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Davis is a world unto itself, and being here is like being in a microcosm of the world, with a bit less diversity. Students and student groups are cosntantly hosting workshops, teach ins, teach outs, campaigns, lectures, mobilizations, etc. Our students are highly motivated and determined to be heard. Whether it's Students for Justice in Palestine holding a Die In on campus, or MEChA working to organize the annual May 1st International Workers Solidarity Day events, to lectures on what it's like to be a Jew in America today, to addressing the growing self-identifying Mixed ethnicity group, our students are on it. Plus, with the loci of power for the state of California situated 30 minutes away from us, our students always have a chance to address concerns to our state leadership, as well as participate in statewide mobilization efforts.
UCD is the ultimate school for a passionate student. The student run aggie pack is top ranked in the nation for providing school spirit. The school has a spirit of their own as well. It's a laid back town with huge ambitions. Student play Frisbee and party on the weekends but hit the books on the weekdays. The fun never stops on Greek row and spring quarter provides the perfect party months. Classes are intense though. UCD is all about the students, from the town to the classes, Davis is the epitome of what everyones college experience should be like. You come out of here with friends, and great memories, and with a degree that means something.
It's really hard to really give someone who has never been to Davis an idea of what it is like. The campus itself is pretty big, but Davis is also the bike capital of the US, so getting around the town or the city is never an issue. Since I live on campus, I spend most of my time on campus, and I get the feeling that most students do, regardless of where they live. When I don't have a lot of homework or studying, I usually bike over to the Coffee House, right next to the quad to get something to eat and hang out with my friends. The only complaint I really can think of is that the weather here changes all the time. We don't get snow, but we get lots of rain, wind, or heat, depending on if its winter, fall, or summer. But most of the time the weather isn't an issue. One thing I didn't expect when coming to Davis was that there is such a big social community. Not everyone chooses to party in college, but at Davis I think a pretty big percentage of students go out on the weekends. There's at least one big party going on almost every weekend, most of which occur at fraternity houses. I think around 10% of the students on campus join a fraternity or sorority which is a life changing experience.
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.
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.
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.
Matt SeniorReviews provided by: Unigo