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8 Ways to Be Part of Our Diverse Community

By Julia Ann Easley on February 11, 2016 in University

UC Davis celebrates diversity in all its forms. And we’re serious about it, too. Our embody our commitment to understand and value both our individual differences and our common ground for an inclusive and intellectually vibrant community. And we’re being deliberate in and resources for serving a diverse community.

Here are some ways we encourage you to join in.

1. Celebrate diversity at campus events

Native Americans beat a drum at the annual Powwow
The Native American Powwow is a highlight among campus cultural celebrations. (Paul Chan/photo)

Join in the celebrations as our communities showcase their dance, music, film and food and have frank discussions about contemporary issues during Cultural Days. Events organized through our include:

  • (Chicano and Latino dance)

The is organizing Pride Month events for May and promotes awareness about gender and sexual orientation.

2. Major or minor in ethnic studies

African American woman in a graduation cap
In addition to UC Davis commencements, there are graduation celebrations for eight communities including the Black Graduation Celebration. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo) 

UC Davis offers 104 majors and more than 50 minors. Among them, you can focus on African American and African Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicana/Chicano Studies, East Asian Studies, Middle East/South Asian Studies, and Native American Studies. That also holds for Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Religious Studies and seven languages, too.

3. Live and learn in themed residence halls

Exterior of Alder Hall
Alder Hall is home to the Asian Pacific American Theme House. (UC Davis photo) 

Find a home in the of our residence halls. These optional programs bring together interested students and host activities on a variety of themes. Open to all students, they include the African American and African Community, Asian Pacific American Theme House, Casa Cuauhtémoc (Chicano-Latino) Theme House, Multi-Ethnic Program, Native American Theme Program and Rainbow House. Some have optional seminars for academic credit.

4. Discover community at our student centers

Interns discuss their work at the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center
Interns at the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center, opened in 2015, discuss their work. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo)

Chill with friends old and new, study, and work together on issues at our student centers. UC Davis opened the in 2014 and the in 2015. Next up: A center for Chicano and Latino students in fall 2016. The and the  have long been on campus.

5. Join a student club

Lion dancer surprises student
A lion dancer from the Golden Turtle Lion Dance Association surprises a student at an annual orientation event where students can learn about campus clubs. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo)

The hundreds of on campus include dozens of ethnic and cultural groups — from the Davis Bhangra Crew, mixing Punjabi folk traditions with Western pop music, to the Japanese American Student Society. Sororities and fraternities also include groups with cultural interests. Groups and organizations on campus also minister to the spiritual life. Check them out, because our student organizations welcome all interested students.

6. Find resources to flourish in your university career

Student and pupils eat lunch at a dining hall
Incoming freshmen get a head start on adjusting to university life at a summer residential program offered through the Special Transitional Enrichment Program. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo)

Through its , UC Davis works with thousands of disadvantaged and underrepresented students in schools across Northern California to inspire them to go to college and get ready. But the help doesn’t stop there. Student centers and programs help them succeed here, too. Among them:

  • The  provides a four-week summer residential program and ongoing support for tutoring, counseling and skills workshops for students we’ve worked with in high school;
  • The coordinates specialized academic support services to promote both the independence of students with disabilities and their integration into campus life;
  • The provides transfer students, older students and veterans with academic advising, support services, scholarship opportunities, social activities and more; and
  • The for former foster youth offers practical help, a social network and mentoring.

7. Be the change that you want to see

Student and pupils at work in the Student Recruitment and Retention Center
Student and pupils at the Student Recruitment and Retention Center provide programs and services to encourage others from historically underrepresented groups to pursue higher education and succeed at UC Davis. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo)

UC Davis students have a tradition of making a difference. Through clubs, student centers and leadership programs, like the ME/SA (Middle Eastern and South Asian) Leadership Retreat, you can develop your skills and make things happen. Our very own had its roots in student activism, including a hunger strike in 1990. And the student-run programs and services of the encourage students of historically underrepresented groups to pursue higher education and help them succeed at UC Davis. Our provides up to $200 for student programs and events that encourage the appreciation and celebration of diversity on campus.

8. Find support for graduate or professional studies

A student stands at a podium in front of a judge
A student in the King Hall Outreach Program makes a legal argument in a mock hearing before a panel of judges. (Gregory Urqiaga/UC Davis photo)

Looking to graduate or professional school? UC Davis has a wide variety of programs that help students from diverse backgrounds. The American Bar Association just honored the for bringing students from underrepresented communities into the “pipeline” that leads to law school and summer academic programs. That program provides mentoring, pre-law advising and summer academic programs for undergraduates. Graduate Studies also houses including:

  • The for former foster youth;
  • The to encourage underrepresented students to pursue doctoral degrees;
  • for educationally or economically disadvantaged students in science, mathematics or engineering who show promise for doctoral studies; and
  • The , which provides summer research programs to increase the pool of black and African American students for graduate degrees and professional training.

About the author(s)

Julia Ann Easley Julia Ann Easley of News and Media Relations writes and supports communications about student life, graduate and undergraduate education, international activities, emergency preparedness and more.