Students at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA don't always have time to travel far for fun, but they can take a break from schoolwork and show their UCLA school pride by attending one of the many Bruins sporting events.
Adam Braun, a third-year medical student, says this is a big benefit of UCLA. "You can go take a load off," he explains. "It doesn't take much time out of your day, but it's really fun to see a bunch of people screaming praises. It's therapeutic for me."
Adam suggests sports fans purchase a Den Pass — an "all-you-can-watch UCLA sports pass." While there are many Bruins sports teams, Adam says football and basketball are the most popular, and women's gymnastics is another fan favorite.
Here, he describes these events, and discusses options for medical students who'd rather play than watch.
Touchdowns and the Eight Clap
In July, the new Gold Humanism Honor Society inductees began holding monthly chapter meetings to plan the upcoming year's projects and activities.
All Bruins home football games are held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. "That stadium is legendary for many reasons," says Adam. "They host one of the biggest football games of the year there. All that history makes it a cool place to go."
Students and fans show UCLA school pride at football games (and other sporting events) by doing the famous Eight Clap. Adam explains: "You do eight claps. Then you yell 'U (clap, clap, clap), C (clap, clap, clap), L (clap, clap, clap), A (clap, clap, clap), UCLA, fight, fight, fight.' If you haven't seen the Eight Clap, you don't know UCLA sports."
Hoops and heckling
Adam says basketball is the most popular sport at UCLA because of its association with John Wooden — the legendary head coach who won 10 NCAA national championships in a 12-year period in the 1960s and 1970s, including a record seven in a row.
Basketball games are played at Pauley Pavilion, where the "yell squad" gets students pumped up, showing UCLA school pride. They're also responsible for Adam's favorite Bruins sports tradition: "the dirt."
"At the beginning of every game, they pass out 'the dirt' to everyone in the student section. It's a sheet of paper making fun of the other team. Then as each opposing player comes out, you yell something like 'go home' or 'who's that anyway?' or something silly. The first time UCLA scores, you take that paper, which you've already ripped up, and toss the pieces in the air in celebration."
Floor routines and hip-hop sensations
The UCLA women's gymnastics team also competes at Pauley Pavilion. Along with winning six NCAA championships and 17 Pac-12/10 Championships, the team recently became a YouTube sensation when gymnast Sophina DeJesus incorporated hip-hop moves into her floor routine. "These gymnasts are so energetic, talented and fun to watch," says Adam.
Med students take the field
Medical students who'd rather play than watch can usually find a pickup basketball or soccer game, or join an intramural team. They can also participate in one of UCLA's big events: the Grad Games.
"There's the UCLA Grad Games," Adam explains, "where medical students compete against teams from the law school, business school and other graduate programs. I was on the cornhole team my first year. They also have table tennis and other fun games. It's goofy but entertaining."
By Taylor Mallory Holland