Like the playing pieces vying for that Boardwalk property, Gauchos come in all shapes and sizes. And while no one has ever seen an iron or a thimble biking across campus, UCSB has so many clubs and organizations, even an inanimate metallic wheelbarrow could find the right one.

Ski and Snowboard Club President Alex Shlyakhov, a fourth-year business economics major, heads up one of the campus’ most well known clubs. He said the organization – which puts together trips to the slopes in the winter and throws parties in I.V. the rest of the year – is a nice mix of socializing and sport.

“Since it’s the largest club at Santa Barbara, it’s the easiest and most fun way to meet new people, have a good time, and get to the mountains for the lowest possible price as often as possible,” Shlyakhov said. “Fall Quarter freshman year is when you meet the friends you’ll have for the rest of college, and with an average of 500 people at our socials, this is the best way to make new friends who have similar interests.”

A bit notorious for its annual kickoff rally and weekly trips to Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, the club will also compete in this year’s All Cal ski trip, a weeklong ski and snowboard competition between the UC campuses. (UCSB has taken home the cup three years running – take that Bruins, Bears and Anteaters.)

If taking to the slopes is not to your cup of tea, students can stroll up to an evening meeting with the UCSB Math Club, complete with advanced algebra, problem solving and of course, cookies. Math Club organizer and member Jacob Jaffe, a fourth-year College of Creative Studies mathematics major, said the club functions as another resource for students interested in pursuing mathematics.

“We get a lot of guest speakers, such as professors from other campuses and grad students to come by and talk about what it means to do advanced mathematics and possible careers in math,” Jaffe said.

According to Jaffe, the club will also prepare for the annual William Lowell Putnam Competition, a problem-solving contest between the North American colleges.

“It’s a six hour long competition and the median score is zero,” Jaffe said. “We got honorable mention in 1972, and so the plan to get back there this year.

Sports fans with inadequate hand-eye coordination but comparable beer-mouth synchronization can team up with UCSB’s Gaucho Locos. Started in 1998, the Locos envelope university sporting events in a yellow-clothed storm, energizing the match with fight songs, rowdy fans and matching T-shirts. A word to the wise: Watch out for flying tortillas.

With election season upon us, fall will be a busy time for UCSB’s politically charged organizations. Students have the opportunity to link up with the Campus Democrats, College Republicans or the Campus Greens, all of which campaign for their favorite candidates and strive to get students involved in politics.

Cultural and religious clubs also abound on campus, and students can find their niche and relate with fellow classmates in organizations like Hermanos Unidos y Hermanas Unidas, the Lebanese Club, the Black Student Union, among many others. The Muslim Student Association, UC Santa Barbara Hillel and the UCSB Real Life programs also provide students with faith-seeking opportunities and community support.

Potential broadcast journalists will find UCSB pleasing to the ear, as the campus features its very own nonprofit radio station. The station, KCSB 91.9 FM, allows student programmers to participate in radio broadcasting and learn the trade through hands-on experience.

And of course, students interested in print journalism can hone their skills with us at the Daily Nexus. (Shameless, shameless plug: See our writer’s training advertisement on page 11!)