Tracking down student organizations on campus can be tough. With over 1,000 registered clubs on campus that recruit anywhere from Facebook to Bruinwalk, it’s easy to get lost.
Here are nine well-established student clubs for new students to explore.
VITA at UCLA
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance at UCLA trains hundreds of student volunteers how to file state and federal income taxes. Volunteers then offer their services to local low-income communities, as well as to UCLA staff and other students.
Volunteers can join in fall and winter quarters and participate in four to eight weeks of training. After training, they volunteer at tax clinics around UCLA and Los Angeles, guiding attendees through the income tax process and teaching them tips and tools.
Students involved with UCLA DevX code and develop projects to make life on campus easier for students.
Current projects include a UCLA dating app, a map app to consolidate campus events, a school ride-sharing app and a web platform to help students find on-campus organizations.
Students can join as designers, back-end developers, front-end developers, data analysts or marketers. Those interested can join by submitting an online application and attending a recruiting night.
The organization holds a showcase at the end of each year.
FAST at UCLA
Fashion and Student Trends is UCLA’s only student-run fashion organization, according to its website. Students involved in the club learn how to model and design, and their work is showcased at a runway show in Pauley Pavilion every spring quarter.
FAST’s 2019 show saw 14 different student fashion lines displayed on its runway, its models sporting everything from evening wear to hoodies.
FAST also hosts workshops and discussions for its members throughout the year. Students can apply to join in fall quarter.
UCLA Undergraduate Science Journal
The UCLA Undergraduate Science Journal, registered with the Library of Congress, publishes peer-reviewed research from all scientific fields.
Undergraduate staff members submit, edit and review all submissions to the journal. Students who have completed research on their own or in coordination with their labs can submit their own results and review the work of their peers, just as in professional scientific journals.
Student staff members also receive two units of honors credit.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at UCLA
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at UCLA hosts tournaments of the game regularly on the Hill that any student can register for and attend.
Similarly, UCLA Esports is an official club sport on campus. It sends teams in League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Rocket League and Dota 2 to competitions across the country, and provides an official school platform and schedule for student gamers.
Mobile Clinic Project at UCLA
The Mobile Clinic Project at UCLA is a student-run nonprofit that works with individuals affected by homelessness in Hollywood every Wednesday night, offering a free medical and legal clinic, providing hygiene kits and supplies and telling the stories of the people it interacts with on its Facebook page.
The organization works alongside the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition and partners with students from the Fielding School of Public Health, the David Geffen School of Medicine and the School of Law.
Undergraduate students can apply to join as caseworkers. Club members also include volunteers from the Los Angeles community and UCLA medical students.
Peaks & Professors at UCLA
Peaks & Professors at UCLA organizes hikes around Los Angeles for small groups of students and professors. It hopes to provide students the chance to bring their relationships with UCLA faculty to new heights, according to its website.
The club announces its hikes on its Facebook page, on which students can sign up in advance. Members of the club have traveled to Solstice Canyon, Mandeville Canyon and the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area, as well as many other locations nearby.
Game Music Ensemble at UCLA
The Game Music Ensemble at UCLA is a student-run organization that features an orchestra, a choir and several chamber ensembles that perform original music from video games, often with video game music industry professionals. The largest ensemble, the orchestra, holds concerts twice a year and meets once a week on Fridays to practice.
Its most recent concert featured songs from the games Anthem and Metroid. Students who can play instruments can send an email to the ensemble organizers to join.
Enigma is a science fiction, fantasy and gaming club that meets once a week in various locations around campus. Students play games ranging from poker and jeopardy to zombie tag.
It is open to all undergraduate and graduate students and alumni and has no formal membership. It also hosts events off campus such as movie screenings, board game nights, and live-action and tabletop role-playing games, according to its website.
Where to find other organizations
The best place to find volunteer opportunities at UCLA is the Community Programs Office, located in the Student Activities Center at the bottom of Janss Steps. This is where the major advocacy student organizations have their offices.
Other groups – especially student government offices such as the Undergraduate Students Association Council’s Student Wellness Commission – also provide opportunities for volunteering. And at the beginning of every school year, UCLA holds its campuswide Volunteer Day, during which all students are encouraged to spend a day working with the community.
Otherwise, student groups can be found all over. UCLA hosts its Enormous Activities Fair in zero week of every fall quarter, during which hundreds of clubs set out tables near Powell Library and on Dickson Plaza.
Many clubs recruit on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They also hand out flyers on Bruin Walk or post them around campus.