Student Housing and Dining Services Strategic Plan2021

III. What We Do and Whom We Serve


Student Housing provides living accommodations, and student and community development programming to nearly 6,000 students: 5,000 in residence halls and 844 (including some family members) in 476 on-campus apartments. We also provide 600 bed spaces in lease-back arrangements in offcampus apartments and 955 bed spaces via third-party housing providers on campus.

Student Housing manages more than 100 buildings of various types and comprises 350 career staff and 900 student employees. We manage student accounts in excess of $79 million.

UC Davis Student Housing provides oversight of three residential dining commons, three retail centers/convenience stores, and catering and bakery operations. On average, 55,000 meals are served each week. While all dining facilities and services are open to the campus population and general public, 95 percent of usage is by residence hall students. The dining program emphasizes local products, healthy options and sustainability.

During the summer months, the Student Housing’s Conference Housing Office provides rooms and public spaces to many different groups both internal and external to the university. Conference housing allows the department to generate additional revenue for operational needs in buildings that do not have planned preventive maintenance or renovation projects. Campus constituents and external groups who have utilized this opportunity include UC Davis summer session students, the UC Davis Orientation program, Intercollegiate Athletics, Special Olympics and UCA/NCA cheerleader camp.

In addition to our academic year and summer housing and dining programs, the department also provides a number of campus life services and programs, most notably academic advising and orientation. More than 10,500 incoming students and their family members and guests attend campus orientation each summer.

Housing Guarantee

In support of UC Davis’ mission and in line with other UC campuses, housing is guaranteed to all incoming freshmen. In 2009, this guarantee was extended to all incoming transfer students. In 2012, Student Housing further expanded the housing guarantee to second-year students. More than 90 percent of all incoming freshmen and 20 percent of incoming transfer students contract to live in student housing. These figures grow larger each year.

Student Populations

Student Housing’s capital plans are designed with the housing guarantee to first-year freshman students as a foundational priority. These accommodations are provided in single, double, or triple residence hall rooms. First-year transfer student accommodations are largely provided in lease-back apartments located in Davis or in the third-party communities at Primero Grove and The Colleges.

The majority of continuing students prefer to live off campus for their second year and beyond. Less than five percent of our bed spaces are generally filled in this manner. While only a small number of continuing students prefer to stay on campus, the availability of such housing is important to students and families when they are considering which campus to attend.

To ascertain the off-campus housing supply and demand, Student Housing analyzes annual vacancy and rental information within the City of Davis. In the past, Student Housing has administered an annual survey to gather this data. Moving forward, a third-party consultant will collect and analyze rental and vacancy figures and provide up-todate information regarding the availability and affordability of community housing. The department also fosters strong partnerships with the third party developments: Primero Grove, Russell and LaRue Park, The Colleges and West Village apartments.

Incoming international students are integrated with other UC Davis students in the standard housing options. While international students do not prefer specialized or separate housing, they do have needs that vary from domestic students related to distance and travel. Many international students arrive to campus and check in prior to our scheduled move-in periods and stay on campus during holiday closure periods.

Graduate student housing is also a priority for UC Davis and we are currently in the process of constructing facilities that will increase the beds available to graduate students from 825 to 1,063. Approximately 18 percent of graduate students live on campus, primarily in our Orchard and Solano Park apartments.

In addition to the traditional offerings, Student Housing manages a ground lease with Tandem Properties to provide group living opportunities for approximately 180 continuing students, primarily fraternity and sorority members. These properties consist of four large buildings that house approximately 30–35 residents each and four small houses accommodating 14 residents each.

Student Programs and Services

Student Housing provides a robust residential education program that includes the Residence Hall Advisory Board, leadership development opportunities, living-learning and academic themed communities, social and extracurricular activities and a broad range of academic support programs. To facilitate these programs and services, Student Housing employs professional and student staff who also provide for the safety, community development and individual needs of student residents.

To facilitate positive community and ensure residents are in compliance with Student Housing policy and the UC Davis Standards of Conduct for Students, Student Housing has professional staff and student peer-review boards who meet with students involved in alleged policy or behavioral violations. In most instances, an educational and developmental solution can be found. For serious or repetitive situations, a student’s housing contract and/or their overall student status may be reviewed. Student Housing also manages the student organization conduct process for incidents allegedly involving any UC Davis registered student organization.

To augment our residential program, Student Housing began coordinating a First-Year Experience program in the 1990s. The First-Year Experience program includes academic advising, tutoring, academic workshops, peer advising and other academic support programs.

In addition to advising and other support programs, all UC Davis housing residents have access to the Computer Centers, which provide space for group study and review sessions, access to computers, printers, shredders, scanners and free printing. Drop-in, on-call and personal computing support is available to all residential students.

Closely coordinated with the academic advising program, Student Housing also manages the UC Davis Orientation program. Each summer, approximately 4,700 students (99.8 percent of the freshman class) attend a two-day, one-night program with concurrent but separate student and family programs. In addition, approximately 2,600 transfer student (88 percent of the incoming transfer population) attend a one-day orientation program. Student Housing also conducts orientation sessions specifically planned and organized for incoming international students. While attending orientation, students register for fall classes and learn about resources, campus culture and student life at UC Davis.

In 2008, Student Housing assumed responsibility for the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life. Ten percent of UC Davis students belong to one of 70 fraternities and sororities registered at UC Davis.

Dining, Retail and Catering Services

Dining, Retail and Catering Services provide a wide variety of healthy, tasty food in three dining commons, three convenience stores, and concession and retail locations. In addition to our broad residential food program, we offer Starbucks coffee, bakery items, catering services and several branded food options (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Carl’s Jr.). We provide two food trucks in addition to other proprietary options, offering a variety of choices for both our residential students and the broader campus population. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and other health needs are met in these locations and the thirdparty provider works closely with the Residential Education office to provide programmatic opportunities via themed meals, barbecues, and other specialty meals.

Campus Collaborations

Collaboration is a key value for UC Davis Student Housing. In support of that value, we partner with a variety of campus and community entities and organizations to deliver our services and programs. Appendix A shows a complete list of the regular and ongoing committees and group meetings we attend and/or facilitate.