The good life
An hour before tipoff, the Maverick Maniacs gather for pizza and face-painting in the second-floor lounge of Texas Hall. It’s the first official event for the student spirit group, the brainchild of Aguero and Mr. UTA Brandon Wheat.
On this night, they cheer the Mavericks to an 87-64 victory over Arkansas-Monticello. “We’ll be loud and crazy at all athletic events,” vows Maniacs member Ryan Garrett.
"I really can't explain it, but UTA does have a more traditional feel. Even at night--I never realized how lively the campus is at night."
-senior Ryan Garrett
Even before the Maniacs formed late last fall, attendance
at athletics events was up. The volleyball team drew 25 percent more
fans than last season and posted a 10-0 home record en route to its
second consecutive Southland Conference championship.
His vantage point is Arbor Oaks Apartments on Greek Row Drive. Arbor Oaks and sister complex Timber Brook opened in August.
“The price is right. Plus, you get a full-size washer and dryer, plus ceiling fans, plus the [large] square footage, plus high-speed Internet connections and free metro phone service,” he said of Arbor Oaks. “And they’re new. You can’t beat it.”
Garrett, who lived off campus until last fall, has discovered other advantages as well. “Living on campus leads to greater opportunities to get more involved in organizations.”
The opportunities are vast. Among the 240 student organizations are professional groups like the Accounting Society and the Society of Women Engineers, cultural groups like the Association of Mexican American Students and the Vietnamese Students Association and special interest groups like Hip Hop 101 and the Pet and Animal Welfare Society.
Membership in student organizations reached a record 7,500 last fall—up 10 percent over last year and 34 percent over two years ago. Why the dramatic increase? It’s simple, says Jeff Sorensen, director of Student Governance and Organizations.
“More students are living on campus,” he said. “And many of our students realize that page 2 of their résumé is what will make them marketable.”
Garrett’s page 2 is filling up. In addition to being an Ambassador, the political science major has found his niche in several honorary associations, including Alpha Chi and Golden Key National Honor Society. He’s also president of Pi Sigma Alpha, a political science honorary group.
On the third day of the fall 2002 semester, Garrett chats with a few of his Pi Sigma Alpha buddies as he leaves his political science class in University Hall. He crosses the library mall and enters the swarm at the Activities Fair.
Somewhere among the 3,000-plus are fellow campus residents Daniel Phillips, Jennifer Stilley, Misty Aguero, Chad Tolentino and Tova Charles who, along with Garrett, are all enjoying a huge slice of traditional college life.