The Caltech Y, a student driven organization affiliated with Caltech, was founded in 1916 as a student chapter of the YMCA, to provide programs planned by, and for, students… and to promote leadership development and self-discovery. While the Caltech Y is now a separate non-profit with a staff and a board of directors, the spirit of our founding remains – student led opportunities that enrich student life and challenge students to be engaged citizens of the world.
All Y programs encourage students to become active participants at Caltech and engaged citizens of the world. Leadership opportunities are available for students who wish to play an active role on campus either through coordinating volunteer projects, planning outdoor trips, inviting speakers, or serving on the ExComm, the Y's student governing board.
Overview of Y Programs and Opportunities
CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Caltech students have a long history of responding to social issues and global concerns. The Y recognizes the need for meaningful discourse on topical issues through the Social Activism Speaker Series, featuring thought-provoking speakers. Throughout the years, the Y has been on the forefront of social issues, always helping students broaden their horizons. We continue to sponsor engaging programs with WorldFest, the DC Science Policy Trip, India Cultural Trip, and the Advocating Change Together (ACT) Award.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
In order to broaden your Caltech experience, the Y hosts a variety of fun social activities. From movie nights to Explore LA, the Caltech Y knows the importance of fun outside the classroom. If outdoor adventure is your interest, check out all the Y has to offer. Explore a new adventure trail or National Park on one of many Y led outdoor trips throughout the year. Sign up for the ultimate kick-off to your Caltech experience: The Y-Hike to the California Sierras. The Y-Hike, our annual outdoor pre-orientation trip, is a great way to meet new students in a relaxed setting and have a great time in the outdoors. The Y-Hike is the week before New Student Orientation. Open to all new students regardless of ability. Look for an email announcement in July or check our web site for more information.
ONLINE AND REMOTE PROGRAMS
In response to COVID-19, we’ve gone virtual! Until we can safely gather, students can remotely volunteer to tutor 6-12 grade students, serve their community through Make-A-Difference (MAD) Weeks, join thought-provoking talks through the Student Activism Speaker Series, contribute to the Caltech COVID Cookbook, relax through online meditation classes, among others. Even in this uncertain situation, we have created opportunities for students to make a difference and share their time and interests with our community.
For a full listing of all we have to offer including discount tickets sales, outdoor and AV equipment rentals, access to the Y lounge and more, go here.
To subscribe to our email list and receive a weekly digest email of upcoming Y activities, please click here.
On any given week during the school year, Caltech students volunteer their time and effort to those in need. The Y coordinates many of these efforts, matching students with community agencies where their skills can be best utilized.
The largest of our service efforts are the Rise Tutoring Program, Alternative Spring Break (ASB), Make-A-Difference (MAD) Day and our ongoing volunteer opportunities at Union Station Homeless Shelter, Hathaway Sycamores Learning Center, and local Pasadena schools. Tutoring middle and high school students through the Rise Program is a great way to get involved. ASB is a chance for you to get away during Spring Break and help others while you travel. Past sites have included Mexico, Catalina and San Francisco. MAD Day is a local volunteer effort where the Caltech community comes together to help community organizations and families. Everyone who participates has a great time during this one-day event in spring. Check our web site for a full listing of volunteer opportunities.
Meet our President - Laura Hu
Welcome to Caltech! The Caltech Y is here to enrich your student experience and support your growth as an engaged citizen of the world.
At the Y, you will find opportunities to gain perspective through travel, explore the outdoors, serve the community, and much more. Among many highlights, our programs have brought students to experience cultural immersion in India, discuss international science policy in Geneva, camp in Yosemite, and volunteer at local schools.
We offer over 70 programs annually, including but not limited to community service, outdoor adventures, cultural events, social activities, and international travel opportunities. We also offer a wide range of equipment rentals at little cost for Caltech community members, including outdoor gear, AV, and event equipment. Whether you are planning a day trip or a major expedition, we may have what you need!
We encourage you to check out the Y website to learn more about programs and offerings which interest you. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, and we hope to see you at a Y program soon!
If you'd like to find out more about the Caltech Y and how you can get involved, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come visit our office at Tyson House - 505 S. Wilson Ave, Pasadena (next to the Credit Union).
JJ, the Y dog, can't wait to meet you all and make new friends!