Finding Your Groove

December 6, 2013 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Events

One of my favorite things about UCSB is its diverse student body – no matter what you expect of your typical Gaucho, you don’t have to look far to find someone who looks, speaks, thinks, and acts entirely differently. And one of the easiest ways to notice the wide range of interests and tastes of UCSB students is through the music Gauchos listen to.

Tastes really do vary – I have one roommate who loves rap, hip-hip, and soul, and another who is the biggest country music fan I’ve ever met. One of my roommates and I listen to pop whenever we’re down to get motivated, while my other roommate can’t stand it and refuses to even turn on the radio. I’m sure the same is true for most colleges – music preferences are pretty specific to the person, especially today since you can easily find and download tons of music.

But don’t let that fool you – we Gauchos also bond over our shared love for certain artists and musical styles! Stop at any party on a Friday or Saturday night and you’ll probably hear some Dubstep, hip-hop, rap, and/or dance remixes of pop songs. When it comes to going out, UCSB goes for classic throwbacks (think Usher or Lil Jon) and new party hits (I can’t lie, getting ready to Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” is always a good time!). Think loud, fast music with a great beat and catchy lyrics and you’ve basically got the party tunes down.

Since UCSB is near LA and its music industry, most students are really up-to-date on modern music, though that doesn’t mean we just follow the trends. With so many college kids from different areas, you can find new artists or songs you’ve never even heard of before – and since UCSB is so big, you can probably find somebody else who likes them too! My friends and I are big fans of a little-known band named Cherub, an electro-pop duo that is awesome. This October, we actually drove down to LA and spent the night watching Cherub perform at the Roxy, a nightclub in downtown Hollywood that holds max 500 people.

This is how close my roommate and I were to the stage. Best concert ever.

This is how close my roommate and I were to the stage. Best concert ever.

Lo and behold, out of all the possible other people who could’ve shown up to the Roxy, of course it happened to be a party bus straight from UCSB carrying some 150+ Gauchos. There were so many of us that at one point the band even tried to play along to our rally cry of “Ole ole ole!” Instant bonding with other UCSB students, all thanks to a low-key band that we all happened to know and love.

In fact, you don’t have to go far to find great music at UCSB. For those who are 21 and over, downtown obviously has a ton of clubs offering live music and great DJs. Soho Restaurant & Music Club and Velvet Jones both have weekly events featuring local and moderately well-known musicians. For bigger names and tours, check out the concert listings at the Santa Barbara Bowl. But if you’re cheap like me, don’t even bother! UCSB’s Associated Students actually puts together a ton of great and free concerts throughout the year. Directly on campus, there are regular concerts with artists like Schoolboy Q and even music events like hoedown nights (I know this from my country-loving roomie). And then there’s Extravaganza, our biggest event of the year! A free concert held at the end of spring quarter at Harder Stadium, Extravaganza is a UCSB-student-only event whose 2013 lineup included Dada Life and Kendrick Lamar. In order to fit a variety of tastes, UCSB always has a few opening acts (one of which is always a local student band). Basically, if you like music and being opened up to new musical styles, you’ll fit right in at UCSB.

The Isla Vista Job Jungle

November 20, 2013 in Campus Life, Career, Colleges

The phrase “job search” is one of the most dreaded in a college student’s vocabulary. Maybe your parents are forcing you to find a job so you can help foot the tuition bill, or maybe you just want some valuable job experience that you can put on your resume. Whatever the case, there are actually dozens of options available to you – and they’re not that hard to find!

Look here first!

Look here first!

Before jumping right into it, make sure you know what you want. Are you looking for a part-time job to make some extra cash or an internship where you sacrifice money for valuable experience? Another important thing to consider is whether or not you are able to fully commit to another outside activity without letting it negatively impact your schoolwork. Once you’ve thought about all the little things (like hours per week that you would be available to work), start looking! Check out your campus resources, walk around downtown, or sign up for online job searching databases like UCSB’s GauchoLink. Ready to narrow down your search? Look at these openings here in Isla Vista for ideas on what positions would work for you!


Isla Vista Food Co-Op – A local sustainable grocer smack dab in the center of IV, the Food Co-op offers year-long internships for students interested in Marketing and Administrative Duties. I think this is a great internship because it can be useful for almost any major – being able to organize and manage a store, as well as work on marketing strategies, is a great skill that employers will admire. Even if it’s not directly related to your future career goal, it still gives you credibility as a dedicated, structured employee who can stay on task and follow directions. Co-op internships require a minimum of 10 hours a week, which make them great for busy students with little spare time or sporadic schedules. For more information, click here: http://islavistafoodcoop.blogspot.com/p/internships.html

Alive Campus – If you’re reading this, you already know what Alive Campus is – a website providing advice and information on college issues, written by actual college students interested in pursuing a career in journalism. But Alive Campus doesn’t only have internships for writers – students curious about video production, website development, and even business management can also check out our available positions! Not only does an internship at Alive Campus throw you right into the actual multimedia process, but it lets you take charge and develop your skills (whether it be writing or video editing) on your own, since it’s an online internship. Besides valuable experience related to your ideal field, you’ll also learn important skills that you can bring to any job, like sticking to deadlines, how to use online word platforms, and how to work for a big organization where you may not even be in the same city as your boss! For students interested in spreading the word about their college or easing the transition for high school students, find out more information here: http://alivecampus.com/join-our-team/

Part-time jobs

Buddha Bowls – IV’s newest restaurant, Buddha Bowls is currently hiring for cashiers/servers. Working at Buddha Bowls would be an easy part-time job that can provide you with the extra cash you want without requiring too much of an effort on your part. If you’re one of those students who already has a relevant internship or only wants a job for the paycheck, stop on by and check it out.

UCSB lab assistant – Students who know what they want to do in the future should always look for jobs on campus first! Ask your favorite professor or find out about any major-related jobs from your department’s advisor. For bio or other science Gauchos, check out positions on campus as a lab tech or lab assistant. On-campus jobs usually throw you right into your field and will have you doing things directly relevant to a future job (lab assistants get to do cool things like run X-rays!). For valuable experience and a great head-start, check out your department’s job positions in a field you are interested in.

When in Doubt…Check the Library!

November 4, 2013 in Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews

I used to be one of those kids in high school that hated the library. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading, but libraries were always boring and stuffy and a little too quiet – or a little too loud whenever it mattered. Not to mention they’re usually full of scary old librarians who seem to appear whenever you expect them to the least.

Whatever your experience with the library was in high school, it will probably change a little more once you enter college. How? Inevitably, as a result of midterms and papers and late-night study sessions, you will begin to spend quite a bit more time there. Even if you don’t end up going to the library, you’ll certainly use the library’s website in order to do research for various courses.

To take the most advantage of your university’s library, make sure you look into everything your library has to offer:

1. Study central – Need a quiet place to write that paper or want a private study cubicle to read all your notes? College is when you learn to love a library and that it’s silent (generally speaking, the upper floors get quieter). If you want somewhere to meet with a group, the library has rooms for that too! Try the group study rooms or grab a table in the common areas. Be careful when you arrive during key points of the year (like finals) though: the library fills up fast!

The library bike racks are never empty around finals.

The library bike racks are never empty around finals.

2. Print stations – This is one of the reasons the library was a lifesaver for me this year, because I don’t have my own printer anymore. But even before I lost my printer, the library has always been a fast and easy place to stop by and print out my notes or homework before class, especially if I’m already on campus. Most schools will let their students print a certain amount of pages per semester without any charge, so be mindful of how much you print. I always try and get my big projects out of the way there (like 10 page papers) so that I don’t have to pay to print elsewhere.

3. Research – I can’t stress this enough. Your use of the library for research will probably be the most common way you take advantage of the library, regardless of your major or class. All students have to use library indexes and catalogues to find journals and studies, or will rely on their classes’ library page for search tips and instructions. You may have used your library’s search engine in high school, but at the college level you get access to a ton more resources (like sites which require paid subscriptions) just for being a student! Next time you have a big assignment due, head to the library first – plus, by starting early you’ll have more time to find specific information.

4. Books – Sadly, I personally don’t have a lot of time for reading books that aren’t for classes once the school year hits, but I always try to get in a good novel or two over breaks. If you didn’t fit any books into your dorm or are looking for a new read, obviously visit the library. With hundreds upon hundreds of books and access to books in other libraries around the world, you’re bound to find something!

UCSB Clubs Worth A Second Glance

October 10, 2013 in Campus Life, Colleges, Events

So you’ve just become a Gaucho, and after moving in and decorating your dorm, meeting your roommates and floormates, there’s one more thing left to do: get involved! Joining campus groups and organizations may not sound like your thing, but a lot of clubs are actually super beneficial to students. Not only do you get great resume-boosters, but you meet tons of people (both in and through your club) and can make a lot of important connections! They can also provide you with good experience in specific fields, majors, or organizations (like non-profits). For all the newbie Gauchos out there, I highly recommend at least looking into joining a club (during the first weeks of fall quarter it’s especially easy; just walk by the Arbor and you’ll find dozens everyday.

It's not so much about you joining a club - the clubs will come to you!

It’s not so much about you joining a club – the clubs will come to you!

Here are some of the best clubs on campus for any new Gaucho:

Major-associated groups So this seems like a pretty obvious one, but these clubs are really involved both locally and nationwide and will bolster your resume really well. If you know your major as soon as you enter UCSB, try to look into the associated group right away (like the Communication Association for Communication majors). Once you join, you become affiliated with the organization and get all the perks – like cool events and the opportunity to apply for leadership positions within the group. These major-association groups provide students with tons of advice and free help with their major, and also have useful events like a Career Advice Panel, recruiting events, and much more that will help you take advantage of your college years!

Honors/scholastic Greek organizations The National Honors Fraternity (Phi Sigma Pi); the Pre-Health Sorority (Rho Psi Eta); the National Communication Honor Society (Lambda Pi Eta); these groups are similar to major-associated clubs in that they’re specifically focused on your academic achievement or future career path. While they’re considered frats/sororities, they aren’t in the standard Greek system and are extracurricular activities versus a college lifestyle (but you still get fancy Greek letters). If you already know what you want to do with your degree, these groups are great for networking and for valuable experience and insight. Events include talks with UCSB grads, social events with other organizations (like the Pre-Health Fraternity), and annual fundraisers. Organizations like the National Honors Frat are perfect for students who aren’t sure what they’re into yet, but are doing really well at whatever they are doing!

If you’re interested in something specific, like journalism, also look into campus publications like the Nexus, the Bottom Line, and Campus Point Magazine, or try radio broadcasting with UCSB’s radio station, KCSB 91.9.

National volunteer organizations This doesn’t necessarily have to be a volunteer group or even a national one, but definitely think about joining a club you’re passionate about! If sticking to honors frats and major associations sounds boring to you, check out volunteer groups like Habitat for Humanity, CALPIRG, and other clubs that may be local or national (or both!). What’s great about USCB is that there is pretty much a club for anything – sports clubs like Surfing Club, adventure clubs like the Excursion Club, even religious or ethnic groups. These organizations still help you meet people, get involved and out there, and have regular events – and you can put them on your resume.

Greek life Even though Greek life wasn’t for me, it definitely has its perks (but also some downsides!). For new students who want to make a big, strong group of friends and always have something to do and somewhere to be, frats and sororities are great. Plus you participate in a ton of regular events and make a lot of connections through your national group and other Greek groups. If you aren’t really sure about your major yet and not feeling volunteer organizations, but still want to get involved, consider rushing in fall or spring.

Bringing Back the Past at UCSB

September 27, 2013 in Campus Life, Colleges, Events

An image from the Year of Rebellion exhibit.

An image from the Year of Rebellion exhibit.

Once upon a time, the UC system (and the rest of the country) was seriously losing support from many of the nation’s students. For multiple reasons, including the Vietnam War as well as university protests, students held numerous rallies and protests throughout the 1960s and 1970s, critiquing and fighting the university’s and the government’s policies. These demonstrations could even be violent. Actually, Isla Vista, the small student-inhabited community next to UCSB, was home to many such events and became a center for anti-government support at the time.

While protests and other such events no longer pervade our campus, problems with the way UCs are run are still common on campus at UCSB. One of the biggest issues students have with the UCs is our constant increase in tuition due to state budget cuts. While Isla Vista hasn’t been home to any recent rallies, students have organized petitions and offered students the opportunity to directly contact university officials in order to discuss the topic.

In fact, this fall quarter UCSB’s Art, Design, and Architecture Museum will showcase an exhibition called “Year of Rebellion: The 1970 Isla Vista Riots.” The show features photographs illustrating the confrontations during those years, all of which were taken by Joe Melchione, the undergraduate photo editor at the time for the college’s paper. The events were pretty large-spread, and the photographs will be accompanied by actual copies of the articles that covered the events.

This photo display will run for the most of fall quarter, making it available to everyone. Since the topic is focused directly on Isla Vista and students are currently harboring negative attitudes towards certain university policies, using this exhibit now is pretty influential for students. I think it’s great to show our students today how people responded to unfavorable decisions in the past, especially because right now a lot of people are complaining that students do not raise their voices enough against prominent issues like higher and higher tuitions.

Aside from student-lead petitions and art exhibits focusing on prior student protests, certain groups on campus hold events and discussions on controversial topics. One popular group on the UCSB campus is the “Students for Justice in Palestine” organization. The group is student-run and constantly hands out information on campus and tries to recruit students to join the club. Its centered around raising awareness about the tensions and discrimination going on there. This issue is a pretty big deal, with some people not even recognizing Palestine as a country. While the problem is not necessarily prominent at UCSB, the group has done a goos job of piquing student interest. In fact, they occasionally hold informative demonstrations in the quad. Other groups sometimes hold similar events as well.

While UCSB does not have many controversial events occurring this quarter, certain “random” events also happen when some important issues grow more prominent. Last spring, a rape awareness group on campus held a spontaneous rally throughout Isla Vista catching people’s attention.