In Their Words

Raul Martinez, Senior, Business Economics and Political Science, El Monte, CA
My favorite experience about living in the residence halls was staying up late and talking to some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. People who come from all walks of life and want to see students grow into citizens of the world. It is their stories, experiences, and life lessons that contribute to the person you become. Being involved with the Residence Halls Association as president gave me experiences and skills that I could not have learned elsewhere. At times, it was difficult to balance two majors, RHA involvement, and a social life; but these are essential skills that will transition into the “real world.” Attending meetings with UC Regents and Chancellor Yang, and advocating for students and UCSB as a whole is something I never thought I would have the privilege of doing. To this day, it is an accomplishment of which I am very proud. With enough support and hard work, any student can get involved as I did. All Gauchos, beginning with day one, should get involved and make this school and community better for future Gauchos. It helps make UCSB your home, a place to make friends, and find what interests you.

Janet Warner, Parent, Chino Hills, CA
It seems like only yesterday my husband and I were moving our daughter into the residence halls at UCSB. I remember that day vividly as so many questions and concerns swirled through my mind. Once we arrived on campus and followed the signs to our designated hall we became excited and filled with apprehension... this was it! Our daughter, a new freshman, was about to embark on a new chapter in her life... college living. We have been very pleased with our UCSB housing experience every single year - four total! The move-in and move-out experiences were always very organized and everyone was so helpful. Though each new year brought a new student housing location, we quickly became familiar with the new living area, parking lots and laundry facilities. The whole experience has been very positive! Thanks so very much for a job well done to UCSB Housing! You made our daughter's transition to college life a terrific one!

Genie Won, Junior, Communications, Korea
I love the environment at UCSB and around IV. Facing the mountains and the sea, it's just plain beautiful. No other words can describe it. Plus, people can't be nicer here. A community made up only of college students was pretty fascinating for me and because of that, it's so safe around here.

Dr. Amit Ahuja, Faculty in Residence, Manzanita Village & San Rafael Residence Hall
Situated between the UCSB lagoon on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, Manzanita Village and San Rafael Residence Halls are a special part of our campus. When you live with us, you live with the world. Our residents come from over 35 countries and a large number of American states. They belong to different racial, ethnic, gender, and religious identities. Our residents are supported by excellent infrastructure and some of the friendliest and finest staff anywhere on the planet. We are home to a number of living-learning communities. Our residential staff organizes educational and recreational activities, our dining hall serves food from across the world, and our facility and custodial staff keep our buildings running and humming. As Faculty-in-Residence, I feel privileged to live and work in this energetic, vibrant, and welcoming community.

Lisa Przekop, Associate Director of Admissions, 30 years
As Associate Director of Admissions, my job is to plan programs and events for prospective students that will draw them to UCSB. We don’t feel that we’re “recruiting.” Instead, we help students find the campus that best fits them by sharing the qualities of UCSB that will provide them with an amazing college experience. What I love about Housing is that I’m completely confident that the new students we’ve brought in will experience what was promised - a caring, nurturing environment where the everyone from residence hall staff to dining staff make sure the students begin their academic career in a safe, culturally sensitive, fun, welcoming space. I was actually an RA in San Nicolas in the 1980s and the skills I learned in that position have continued to serve me well in Admissions!


Elizabeth Rahilly, former resident San Clemente Villages
It's been almost four years since I moved into San Clemente Villages, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and bit anxiety-ridden about starting a fancy PhD program. So many seminars, term papers, and a Master’s thesis later, that feels like forever ago. I was one of the first residents to take up court here (September 1, 2008—easy day to remember), and I believe there are still a few of us lingering on, representing the first generation of San Clementers. The grassy knoll in Arrowhead was still just a dirt mound, and there wasn’t a palm or shrub in sight. But the place was brand-spanking new, the toilets and shower curtains were gleaming white, and I had a view of the mountains; I liked it. Since then, the place has truly grown its spirit; the courtyards are now a veritable oasis of colorful flora and landscaping expertise, and our community centers boast a pool table, a ping-pong table, and a piano (with a student choir to boot!) Alas, I think it’s finally time for me to spread my wings and fly the coop, and see another part of residential Santa Barbara. As I begin my forays into the rental listings on craigslist, I can’t help but reflect on all the “amenities” I’ll miss in these parts, including the human ones… below, the best of SCV, in my book, and all that I’ll mourn as I depart:

  • The free wireless internet;
  • The proximity to campus (especially for when you realize that your data are all messed up and you have to schlep back to the lab/office to right things the night before the paper’s due);
  • The unprecedentedly fast turn-around of the maintenance staff, such that all household issues got solved with the single click of a button (as a native New Yorker who fought with many a landlord, this still blows my mind);
  • The variety of free food offerings throughout the year, from bagels and coffee in the morning to weekend barbeques to catered events at night (I’m pretty sure other apartments/rental properties don’t do this for their tenants);
  • The mailman who really does know you by name;
  • The RCs on-call who give you a spare key at 3 in the morning when you’ve locked yourself out (for the second time that month);
  • The free furniture—I know it’s not the most fashionable or comfortable at times, but it’s saved me, and others, a heck of a lot of money (I forgot that the next place actually comes empty, and that I’m supposed to fill it);
  • The ten-minute walk to the sea, morning, noon, or night, and all the wildlife this entails;
  • Freebirds just beyond my door!!!
  • All the dear neighbors I’ve befriended over the years, whose friendly and familiar faces I’ll truly miss, wherever I end up.

San Clemente, you’ve been very, very good to me. I wish you and yours all the best. Cheers.