CalArts 101: 10 Things New Students Need To Know

Welcome to CalArts!

Welcome new CalArts BFAs, MFAs and transfer students! This is an exciting, but possibly also overwhelming, time for you. So we at 24700 have assembled a list of things to help you get your bearings at CalArts. (You can thank us later.)

  1. Arena Day. Course Advising Day is on Friday, Sept. 11. Head on over to the Main Gallery at your designated time (check your CalArts’ email) where you can meet and greet your instructors before classes actually start, while the school fuels you with free snacks.
  2. Popcorn and bagels. Speaking of free food, Student Affairs hosts free popcorn and bagel days every week on Wednesdays and Thursdays, respectively.
  3. Pooches welcome. CalArts is a dog-friendly campus, so feel free to bring Max, Bella, Bear or Lola to class (actual most common dog names, according to the Los Angeles Times). Read CalArts’ pet policies.
  4. Cafe makeover. Construction crews have been hard at work all summer renovating the cafeteria. Check this page for photos, or better yet, head on over for food served by Bon Appetit. Check the day’s menu here (Hub login required).
  5. Caffeine run. For your caffeine needs, there’s Tatum Lounge, located on the 2nd floor right next to the Student Store. It’s open until 10 pm on weekdays, and even transforms into a performance space at night.
  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 has the complete list of events.
  7. All-gender bathrooms. CalArts has several all-gender bathrooms, with more being added all the time. There’s one on the 3rd floor in the C-Block, one in the Generator Building and a few near the Butler Buildings.
  8. Know your room nicknames. 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).
  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 longed called the classroom home. You can still take pictures, though.
  10. Campus maps. Don’t worry about getting lost. We’ve been here awhile, and we still have to retrace our steps. We swear it’s not our bad sense of direction. Here are some campus maps to help you out.

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 add us on our official Facebook page (California Institute of the Arts), Twitter (@calarts) and Instagram (@calarts).

Have a great first year!

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