By Barbara Anderson
What does UC Davis have that UCLA doesn't (besides cows, that is)? Well, for one thing, a higher ranking in "America's 100 most wired colleges," appearing in the May issue of Yahoo! Internet Life. (For those of you who ran out of gas on your way to the information superhighway, Yahoo! is a World Wide Web "search engine" that can be used to find Web sites on a particular topic.) Your alma mater came in 26th overall, just below Caltech (!) and handily outranking our sister campuses UC Santa Cruz (56th), UC San Diego (75th) and [ahem] UCLA (78th). (OK, so UC Berkeley came in 16th; we're really happy for them. Honest.) And when Yahoo! pared its list down to public state universities, UC Davis ranked 6th.
"How did the University of California, Davis, the runt of the UC litter, sprint ahead of big sib UCLA?" the magazine asks, then goes on to cite Davis' higher percentage of students who own their own computers and a greater percentage of classes having home pages ("[UC Davis has] a whopping 95 percent versus UCLA's measly 6").
Well, thanks for the recognition, Yahoo!, but hey--what's with the runt stuff? Everybody knows we're way bigger than UC San Francisco.
Winning one for the cow-chipper
It seems our fame just spreads farther and farther. The April 28 issue of Sports Illustrated features the Jock 50--the 50 colleges the magazine considers the best for students whose educational mission includes a non-stop schedule of athletic events. No, UC Davis didn't make it into the top 50--though UCLA topped the rest at No. 1 (suppose that makes up for the sting of coming in so far behind in the wired-campus competition?), and UC Berkeley ranked 18th. But we did make one of SI's lists, an all-encompassing group called "The Best of Everything." Joining the best school for bowling (Wichita State), surfing (UC San Diego, edging out UC Santa Barbara) and strangest intramural passion (broomball at Iowa State), UC Davis received the award for the Most Obtuse Cheer. Yep, you guessed it: "Bossy Cow Cow"! SI quoted one Aggie student as saying the intent of the cheer is "to confuse the opposition and their cheering section. It works remarkably well."
Remember ASUCD Classical Notes, the refuge of slug-a-bed students? If you just couldn't make it to that winter quarter 8 a.m. biochem lecture, you could burrow deeper under the comforter, secure in the knowledge that some red-hot would be in class, front-row center, busily taking notes that you could later obtain in exchange for a few hard-earned dollars. Now, thanks to the Internet, students soon may head to a Web site and download the notes for free. FreeNotes, conceived by first-year student Andrew Black '00 (that's the year 2000, by the way, and we'll pause for a moment while you contemplate that...), allows UC Davis students to view class notes, syllabi and assignment sheets and to post questions for other students or instructors. FreeNotes hires note-takers who are registered students and enrolled in the classes for which they are taking notes, and pays them $100 per quarter per class; Black says they must attend every lecture and have basic knowledge of how to operate a computer and navigate the Web.
But ASUCD Classical Notes probably won't have to close its doors just yet. A spot-check of the Web site (www.freenotes.com) revealed a rather sparse selection of classes, and for those that are listed, very few have accompanying lecture notes. Nevertheless, we think the whole thing deserves an E for effort and entrepreneurship. After all, how many businesses did you start in your freshman year at UC Davis?
Rod Serling, call your office
Narrator: Presented for your consideration: A dedicated director of alumni affairs at a medium-sized campus of a world-renowned university travels with his team to the women's basketball championships in Grand Forks, N.D. A frequent announcer of Aggie games, the director--as he usually does on these occasions--goes to the broadcast booth to introduce himself to the local announcer...
Director of Alumni Affairs: "How do you do? My name is Bob Kerr."
Local announcer: "Wait a minute. I'm Bob Kerr, and what did you say your name was?"
[Cue eerie music, as both men fish for business cards to prove they are who they say they are...DEE-dee, DEE-dee; DEE-dee, DEE-dee; DEE-dee, DEE-dee...]
75 years ago
"Last Monday night the University Farm seniors rounded up all the freshmen in Davis and assembled them at the band stand on G Street, where the 'frosh' were put on exhibition for the delight of their senior brothers. In the cool night wind the freshmen were ordered to remove their hats and roll up their trousers and shirts and stand exposed to the 'admiring' glare of the public. ... A distinct feature of the evening's program was the mud bath, which was performed amid the hilarious plaudits of the seniors. The shortage of eggs in Davis Tuesday was because the seniors had purchased them the night before with which to 'greet' lowly 'frosh.' ... Finally the boys dispersed in the most friendly spirit to talk the affair over and to plan what THEY will do to the freshmen ... when they become seniors."
-- The Davis Enterprise
Aug. 25, 1922