Student life @the University of California, Davis
The undergraduate student government of UC Davis is the Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD), and has an annual operating budget of 11.1 million dollars, making it one of the largest-funded student governments in the United States. ASUCD includes an Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branch. Other than representing the student body on campus, the task of ASUCD is to lobby student interests to local and state government. Also under the purview of ASUCD are the student-run Coffee House is an ASUCD unit andUnitrans, the Davis public bus system. ASUCD employs thousands of students annually across its many units.
Picnic Day, UC Davis's annual Open House, is the largest student-run event in the United States. It attracts thousands of visitors each year with its many attractions. These include a parade, a magic show performed by the chemistry department, the Doxie Derby (dachshund races), film screenings, and a Battle of the Bands between the Band and other college bands including the Cal Band, theStanford Band, and the Humboldt State Marching Band.
Another highlight of UC Davis is its student-run freeform radio station, KDVS. The station began operations on February 1, 1964 from the laundry room of the all-male dormitory Beckett Hall. The station soon gained a reputation by airing interviews with Angela Davis and a live call-in show with then California Governor Ronald Reagan in 1969. The station can now be heard on 90.3 FM and online at its website.
UC Davis has over 500 registered student organizations, ranging from political clubs to professional societies to language clubs.
The academic Graduate Students and management students are represented by the Graduate Student Association (GSA). The Law Students are represented by Law Students Association.
Students are also encouraged to wear Aggie Blue on game days to show their Aggie Pride. If spotted wearing Aggie Blue by the Aggie Pack, students may have UC Davis paraphernalia thrown at them as a reward.
Students also participate in intramural sports such as basketball, ultimate frisbee, soccer and many more. The ARC contains a basketball gym, work out room, rock climbing wall, and other studio rooms for group exercise.
Other student activities:
- Unitrans, the student run (and driven) bus system.
- The Coffee House, also known as the CoHo, is a student run restaurant serving 7000 customers daily.
- The Bike Barn, a bicycle shop that sells and rents bicycles and cycling equipment, also operating a repair shop.
- KDVS, student radio.
- The Entertainment Council, responsible for bringing famous musicians to campus and organizing student events.
- US Post Office, a completely student-run official United States Postal Service Contract Station.
Bicyclists are ubiquitous around campus as well as the city, and thus a lot of bike-only infrastructure exists, such as bike circles, large bike lanes, and traffic signals exclusively for bikes and the UC Davis cycling team has won several national championship titles. The campus police department also has some of its officers patrol on bicycles and take bicycling under the influence ("BUI") and bicycling without a headlight at night very seriously. All bikes on the UC Davis campus must be registered with a California Bicycle license or they risk being sold at the on campus bike auction.
UC Davis is also well known for its bus service, Unitrans, and its trademark London double decker buses. It has been in operation since 1968 and is believed to be the only general purpose (non-sightseeing) transit system in the U.S. to operate vintage double deck buses in daily service. The system is operated and managed entirely by students and offers fixed-route transportation throughout the city. There is also an inter-campus bus service that ferries back and forth between UC Davis and UC Berkeley twice daily, from Monday to Friday. Davis is also one of the busiest stations of the Capitol Corridor intercity railroad service operated by Amtrak between the Bay Area and Sacramento.
The central campus is bounded by freeways on two sides (Highway 113 and Interstate 80). All other UC campuses are either somewhat distant from the closest freeway or are directly adjacent to only one freeway. Two freeway exits are entirely within UCD's boundaries. One, off Highway 113, is signed "UC Davis / Hutchison Drive" and the other, off Interstate 80, is signed exclusively as "UC Davis."
Easy freeway access, coupled with increasing housing costs in the city of Davis, have led to increased numbers of students commuting via automobile. Some students choose to live in the neighboring communities of Sacramento, Dixon or Woodland, and use their own cars or the county-wide Yolobus to get to UC Davis.
The California Aggie
UC Davis also publishes a weekly student newspaper, The California Aggie. The Aggie was first published in 1915 as the Weekly Agricolaafter its approval by the Associated Student Executive Committee. At this point, UC Davis was considered the University Farm, an extension of UC Berkeley.
Initially, the Weekly Agricola was focused on both student news and farming-related topics. Novelist Jack London was one of the first readers of the Weekly Agricola. In 1922, it was renamed to match the school's athletic name. As of March 2014, the Aggie is no longer in print but is still published via its website.
Social fraternities and sororities have been a part of the University of California at Davis since 1913. Approximately 8% of the university's undergraduate students are involved in the school's fraternities and sororities. One sorority, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi, was featured during the first season of the MTV reality show Sorority Life.
There are currently 21 social fraternities that are a part of the Interfraternity Council (IFC) in Davis. The IFC representatives attend weekly meetings to guarantee that all UC Davis rules and regulations are followed. The meetings are also used to inform the fraternities about all upcoming activities throughout the week. The 21 fraternities are: Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Gamma Omega, Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Sigma Phi,Chi Phi, Delta Chi, Delta Lambda Phi, Delta Sigma Phi, Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Kappa Psi, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Mu, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Theta Chi, Theta Xi, and Zeta Psi.
The Davis Collegiate Panhellenic Council (DCPA) is similar to the Interfraternity Council, but is the governing council for several sororities at UC Davis. They are responsible for organizing recruitment, and overseeing that all regulations are upheld. There are currently 10 sororities that are a part of the Panhellenic Council. The 10 sororities are: alpha Kappa Delta Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi.
The Phi Chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho was locally established May 1 of 1923 at UC Davis making it the first continuously running national fraternity on campus. They started as the Kappa Tau Fraternity, which was the first Agricultural Fraternity on campus. Many campus buildings are named after alumni of Alpha Gamma Rho such as Emil Mrak (Mrak Hall, Registrar's office), Orville Thompson (Thompson Hall, Segundo student housing), and Dean De Carli (the De Carli room, 2nd floor MU), Mel Olson Scoreboard (Aggie Stadium), and many more. The AGR Hall is an event space located inside the Buehler Alumni / Visitor's Center and is commonly rented out as a conference room or banquet hall. There are both national and local fraternities and sororities at UCD with diverse backgrounds and histories.