Find the Answer

The Student Life office is located on the second floor of the Highlander Union Building at UC Riverside.

We’ve anticipated many of your questions and tried to answer them. If you are unable to find the answer here, don’t hesitate to contact us.


What does Student Life do?

Student Life does a lot. When you begin as a student at UCR, you’ll likely encounter us first as we coordinate the orientation programs (Highlander Orientation) for both new first-year students and transfer students, as well as events and workshops for new students throughout the year. We also work on big campus events that you’ll likely attend, as we work closely with the Associated Students Program Board to put on these huge events. If you’re interested in student organizations, we also advise the over 450 student organizations on campus and help them make this campus a lively place (which includes working with our fraternities and sororities). In addition to all those things, we also do leadership-focused events, helpful workshops for our commuter students, and more. See? That’s a lot. Feel free to ask us more about these specific things!

I’m looking for a cool place to work. Does Student Life hire?

Student Life hires a few types of students. Highlander Orientation hires Orientation Leaders who will work during the summer. Check out the Highlander Orientation website in the fall quarter for application information. The Associated Students Program Board also hires a variety of students each winter quarter that plan and market events for the entire campus to enjoy. Head over to the ASPB website to get info about that. Lastly, Student Life hires students to work at our front desk and greet visitors, but we only get to hire a handful each year. Come ask us in spring quarter if we’re hiring for the front desk for the following year and we can give you details!

How many student organizations are there and how do I join?

We have over 450 organizations. The number fluctuates as we’re constantly adding new organizations. The process to join these groups can span from “Just show up!” for the more casual groups, all the way up to formal recruitment processes. The easiest way is to email a group you’re interested in and ask about that process. To find their contact emails, head over to our database of student organizations at HighlanderLink and look for groups you might be interested in!

What can I do if I don’t even know what to look for?

There’s a few options. Either you can use HighlanderLink’s filtering systems to look at organizations by category or by keyword (for example, looking specifically at service organizations if you’re interested in volunteering or community service). You can also complete the Involvement Calculator,  a survey that asks you about your major, interests, demographics, etc., and then we prepare a specialized report with what clubs you should join!

Why should I join a student organization? Shouldn’t I focus on schoolwork?

There are academic studies that prove doing things outside the classroom benefit your in the classroom experience. Alexander Astin, a researcher at UCLA, determined that a student involved in organizations (as well as living on campus, working on campus, etc.) learns valuable skills that help them succeed with academic coursework as well. Of course, you shouldn’t do too much outside the classroom, so focus on just a few experiences that you’re passionate about and make sure to leave time to study and do all your classwork.

How can I start a new student organization?

We start new organizations during summer, fall, and winter quarters. During the first five weeks of each of these quarters, stop into HUB 229 and ask to setup a meeting to start a new organization. You’ll meet with an adviser, explain your ideas and they will walk you through the rest of the process. You need a minimum of five people to start a student organization!

What are the benefits of being a registered student organization?

Organizations that are registered through Student Life get several benefits, most notably access to rooms on campus, access to a bank account, funding through our student government, coverage by our university insurance program, and the ability to participate in campus events like tabling at large events.

What are the requirements for a registered organization to stay active?

Once your group is registered, we have a few requirements you have to meet on an annual basis. You have to have an individual check-in meeting with your Student Life adviser once a year, attend the Student Org Seminars that happen during week zero of fall quarter, and you have to complete the online re-registration process every spring. You also have to have 10 active members in order to re-register (full-time UCR students).

If my organization wanted to post up flyers or posters, how do we do that?

We have opportunities to post either large posters or 8.5- x 11-inch flyers. For posters, we can provide you with paper, paint and markers, and you can hang these posters on either the Bell Tower or on a wall up by Spieth Hall. For flyers, bring in 30 copies (max) and we will stamp them and provide you with a map of our bulletin boards. For both posters and flyers, we require the following info to be on them: your organization’s name, a contact email for your organization, the dates/times/location of your events/meetings, and then our stamp of approval.

I heard organizations have mailboxes in Student Life. How do we use ours?

All organizations can have mail sent to Student Life. Once we receive mail for an organization, we create a folder and we keep your mail here. If your organization receives packages, or you have an excess amount of mail, we will likely get in touch with you about picking it up. To have mail sent here, use this address:

(Your org name)
900 University Ave, HUB 229
Riverside, CA 92521


I talked to someone that told me about a group that isn’t listed on HighlanderLink, what does that mean?

If a group isn’t listed on HighlanderLink, that might be for a few reasons. It might be an organization that’s tied to a department, which means it’s not a student organization. These might be volunteer groups or academic groups that get support from the university. A group might also be inactive, meaning it didn’t meet all of our requirements. You’ll want to mention that you didn’t find the group on HighlanderLink and see if it know the group might be inactive. If the group is inactive, it doesn't get the resources or support that registered groups do, so make sure the group is on track to re-register with us when it can. Lastly, a group might not be affiliated with the university. This category includes organizations that were explicitly removed from the university for a variety of reasons or a group that was never allowed to start at the university. Both of these can be cause for concern, so we’d recommend not joining organizations that tell you they’re legitimate but are not registered with the university. There are often red flags about these organizations that might put yourself and others in potential danger.

Fraternity and Sororities

Refer to the Fraternity/Sorority FAQ page.

I’m having trouble logging into the registration system.

Make sure that you have submitted your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). This takes about three days after submission for it to appear in our system. Also make sure that you are logging in with your Net ID and PermPin. These can be found on your MyUCR account. If you are still unable to access the registration site, please contact the Orientation office at (951) 827-2789.

Is attending Highlander Orientation a requirement?

Attending Highlander Orientation is a provision of admission at UCR. Failure to attend will result in the student’s admission status being revoked. Orientation is when students will be receiving academic advising, will register for classes, and will be introduced to vital resources on campus. If you cannot attend any of the available orientation sessions, please contact the Orientation office at (951) 827-2789.

What is the Family Program? How do I register for it?

The Family Orientation program is a program designed to educate families of students about the resources that are available to them and their student. Families will gain insight into the academic and social journey that their student will experience here at UCR. Guest registration can be completed by logging into the Orientation Registration site. If you have already registered for orientation, select “Edit My Registration” on your dashboard to add a guest.

What is the Spanish Family Program?

The Spanish Family program is a one-day abbreviated program for Spanish-speaking families. It contains many of the same resources as the regular Family program, but is conducted in Spanish.

How do I find out about the events happening around campus?

There are always things happening at UCR. To find out about the biggest events, make sure you head over to To find out about events that student organizations are hosting, they post their events on HighlanderLink and there’s an events feature you can browse. Also find the social media accounts for your favorite organizations, they often update those with events as they happen.

Are these big events free for me as a student? What if I want to bring a friend?

All events are free for students, unless specifically noted. You just want to make sure you have your R'Card with you, as most events might check for that. Some big events are open for your friends, either for free or they can purchase tickets. Usually in the fine print, you’ll see a reference for guests and friends. Worst case, feel free to ask who’s hosting the event. Remember parking will not be free for your off-campus friends.

I used to play in band when I was in high school. Is there a band here I could join?

UCR does have a few options for those that enjoy playing music. Our office specifically coordinates the UCR Pep Band, which plays at our home athletics events. If you’re interested or have questions about this, you can email Geovanni Mayoral, our Highlander Band adviser, at

Why are we the Highlanders but our mascot is a bear?

We know this can be a tad confusing. We are the Highlanders. Our mascot is just one Highlander, named Scotty Highlander. He just happens to be a bear (it’s a bit of an homage to other UC universities that have bears as mascots). But when you cheer on our sports teams or tell your friends what mascot you have, the answer is always Highlanders.

What does the large C on the nearby mountains mean?

If you haven’t seen it already, there’s a large C on the mountainside nearby. This stands for California and quite a few of the UC schools have a large C at their campuses as well.