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UCSB Campus Dictionary

Whether you’re a freshman or a transfer student, you’ve probably heard some questionable slang used around campus and IV. Besides the more universal slang you tend to hear (lit, dank, etc.), UCSB students and IV residents have cultivated a unique culture of traditions and language all our own. If you’re a prospective student or have yet to assimilate to UCSB culture, fear not, we at HerCampusUCSB have compiled a list of essential Gaucho lingo to know. 


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Also known as Davidson, the Lib brings up many feelings for UCSB students including sleep-deprivation and desperation. Whether you’ve pulled all nighters here or have never even stepped foot in it (*cough* me freshman year), the Lib serves as a constant reminder that UCSB is actually prestigious research university behind the party school facade. 


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Are you even a UCSB students if you haven’t at least tried a Yerba Mate aka Yerb. You’ll find these caffeinated tea drinks cleared off the shelves during finals week since its basically the energy source of all students on campus. Chances are the typical Gaucho will prefer a can of Yerb to a cup of coffee 9 times out of 10. 


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Short for Del Playa, but please don’t let anyone catch you calling it that or you’ll risk being labeled an “out-of-towner”. The infamous street closest to the beach boasts gorgeous ocean side balcony views and a reputation for being the party-hub of IV during the weekends. You’ll typically find wandering freshman looking to sneak into any open party, out-of-towners asking you where the parties are, Jesus burgers, a few cops (don’t let them catch you sitting on a sidewalk), and basically utter chaos on a typically weekend. 


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The possible source of UCSB party school reputation, Deltopia (previous Floatopia) is the annual party weekend (usually first week of spring quarter) during which hoards of college students turn IV into the stereotypical beachside party town. Although it has been watered down over the years by an increased police presence, it’s still a chance for UCSB students to let loose (safely please!). 

Gaucho Ball

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Ok, admittedly it’s just Rage Cage rebranded but nevertheless an essential UCSB tradition. It includes all the classic elements: ping pong balls, cheap beer, red cups, and a lot of fun. Avoid if you’re bad at bouncing a ping pong ball into a cup (or else risk drink the b*tch cup).

The Arbor

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A walkway between the Lib and Girvetz, also can refer to the convenience store located in the area. Upsides: the Arbor is a place to chill between class on the Lib lawn and grab a bite to eat. Downsides: The non-stop flyering and propositioning to sign petitions, join clubs, with the occasional random preachy/shouty guy. If you’re not in the mood to be bothered during your walking commute, the best bet is to put in some earphones and avoid making eye-contact. 


Image via Google Images

Short for Freebirds, also known as delicious burritos-and-nachos-land. If you haven’t had the steak nachos with the works after going out on a Friday night you’ve seriously missed out on a great (and oh so delicious) UCSB tradition. 


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The cross street that runs through the heart of IV towards campus. There are plenty of food spots on Pardall, some classics including Hana Kitchen, IV Deli, Freebirds, Blaze, Cafe Equilibrium, and more. 

Daddy Yang

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The endearing (albeit kind of creepy) nickname for our beloved Chancellor Henry T. Yang. He’s venerated so much that people have made stickers in his honor (see any hydroflask or laptop case on campus). Although at times controversial, he’s served as a pseudo-mascot representing spirit of UCSB and its students. 

Leah is a 3rd year student attending the University of California, Santa Barbara pursuing a double major in Communication and Sociology. When she's not tagging her friends in memes, she enjoys watching YouTube makeup gurus and attending music festivals (when she can afford them). She hopes to pursue a career in the field of social marketing and/or public relations. Follow her on Instagram at @itsleaah!
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