CalArts 101: 10 Things New Students Need To Know (2017 Edition)

Campus life | Image: CalArts

New Student Orientation Week activities begin at CalArts on Sunday (Sept. 3). For new BFA, MFA and transfer students, this is an exciting—but also possibly overwhelming—time for you. Each year, the 24700 blog team updates a list of 10 things to help new students get their bearings at CalArts.

Here is your “survival” guide (aka CalArts 101):

Student Mentoring Day | Image: CalArts

1. Course Advising Day (also known as Donut Day or Arena Day). On Thursday, Sept. 7. head to the Main Gallery at your designated time (check your CalArts email) where you can meet and greet your instructors before classes actually start on Monday, Sept. 11, while the school fuels you with free snacks (donuts in the morning / cookies in the afternoon).

2. Popcorn and bagels. Speaking of free food, Student Affairs hosts free popcorn and bagels (when available) on Wednesdays and Thursdays, respectively.

Bring Your Pup to School (Every) Day | Image: CalArts

3. Pooches welcome. CalArts is a dog-friendly campus, so feel free to bring Max, Bella, Charlie or Lucy to class (most common dog names in 2016, according to the American Kennel Club). Read CalArts' pet policies.

Tatum Cafe | Image: CalArts

4. Caffeine run. For your caffeine—particularly espresso-based—needs, there's Tatum Lounge, located on the 2nd floor right next to the Student Store. It's open 8:30 am to midnight, and even transforms into a performance space at night.

5. Taco Tuesdays. Get the tacos from the taco bar on Tuesdays at Steve’s Café when available. Trust us. The wood-fired pizzas are pretty great, too.

CalArts Thursday Night Gallery Opening | Image: CalArts

6. Gallery Nights. Keep your Thursday nights free, because that's when art gallery openings usually happen. It's a great time to socialize and see what other CalArts students are working on, plus there are free music performances, too. The CalArts calendar compiles a complete list of events.

7. All-gender bathrooms. CalArts has several all-gender bathrooms, with more being added all the time. Currently, there's one in A205 and C201, two in the C-Art Studios, two in the Patty Disney Center for Life and Work, two near Stevenson Blanche Gallery, one in Butler Building #4 and one in Butler Building #5.

8. Know your room nicknames (and the CalArts vernacular). As you read in the entry above, there are a lot of nicknames for rooms and places around campus. Here are just a couple: BB stands for the Butler Buildings; The Palace is located in the Character Animation department; and the eX-Box is the meeting space near the front reception (it used to be the former box office, hence the name). Additional terms can be found in the CalArts Dictionary.

9. Room A113. For all you Pixar fans, a note about Room A113. Though the room has reached legendary status as an Easter Egg in every Pixar film, Character Animation classes are no longer held there. The students of the Program in Graphic Design have long called the classroom home. You can still take pictures, though.

President Ravi S. Rajan | Image: Myles Pettengill for CalArts

10. New President. Ravi S. Rajan started his tenure as CalArts’ fourth president in June. To celebrate, CalArts Inauguration (and the President’s Welcome Lunch) takes place on Friday, Oct. 13.

To keep abreast of campus happenings, check out the CalArts calendar and the information pinned and taped to walls all over campus. We're very proud of our poster culture and we think you'll find that the posters are very informative. Also “like” our official Facebook page (California Institute of the Arts), follow us on Twitter (@calarts) and Instagram (@calarts), and join us on Snapchat (@snapcalarts).

Have a great first year!

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