Author: Brendan L

What to Bring (and Not Bring) When you Move In to Tropicana Del Norte

Ready for your big move to UCSB? Well, think smaller. One of the most common mistakes new residents make when moving to a residence hall is packing way too much stuff!

Before I moved to UCSB, I was stoked to finally be out on my own. Since this was my first time on my own, I wanted to be prepared. I was an Eagle Scout, after all! I went and bought the usual necessities, like Twin XL (extra long) sheets, some towels and toiletries, and a few school supplies. I already had a laptop, and my friend got me a full length mirror. Those things were great items to bring, along with clothes and a couple of posters.It was all the other stuff that made me feel like I was on the TV show, “Hoarders.” I quickly sent many items back with my Mom, and I quietly took more items home when I went home for break.

One of the great things about Tropicana is that all the bedroom and living room furniture is already there when you move in, and you don’t really need to bring a whole lot of extra stuff. Trop provides every resident with a bed, dresser, and use of a desk and desk chair. In the living room, there is also a couch, two chairs, a coffee table, end table, and media table. A small refrigerator and microwave are provided for late-night snacking. Plungers are provided in the restrooms, and there is light housekeeping twice a month, so you don’t have to bring much in terms of cleaning supplies. (Helpful Hint: You have to pick up all your clothes and junk up off the floors and bathroom counters before the housekeepers come. They don’t want to touch your dirty underwear!)

I would say that bringing my entire collection of Blu Ray and DVD movies was not really worth it (does anyone even watch films on disc anymore?). Extra end tables and a papas an chair are nice… but not really necessary. Other things that I recommend you leave behind are excessively large pieces of furniture, large speakers or sound systems, and excessive amounts of knick knacks (aka, dust collectors). Irreplaceable items such as heirlooms, expensive jewelry, or anything you’d miss if it was lost forever should definitely be left at home. You should also avoid bringing anything not in keeping with Tropicana’s policies, such as cookware, pets, candles, paraphernalia, and weapons.



  • Twin XL Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Bedspread

Bathroom Necessities

  • Bath towels
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toiletries

Study Tools

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Study Lamp


  • Beach Towel
  • Bicycle (with a “U” lock!)
  • Surfboard, Skateboard, etc.
  • Alarm clock
  • Laundry Soap

Things you and your roommates can coordinate bringing:

  • TV
  • Personal Mini-Fridge (there is one provided in the living room for the entire suite)

To make moving easier, you can take advantage of Bed Bath & Beyond’s “Shop Here. Pick Up There” service. You can go to your local Bed Bath & Beyond, shop for and select items for your Trop suite, then pick them up at the Goleta store after you arrive. Easy!

Once you’ve made your list, go back over it and pare it down. You’d be surprised by how little you actually use day to day if you stop and think about it. For more ideas on what to bring, check out the Tropicana Del Norte Pinterest Page.

Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall Welcomes Kobe Basketball Academy

Santa Barbara, CA – July 10, 2013 – Tropicana Gardens is proud to welcome Kobe Basketball Academy for its 2013 summer camp. This year, Tropicana will be providing housing for over 600 participants, who range in age from 8-18. With its convenient proximity to the UCSB Thunderdome, Tropicana Gardens is in easy walking distance for the campers, with suite-style accommodations and an on-site Café in its residence hall.

“Being a basketball fan myself, I am excited that Tropicana Gardens is again hosting Kobe Bryant’s amazing camp this summer,” said David Wilcox, Executive Director. “The kids love that they get to meet Kobe and get a signature from him while attending the camp.”

Zellie Hudson, Kobe Basketball Academy Camp Director, says, “We look forward to another great year at UCSB and Tropicana Gardens.”

Kobe Basketball Academy was founded in 2006. For more information, see the Kobe Basketball Academy website.

Tropicana Gardens residence hall is just blocks from UCSB’s main campus. During the academic year, Tropicana Gardens provides Santa Barbara City College students a campus residence hall living experience with furnished suites, and an unlimited dining plan and a direct bus to SBCC. Tropicana Gardens is known for its exceptional student life programs, its lush resort-style setting and amenities such as a heated pool, fitness room, rec room and 24-hour study lounge.

What is a Resident Assistant in College?

A Resident Assistant (RA) is a peer who makes sure that your residence hall community is safe, fun, and academically conducive place to live for you and your neighbors. They work to make your overall experience at Tropicana Del Norte a positive one. As a former RA, I’ll be completely truthful; it isn’t easy. Being an RA was one of the most challenging, yet enriching, experiences of my life. I met so many people from diverse backgrounds, and I like to hope that I made a positive change in their life by making their freshmen year a memorable and fulfilling experience.

There are three basic things that all RAs are responsible for: building community, peer counseling, and community standards.

  1. Building Community. RAs are a conduit for bringing residents together and sparking friendships. Coming to Santa Barbara, you’ll likely not know anyone, and that’s okay. Your RAs job is to put on fun, social, and educational programs and events where you can meet your neighbors and build relationships. Have a special interest? Tell your RA and work with them to put on a program or event.

  2. Peer Counseling. Not seeing eye-to-eye with your roommate? Unsure about where to buy your books? Looking to find out more about getting involved at Trop? You RA can help! RAs are your go-to guide and peer advisor, here to help you establish your new life as a student here at UCSB. They’ve been here for a year or more already, so they’ve already gone through a lot of the things you’re going through now. Take advantage of their valuable knowledge.

  3. Community Standards. RA’s help maintain the safety and academic atmosphere of our building, ensuring that laws and our residence hall community standards (such as quiet hours and alcohol/drug policies) are being followed. When the RAs perform community walks at various times throughout the night, they would like to make it a social visit, just stopping by to say hi. Invite your RA in and get to know them!

You can read the Tropicana policies in our Residence Hall Handbook. Think of your home as your safe haven where you and your roommates can study and sleep in peace. All other activities that are not conducive to an academic environment should be done elsewhere.

Tropicana Student Living Residence Life Staff 2012 – 2013

Your Resident Assistant won’t be a cookie cutter stereotype; each RA is different and colors the role with his or her own personality. Each individual will bring something different to the table. For example, some RAs are really creative and great at arts and crafts, while other RAs love to play sports. Each one bonds with people differently, but the common thread is that your RA wants to connect with you and help you connect to others.

Tropicana Student Housing Announces New 2013-2014 Residence Life Staff

Exceptional UCSB and SBCC Students to Lead Residence
Hall and Apartment Communities

Isla Vista, CA – April 8, 2013 – Tropicana Student Housing is proud to announce its student Residence Life staff for the 2013-2014 academic year. After an intensive 5-week interview and training process, twenty-six UCSB and SBCC students were chosen to provide leadership and build community at Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall, Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall and the Villas at Tropicana Upperclassmen Apartments.

“We are looking forward to using the unique talents of all of our student staff next year,” said Anna Rogers, Associate Director of Residence Life. “The candidates we selected are leaders who can inspire our residents and are crucial for creating a tight-knit community at Tropicana.”

Jacob Staines, a UCSB junior from Sacramento, will be the Residence Director at Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall for UCSB students. Erika Bellitt, a Westmont student from Pleasanton, and McKinley Mathon, a SBCC student from Atherton, CA, will be the new directors at Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall for SBCC students. Alex Markovich, a UCSB student from Corona, CA, will be the new Director of the Villas at Tropicana Upperclassmen Apartments.

New Resident Assistants for the 2013-14 school year will be Martin Brambila (UCSB) from Santee, CA; Zachary Clark (SBCC) from Tehachapi, CA; Tanaya Deshmukh (UCSB) from Pune, India by way of Mission Viejo, CA; Yoli Gavaldon, (UCSB) from Irvine, CA; Hannah Guillies (SBCC) from Thousand Oaks, CA; Harmony Hartley (SBCC) from Ojai, CA; Kodie Hebert (SBCC) from Portland, OR; Nico Hernandez (SBCC) from Salou, Spain; Yarim Jalomo, (SBCC) from Fresno, CA; Jenny Nguyen (UCSB) from Santa Clara, CA; Gladiola Pelayo, (UCSB) from Glendale, CA; Tracy Pfister (SBCC) from Napierville, IL; Eric Rouse (UCSB), from Placerville, CA; Matthew Ruth (UCSB) from Valley Springs, CA; Morgan Ryan (UCSB) from Salt Lake City, UT; and Johnathan Sokol (UCSB) from Thousand Oaks, CA.

Returning Tropicana Resident Assistants include Francisco Escobedo, a UCSB student from Cerritos, CA; Austin Fekete, a UCSB student from Chino, CA; Betti Guerrero, a UCSB student from Greenfield, CA; and Sean Tanabe from San Francisco, a current SBCC student who will transfer to UCSB next year. Ryan Fluence, a native of New Orleans who is transferring from SBCC to UCSB next year. Carolyn Burt, a SBCC student from Palo Alto, CA, will be Tropicana’s Program Coordinator.

About Tropicana Student Housing

Tropicana Student Housing offers residence hall and apartment living to more than 1,000 students attending the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall caters to UCSB freshmen; Tropicana Gardens offers SBCC students a college residential living experience and the Villas at Tropicana is an upperclassman apartment community. Tropicana is the Official Student Housing Sponsor of UCSB Athletics; hosts more than 90 summer camps annually and has been the proud summer home of Michael Jordan’s Flight School since 1995.

Domino’s Rolls Out Self-Service Ordering Kiosks at Tropicana

Students in Private Residence Halls Tropicana Del Norte and Tropicana Gardens now have the convenience of ordering their favorite Domino’s food at their fingertips.

Los Angeles–February 15, 2013 – In order to maximize Domino’s presence and accessibility to UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) students living in Isla Vista, local Domino’s franchisee Mark Talarico needed an innovative solution. With the rollout of EMN8-powered self-service kiosks, and the help of a local student housing company, he was able to get just that – more food delivered to more students in a quick, convenient, affordable and easily-managed fashion.

Starting this semester Tropicana Student Housing residents have the ability to order Domino’s right from kiosks located in their residence halls. The added convenience provides Talarico with a solution that addresses student needs while simultaneously offering a smarter, more streamlined system to manage customer orders.

“The Tropicana Student Housing kiosk installation enhances Domino’s footprint in Isla Vista and allows us to drive more sales through EMN8’s QSR solution,” said Talarico, Owner of Domino’s Pizza in Isla Vista, CA. “We’re excited to deliver this new offering to the community along with exclusive discounts and promotions to area residents craving the fresh taste of Domino’s pizza.”

“The UCSB students and Santa Barbara City College students who live in our residence halls are up at all hours studying,” said Dave Wilcox, Executive Director of Tropicana Student Housing. “As a private student housing company we are always looking for new and innovative ways to keep our residents happy. We found the latest cutting edge technology provided by Domino’s and EMN8 helped further this goal.”

Students of the residence halls have also expressed excitement about the kiosks, an offering that is quickly growing in popularity because of their relative ease of use and special discounts available to those that use them: there is no dialing, no waiting; simply place the order and EMN8’s technology takes care of the rest.

“What’s great is you get deals, and not have to speak on the phone with the operator like in the past. Plus, my building has two kiosks so depending where you’re located in the building, it’s very convenient,” mentioned Ryan Fluence, a student at Santa Barbara Community College.

“When I first touched the screen a woman spoke to me explaining my options. There were a ton of options! I also noticed it gave me a reasonable delivery time. The machine was very convenient and easy to use! It helped me with every step of the way. I think every building should have one of these! Very cool,” said Giana Olivieri, a UCSB student.

As the quick service industry in the United States reached $160 billion in 2011, Domino’s ranked #12 in the US and is currently the #2 pizza franchise. Through a partnership between EMN8 and Domino’s, Domino’s franchises have seen an increase in revenue and are working to expand the availability of the solution to additional markets in 2013 based on positive test rollouts.

About EMN8

EMN8 Inc. designs, builds and delivers self-service platforms for the restaurant and retail industries. The company’s digital solutions increase transactions, while delivering operational efficiencies, enhanced brand engagement, gross margin improvement and customer loyalty. With cross-platform integration across online, in-store kiosk and mobile, EMN8 Inc. provides seamless, multi-channel customer experiences, and products that leverage innovative technology, design, cash and payment card handling, and integration with leading consumer applications. EMN8 Inc. currently supports tens of millions of guest transactions for global and regional brands such as, Burger King, The Counter, CPK, Domino’s, and Jack in the Box, KFC, Taco Bell and YUM! Brands International. For information visit

About Tropicana Student Housing

Tropicana Student Housing,, offers private residence halls and apartments for students attending the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB )and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall caters to incoming UCSB freshmen; Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall serves students attending Santa Barbara City College, and the Villas at Tropicana is a college apartment community for upperclassmen. Tropicana Student Housing is also host to more than 90 summer camps annually and has been the proud summer home of Michael Jordan’s Flight School since 1995. For more information, please contact Wendy Ballard, Director of Marketing at (805) 968-0351.


Weber Shandwick on behalf of EMN8, Inc.
Kim Kish206-576-5588
Twitter: @EMN8

Tropicana Students Feed More than 10,000 Hungry Children

Santa Barbara, CA – December 1, 2012 – For several hours on a rainy Saturday afternoon, more than 75 Tropicana Student Housing residents and staff along with UCSB Rugby, UCSB Field Hockey, and SBCC Cheerleaders, teamed up to prepare meal packets for Stop Hunger Now. Tropicana Gardens Café turned into an assembly line to create 10,300 meals of rice, soy protein, dehydrated vegetables and nutrients.

“I’m so proud of the work the volunteers did to pull this off,” says Dave Wilcox, Executive Director of Tropicana Student Housing. “It was exciting to hear the gong sound whenever we reached the milestone of another 1,000 meals completed.” The 10,300 meals that the Tropicana students and staff assembled will be distributed to Guatemala through Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief agency that ships them to school feeding programs in developing countries.

Stop Hunger Now coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world, with a mission to end hunger in our lifetime. Stop Hunger Now’s meal packing program began in 2005, and since then, more than 100,000 volunteers have packaged nearly 30 million meals to feed the world’s impoverished.

View more news coverage of the event at the Daily Nexus and KEYT.

About Tropicana Student Housing

Tropicana Student Housing operates private residence halls and apartments for students attending the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) in Santa Barbara, California. Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall (, conveniently located adjacent to UCSB’s Main Campus is a small and friendly community with spacious suite-style units, an unlimited meal plan and resort-style living. Villas at Tropicana ( is an Isla Vista apartment community that caters to upperclassmen with furnished apartments and flexible leasing options. Tropicana Gardens (, located an express bus ride away from Santa Barbara City College, is a private residence hall that provides an attractive alternative to apartments for SBCC students with its suite-style units and social and recreational activities organized by its large team of energetic RAs. For more information, please contact Wendy Ballard, Director of Marketing at (805) 968-0351 or