New Student Orientation Week activities begin at CalArts on Sunday (Sept. 1). 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):
1. Course Advising Day. On Thursday, Sept. 5, you’ll finalize your schedule in a fun, slightly crazy, donut-driven experience by registering for courses that require the permission of the instructor. It’s a time to discuss your métier plan with your mentor and other faculty, check in with the Registrar’s staff as you get registered, and get pumped-up to start classes on Monday, Sept. 9. Check your email to see what time you should arrive in the Main Gallery. Review all your Academic Resources here.
2. Popcorn and bagels. Student Affairs hosts free popcorn and bagels (when available) on Wednesdays and Thursdays, respectively.
3. Caffeine run. For your caffeine—particularly espresso-based—needs and snacks, 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.
4. 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.
5. Gallery Nights. Keep your Thursday nights free, because that’s when art gallery openings and music performances happen throughout the Institute (in addition to Theater and Dance productions already running). It’s a great time to socialize and see what other CalArts students are working on. The CalArts calendar compiles a master list of events.
6. 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.
7. Pronouns. Students, faculty and staff may often choose to use names, pronouns and gender identities that are not in line with their legal documentation. Through both our technological systems and daily usage, CalArts is supporting and honoring all community members through the Student Identity Project to create a more inclusive space for the full diversity of all identities. Check out a glossary of the most common words, acronyms and phrases related to gender identity, sexuality and expression.
8. The Bijou. This 125-seat theater, located on the second floor (the floor below the main entrance — long story, don’t ask), is CalArts’ primary screening facility. The screening is open to all if the lights on the sign are illuminated. Watch the board outside the theater for screenings and times.
9. Halloween Party. The CalArts Halloween Party is a legendary student-produced event with multiple stages, live music, food, drinks (for 21+), dancing and amazing costumes that only CalArtians could come up with.
10. 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.
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), or follow us on Twitter (@calarts) and Instagram (@calarts).
Have a great first year!