Localiter!

A new locally-owned, group-purchasing site, Localiter,  recently launched in Austin that allows users to get huge discounts once a minimum number of consumers purchase a particular voucher.

How it works
Picture this; you wake up and check your inbox to find an e-mail from Localiter offering a 50% off deal to Lift Cafe. You open the e-mail and read more, discovering that you can pay $5 and receive a $10 coupon, provided at least 20 coupons are purchased.

Lift Cafe: Photo by Drew Bean

So you sign up to pay the $5 and forward the e-mail to your friends and then post the deal on your Facebook and Twitter either because you really want to try Lift Cafe for the first time or because it’s one of your local favorites and you want to get a sweet deal.

Then, once enough people sign up for the coupon, Localiter charges your credit card and sends you the voucher, which you then print and take with you to Lift Cafe to get $10 worth of coffee, smoothies, and sandwiches.

Pros and Cons

Customer
Pro- huge discounts for buying a coupon and the opportunity to forward the deal to  friends
Con- no discount if enough people don’t purchase the voucher

Businesses
Pro- opportunity to reach new customers and convert them into “regulars”
Con- possibility of just bringing in old customers armed with huge discounts

Hear it discussed by Kristina Garza, the owner of Localiter, and John Voss, the manager of Lift Cafe, one of the first locally-owned businesses to use Localiter to attract new customers.

Wrap Up

For our last post on Burnt Orange Living I decided to highlight several cool places to spend time around campus that the average student might not have visited yet or might have forgotten about. I asked a couple students where their favorite place is on campus and then added a few of my own favorites.

Lobby of the CMA

“I love this lobby because it’s such a collaborative place. It’s a little loud so it’s not exactly perfect for studying, but it’s a fun place to browse the internet or work on group projects.”- Jordyn

Littlefield House

“This place is cool because it’s a unique building and it’s one of the oldest buildings on campus.”- Maxwell Lincoln

Stairs by Dorothy Gebauer Building

“This is a really awesome place to do parkour, and one night I took my girlfriend up to sit on the top of the stairs and we had a nice time just sitting up there and talking.”- Drew Bean

Courtyard at Welch

“This is a really cool place to read a book or just listen to music and it’s pretty centrally located, which is nice.”- Jordyn

Union; 3rd Floor

“Everyone knows this is the best place for napping on campus”- Jessica Lauer

Battle Hall

“I really like the architecture library in Battle Hall because it looks legit and it’s quiet”- Lucio Gamboa

Courtyard at Mezes

“I’ve had several classes in Mezes and I love getting to this courtyard before  tests and sitting outside to get in a good mental state going into my tests”- Jordyn

Fine Arts Library

“My favorite place is the Fine Arts Library. The view is beautiful from the huge windows and it’s so much prettier than the PCL. Plus the chairs are super comfy and there’s a giant piano hanging from the ceiling.”- Stephani Clayton

PCL; 2nd Floor

“My favorite place to study is the PCL, 2nd floor main room. I like that the room is structured to be really open and bright. I also like that the PCL is open until 2 in the morning, which is great for people who enjoy studying late at night, like me. You’re free to bring food and drink so it’s fantastic for long periods of studying. However, you can also talk to other people too, which is great if you need a study break. Also, since there are so many people around, your stuff is less likely to get stolen if you get up and leave for a few seconds.”- Pauline Nguyen

Courtyard at San Jacinto

“When I used to live at San Jac last summer I loved sitting in that courtyard at night on a bench and listening to music and writing.”- Jordyn

It’s Springtime In Austin, Time To Visit The Turtle Pond

To finish up my blogging for this semester, I decided to spend a little time at one of the most unique places on the UT campus, the Tower Garden Memorial, more commonly known as “the turtle pond.”

I have been waiting all week for a nice sunny day to just sit back, observe, and do a little bit of people watching and today seemed like just the perfect day.

Photo by Epyon MX via Flickr Creative Commons

Whether they come here to read, picnic, nap in the sun, or “ooh!” and “ahh!” at the turtles, this pond and adjacent lawn are a favorite spot to visit for UT students and visitors–both adults and children alike.

This place is surprisingly quiet and provides a great location to just sit back and relax, especially during this time of the year. It’s a nice peaceful getaway located right in the heart of campus.

For a little bit of background on the pond, watch this short video.

And this one will help you get a better idea of the setting. Listen for the Tower bells!

Overall, it’s just a truly unique place to experience. If you haven’t already, stop by for a visit sometime and say hello to the turtles!

Human Rights Symposium

This week the White Rose Society is putting on their fourth annual Human Rights Symposium. The White Rose Society is a student organization focused on Holocaust remembrance and genocide awareness. All week they’re holding awareness events during the days and hosting insightful speakers in the evenings.

Photo by Mwamba Family Foundation

Tonight’s speaker is Sean Corasso, a UT alum and experienced activist. Sean will discuss the current state of child soldiers in Africa and how we, as students, can help end this atrocity. You can hear him speak in Welch1.120 at 7 p.m. tonight.

Sean is the founder of Falling Whistles, a non-profit that raises awareness about child soldiers in the Congo.

While traveling with Invisible Children, an organization that works end the war in Uganda and rebuild the war-torn country, and Toms Shoes, a group that donates a pair of shoes to a child in Ethiopia for every pair of shoes purchased, Sean stumbled into The Democratic Republic of Congo and heard something that shocked him.

He happened to meet a few recently-rescued child soldiers who shared with him their stories of being kidnapped and then forced to fight in a violent and bloody war. But then, they told him something even more disturbing and shocking. They told him the story of the whistle blowers, children too small to hold guns who are sent to the front lines of battle armed only with a whistle.

Whistle for purchase

As Sean explains in the diary he kept during the trip, which became the manifesto of Falling Whistles, “Their sole duty is to make enough noise to scare the enemy and then to receive with their bodies the first round of bullets.”

After returning home, Sean came up with a plan to raise awareness about the cause as well as money to help fight for it. He built an organization that sells whistles for people to wear around their necks in order to get people talking about the tragic situation.

Check out what he has to say tonight in Welch and if you want to do more, buy a whistle or check out their summer internship program.

The UT Bridging Disciplines Programs

Looking to get the most out of your college degree? Then look no further than The University of Texas’ Bridging Disciplines Programs.

If you have a diverse set of interests, aren’t quite sure what you want to do with your degree and are looking for some guidance, or simply want a more well-rounded, versatile education experience, then the BDPs might be for you.

Need career guidance? The BDP advisors are ready to help you! (Photo by quinn.anya via Flickr Creative Commons)

Started in 2002 by the Provost’s Office, the Bridging Disciplines Programs are now a part of the School of Undergraduate Studies, which provides a diverse set of programs and resources that traverse boundaries between colleges and disciplines and enhance the quality of undergraduate education.

“The BDPs are a great way to get to learn in depth about a subject that interests you from more than one disciplinary perspective,” said Alex Briceno, a member of the Environmental BDP. “My BDP has really enhanced my experience at the university by helping me meet new people and be exposed to new ideas that I could not have found by just taking the courses required for my degree.”

The BDPs consist of eleven different interdisciplinary concentrations, ranging from Children and Society to Digital Arts and Media. Each of the concentrations represent areas of innovative faculty research, teaching and collaboration at UT, and each program is led by a cross-college panel of faculty members whose research relates to the program topic.

In these programs, students study an issue from a variety of perspectives, teaching them to become more flexible, versatile thinkers, and preparing them for a professional world that values collaboration and innovation.

BDPs combine courses that fulfill core requirements, electives, and courses for your major with real world experience to connect your BDP topic with your major and career goals. With planning, the BDP should NOT add time to your UT career. Rather, the BDP helps you choose the courses you already have to take in an integrated way, giving you the opportunity to develop a secondary area of specialization.

As a BDP student, you gain access to valuable career advising. BDP advisors are here to help you find courses, research opportunities, and internship experiences that complement your major, while also supporting you in developing knowledge and experience you would not otherwise find within your degree plan.

After completing the required 19 credit hours of coursework, research, and internship experiences, students earn a certificate demonstrating a secondary area of specialization that complements their major.

“It truly allows you to customize your time at UT so you can make the most of your resources and leave UT feeling like you have experienced everything you wanted to academically,” said Morgan Rucker, who was part of the International Studies BDP. “I can’t say, ‘I wish my major had let me learn more about ________area,’ because the BDPs gave me an opportunity to do it.”

Easter Weekend

Although many students are going home for Easter Weekend, many will be staying in town due to scheduling difficulties, intense workloads, an aversion to traffic, etc.

If you fall into this category but  would still like to attend some kind of Easter service then you’re in luck because there are several churches located on campus and in west campus!

To keep it simple I’ll just narrow it down to a few categories of churches!

Peeps!

Baptist

If you would like to attend a Baptist service then check out University Baptist Church, located at  22nd and Guadalupe. They have an Easter breakfast at 9 a.m. and services begin at 10:30 a.m, and they described their attire over the phone as “relatively informal”

Catholic

For Catholic services your best bet is the University Catholic Center, located at  21st and University Ave (near the PCL). They will host services at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 5 p.m., and 8 p.m. According to my roommate, a regular attendee of the University Catholic Center, “Any kind of attire is fine, but you might want to dress it up a little more than usual since it is Easter.”

Non-Denominational

For non-denominational services check out Hill Country Bible Church, located at 22nd and San Antonio St. Their Easter service will begin at 10 a.m. As far as attire goes, their website states, “Wear whatever you are comfortable in. We are an informal church and accept people as they are.”

Registering For Classes In 1-2-3 (-4-5-6…) Easy Steps!

So it is starting to get close to everybody’s favorite time of the year, you know, registration!

While the actual dates for signing up for classes are April 19-30, now is the time when you should be preparing for those days.

For freshmen that may have registered for the first time during orientation, this whole process is probably new to you. For upperclassmen, let it serve as a little refresher.

First things first, check your Registration Information Sheet, otherwise known more simply as your RIS. Your RIS lists your access periods and access times, information for advising and any registration bars you may have.

The next thing you should do is consult a course schedule. For this registration period, you may need to look at two separate course schedules—those for both the summer and fall semesters. Currently, only the summer 2010 course schedule is available, while the fall 2010 schedule will be available at least two weeks prior to the beginning of registration.

Then make sure that you have cleared all of your bars. These may be financial or non-financial bars, but either way, they will keep you from registering. Many academic departments also have an advising bar and require their students to be advised before registering. However, even if it is not required, talking with an advisor in your department before registration comes highly recommended.

Another useful tool, especially for very organized students, is the interactive degree-audit system. IDA allows you to keep an eye on the big picture and check your progress towards that degree. Utilizing this tool is very effective in making sure that you graduate on time. One benefit of the IDA is that it will help you keep track of your classes using the calendar, and will inform you of your prerequisites and requirements.

Now you are ready to register. Make a list of the courses you want to take, and get ready to punch in the unique numbers as quick as you can!

In the event that a course is full, your only option may be to join a waitlist for it. Keep in mind also that their will be an add/drop period at the beginning of the semester that you are now registering for, so there is still hope that you can get into that course.

A few more tips from my personal experiences:

  • Freshmen, don’t plan ahead too early. Get a rough idea—very rough—of what you want to take, and pray that you can form some sort of a decent schedule with whichever courses remain open.
  • MyEdu, formerly Pick-A-Prof, is your best friend. Pay the small fee and join, you won’t regret it at all.
  • Those Course-Instructor Surveys that you hate filling out? They do matter, and can be useful as well. Check the CIS results for more information about courses and instructors.
  • For the sake of a little bit more time, don’t concern yourself with the options given before you register classes, such as to buy a Cactus Yearbook or LASP. You can go back and purchase these after you get your classes in.

Oh, one more thing to remember–don’t forget to pay your tuition by the deadline. The university sends out too many emails for you to forget, so don’t ignore them, and consequently lose all the courses you registered for.

Registration is hard enough the first time, do you really want to have to do it all again?

For any more questions, check out the Registrar’s website.  

Best of luck!