Fast Facts From Fun Friends (Say It Five Times Fast!)

My friends over at UC Irvine Campus Representatives constantly find ways to surprise me about the going-ons of UCI, and if you’ve taken one of their tours, they have probably surprised you, too.

If you’re a green-loving person but you never really take the time to stop and smell the roses — or even get a nice long whiff of the nature around us — UCI has over 11,120 trees, including 33 species of eucalyptus. Even Aldrich Park is a whopping 21 acres of nature-y goodness. Don’t let yourself get too enamored by the trees (though they are big enough to climb); the powers that be don’t really like that.

Once you’ve walked through the park and you arrive at the area next to Aldrich Hall, you might find yourself at the Jack Langson Library — the very one that I told you a couple weeks ago was featured in “Poltergeist.” What I failed to mention was that Langson Library is the largest in Orange County, with six levels of resources to enrich your mind.

Let’s backtrack a little and head up Ring Road until we get to the Science Library, one of the largest consolidated science, technology and medicine libraries in the nation. Yes, it’s the building with a hole in the middle, and no, we won’t stop to talk about what everyone says it looks like from the aerial view.

But now, it’s time to go down below and underneath the campus. In order to heat all of the buildings at UCI, water is heated at the Central Plant and shipped as steam underneath Ring Road in tunnels, which means there is a secret tunnel system lurking beneath us, where large, radioactive rats may live, or maybe even the Ninja Turtles. Okay, I kid.

What isn’t a joke is how much inflation and time has changed our costs as students. When UCI opened in 1965, the student fees were $228, which nowadays, would only amount to about $1,583.73! Our annual student fees are currently a whopping $8,774.50, more than five times what that old student fee would equal up to in our dollar standards now! Conspiracy, anyone?

If you’re not too spent with your student fees, you can spend your buck watching some of the excellent performances put on by our nationally ranked UCI dance department. According to Dance Teacher Now magazine, the UCI undergraduate dance program is ranked ninth in the nation, with the graduation program coming in at seventh — and if you’ve ever really attended a performance put on by our dance department, the passion and creativity that bursts off the stage only reaffirms their distinguished ranking.

There’s even something for all you graduate students. Here’s some advice: Keep in mind when you’re registering for classes and want to avoid all of the tough ones that U.S. News and World Report ranked our graduate program for Literary Criticism and Theory number one, with Duke in second and UC Berkeley in third. So when you’re struggling through your Literary Criticism and Theory classes, thinking “Oh, the agony!” just remember that you’re working with top-notch curriculum, and hold your head up just a bit higher around those Blue Devils and Bears.

For all you runners who are fans of the outdoors and not into the whole running-but-not-going-anywhere concept of a treadmill, I can help you out too. One full trip around Ring Mall is a mile in circumference. So if you want to store your things in a Bookstore locker for a quarter and throw on your running shoes, you will be more than able to get your exercise on in between classes.

If you’d like to swap your Nikes in for some Vans and grab yourself a skateboard, in 1994 UCI was ranked the best college to skateboard in by “Skater Magazine.” Unfortunately, skateboarding on campus is not allowed, as emphasized by the various citations for skateboards recorded in the police logs, so you may just have to take your thirst for boarding elsewhere.

So there you have it, directly from my friends over at Campus Reps. If you’d like to know more, play like a wide-eyed freshman and join a campus tour, ask some questions and give them a run for their money!