Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
UCLA Students at D12
UCLA Students at D12
Original photo by Ciara Murphy

I Went to UCLA’s Dinner for 12 Strangers and Here’s Why You Should Too

Updated Published
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

So what actually is UCLA’s Dinner for 12 Strangers, sometimes better known as D12? The goal is simple: to connect UCLA students and alumni through a meal in an off-campus setting. And even better, it’s completely free!

12 students are randomly paired with a UCLA alumni who hosts them for dinner at their home. Some dinners are themed, tying in elements of culture, career aspiration, or hobbies, while others are just completely random. 

UCLA students at around a dinner table
Original photo by Ciara Murphy

The dinners are organized by the Student Alumni Association (SAA), and each dinner has an SAA liaison to coordinate the details. This year, two of my roommates are in SAA and really encouraged me to sign up for a D12. It was something I’d heard of before but never looked into attending, and I am so glad they pushed me to do it this quarter!

My dinner was in Studio City at the home of an alumni Bruin whose parents used to host D12s when he was growing up. After remembering the tradition so fondly from when he was a child, this was my alumni’s first time hosting. At our dinner, we made homemade personal pizzas with every topping choice under the sun, played creative games our alumni host had organized, and I even made a plethora of small world connections with the other students attending. It truly proved to me that even at a huge school like UCLA, we are all connected somehow!

Students making pizzas at D12
Original photo by Ciara Murphy

Overall, the Dinner for 12 Strangers concept fosters the connection of communities that may not otherwise have the opportunity to meet. Many attendees have even left the experience with internships, new mentors, advice for the future, or, if nothing more, just 11 new friendly faces at UCLA. 

The D12 is an experience unlike any other and every Bruin should take advantage of it at some point in their four years of university. Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone and sit down for this meal with 11 strangers! You never know who you might find yourself sitting next to.

Ciara is a third year UCLA student from Oakland, CA who is majoring in Public Health. She loves to travel and explore new places; especially when there's any kind of ocean involved. When she's not busy workshopping her next Her Campus article, you can find Ciara sipping her morning coffee somewhere sunny, relaxing in her hammock, or chasing a sunset.