In college, simply filling your stomach can be an arduous adventure. There are thousands of ways to spend money locally, and especially downtown, mostly at overpriced bars and restaurants. But don’t let anyone tell you there are no opportunities for local, low-budget freeloading. Here are 10 ways:
Art openings: A bourgeois boutique of wine, cheese, assorted vegetables and dips, usually found in rooms in the Arts wing. Bonus: bolting can disturb a speaker, but not art.
Corwin Pavilion: Any tenacious campus freeloader knows that Corwin Pavilion events are a haven for handouts. Sitting through a speaker or memorial might be mandatory, but whether it’s mini sandwiches or coffee, it’s still a score.
Cultural Events and Student Groups: Whether it’s a week, a day or just a meeting, groups on campus usually yield some sort of refreshment. But weigh the time costs. Is a cold piece of pizza really worth attending a save-your-soul session?
Freshman Friends: Dorm dwellers, especially young impressionable ones, can prove to be valuable allies in the college food forage. With access to unlimited amounts of cafeteria buffet food, silverware, dishes, tea bags and glasses, these people are the closest thing a starving student has to a liberation army.
MultiCultural Center: Sometimes the MCC lounge even serves snacks during public film screenings. It’s a much easier route to a cookie and lemonade fix than giving blood.
Parties: Look around. Unless you came from Rock ‘n Roll High School, you might notice different characteristics about Isla Vista than … say … anywhere. It’s rumored that I.V. swallows 1 percent of all beer consumed annually in California. This is not a matter of fact, but judging by the concentration of Del Playa Drive kegs on weekends alone, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were. Just remember that for the person on a fixed budget, beer is food.
Rushing: There is no better incentive to meet fraternity boys on their own turf than a $5 all-you-can-eat deal between houses. The conversation may lack flavor, but burgers, burritos and sandwiches are fresh. Remember, this one’s not free (like friends in the Greek system), so bring a doggy bag.
Student Health Services: SHS gives out condoms and suckers for the desperate who just need to cover the bare bones.
Vendors: Periodically scour vendors in the Arbor for free goodies. If you see vendors giving out T-shirts for completed credit card applications, ask them where their campus permit is and who authorized it, and then see how much they offer.
Women’s Center: Some of the best freebees on campus are in or in front of the Women’s Center. The center puts together arguably the campus’ most savory annual event by welcoming new women faculty members to UCSB, along with a buffet line. Also, the center’s front lawn is easily accessible – adjacent to the main bikepath near Storke Tower – and is often occupied with activity.
This list barely bruises the surface of the iceberg lettuce, but that’s not the point. Use your imagination; where there is a will to eat free, there is a way, especially at UCSB. Friends don’t let friends say, “I’m too poor to eat.” That line is reserved exclusively for sympathetic parents and relatives.
Ted Andersen is the Daily Nexus training and news editor and is not too proud to beg.