Thursday, December 12

Throwback Thursday: Brewin’ up a Bruin Day

(Daily Bruin archives)

(Daily Bruin archives)

Prepare yourselves, Bruins.

This weekend, thousands of bright-eyed, still-unbroken potential UCLA students and their families will descend upon our fair campus to gawk at Royce Hall, take pictures with the Bruin Bear statue, and maybe even commit the next four years of their lives to this university.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Saturday is Bruin Day, the annual extravaganza during which UCLA rolls out all its academic departments, organizations and student services in order to give admitted students a taste of what on-campus life is really like – or at least, what it could be like.

But for such an integral part of the admit experience, Bruin Day is pretty young – seven years old, to be exact. The Daily Bruin hailed the first Bruin Day in 2011 as the largest-ever program for admitted students.

The event marked a major step up from year past, when different departments and programs spread their events out over several weekends in spring, effectively limiting their reach to interested students. Consolidating all these programs into one weekend made it more convenient for admits to explore almost every aspect of UCLA in a single go.

Bruin Day’s format has changed little from its inception. It’s kind of like an amusement park – but instead of going on rides, people can attend a cornucopia of presentations, workshops and tours across the entire campus. Students start the day by picking up their map and nifty tote bag – I still have mine from 2013 – from a welcome tent. Then, they’re free to explore the campus and learn more about what UCLA can offer them.

Royce Quad lies at the center of the action – UCLA finally lets people walk upon their hallowed lawn to peruse tents set up by various academic departments, campus organizations and services like emergency responders and police.

The fun even spreads to the Hill, where students can explore Rieber Hall and see what kinds of luxurious accommodations await them in the coming year amid cries of “Ooh!,” “Ah!” and a disgruntled dad muttering, “This room looks like a closet!”

Prospective students even have the opportunity to get a head start on the full college experience and spend a night in the dorms. In fact, organizations like MEChA and the Afrikan Student Union offer their own overnight programs to help welcome potential new members.

Veteran Bruins usually aren’t too affected, but take heed: those already-long dining hall lines could get even longer as even more people clamor for a taste – pun definitely intended – of UCLA’s famous cuisine.

Seven years strong, and no sign of slowing. If you’re a current student, make plans to hunker down in your room this Saturday. Or just maybe, wander the tents and fairs and recapture that wonder that led you to commit to UCLA in the first place.

Nah, you need to worry about that problem set due Monday morning.

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Chris Campbell was the Daily Bruin Opinion editor in the 2015-2016 school year. He previously served as Radio Director and as a Radio contributor. He writes about everything, but focuses on Westwood and city issues.

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