Colleges Against Cancer is the daughter organization of the American Cancer Society and is designed to help eliminate cancer by initiating and supporting the programs of the ACS on the college campus. The UC Davis chapter is designed to allow students and staff to work through many different channels to eliminate cancer. These channels are their strategic directions- Advocacy, Cancer Education, Relay for Life, and Survivorship. They work alongside the Sacramento office and national leadership to support the efforts of the ACS in these directions.

Past Events and Activities

Colleges Against Cancer has coordinated several events such as Relay For Life and the Great American Smokeout. Relay For Life is hosted in an effort to raise funds for cancer research and cancer patients. The event is 24 hours long, during which they encourage participants to remain active, camp out with their teams, and have on-site fundraisers to raise money for their teams. There are three ceremonies during the event, including the Celebration Ceremony, during which they honor our survivors; the Remember Ceremony, when they remember the loved ones we have lost; and the Fight Back Ceremony, during which they advocate for research funds to be used for the cancer research. Relay For Life has raised about $5 billion for the American Cancer Society overall, in the hopes that one day a cure to the disease that takes too many will be found.

The Great American Smokeout is an annual event that is held on the third Thursday of November and it encourages people to stop tobacco smoking. They participate in the tradition and create an on campus demonstration that is held on the Memorial Union Quad.
Every quarter, they also plan Gifts-Giving events in collaboration with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. On these days, a number of volunteers from the organization craft small gift baskets for the cancer patients there which are then distributed to the patients there.

Plans for this Year

In the future, the organization plans to invite guest speakers who have been involved with cancer in some way either as a caregiver, survivor, healthcare professional, or supportive figure. They hope that by hearing the stories of others who have been affected by cancer, students will feel that they have a support system on campus where they connect with others who have braved relatable experiences.

Picture of Colleges Against Cancer members at a tabling event.


Colleges Against Cancer and Relay For Life is beneficial to the UC Davis community because it provides an opportunity for UC Davis students, faculty, and staff to participate in events that supports an incredible cause. There are a significant amount of students, faculty and staff who have been affected by cancer. They may have loved ones who have or had cancer, or they may be survivors of cancer themselves. In one way or another, cancer touches each of our lives. This organization serves as an outlet for us to take action against cancer. Relay For Life is an opportunity for the UC Davis community to come together for 24 hours and work to make an impact on the world around us, while simultaneously offering mechanisms for coping with a cancer diagnosis or loss due to cancer. Relay For Life also offers volunteer opportunities for students looking to increase their time giving back to the Davis community.


The organization works closely with students in from over 70 organizations and student-run clinics who form teams that fundraise and participate at Relay For Life. They also partner with volunteers from Health Education and Promotion and the Smoke and Tobacco Free Ambassadors for their awareness campaigns.

Contributions to the Community

Relay For Life is consistent with the Principles of Community by fostering an inclusive, welcoming event that aims to bring together a multitude of student and community organizations. They include a range of diverse performances for entertainment at the event. In the past, they have had faculty guest speakers, musical performances from on campus a cappella groups, dance performances from the Davis Bhangra Crew and the Davis Ballet Company, zumba classes with campus recreation instructors, and a field show by Aggie Band-Uh! They plan to reach out to these organizations as well as many others to encourage them to be involved in their event. They also encourage student organizations to participate as Relay teams and raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Athletic organizations, cultural and religious affiliation organizations, sororities and fraternities participate in the event. Cancer does not discriminate and they hope that this common ground will unite diverse individuals and groups at Relay For Life.

Picture of Colleges Against Cancer members all in red t-shirts.

Awards and Honors

The UC Davis Relay For Life has been named a Leader of Hope among all campus Relays nationwide.

Fun Facts

The UC Davis Relay For Life is among the top campus Relays in California, and their goal is to raise at least $50.000 this season!

How can students get involved?

Students can get involved with this organization by joining as General Members who stay involved throughout the year and participate in events, join a Sub-Committee to work more closely with the Relay For Life Event Leadership team in planning our 24 hour event, or volunteer and attend our various events throughout the year such as the Great American Smokeout, No Tobacco Day, Gifts-Giving events and guest speaker series.


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