Moving away and going to college can be an exciting experience, but it can also be intimidating to be in an entirely new setting with new people. Even though getting lost around campus is kind of a rite of passage for any freshman, here is some UC Davis lingo to help you not get too lost or confused amongst the sea of students on campus.
Believe it or not, this was one of the first questions that the orientation leaders asked us during my freshman orientation. Most people are often confused about what an "Aggie" is. Some have said that it's our mascot and others have said that it means "agriculture." An Aggie is what a student at UC Davis is called, in honor of the university's agricultural roots. After all, UC Davis is a school known for its agricultural sustainability and keeps barn animals on campus.
This is probably going to be one of the first terms you learn as a freshman, because it has to do with food. The DC is the Dining Commons. There are three dining commons at UC Davis: Segundo, Tercero and Quarto. Most students eat at whichever one is closest to their residence hall, but all students are allowed into any of the three DCs. However, Quarto is rumored to have the best food out of the three.
3. Swipes & Aggie Cash
These terms go along with the DC. When you register for student housing as an incoming freshman, you’ll have to choose how many swipes and Aggie Cash you want to purchase to use at the DC and food places on campus. Swipes are loaded onto your student ID card and will get you into the DC. From that point on, you're free to treat the DC like a buffet. If you use a swipe at a place other than the DC, such as the Silo, then a swipe will get you five dollars worth of food. Aggie Cash, also held within your student ID, works like a debit card. Whatever you spend in Aggie Cash will be deducted from your overall card balance.
The CoHo, or CoffeeHouse, is where students go to study, grab some food or meet up with friends. The most popular place in the CoHo is probably Swirlz bakery, which has a variety of coffee, tea and baked goods, perfect for those extra long study sessions. The CoHo also offers a variety of different cuisines and is attached to the MU, which we will cover next.
The MU, or Memorial Union, is a building where students can chill out and study. The MU was recently renovated so there is now a gaming center with bowling, video games and board games for when you need a study break. Also connected to the MU is the student bookstore, which sells everything from textbooks to UC Davis merch to fidget spinners.
The Activities and Recreation Center is where students go to work out or play team sports, like tennis or badminton. The ARC also includes a smaller student store and a coffeeshop. Inside you can also find the Ballroom, where large events are held, and tons of study spaces.
The Silo was built as a dairy barn way back in 1909 and got turned into a coffeeshop and dining area in 1965, so it is easily one of the oldest buildings on campus. The Silo, known for having a Starbucks, Taco Bell, crepe cart and more, is currently being renovated with all new food stations and a new coffeeshop. Incoming freshmen can look forward to sipping Peet's Coffee & Tea while studying away.
8. Death Star
Named after the Death Star in Star Wars, the UC Davis Death Star got its name from its grey, concrete exterior and from being the most confusing building on campus. The Death Star is notorious for getting new students lost within its many hallways, floors and grey walls. The actual name of this building is the Social Sciences and Humanities Building, which includes the Managerial Economics advising offices, smaller classrooms and offices and a large lecture hall.
9. Schedule Builder
You’ll first learn about Schedule Builder during your orientation, when your leader helps you decide on your fall classes. Schedule Builder is a website where you can browse through the available courses offered each quarter and register for them when it’s your pass time. On there, you'll find all the important information you need, such as the number of credits a class is worth, the professor, required textbooks, time and location, course overview and more.
10. Pass Time
Let's move on to pass times, a topic that is usually nerve-wracking to new students. Pass times are a given slot of time for you to register for your desired classes on Schedule Builder. Each pass time lasts around four hours, so no need to worry if you can’t access a computer right away. However, the thing that makes freshmen nervous about pass times is the fear that their desired courses will run out of seats by the time it's their turn to register. The good thing is that all students have a Pass 1 and a Pass 2. During Pass 2, students can re-browse through the catalog, see if any courses have opened up more seats and waitlist for classes.
11. OASIS & Canvas
These two sites are similar in that they both hold your academic information. OASIS holds all of your academic records, from your high school transcript to your current grades and GPA. This is where you will go to check your final grades after each quarter ends, to see what important dates are coming up (like when your pass time will be released) or to make appointments. OASIS is also the place to go to fill out a form or petition to change your major, declare a minor, extend an incomplete grade deadline, etc. Canvas is a website also used by a lot of other universities, where professors post assignments and announcements and where students submit their work. Unless your professor chooses to use another online platform, Canvas is a necessity for keeping up with your classes.
The Student Academic Success Center, with its purpose explained in its name, has a plethora of resources for you to use to achieve academic success. You can meet with faculty to discuss pursuing further education, talk over any academic issues or simply ask for some guidance. SASC also offers tutoring and free workshops to help you with your study and writing skills.
Now that you have a good foundation of UC Davis lingo laid down, get ready to enjoy your freshman year as an official Aggie!
Lead Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons