First and foremost, food and where to find it. While it may seem that the only options available on campus to get your grub on are at Subway and the newly installed Caliente, located adjacent to each other on the ground level of the Student Union, that is not the case. In addition to these tried-and-true staples of UAA, the campus also boasts numerous coffee shops and, more recently, a panini/coffee shop combo situated on the third floor of the Engineering building across from the Student Union Bookstore. If you’re low on funds or just a need a snack, the UAA Den provides free food multiple times throughout the week served by students for students. If none of these options piqued your interest, another cost-saving tip for those burnt out on sandwiches and burritos is to bring your own lunch.
Library and study spots
While the UAA Consortium and ARLIS libraries both provide ample study spots, decent WiFi, group study rooms, printing and a wide range of other services, sometimes you need a change of scenery to finish that 20-page research paper you should have started months ago. A few non-library study spots to check out throughout the school year include the second floor of the Fine Arts building, the Wells Fargo Pool area bleachers and he new sky bridge connecting the Engineering and Health Sciences building across Providence Drive. The libraries’ fall semester hours as of now are 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. during the school week.
Financial aid and class registration
A great starting point in not only planning out freshman year but giving yourself a solid blueprint for your next years of college is to always strategize and discuss your options with a counselor familiar with your major. The name of your counselor can be found under the “DegreeWorks” link, an excellent credit and class tracking program available to all students on the UAOnline website accessed with your Blackboard login information. The University Center is located about two miles from campus and hosts a variety of student services including enrollment services, financial aid and a testing center.
The Parking Services office is located in Eugene Short Hall, Room 2601, and can address all of your parking questions and concerns. Now is the time to purchase your parking permit at a discounted rate as the Annual Pass is available much cheaper until August 14. Check the campus map to determine where your classes are located and which lot will work best for you. Permits and other services are available at uaa.thepermitstore.com.
UAA hosts multiple campus-wide events throughout the academic year including Campus Kick Off, homecoming and a variety of comedy and musical shows in the Wendy Williamson Auditorium. The Student Life & Leadership office and the Student Union Information desk staff can assist you in getting connected to different events across campus and the calendar of upcoming events. The Gear Room, situated next to the Information desk rents outdoor equipment such as skis, hammocks and kayaks at a discounted rate to students throughout the school year and summer.
Textbooks and clickers
Avoid the financial hurdle of purchasing textbooks by checking out competing services such as Amazon, Chegg and Craigslist, dedicated to renting and trading used textbooks at a much lower cost than you will find at the bookstore. If you are unsure if you truly need the required text for a certain class, wait until the first day of lecture and ask the professor directly if they do not address the issue. Again, always ask your professor for assistance in finding the right one and check outside sources for competing prices.
Whether you are planning on living on or commuting to campus, finding the right housing for yourself is the key to success. As upperclassmen, living off campus offers more freedom and cheaper accommodations but comes at the price of commuting daily and distancing yourself from the University’s environment. The UAA Housing Office can help you navigate your living situation if you choose to reside on campus, while posters plastered around UAA message boards can lead you in the direction of finding suitable off-campus housing as well.
This free service is the crux of your academic endeavors while at UAA, and to be successful, you need to become a master at it. Blackboard is an application and website that lists your current and previous classes, professors, and most importantly your grades. Staying on top of Blackboard updates is vital to turning in assignments on time and keeping up-to-date with class announcements and changes.
Clubs and Greek Life
The university boasts an impressive amount of clubs, sororities and fraternities for incoming and current students to become a member of. The Student Clubs and Greek Life office is located on the second floor of the Student Union near the coffee shop. This office is a hub of information related to clubs and Greek life that will help you choose which academic or social extracurricular here on campus best fits you and your schedule.
Incoming commuter students should always remember to plan your class schedule accordingly. Becoming familiar with the campus layout can help you determine where the best lot to park is and to estimate your travel time between buildings. Finding a parking lot centrally located to your classes will minimize your time spent moving and parking between classes which can take up your valuable time throughout the day. Make a habit of bringing all of your necessary items such as books and chargers in your backpack or purse with you throughout the day if you plan on being on campus for extended periods of time.