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Fraternity Holiday Lights: A Definitive Ranking

Each year, fraternity houses at UCLA compete in holiday light displays and are the object of much discussion. We at Mojo wanted to seal the debate with some factual evidence and entirely subjective ramblings. We bring you our definitive ranking of this year’s holiday lights, based on effort, aesthetic quality and originality, as seen on Friday.

19. Pi Kappa Alpha

Oh hi, PIKE, didn’t see you there.

Bonus points: The night light that shines when you pass the house made us feel special. And qualifies as “light,” if not “holiday.”

Effort: 0/5
Aesthetic quality: 0/5
Originality: 1/5

Pi Kappa Alpha

Pi Kappa Alpha - Automatic Light

18. Sigma Chi

Yet another Grinch who almost ruined Christmas, Sigma Chi flaunts its jumbo painted letters, but there’s no sign of holiday lights.

Bonus points: We did spot a (bare) Christmas tree through the gate, so there’s that.

Effort: 0/5
Aesthetic quality: 1/5
Originality: 1/5

Sigma Chi

17. Zeta Beta Tau

One lone room took it upon itself to compensate for ZBT’s shortcomings. Additionally, if you look closely, there is an American flag made of dangling Christmas lights that were lit Thursday and extinguished Friday. Go figure.

Bonus points: They did something.

Effort: 1/5
Aesthetic quality: 1/5
Originality: 1/5

Zeta Beta Tau
Picture taken Tuesday.

Zeta Beta Tau

16. Pi Kappa Phi

You tried, PiKapp, you tried.

Bonus points: The alley looks much better in real life than it does in this picture.

Effort: 2/5
Aesthetic quality: 1/5
Originality: 1/5

Pi Kappa Phi

15. Sigma Phi Epsilon

Sig Ep’s colorful string lights are arranged in a shapely manner and provide some measure of holiday cheer to passersby.

Bonus points: The red garland matches the red door. Well played.

Effort: 2/5
Aesthetic quality: 2/5
Originality: 1/5

Sigma Phi Epsilon

14. Triangle

We can’t vouch for Triangle’s contribution to the fraternity holiday scenery, but there is something to be said for a simple string of lights.

Bonus points: The display makes (geometric) sense.

Effort: 2/5
Aesthetic quality: 2/5
Originality: 1/5


13. Delta Sigma Phi

Now, Delta Sig looks nice. Using only white lights was a good call considering the green accents on the house. The lights are expertly arranged in straight lines (cough PiKapp cough). The display isn’t the most impressive and original, but hey, it works.

Bonus points: Delta Sig followed the house’s natural outlines.

Effort: 3/5
Aesthetic quality: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Delta Sigma Phi

12. Theta Chi

Theta Chi looks pretty and tasteful, but lacks a “wow” factor.

Bonus points: The recent renovations make everything better.

Effort: 3/5
Aesthetic quality: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Theta Chi

11. Beta Theta Pi

There is a lot of pressure on Beta to perform around Christmastime. The house is large and located at the intersection of pretty much everything. This means a lot of foot traffic and a whole lot more judgmental stares. The house looks festive, colorful and does not disappoint. However, the shapes and colors on the house don’t really come together in any sort of cohesive display.

Bonus points: We love the lights on the ramp. A(lpha) for effort, Beta.

Effort: 5/5
Aesthetic quality: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Beta Theta Pi

10. Alpha Epsilon Pi

AEPi doesn’t have much to work with area-wise. The house is much smaller than some of the other fraternities, but this year the chapter successfully presented the Westwood population with an aesthetically pleasing display.

Bonus points: The blue letters with the white lights are captivating.

Effort: 3/5
Aesthetic quality: 5/5
Originality: 3/5

Alpha Epsilon Pi

9.  Alpha Gamma Omega

AGO has a wonderful canopy of lights strewn across its house that puts neighboring houses to shame. The fraternity respected the formula for holiday lights and did so successfully.

Bonus points: We love the simplicity of this elegant yet cheerful display.

Effort: 4
Aesthetic quality: 4
Originality: 3



8. Lambda Chi Alpha

The Lambda house looks festive and cohesive, if not incredibly original. Passersby don’t feel cheated and can fully revel in the joy of the season as they make their way up and down Strathmore Drive.

Bonus points: Lining every single window with lights? That cannot have been easy to do, so props.

Effort: 5/5
Aesthetic quality: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Lambda Chi Alpha

7. Delta Tau Delta

We’re not convinced we like the purple at DTD, but that’s just us being terribly critical. The members obviously made every effort to deliver light-heartedness (get it?) this Christmas season. They did a fantastic job of outlining the house’s symmetry, but this would have been more difficult on an oddly shaped edifice.

Bonus points: The lit-up Greek letters are joyous.

Effort: 5/5
Aesthetic quality: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Delta Tau Delta

Delta Tau Delta

6. Phi Kappa Psi

Phi Psi is currently recruiting, but whoever put up these lights deserves recognition. The house looks great and turns heads with its strings of lights skillfully linking the railings together.

Bonus points: The wreath of lights makes the perfect finishing touch.

Effort: 4/5
Aesthetic quality: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Phi Kappa Psi

Phi Kappa Psi

5. Theta Xi

Theta Xi made the most of its existing features, namely the row of bushes and the emblematic palm tree. The display also creates the perfect color balance and just looks straight-up pretty.

Bonus points: Santa is by the chimney, which is genius.

Effort: 5/5
Aesthetic quality: 5/5
Originality: 4/5

Theta Xi - Full View

Theta Xi

Theta Xi - Palm Tree

4. Sigma Nu

Sig Nu pretty much looks like a gingerbread house on a normal day, so we’re not surprised at how good the house looks during the holidays. There might be a little too much going on, but we’re being nitpicky. The entrance looks incredible.

Bonus points: Light-up candy canes and the tree. Best enjoyed slightly blurry.

Effort: 5/5
Aesthetic quality: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Sigma Nu - Full View

Sigma Nu - Candy Cane Tree

Sigma Nu - Blurred Lights

3. Sigma Pi

Classic, effective, pretty. Good job, Sig Pi.

Bonus points: This display achieves a perfect (and symmetrical) balance of colors, and it looks good doing it.

Effort: 5/5
Aesthetic quality: 5/5
Originality: 4/5

Sigma Pi

2. Sigma Alpha Epsilon

We’re playing devil’s advocate here. For most, SAE’s annual holiday light show is the undisputed winner; we just see value in minimalism. That being said, the decorations are undeniably impressive and the fraternity’s attention to detail is admirable. Sig Alph goes where other houses don’t venture, even if it means creating a melting pot of colors and shapes and words.

Bonus points: Look! It’s Santa on his sleigh!

Effort: 6/5
Aesthetic quality: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Sigma Alpha Epsilon - Santa's Sleigh

1. Theta Delta Chi

We’ll admit to being slightly biased by the design of the house itself, but we are thoroughly impressed. TDX marks its first year as a reinstated chapter – the fraternity is recruiting members again – with a holiday display that is nothing short of beautiful. The lights are understated, yes, but tasteful and detail-oriented.

Bonus points: We like the fun blow-up snowmen on the roof, and the theta is a wreath! That is all.

Effort: 4/5
Aesthetic quality: 5/5
Originality: 5/5

Theta Delta Chi - Front

Theta Delta Chi - Zoom

Theta Delta Chi - Palms

Theta Delta Chi - Snowmen

Who’s your number one? Tweet us @dbmojo or comment below to let us know.


This post was updated at 10:05 p.m. to add Alpha Gamma Omega to the rankings.

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Best Late Night Places to Study

Sadly, some of us still have midterms. (I don’t, yay), but I know how hard it is to crack open the books during the middle of the day. Let’s admit it, we always have that one midterm that we wait until the night before to start studying. You decide to take a “little nap” after your long day, and BAM it’s 11 p.m. and you only have 12 hours left until your test. Now don’t be deceived, the “All-Nighter” is a form of art. There is a technique to it, a certain method to its madness. First step is: location. So, for all you night owls out there, here is a list of some of the best study places on and around campus for you to venture to.



Starting third week of every quarter, Powell finally blesses us with its open doors from 11 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. It’s the perfect place for those of you who need ABSOLUTE quiet. Night Powell can became quite an interesting place as you stay later into the early morning. Don’t be alarmed by those who sleep in any possible corner or those who decide to take a break by taking pictures on Snapchat. (Yes, we notice you.) Be wary of the outlets; always make sure you sit somewhere you can charge your trusty Mac. Powell is a great place if you really want to get stuff done because, somehow, when you’re surrounded by working people, you tend to work more yourself.



The Starbucks on the corner of Weyburn and Broxton avenues is open 24 hours EVERY SINGLE DAY. I don’t know how they do it, but take advantage of it. I know I’m a person who needs my Venti White Chocolate Mocha with an extra shot in order to study, so this is the perfect place to go for you coffee-lovers. Beware, however, that after midnight they close down half of the building so there are very few seats left. It’s hard finding a seat as it is, ugh. Word of advice for studying here: Arrive early in the day and camp out until the sun rises … or whenever you finish.




For the dormies who are still on the Hill (somebody swipe me plz lulz), many of us find a certain home in the lounges of our buildings. Even apartment-dwellers come back to reclaim their old stomping grounds: Rieber Terrace eighth-floor study lounge closest to the elevator. But there are also the fireside lounges in Hedrick Hall and Rieber Hall, along with many other study lounges in the lobbies of each dorm building. These places can get a little more social and are not as quiet, so it’s a great place to go if you have group projects or want to study with friends. Note to non-dormies: Be patient, somebody will rescue you and swipe you into the buildings eventually.



Now most people I talk to agree that studying in your own apartment is a trap. There it is … your comfy bed in the corner of your eye … so warm and inviting … LOOK AWAY … but … it’s memory foam … and the pillow is Tempur-Pedic and – you get what I mean. So, a good option is to go over to a friend’s apartment to get some work done. BUT, don’t go to your best friend’s place if you know all you’re going to do is throw shade about your roommates, watch a “quick movie” on Netflix or just sleep in their bed. It may be hard to stay disciplined studying around friends, but the key is to make yourself uncomfortable: Sit on the hardest chair you can find, make it extremely cold in the room, anything to keep you up for the late night. Plus, make use of your friends by having them make sure you wake up on time when you want to take a quick nap. Or do The Pomodoro Technique (look it up) together!



If you have the discipline to study at your own place, by all means, do it. There is nothing like the wonderful feeling of privacy, the wonderful feeling of being able to scream when you want to, to cry when nobody watches, or, if you’re like me, to break out into a one-man musical to all of the greatest Disney hits (High School Musical is my best act). Studying in your own room is great when you really want to focus without any distractions at all. You can stay as long as you want; you can be noisy when eating that bag of SunChips from Bruin Cafe; you can do anything, really. But, it’s not for everyone, especially those who end up accidentally scrolling through Facebook for hours. Studying alone, there’s nobody to keep you in check except yourself, so beware.





For those who like to get away from campus, Philz Coffee became the talk of the town (for the NorCal people) when one of the coffeehouses opened in Santa Monica. Known for its delicious spin on coffee, Philz is a great place to go when you want to feel sophisticated while studying for your exams. They have a great menu (get the Iced Mint Mojito, just do it), but the building is sort of small, so it’s either a hit or miss when you try to find a seat. Philz Coffee didn’t quite make our list because Philz closes at 9 p.m. everyday. Still, try it just for the coffee, then go to Third Street Promenade and treat yo self … well maybe AFTER midterms.

That’s it! So, I hope you find the perfect place for you! GO MIDTERMS! WOO!

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How to Pull Off Trick-or-Treating as a College Student

keep calm

Do you feel like Halloween isn’t the same without massive amounts of candy and the competitive rush of trick-or-treating? On the actual night of All Hallows’ Eve, don’t despair and substitute the lack of candy with alcohol. Instead, relive your childhood with these tips for pulling off trick-or-treating when you look well over the max age limit. (more…)

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Westwood Village Discount Program

Recently, UCLA’s administrative vice chancellor announced a new student discount program being implemented in Westwood Village. Students can show their BruinCard to a variety of vendors and save on their purchases. Mojo checked a few of them out for you.  Here are the highlights:

Helen’s Cycles (310)-208-9888


Helen’s Cycles serves all your biking needs, from gear to repairs. Make sure to flash your BruinCard and you can get 10 percent off. (more…)

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5 Food Trucks Near UCLA This Week

It’s been a while since we last praised food trucks, and what better time to do so again than ninth week? The last thing you want to do is cook or eat Cup Noodles again, and the first thing you want to do is devour some delicious grub and find any excuse to leave the confines of your desk or the library.


Food trucks are a convenient and fun way to dine … when you can find them. These eateries-on-wheels can be a little hard to locate since they’re always on the move. That’s why Mojo has done all the research for you. We’re sharing five food trucks near UCLA (easy to reach either by foot or the Big Blue Bus) that you should visit this week.

Note:  Visit for up-to-date information on food trucks near you if you are visiting any other week. Hours vary. (more…)

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