communications. Davis is certainly not a cow-town. I've found Davis to be full of art, music, fashion, and writing. There are 3 art galleries in Downtown Davis displaying work from local artists. Published poets from Northern California give a poetry reading and open-mic every Wednesday night. Bands from all over California play the local cafes and bars. Every spring, the Associated Student Body (ASUCD) puts on free shows on the quad. Big name acts from AFI to BB King have performed at UC Davis in the past year. San Francisco is only an hour's drive away and Sacramento in only about 15 minutes away. I think of Davis as an artsy and hip place that is politically active and socially conscious. There is a strong emphasis on recycling, composting, and living "green." So I think the "hippie" stereotype may be slightly more accurate than the others. I have become much more aware of environmental issues since coming here, but I have never felt too pressured to change my lifestyle, and I've never met anyone who was over-zealous about it.
It's very easy to get to know professors. I've been to a couple of professors' houses. A sociology professor kept an open invitation for students to come to a local coffee shop and discuss concepts that weren't covered in class. They're always begging you to come in to office hours because they get lonely by themselves. Even if you don't like your professor all classes also have a TA who is a graduate student. TAs are always receptive to questions and might be easier to talk to than a professor. I feel like most kids at Davis take their academics very seriously. The standards are pretty high and professors expect you to engage with material, but I don't feel like classes are overly competitive. Most students know the importance of balancing school with social life and activities. As far as intellectual conversations outside of class, my roommate and I talk about our classes all the time. Of course, the two of us are kind of weird. All in all, the academic experience has been very fulfilling. I feel like professors care more about teaching than research and they really want students to learn.
The main stereotype is that Davis is just an Agricultural school and that people only come here to become veterinarians. Another stereotype is that Davis is full of tree-hugging hippies. People also think that Davis is a boring "cow-town" in the middle of nowhere and that there is never anything fun going on.
Probably the most popular group on campus is Aggie Pack. Aggie Pack is a student spirit organization focused on promoting Aggie sports. When a freshman goes to his or her first sporting event on campus, they get a free t-shirt and are admitted into Aggie Pack. The Aggie Pack fills the student section, we stand during the whole game, sing the fight song, do traditional cheers, and sing the alma mater afterwards whether we win or lose. All of our sports have just gone to D-1 so the schedules have been a lot tougher lately, but the sporting events are still very popular. We have a bonfire every year before the football season. Everyone says that the dorm experience is the best and I tend to agree. The RAs plan social and educational events throughout the year to help Freshmen get settled in on campus. Like I said earlier, everyone is really friendly and outgoing. Parties are a part of life at Davis in that you can find them if you want to. But I wouldn't say that Davis has a "party culture," and Davis is definitely not a party school. It's been my experience that most students party responsibly even when drinking is involved. There are services like Tipsy Taxi that keep kids safe and prevent drunk driving.
I love the campus, it's really pretty and easy to navigate on bike, although sometimes with so many students it can be a bit ...
I love the campus, it's really pretty and easy to navigate on bike, although sometimes with so many students it can be a bit hectic and nerve-wracking. People always respond really well when I tell them I'm a student at UC Davis, and their eyes widen and they'll say something like, "Wow, that's a really good school!" I love living in a college town and with all the students, there's really a very vibrant, fun feel. I've heard a lot of students complain about the maintenance of the campus buildings- they could be cleaned up a lot.
There are so many special interest groups on campus, and they really help in giving people different and unique perspectives. Most students wear the typical "college uniform" of jeans and a tee-shirt; some wear sweats, and I've even seen guys who wear suits regularly.
Most of the classes are too large for professors to know everyone's name, but I'm taking a lot of French classes, and since they're small, everyone is pretty friendly. Students study pretty much continually, and the competition in certain classes/majors can be fierce.
Certain athletic events(especially football games) are really popular. Students in the dorms do regularly leave their doors open, which contributes to the community feel. There are always different productions and events happening at the Mondavi Center and downtown or in Sacramento, which is nearby.
The best thing about UC Davis is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. You are never alone when you're in Davis. I would m...
The best thing about UC Davis is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. You are never alone when you're in Davis. I would make the winters less cold; if you're from a Mediterranean climate like Los Angeles, Davis winters may be a shock for you. The school is large, both in size and population: 5,500 acres and 30,000 students. These both work to its advantage. The campus has lots of trees and open spaces, and the large student body gives it an active, vibrant feel. People usually ask "Where is that?" when I tell them I go to UC Davis, which gives it a "best kept secret" reputation. During the warm falls and springs, the best place to spend tie is on the quad, which is the center of campus. It is surrounded by all the main class buildings, and near the student union known as Memorial Union, so it gets a lot of foot and bike traffic which makes it great for running into your friends. It is also very conducive to Frisbee throwing. With half the population enrolled at the university, Davis is definitely a college town. Local businesses and the city cater to students with student discounts, student-focused events, and even flexible employment hours. Davis faculty are very responsive to student needs; professors are universally open for whatever help a student needs, and roughly half of students are involved in research with their professors. The administration is not as in-tune with the student body or the faculty--a common "You know you're a UC Davis student if..." ends by saying "the first time you saw the chancellor was at your graduation." The chancellor holds quarterly "brown bag chats" that are open to anyone to attend, but most students ignore them. They do their best to be attentive to safety concerns, however. Currently the university contracts its food-service needs out to a private company, despite calls from employees, faculty and students to make these food-service workers official university employees, which would give them higher wages and benefits. UC Davis is the only UC to contract its food service out to a private company, and considers honoring its contract with the food service company a higher priority than making those food-service workers university employees. Despite all this, there is a lot of pride in UC Davis. We have a sense of being a well kept secret, because of our highly ranked programs across the disciplines and our relatively low national profile. The Aggie Pack is the largest student spirit organization in the country, and schools from San Jose State to Notre Dame have come to UC Davis for advice on how to organize their student spirit sections at football and basketball games. The city of Davis is known as the bicycle capital of the world, and UC Davis is very conducive to bikes, with it's many bike paths and bike racks throughout campus. Some city streets even have bicycle only traffic signals. I will always remember when UC Davis beat Stanford in football in the biggest upset in our athletic program's history, only to top it three months later by beating Stanford in basketball. Most complaints are centered around the idea that "there's nothing to do." The Davis Police Department also has a reputation for shutting down parties, though I've never experienced this.
UC Davis is predominantly white and Asian, though minority groups are growing and active and vocal on campus. There are numerous ethnic and religious minority clubs and organizations on campus, and the university sponsors events such as Black Family Week to increase awareness and tolerance of minority groups. There is also a LGBTQ center on campus. I don't think anyone would feel out of place at UC Davis. The campus and community are so welcoming and friendly, it's hard to feel like you don't belong. During the warm fall and spring seasons, shorts and sandals are common. In the colder winter months, jeans and sweatshirts/jackets with gloves are the norm, but it's not uncommon to see one or two hardcore guys still rockin' the shorts and sandals. There are no easily definable cliques at UC Davis. The easiest way of distinguishing one from another is by major, but many students have double majors, or minors, that make it difficult to do even this. Students have varied extracurricular activities as well: an engineering student may volunteer with the Aggie Recruitment Team and also be a member of the tennis team. Most UC Davis students are from California, and most of those are from Northern California: Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay area, and San Jose. But UC Davis includes students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 100 countries. 68% of UC Davis students receive some form of financial aid, and Davis itself ranks right in the middle of all UC campuses in terms of cost of housing. Students are politically aware and active--the Davis College Democrats and Davis College Republicans are both active clubs, and engage in organized debates with each other--but the reputation of being a "hippie" campus is misguided. Money is generally not the focus of UC Davis students.
This is the best time to attend UC Davis. For a long time Davis has been well-renowned for its superb academic programs across the disciplines, but was hidden behind its better-known sisters Berkeley and UCLA. But over the past few years--thanks a lot to big sports wins over Stanford, but also to continued advances in scientific and medical research, increased public and private funding, and high rankings in US News and World Report (42, national) and Washington Monthly (8, national)--UC Davis has been garnering more national attention. It won't be long before people actually know what you're talking about when you say you go to UC Davis. You can get in on the metaphorical ground floor and help build the campus and its image for the future, and be a part of one of the best institutions in the world (yes, we're that good). UC Davis is not a "farm school," Davis is not a "cow town," and there are plenty of things to do here. The Davis Police Department has a reputation for racial profiling, though I have never witnessed this personally, nor do I know anyone who has (I'm white). It has received some coverage in the campus newspaper, and students organized a march from campus to the police station to protest the alleged profiling. In my time here I have never had a run-in with the police, nor do I know anyone who has. Make of this what you want.
Davis is situated 15 miles West of Sacramento, and 70 miles East of San Francisco, and its own lively downtown means Davis is anything but "in the middle of nowhere." While there is a farm on campus with live animals, they are situated far away from the main part of campus, so chances are you will rarely if ever run into them. Davis students are highly regarded academically, but there are plenty of off-campus parties, as well as on-campus events to keep you busy. The political climate is active but relaxed, and all persuasions are represented.
In the larger, lower division classes like Food Science or Film Studies, there will be upwards of 500 students. Don't expect to get to know your professors in these classes. However, once you move into more advanced coursework and the classes become smaller, professors will definitely learn your name, especially if you speak to them outside of class, which they are always willing to do. My favorite classes were Hip Hop Culture in Urban America and Holocaust Literature. The Hip Hop class was something you'd never expect to see at UC Davis, but is a testament to the broad scope of academics here and the diversity we enjoy and promote on campus. The Holocaust Lit class only had 12 students, but the professor was extremely knowledgeable and explained the incredibly difficult material so well that over a year later I am taking a class with him again, just for fun. My least favorite class was Film Studies. It had about 500 students, and the course only focused on film up until 1915, so I didn't feel it was representative of what a true introductory course should cover. The professor also had a love affair with the word "discourse." Students do study a lot, but not alone. It is not uncommon to be approached by a complete stranger in your class and be asked if you want to form a study group. Class participation is common, but not at all necessary if that's not your thing. Intellectual conversations are also quite easy to come by outside of class, on the bus, at a coffee shop, at a football game, or wherever. But, like any college campus, silliness and goofing off are welcome too. The English department is very "family-oriented" in that it is close-knit. English majors run into each other in several classes throughout their careers, and the department sponsors contests and other events to get students involved. The department academic adviser sends out weekly emails to English majors keeping them apprised of upcoming events, career/internship opportunities and other announcements pertinent to the major. I have a professor who dubs himself the "poetry liaison" to the city of Davis. He co-hosts a poetry/open mike night at a restaurant downtown, so I see him there often. I also had a professor who gave a talk at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, so I saw him there. Admission to UC Davis varies between "selective" and "very selective." Currently it is "selective" due to the many expansions happening around campus that are increasing the number of students we can take. UC Davis probably leans more toward "learning for its own sake," though your major may determine whether your education is geared toward getting a job or learning for its own sake. Veterinary medicine students are more likely to get a job in their academic field than English majors, who have no specific job title that correlates to their major.
Davis is known as a cow town. It has a population of 64,000 and is situated among lots of farmland and vineyards in Northern California. UC Davis is also a highly ranked agricultural and veterinary school, so we have a vineyard and a farm with live animals on campus. Lots of people who have never been to Davis think it is in the middle of nowhere, with cows roaming around campus. And our students have a stereotype of being overly studious and grade-conscious. Davis is also seen as fairly liberal (not so much as Berkeley, perhaps), and students and residents are sometimes viewed as hippies.
Aggie Pack is the largest student spirit organization in the country. CALPIRG is also a popular and highly visible group, recruiting signatures and pledges, and working on behalf of students to lower fees and create other student-friendly legislation. I am a member of the Aggie Recruitment Team, a volunteer outreach group that speaks to prospective UC Davis students about student life. We hold question and answer panels to answer student questions directly, and give them some realistic insight into UC Davis life. Dorm doors are always left open, and people are always welcome. Football is the most popular sport at Davis; the team had a streak of 37 consecutive winning seasons end this year, and attracts a loyal following. All sports programs moved up to Division I as of 2007-08, so they are likely to increase in popularity in the near future, as they are admittedly not a huge draw currently. There are always a handful of events going on, some more popular than others. BB King recently played a sold out show at the Mondavi Center on campus, and Bill Clinton attracted a capacity crowd of over 7,000 to the Pavilion on campus (over 3,000 people had to be turned away). There are lots of quaint restaurants and coffee shops downtown to take a date, and the arboretum on campus provides lots of beautiful scenery to take a date on a walk. I met my closest friends through various classes and events related to my major. If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I'm listening to my friends' show on the campus radio station, and probably writing a paper. Picnic Day, held in April, is the largest student-run event in the country: it is the open house for UC Davis, which attracts 50,000 to 60,000 visitors. Parades, demonstrations, a fashion show, dachsund races and various other events happen all over campus all day long, and all students and the entire town are invited. Thousands of alumni return to Davis to take part. It is also a heavy drinking day for students, who begin early in the morning and continue into the night, but overall Picnic Day is a very family friendly event. Whole Earth Festival is the second biggest event at UC Davis, an entire weekend in which the university embraces its "hippie" image and promotes environmental awareness and sustainability. The entire Mother's Day weekend involves music and dancing on the quad, which is also lined with arts and crafts booths, and local food. Hackey-sack, hula hoops, tie-dye clothes, shirtless guys and other stereotypically hippie things abound at Whole Earth Festival. In keeping with the "hippie" vibe of Whole Earth Festival, many parties (including one legendary housing location on campus) are havens for drugs. The police seem to look the other way this one day of the year, so if you like smoking marijuana and dancing naked on the roof, feel free. You can find a party pretty much every weekend, and during the week, though not everyone parties this often. Fraternities and sororities are active, but do not exert an overwhelming presence on campus (it's not Animal House). Last Friday I went to a concert/party at my friend's house which was sponsored by the campus radio station. On Saturday I went to a women's/men's doubleheader basketball game. Movies, coffeeshops, music shows at local venues, poetry slams, bonfires, athletic events, and many, many other things are constantly available for entertainment on the weekends. And it is possible to attend the traditional party and not drink--there is little pressure to conform and drink or do any kind of drugs.
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