Free resources to simplify your life at UA

Annabelle Blomeley, Staff Reporter

In college, it’s easy to feel as if everywhere you turn a hidden fee (or cup of coffee) needs your immediate attention and credit card information. But the University offers plenty of resources that don’t burn a hole in your wallet and save you money, time and stress.


The Office of Disability Services (ODS), located in 1000 Houser Hall, is the best campus resource for students searching for academic accommodations. The ODS, which not only aids students but also strives to teach them responsibility, has a webpage that offers step-by-step guides for how to navigate college life with a disability and how to use the office’s services to the full extent. Whether you need extra time on tests or the assistance of a notetaker, the ODS can better prepare you for academic success throughout your time on campus.


The idea of finding a job during or after college can be stressful for anyone. But for UA students, the Career Center is here to help. Found in 3400 Ferguson Student Center and online, the Career Center can answer students’ questions from deciding on a major, networking with UA alumni and planning a future career path. At the Career Center, students can borrow professional clothes for interviews, have their resume revised by trained peers and staff, practice interview skills independently or with advisors and so much more. With all of these free resources, the Career Center can help students feel confident about entering the workforce.


The Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) is an important free resource for students to keep in mind during their time at the University. The center provides free and confidential aid to those affected by interpersonal violence, regardless of gender or when the violence occurred. The WGRC provides individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, emotional support for hospital visits, the locating of safe housing, the exploration of legal and judicial options and more for those affected by abuse or harassment. The WGRC can be found online or in the South Lawn Office Building and stands as a valuable source for any UA student who needs it.


In high school, students often hear about the differences between writing for high school versus college. At the Writing Center, which is found in 322 Lloyd Hall, students can have one-on-one meetings with trained writing consultants to provide them with more confidence in their essays, research papers or even cover letters. The Writing Center helps students of all colleges brainstorm, organize, cite properly and revise drafts. To get in touch with the experts at the Writing Center, either schedule an appointment on their website or come to drop-in hours at Gorgas Library on weeknights to get your paper into perfect shape.


Found in 2419 Ferguson Student Center, the Safe Zone Center provides resources for UA members of the LGBT community and their allies. Along with contributing a safe space lounge for studying and relaxation, the Safe Zone also hosts a support group for first-year students called The Rainbow Connection and a monthly book club named Alphabet Soup, among many other events and outreaches. The Safe Zone Center can also advocate for and give support to students through student assistants and ambassadors. 


Libraries are known for their vast amounts of resources, and the UA libraries are no different. Between the five libraries on campus, there are study rooms, public computers, special collections, 3D printers, whisper booths, presentation rooms, a digital media center and so much more. Each library also employs research specialists and liaisons that can aid students with research across every field and major at the university. Students can also access Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Creative Cloud for free, among dozens of other online resources. To find out more about what each library can do for you, visit the library resources online


While most students are aware of the UA Recreation Center, which includes courts for several sports, workout equipment and pools, University Recreation has many other resources that are free for the UA community. There are free group exercise classes ranging from yoga to cardio and can be found in person or through Instagram live streams or the Youtube channel. University Recreation also hosts UA’s vast collection of intramural sports and sports clubs. Whether you’re interested in basketball or ultimate frisbee, UA Recreation has a team or resource to keep students engaged in a healthy lifestyle while on campus. Find them online for more information.