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5 Clubs You Should Apply to Right Now

There are many amazing student clubs and organizations at UCLA, but how can you tell which one is right for you? We rounded up a few of the clubs that are currently recruiting and asked some of their members what they think makes them special. Hopefully this will make your decision easier.

1. Project Literacy

Photo courtesy of Allie Hovsepian
Photo courtesy of Allie Hovsepian

Looking for a place to volunteer? Consider applying to tutor and improve literacy rates in the L.A. area with ProLit.

“I got involved with Project Literacy because I wanted something to do and … I love kids,” said Allie Hovsepian, a third-year political science and philosophy student. “I continued tutoring with Project Literacy because there’s nothing more fulfilling to my soul my mom’s chicken soup is a close second though. … I often work with one of our more difficult learners, who is labeled as so, not because he is mean or rude but because he just cannot focus. … My go-to with him is a push-up contest to burn energy which let me tell you, he wins every time. Though many days are not successful, the days I can get him to sit down with a book of his choice mean a lot to me. But what means even more to me are the days he lets me read with him because I get to read out loud to him and have him also read out loud to me. He reads far below his reading level and I know this is why he refuses to sit down at site because frankly it is embarrassing, regardless of what age, to feel illiterate. Literacy is so fundamental to success of many kinds and is something that is tangible to equip all people with and I’m blessed to be a resource that is trying to make this happen.”

Info session: Wednesday, Jan. 14 from 3 to 3:50 p.m. in Ackerman 3516

Application deadline: Sunday, Jan. 25

For more information: Project Literacy at UCLA

2. Camp Kesem

Camp Kesem counselors fundraise during the school year for kids whose parents are affected by cancer to go to camp for free. There are two weeklong sessions during the summer, which incorporate both the fun aspects of any summer camp and the resources and support that the children, aged 6 to 16, need.

“We have the ‘empowerment ceremony’ where kids can share their story and talk about how Kesem helped them,” said Michael Ruder, a fourth-year cognitive science student and co-director of Camp Kesem. “One kid had recently lost his mother to breast cancer. He was probably 10 years old and said, ‘Kesem is the silver lining on the dark cloud that is cancer.’ The kids are very thoughtful and very special, which is why our counselors keep coming back.”

Info session: Wednesday, Jan. 14 from 7 to 8 p.m. in Geology 4660

Application deadline: Friday, Jan. 16

For more information: Camp Kesem at UCLA

3. The New Student & Transition Programs

If you want to stay at UCLA during the summer, being part of the orientation staff could be the job for you. You can be a part of Team Blue, working in the administrative side of “o-staff,” or Team Gold, advising new students directly.

Being a part of orientation staff is definitely one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve encountered at UCLA,” said Yosan Kubrom, a third-year psychobiology student who was part of the 2014 program. “Not only do you develop your leadership skills and strengthen your ties to this campus, but you get to do it alongside some of the most amazing people … For the entire summer. We have a motto that says ‘Work and play mean the same thing here,’ and it’s 100 percent accurate, I’ve never had so much fun while getting paid at the same time.”

Info sessions: Wednesday, Jan. 14 at noon in Ackerman 2408
                           Thursday, Jan. 15 at 5 p.m. in Covel Commons 230

Application deadline: Friday, Jan. 23

For more information: UCLA New Student & Transition Programs site

4. Bruin Woods

Photo courtesy of Kevin Patterson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Patterson

Bruin Woods is a family summer resort at Lake Arrowhead. As a counselor, you work (i.e. play) with the kids during the day and they go back to their parents at night. You get paid and have your room and board included for up to 12 weeks.

Bruin Woods is a summer experience like no other,” says Kevin Patterson, a third-year English student who worked at Bruin Woods last summer. “You get to interact with Bruins of all generations and there’s no other place that would make you more proud to be a UCLA student. … The things you do at Bruin Woods can hardly be considered ‘work’ because of all the fun you have doing it. If you ask anyone they will no doubt tell you that after the 12 weeks the other staffs you work with become just like family.”

Info session:  Thursday, Feb. 5 at 5 p.m. in Covel Commons Grand Horizon Ballroom

Application deadline: Friday, Feb. 13

For more information: Bruin Woods site

5. The Campus Events Commission

Photo courtesy of Andy Tran
Photo taken by Andy Tran, courtesy of Greg Kalfayan

The CEC staff brings you speakers, concerts and free movie screenings every week and loves doing it.

“Before I became assistant commissioner I was on the speaker’s staff and we were scheduled to have our event for Greg Sestero (from “The Room,” by Tommy Wiseau,)” said Robert Osen, a fourth-year Design | Media Arts student.

“Apparently Tommy was not happy that Greg wrote a tell-all book about his experience on filming ‘The Room’ and was suing him for copyright infringement.”

“Basically to make a long story short, there were non-UCLA students trying to get into the event who turned out to be process servers. So when the event was over we tried to take Greg Sestero out of Kerckhoff Grand Salon … but the people saw us and began to chase after Greg, throwing the papers at him and yelling ‘You’ve been served’ but Greg Sestero kept running and got into his car and drove off. … It was honestly straight out of a movie.”

As for Greg Kalfayan, a fourth-year political science student and the Campus Events commissioner, his favorite story is simple. “When we hosted the cast of “Workaholics,” a student asked us to give her phone number to the celebrities,” Kalfayan said. “We didn’t, but we did send her joke texts for a couple days after the fact.”

If you’re into prank texts and wild goose chases (you know, and culture), there’s still time to apply.

Application deadline: Tuesday, Jan. 20

For more information: Joining CEC FAQ

Which clubs are you interested in joining? Tweet us @dbmojo or let us know in the comments!

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Arts & Entertainment

Q&A: UCLA recording artist “Toy Light”

Walker Ashby, a third-year fine arts student and upcoming musician from Marin County, is one of the regulars at a hip hop and electronic club Low End Theory, a place frequented by artists such as Flying Lotus, Gaslamp Killer and Teebs. Ashby, who recently played at The Roxy Theatre on Sunset Blvd., produces music under the name “Toy Light,” and blends ambient and ethereal beats to create music with a rich, atmospheric feel.

He opened for indie dream pop band Twin Sister Thursday night at Kerckhoff Grand Salon, and Mojo caught up with him afterwards for an exclusive Q&A:

1. How did you land the gig last night?
A close friend of mine, Dylan Robin, who is the guitar player in The Ten Thousand and also in CEC, reached out to me at the last minute about opening for Twin Sister. I was very happy to fill in the opening slot.

2. How would you describe the music genre you’re drawn to?
I hang out at Low End Theory a lot. It’s mostly a hip hop scene over there which I enjoy, but my personal inspirations come more from the European/UK based stuff that’s happening right now. Stylistically speaking, I feel more drawn to the emotional side of electronic and bass music.

3. When did you start making music?
I’ve played guitar since I was eleven and was also in bands in high school. However, I didn’t get into producing and composing on my own until college.

4. Where do you look for inspiration?
I look inside. Being alone and finding beauty outdoors has always been a huge source for inspiration—relationships as well.

5. If you weren’t making music what would you be doing? Does school get in the way with your musical endeavours?
I don’t know what I would do without music. For as long as I can remember I’ve found music to come most naturally to me. Photography is how I got into the UCLA art program but I’ve always had a passion for visual, audio and more recently, sculptural expressions. My goal is to blend all of it into an immersive, expanding project.

6. Any artist you’re digging right now and why?
Currently I’m really into Emika, a German artist who messes with bass and piano in twisted ways that really speak to me—her song “Double Edge” in particular. I just love her style…it’s very dark and sketchy.

Check out more of Toy Light’s music here or go see him perform at his next show in Anti-Pop on Nov. 28 in Chinatown, Los Angeles.

Know any other student musicians or artist we should feature? Tweet us @dbmojo.

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