Oakes Welcome Leaders (OWLs)


What is an Oakes Welcome Leader?

Oakes Welcome Leaders (or OWLs) are a group of volunteers who assist with Move-In, Welcome Week,  activities and programs during the first six weeks of fall quarter. They play an important role in setting the tone for a brand new exciting year. OWLs will work with next year's Neighborhood Assistants and Community Assistants to help new students become familiar with Oakes College, UCSC, and all that Santa Cruz has to offer.

Why do I want to be an OWL?

You mean besides the cool job title? Aside from being a crucial part of Oakes programs, being an OWL is a fantastic opportunity to help next year's new students out. It's a great way to give back to the Oakes community. It is also a great way to develop leadership skills. It is a fun and rewarding experience.

What do I have to do as an Oakes Welcome Leader?

If you are selected as an OWL, you'll need to meet two times this Spring Quarter to start training and to start working on next year's Welcome Week programs. You'll also be required to help out with one springtime event and to stay on campus the wekeend after finals to assist with the Oakes Commencement Ceremony.

In Fall, OWLs arrive back one week before Move-In for a week of OWL training and planning. Training is mandatory, all-day, and assignments sometimes continue into the evening. During this time, you will be assigned to a committee to plan and coordinate a major event, including: campus tours, Oakes Talent Showcase, New Student Welcome, House Bounce, Ice Cream Social, and more.

Move-In and Welcome Week are the bulk of OWL responsibilities. Our days begin early and end late. Prepare to fully dedicate this time to getting to know new students and supporting their transition to Oakes College. You and your committee will be putting on the event you planned and supporting the events of other teams.

After Welcome Week, OWLs will continue to outreach to new students and plan and support social programs for the first six weeks of school. All OWLs will assist with major Oakes traditions like Spirit Week and Block Party.

Are there perks to being an OWL?

The Welcome Leader position is an exceptionally important position but it is a volunteer position. That doesn't mean we don't have any compensation. As an OWL, you will get:

  • A Paid Position
  • 7-day meal plan starting the the first day of fall training up until the day classes begin
  • Early fall move-in (on-campus students only)
  • A free Oakes Staff T-Shirt

We understand that this isn't nearly worth the amount of time and effort OWLs need to put in to make Welcome Week work. The reason most OWLs participate is because of the intangible perks: leadership development, teamwork, and getting to work with next year's incoming students. Our OWLs have time and time again gone on to become NAs, CAs, CUIP interns, officers in student orgs, and much more.

Ok, I'm sold. How do I become an OWL?

Info for 2022-23 OWL positions will be updated in Spring 2022.


 Meet Your 2021-22 OWLs!

Images of OWLs
lena-frez.jpeg Hi! My name is Lena Frez and a Computer Engineer major. I am a second year student that is affiliated with Oakes. I am from the Bay Area and I love to read, draw, and listen to calming music. If you ever need to talk to me about things like academics, settling into UCSC, or anything else, feel free to reach out to me with my email lfrez@ucsc.edu
melissa-gomez-perez.jpg Hey, my name is Melissa Gomez Perez (She/Her/Ella) and I am a second year double majoring in Psychology and Sociology! I am from the Bay and I love music, movies and cinematography. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions: mgomezpe@ucsc.edu
aracely-alva-coello.jpg Hey ya'll my name is Aracely (she/her/ella). I'm a first generation and third year Linguistics major. I enjoy going on walks and star gazing! Please reach out to me if you have any questions on anything including Linguistics, navigating college, on campus-resources and events.

Sup everyone! My name is Marshall Ibañez. I am a rising Sophomore and Computer Science B.S. major. I like video games, especially rpgs. In my free time, I go out and explore Santa Cruz and the forests surrounding it so if you want to know of a secret spot in Santa Cruz, just ask me. Hope you have a great first year at Santa Cruz!

alex-mercado Hi, I'm Alex (any pronouns), I'm a 4th-year psych major and affiliated with Oakes College! I love movies, especially the Scream franchise, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Hereditary 🕺. If you ever need me, my email is alalmerc@ucsc.edu :).

Hi y’all! My name is Megan (she/her they/them). I’m a second year student and I’m majoring in Applied Math. I’m passionate about music and art, and love to draw and crochet in my free time! Feel free to reach out to me, my email is mtallcot@ucsc.edu .

lucy-herrera-reyes.jpg Hi everyone! My name is Lucy Herrera, I am a second-year student at UCSC majoring in Language Studies. I am a Chicana woman who values friendships and family. Some of my hobbies include photography, meeting people, crafting, and journaling. I'm affiliated with Oakes and will be an OWL for Oakes, which is extremely exciting! My goal is to guide and provide community to incoming students here at Oakes. Please feel free to reach out to me! I am always looking for adventures and meeting people. One last fact about me is that I am a Leo!
teddy-ryall Hello!! My name is Teddy, I am a third year student majoring in cognitive science. I am from the Sacramento area (Orangevale specifically). If you need to reach me my email is: tryall@ucsc.edu
alia-espinoza.jpeg Hey Oakes Folx! My name is Alia (she/her/hers) and I am a third year Global & Community Health/LALS double major. I am a Cowell affiliate but I’ve been an Oakes OWL for the past couple years! If you ever need to reach me my email is auespino@ucsc.edu.