Student Life

2014-15 General Catalog

Student Life

Campus life is all about learning, discussion, and debate; meeting people from diverse backgrounds; making new and lasting friendships; attending cultural celebrations and artistic and musical performances; and getting involved with student organizations and clubs. UCSC provides a wealth of opportunity for personal growth within the context of a rich and meaningful academic experience. You will live, study, and socialize with students from your college as well as with students from the other colleges. UCSC’s colleges (see The Colleges) and various campus units provide a wide range of student services to respond to individual needs, interests, and levels of personal development. In addition, students can take advantage of the campus’s stunning natural setting, the friendly and engaging local community, and easy access to the Monterey and San Francisco Bay areas.

Santa Cruz Community

Located on the northern tip of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz is famous for its Mediterranean climate, forested state parks, and miles of scenic beaches. Recreational opportunities abound—hiking through redwood forests, bicycling along mountain roads, and surfing, sailing, and scuba diving. The Santa Cruz Mountains are minutes away; the majestic Sierra Nevada is a four-hour drive to the east.

The metropolitan centers of the San Francisco Bay Area are easily accessible. By car, Berkeley and San Francisco are less than two hours from campus. San José, Monterey, and Carmel are one hour away.

The city of Santa Cruz, with a population of about 60,000, was originally founded as a Spanish mission. Santa Cruz is a small community with cosmopolitan appeal and a strong awareness of environmental and political issues. Art exhibits, local theater companies, a symphony orchestra, fine restaurants, and a lively contemporary music scene combine to make Santa Cruz an interesting place to live.


College Residences

UC Santa Cruz combines the resources of a world-class public research university with a distinctive undergraduate experience characterized by our college system. Each college is a vibrant living/learning community supported by faculty and staff who provide academic support, organize student activities, and sponsor events that enhance the intellectual and social life of the campus. After accepting the UC Santa Cruz offer of admission, all undergraduate students become affiliated with one of our 10 colleges.

The colleges differ in academic focus, environment, location, architecture, and programs offered. However, all 10 colleges are dynamic, engaging learning communities that offer opportunities for students to help build and shape their experiences. About 45 percent of single undergraduate students live in university housing.

Freshmen and new transfer students entering in fall quarter are guaranteed university housing for their first two years at UCSC. All deadlines must be met to qualify for guarantees.

Students accepting the offer of admission to UC Santa Cruz must complete the online acceptance process at MyUCSC. During the acceptance process you will be asked to indicate several college preferences. You may also choose to indicate “no preference,” as many students do, meaning that you will be fine with any of our 10 colleges. After you have completed the acceptance process, and after the acceptance deadline (May 1 for freshmen; June 1 for transfers), the Office of Admissions will affiliate you with a college. The college assignment takes into account available space at each college and the preferences you have indicated. Once you have been affiliated with a college, you will be sent information about the housing options available to you and instructions for completing the online housing application/contract process. Housing application periods open in mid-May for new freshmen and mid-June for new transfers entering in the fall.

The housing options available to you will differ depending on whether you are a new freshman or a new transfer student—though all students have access to campus dining facilities. Freshmen are generally assigned to live in residence halls at their college, except at Kresge College, which has all apartments. Residence hall floors are typically shared by 15 to 50 students and have common bathrooms and lounge areas. Students can request to live in a coed or single-gender area. Gender-neutral rooms are also available. Apartments, typically shared by four to seven students, have common living/dining rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms, and a combination of shared and private bedrooms. Each community provides accessible housing for students with disabilities. Incoming transfer students reside at the Transfer Community, The Village, or the University Town Center, regardless of college affiliation.

A variety of theme-housing options are available for those who are interested. Based on academic pursuits, hobbies, individual backgrounds, and lifestyle preferences, these living/learning options serve to complement a student’s experience in residence.

Each college’s residential program is a team effort. Professional staff (coordinators of residential education) work with students trained as resident assistants. They help organize activities and events, provide referral information about academic or personal concerns, and assist with roommate problems.

All housing contracts for residence halls and apartments at the colleges, and at the Transfer Community, include meal plans. Students with meal plans may use their student ID cards to access any of the five dining halls on campus. Meal plans include Flexi Dollars (a dollar-for-dollar exchange for “food dollars” that can be used at college coffee shops, campus restaurants, and all dining halls). Additional Flexi Dollars may be added to any meal plan.

For more information on the colleges, refer to the brochure titled UC Santa Cruz, The Colleges: Communities of Learning, or contact the campus Housing Office.

Redwood Grove Apartments

Located on the west side of campus between Kresge College and Graduate Student Housing, Redwood Grove is an apartment community primarily for continuing seniors and juniors. Each apartment has private and shared bedrooms and a living room, kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. Call (831) 459-2977 or e-mail for more information.

The Village

Located in the Lower Quarry, The Village houses a mix of continuing, transfer, re-entry, and graduate students. Each of the 17 houses features nine single bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a kitchenette. A meal plan is optional. A manager’s apartment, office, laundry facility, community kitchen, and community lounge are located on site. Call (831) 459-4388 or e-mail for more information.

University Town Center

The University Town Center (UTC), located at the corner of Pacific and Cathcart in downtown Santa Cruz, provides housing for continuing and transfer students in two- and three-person studio apartments. A meal plan is optional. Call (831) 459-4388 or e-mail for more information.

Family Student Housing

Family Student Housing, located on the west side of campus, has apartments for students and their families. Students must reside with at least one eligible family member on a permanent, full-time basis. Eligible family members include children, a spouse or adult partner, a parent, or a sibling. The apartments are unfurnished, and each has two bedrooms, a bathroom, a small study, a combined living/dining area, and a kitchen. Several apartments are accessible to people with mobility impairments. Call (831) 459-4080 or e-mail for more information, or download an application at Also, see information on childcare and youth programs, below.

Camper Park

The 42-space Camper Park on the north side of campus is available to students who own recreational vehicles. All have water and electrical hookups; eight also have sewer hookups. The community includes a small central facility with rest rooms, showers, a meeting room, and a laundry room. For more information about the park and the vehicle requirements, or to request an application, call (831) 459-4388 or e-mail

Graduate Student Housing

Four-bedroom apartments for single graduate students are located on the west side of campus, between Kresge College and the Baskin Engineering Building. Call (831) 459-5712 or e-mail for more information.

Campus Housing Office

This office is responsible for the application and contract records for all single students living in campus residence halls and apartments, The Village, University Town Center, and Graduate Student Housing. Staff are available to advise students about room and board billing, payment plans, and contractual responsibilities. Students can purchase meal plans or Flexi Dollars online at Student Housing Online.

Centrally located at 104 Hahn Student Services Building, the Campus Housing Office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, (831) 459-2394; e-mail; Web:

Community Rentals Office

Students interested in finding their own accommodations in the off-campus community are encouraged to use the resources available through the UCSC Community Rentals Office. Community Rentals maintains online rental listings to assist students in locating rental housing and serves as an information and advising resource.

Locating suitable housing in the Santa Cruz area can take from one to four weeks, depending on specific requirements and restrictions. Average rental rates are available at

The Community Rentals Office, located at 104 Hahn Student Services (North Entrance), is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For information, call (831) 459-4435; e-mail; web:

The Sustainable Living Center (SLC) at UCSC

The Sustainable Living Center’s mission is to develop a model Action Education Center at UC Santa Cruz where a diversity of students engage meaningfully with food systems sustainability and justice through experiential learning. We believe that through community-based learning students will become leaders, educators, and engaged agents of change and embody the values of environmental consciousness and social justice to create a more sustainable world.

The SLC is located in The Village of the Lower Quarry on campus. It is home to the Program in Community and Agroecology (PICA) and Friends of the Community Agroecology Network (FoCAN). At the SLC, students from diverse majors are engaged in projects that include food production, ecological landscaping, green building, alternative trade systems, and much more.

At the SLC, young people learn the necessary skills and tools to become leaders in educating and engaging communities in sustainable and equitable food systems. We follow an educational model in which students engage in project-based learning, gain experience through community internships, and use the knowledge they gain from their internships to educate others in the student community.

Sustainable Living Center Programs

Program in Community and Agroecology (PICA), an academic program of the Environmental Studies Department, is an experiential living/learning program at UCSC where students use agroecology principles in the maintenance of a half-acre organic garden, work together to develop community projects, and share in the many aspects of sustainable living—by harvesting, cooking, and eating healthy food grown organically right next to their rooms. Through a unique collaboration that integrates classroom instruction and community-based experience, PICA has become a model for an experiential learning program that allows students to practice sustainability at a hands-on level.

On-campus living at PICA. The PICA residential program offers students an alternative to traditional on-campus living. At the Village in the Lower Quarry, students from across academic disciplines come together to create a sustainable living environment on campus. PICA residents grow organic food at the nearby Foundational Roots Garden, come together to share in weekly community meals, and manage a Village-wide composting program. This living/learning experience allows students a way to link healthy communities with healthy food systems.

Friends of CAN (FoCAN) is a UCSC student organization affiliated with the Community Agroecology Network (CAN), a nonprofit organization that works with partner communities in rural Mexico and Central America to develop self-sufficiency and sustainable farming practices. CAN promotes integrated approaches to sustainable community development as a means to sustain rural livelihoods and environments through three programs: Action Education, Trade Innovations, and Action Research Initiatives. CAN’s Field Study opportunities, intercultural exchanges, research, and the annual Agroecology Shortcourse inspire action for environmental sustainability and social justice.

Field Studies. The CAN Field Study program provides college students and recent graduates the opportunity to live and learn in rural Mexico and Central America. It offers students a realistic first step in doing international work that focuses on environmental sustainability and social justice.  In developing close relationships with a rural community and working with them on a project, students come to understand the complexity and satisfaction of engaging meaningfully in international community development. CAN also offers local internship and volunteer opportunities to students interested in engaging with community projects connected to CAN’s international partners in Mexico and Central America.

Together PICA and FoCAN facilitate hands-on learning activities that engage students with all aspects of a sustainable food system—from growing organic food that supports local communities to conscious consumerism on a global level.

For further information, contact Mira Michelle at web:

Student-Run Cooperatives

Kresge Food Co-op

Mission statement: “We are a group of students whose goal is to run a natural food store through consensus decision-making and group responsibility. We embrace cooperation as our tool for social change. We are not for profit; we are for collective power. As a cooperative business we seek to educate all members of the community, including ourselves. We use our buying power to reflect our ideals regarding ecological, social, and political issues. For this reason we carry healthful, locally based, cruelty-free, organic products. We focus on products that are good for the earth, the people who produce them, and the people who consume them. Open to all, we provide a space where good food and revolutionary action meet at the checkout line.” Call (831) 426-1506 for more information.

Bike Co-op

The Bike Co-op is student owned and operated, run cooperatively, and nonprofit. Whether you need to purchase a bike, repair a bike, or want to learn, the co-op can accommodate your needs. People are encouraged to attend meetings, learn more about cooperatives, and get involved. The Bike Co-op is located at the Student Union. For information, come by or call (831) 457-8281.

Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS)

The UC Santa Cruz campus is designed to preserve the natural beauty of our magnificent setting and strives to minimize automobile traffic and congestion. Because parking is such a limited resource, the majority of campus parking spaces are available only to commuting students, faculty, staff, and visitors. UCSC has a parking prohibition for first and second year residential students; students with fewer than 90 units who live in university housing facilities are not eligible to purchase a campus parking permit. Parking regulations are strictly enforced; all students who bring a car to campus must purchase a permit in advance. UCSC requests that students not bring vehicles to campus if they are not eligible to purchase an on-campus parking permit. For additional information, visit

Transportation Options

Airports and Long-Distance Bus Service: The nearest commercial airport is in San José, approximately 35 miles from Santa Cruz. The San Francisco Airport is about 70 miles from campus. Both airports are accessible by commercial van and limousine services. Santa Cruz is also served by commercial bus lines on a regularly scheduled basis.

Campus Transit: On-campus buses and paratransit services are provided on a no-fare basis; these services are supported by the mandatory Student Transit Fee. TAPS buses operate on campus from approx. 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekends. TAPS also operates a Night Owl service to transport UCSC affiliates between the campus and downtown Santa Cruz. The Night Owl operates until 1:15 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 2:50 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Metro Buses: Santa Cruz Metro Transit District is the bus service provider for Santa Cruz County. Metro operates over 35 bus routes throughout the county, including six routes to and from UC Santa Cruz. UCSC students can ride Metro buses throughout the county by showing a student ID card with a current quarter validation sticker; no additional fare is required to ride.

Bike Program: TAPS offers a variety of programs to support those who choose bicycles as their main mode of travel, including over 3,500 bike-rack spaces, bike "fix-it" stations, free weekly bike repair and maintenance clinics, free (required) bike licensing, and free morning bike shuttles that run from two off-campus locations up to campus. Popular student-run bike services include the Bike Library (where you can borrow a bike on a quarterly basis for free) and the Bike Co-op (a not-for-profit, full-service bike shop located near the Bay Tree Bookstore).

Car Sharing: Zipcar is a membership-based car share program that allows students 18 and over to rent cars on campus on an hourly or daily basis. Use fees start at $8 per hour and include all vehicle fees, gas, insurance, mileage, and reserved parking on campus. Members have access 24 hours per day to 18 vehicles—ten on campus and eight at other nearby Santa Cruz locations. For detailed information, visit

Ridematching: Zimride is a social networking ridematching program exclusive to the UCSC community. You can find someone to share your regular commute or one-time trip through Zimride, even if you don’t have a car—just post the ride you need. If you have a car, you can share your Zipcar trip with others and save on costs. For more information, go to

Walking: UC Santa Cruz is one of the most beautiful campuses in the world, and the best way to experience it is on foot! Walking is the single most sustainable means of getting around (and often the most direct way, as well) so be sure to bring a pair of sturdy walking shoes. A walking map of the campus is provided to all new students.  

Student Health Services

Located on McLaughlin Drive across from Colleges Nine and Ten, the Student Health Center provides quality health care focused on the particular needs of students. All registered students have access to the Student Health Center regardless of their insurance plan, as services are partially supported by their Student Services fee. Care is provided by board-certified physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Students can be seen by appointment or, in cases of acute illness or injury, on the same day at the Same Day Clinic. In case of emergencies, either during the day or after normal operating hours, please call 911.

In addition, the Student Health Center offers counseling and psychiatry services, nutritional counseling, health promotion, x-ray, laboratory, optometry and pharmacy services on site. The center is open weekdays during the regular academic year. For summer services and hours, visit the Student Health Center’s web site. For more information about the Student Health Center, e-mail; Web:

Student Health Insurance

To ensure that emergencies and other health care costs do not interfere with a student's education, all University of California students are required to carry medical insurance. A comprehensive and affordable program specifically designed for students is available through the university via the University of California Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP). All students are automatically enrolled in UC SHIP and billed quarterly through their student account, unless they choose to waive this coverage by providing proof of comparable insurance by the specified deadline. For detailed information regarding insurance coverage and the waiver process, visit You may also contact the insurance office at or (831) 459-2389.

Fees will be assessed for most visits for students without UC SHIP.

Mandatory Hepatitis B Immunization

California state law mandates that all entering students under 19 years old must be immunized against Hepatitis B. These students are required to provide the Student Health Center with documentation proving their compliance with this law. Those not in compliance at the beginning of the quarter may be dropped from their classes. For more information, visit or call (831) 459-2211.

Student Health Outreach and Promotion (SHOP)

SHOP is UCSC’s destination for health-related information, conversation, and self-exploration. It’s the place for students to learn about health and wellness in a safe, non-judgmental environment. SHOP does not tell people what we think they should or shouldn’t do. We help students do what they choose to do in the safest way that they can.


SHOP offers information, education, resources, and support on issues related to alcohol and other drug use; sexuality and sexual health (including HIV and other sexually transmitted infections); safer sex; unplanned pregnancy and contraception; and sexual assault and violence prevention. Students can get involved with SHOP by becoming peer educators, HIV test counselors, volunteers for the Condom Co-op, and/or CUIP interns.

Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Education

SHOP empowers students to reduce risks related to substance use/abuse. Students can meet with staff confidentially to discuss their personal AOD involvement, discuss concerns about friends or family members, obtain educational materials, participate in workshops, and access resources for students in recovery. Educators provide formal and informal sessions and workshops for students, college residential staff, and other campus groups. Staff also serve on the campuswide AOD Advisory Committee, which develops, implements, and assesses policies. For information call (831) 459-1417 or visit the SHOP web site. NOTE: In January 2014, UC Santa Cruz implemented a campuswide smoke and tobacco-free policy.

HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Prevention

SHOP offers many resources for promoting sexual health, including:

  • Free, anonymous HIV testing with Orasure (no needles) provided by student peer test counselors. Results in 20 minutes.

  • The Condom Co-op, selling safer sex supplies at reduced cost.

  • Workshops, activities, and events.

  • Sexual health questions? SHOP has many resources.

Sexual-Assault Facts and Education (S.A.F.E.)

The Sexual Assault Facts and Education program at SHOP provides confidential support, information, and resource referrals to survivors of sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking. An experienced sexual violence prevention educator is available for individual appointments and provides nonjudgmental support for those who have experienced sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking. These resources are also available for their friends and loved ones. The sexual violence prevention educator is certified as a crisis counselor by the state of California and can be reached at (831) 459-2721. Police officers are available 24 hours a day, as are emergency phones, guards at campus entrances from 8 p.m. until 3 a.m., and frequent shuttles and buses.

Since 1979, UCSC has actively addressed issues related to sexual violence on campus. Students are required to take an online education course and to attend educational presentations that encourage respect, responsibility, and bystander intervention among students. Workshops are organized in the residence halls, and a variety of educational resources are available for all students.

SHOP is located at the Student Health Center. For more information on SHOP programs, call

 (831) 459-3772 or e-mail at Web:

Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers a range of professional services to undergraduate and graduate students seeking help with personal concerns. We provide assistance for students with academic and personal stress, relationship and family issues, drug and alcohol problems, psychological problems, and crisis situations. Psychiatry services include diagnostic evaluations or prescribing of medication in certain situations. Depending on a student’s needs, a student may be provided with brief individual or couples counseling, group counseling, psychiatric services, crisis intervention, or a referral for open-ended or long-term therapy off campus. Information provided to any CAPS professional staff member is confidential within the student health center and cannot be released without a student’s permission except in specific circumstances involving risk and safety. All services are aimed at helping a student gain greater personal effectiveness and academic success. Professional staff members are available at various locations on campus, including the Student Health Services building, the colleges, the Academic Resource Center, and Family Student Housing. Emergency on-site crisis services and after hours crisis services are also available.

Staff members are available to provide consultation to staff, faculty, individuals, or family members for assistance in helping students in distress. Counseling psychologists can also provide trainings and programs on a variety of mental health topics, stress and coping skills, multicultural issues, and organizational development.

For more information about Counseling and Psychological Services, please call (831) 459-2628 or visit our web site at

Resource Centers

African American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC)

The African American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC) develops and fosters co-curricular initiatives that promote academic success, leadership training, and student development. Since the center’s inception in 1991, the program’s primary mission has been to serve as a key resource to acclimate students to general campus life and academic culture. In addition, the program provides advocacy and support in helping to monitor students’ academic progress and subsequent achievement of their educational goals. AARCC works closely with overall campus outreach to enhance the recruitment and retention of students of African descent.

AARCC hosts a couple of community groups to allow for engagement and interaction, such as Sisters’ Corner and Black Men’s Initiative. Other organizations AARCC co-sponsors and/or supports are National Society of Black Engineers (NESBE), the African American Mentoring Program (AMP), African/Black Student Alliance, African American Theater Arts Troupe, African Student Union, Black Sistas United, Black Men’s Alliance, Destination Higher Education, Rainbow Theatre, Rosa Parks African American Theme House (R.PAATH), and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

AARCC works collaboratively with others campus units/departments and in the surrounding community to enhance cultural and ethnic diversity initiatives on the UCSC campus. The center is located on the third floor of the Bay Tree Building in Quarry Plaza, and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (831) 459-2427, fax (831) 459-2469, e-mail or visit

American Indian Resource Center (AIRC)

The American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) works in collaboration with the Student Alliance of North American Indians (SANAI), the University of California American Indian Counselors/Recruiters Association, the Amah Mutsun Band of Ohlone Indians, and native faculty and staff, as well as the indigenous tribal community leaders of the region to develop co-curricular programming, cultural activities, and events that assist public understanding of native peoples. Invested in creating a campus climate that supports all students, the center provides leadership development, internship opportunities, mentoring, and personal and academic advising. The AIRC is located on the third floor of the Bay Tree Building in Quarry Plaza. For more information, call (831) 459-2881, e-mail, or visit

Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center (AA/PIRC)

The Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center (AA/PIRC) provides and enhances opportunities for education and dialogue on issues affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as well as opportunities for leadership development and community building. AA/PIRC aims to address students’ multiple and diverse academic, social, cultural, and other co-curricular needs through programs and services. Programs include Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Year-End Ceremony for graduating seniors, leadership skills workshops, graduate school panels, and community receptions.

AA/PIRC events also highlight writers, performance artists, scholars, and community leaders. AA/PIRC sponsors academic and paid internships for students interested in gaining professional experience. Through AA/PIRC, students benefit from networking with individuals and resources such as alumni, faculty, and staff, off-campus community-based organizations, and on-campus student organizations.

AA/PIRC is located on the third floor of the Bay Tree Building with the African American, American Indian, and Chicano Latino Resource Centers. Add your e-mail address to AA/PIRC’s listserv to receive announcements on leadership, scholarship, internship opportunities, events, and community news. For more information, call (831) 459-5349; e-mail; or visit them on Facebook.


Chicano Latino Resource Center (El Centro)

The Chicano Latino Resource Center (El Centro) is a hub of organized activities and resources that support Chicano and Latino student transition, retention, and academic advancement at the university. Through collaborative efforts with campus partners, students can participate in a host of activities that encourage intellectual growth, leadership development, preparation for graduate or professional school, and career options. El Centro encourages and supports student and community development through cultural and educational programming. Annual programs include the following: New Student Welcome Program; Día De Los Muertos; Pachanga; César Chavez Convocation; dialogue on academic, social, cultural, and personal issues that affect the Chicano and Latino community; and a weekly online newsletter, CHISME E-news. El Centro offers student internships that support leadership-skills development while students help to organize events and activities. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (831) 459-5806 or e-mail Web:

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans*, Intersex (GLBTI) Resource Center

The Lionel Cantú Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans*, Intersex (GLBTI) Resource Center (aka the Cantú Queer Center), housed in a beautiful cabin in a redwood glen near Crown and Merrill Colleges, is a friendly, welcoming space for the entire community. The center’s mission is to provide educational, psychosocial, advocacy, and supportive services to students, staff, faculty, and alumni on GLBTI issues. The Cantú Queer Center is home to several student organizations that meet weekly; a host of exciting programs; the GALA art gallery; and a library offering 3,000 books, magazines, and films. Information and referral to campus and community resources is available by phone or in person. Throughout the year, the Cantú Queer Center coordinates student programming with a queer focus—beginning with National Coming Out Day in the fall and culminating in the Rainbow Graduation Ceremony in the spring. Education of the entire campus population is another function of the resource center; the Cantú Queer Center’s professional staff members offer workshops/trainings for groups, classes, and dorms on a range of GLBTI topics. Everyone is welcome to use the center’s cozy lounge, full kitchen, and computer corner to study, relax, socialize, and become involved in the campus’s queer community. The center is open Monday through Friday; usual hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stop by and meet the center’s friendly, knowledgeable staff. Come discover why UCSC has been consistently rated one of the best-of-the-best universities for queer students! You can reach the center at (831) 459-2468 or via e-mail at The center’s web site,, provides an overview. Self-subscribe to QConnect, the center’s e-newsletter and calendar, on the site’s home page.

Women’s Center

Located in Cardiff House, a historic farmhouse near the main entrance to campus, the Women’s Center is devoted to helping students maximize their success at UCSC. Resource referrals and informal advising are always available, and weekly events include films, readings, and talks. At least one staff member is a state-certified domestic violence and sexual assault advocate. We create or sponsor student-oriented workshops on topics ranging from money management to positive body image and stress reduction.

The Women’s Center is home base for a variety of student groups and student-run community-service efforts. Other opportunities for involvement include internships, independent study, and work-study jobs. Students can become involved in such Women’s Center projects as the 51% Pipeline Project (leadership), Take Back The Night (anti-violence), Inside Out Writing Project (women in jail)—or create projects with the support and mentorship of staff.

The Center, a haven located in a picturesque meadow, is also close to the campus police station. The center’s meeting rooms, kitchen, and garden are ideal places to study, relax, or connect with students, staff, faculty, and community members. Rotating art exhibits bring the center’s walls to life, and students are encouraged to inquire about showing their work.

For more information call (831) 459-2072, e-mail, or visit

The Office of Physical Education, Recreation and Sports (OPERS)

Physical education classes, recreation, sports, and fitness programs at OPERS provide a variety of interesting and challenging activities intended to attract you to becoming an active participant. The emphasis is on giving you an opportunity to develop knowledge, skills, and habits related to wellness that last through a lifetime of enjoyable physical and recreational activity.

Obtain further information about the programs described below from the Office of Physical Education, Recreation, and Sports, located at the East Field House, (831) 459-2531. Web:

Physical Education Courses

Regularly scheduled courses, which carry no academic credit but are recorded on your transcript, are available in a broad range of physical activities (see Physical Education). Many classes are small, and all offer expert instruction and carefully designed practice periods so that you can accomplish much in sessions of two to three hours per week. Most activities have intermediate and advanced sections as well as courses for beginners. Subjects offered include swimming, scuba, sailing, rowing, kayak, basketball, racquetball, tennis, volleyball, ballet, folk dance, jazz dance, modern dance, fencing, soccer, tai chi chuan, strength training, fitness and conditioning, yoga, aikido, and tae kwon do. Web:

Intramural Sports

The intramural sports program includes competitive leagues, tournaments, and special one-day events. Many of the activities are coeducational. The leagues feature basketball, flag football, dodgeball, indoor and outdoor soccer, softball, indoor and outdoor volleyball, ultimate Frisbee and innertube water polo. Some of the leagues are divided into different skill levels. Special events include a 5-mile run. Prospective participants are encouraged to form their own teams. Individuals looking to be placed on a team are also welcome (but there is no guarantee of team placement). Web:

Sports Clubs

The sports club program offers a variety of activities depending on student interest. Currently, active clubs include men’s and women’s rugby, men's and women's water polo, men's and women's ultimate frisbee; men’s soccer, baseball and lacrosse; coed cross-country and track and field; coed Special Olympics; and coed cheerleading, dance, equestrian, triathlon, disc golf, cycling, sailing, badminton, and fencing. Web:

Intercollegiate Athletics

UC Santa Cruz offers the only National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III program in the UC system. As a Division III member, the program offers no scholarships or grants in aid that are based on athletic ability. UCSC sponsors the following intercollegiate sports: men's and women's basketball, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball, and cross country, and women's track and golf. For information on teams, rosters, schedules, and the Slug Booster Club, go to

Recreation Program

The Recreation Program is designed to fulfill the diverse needs and interests of all members of the UCSC community. More than 100 activities, workshops, classes, off-campus outings, and special events are scheduled quarterly. In addition, the program offers a 10-day Wilderness Orientation (WO) prior to the start of school. WO is an invaluable experience for incoming college students, serving as an introduction to mountain travel and the “journey” of college education. The beautiful settings of the Sierra Nevada provide students an opportunity to form new friendships and discuss their hopes and fears about entering college while learning outdoor skills. No previous backpacking experience is necessary.

The Outdoor Equipment Rental Center offers recreational equipment including surfboards, wetsuits, and high-quality backpacking and camping gear. If you are interested in planning your own outing, contact the Recreation Program Office for assistance. The office has extensive files, and staff members act as consultants, planning with people as well as for them. The office also provides bicycle licensing and offers a free weekly drop-in bicycle maintenance program. Open recreation hours are scheduled quarterly; you are strongly encouraged to use the facilities. Sports equipment may be borrowed without charge. There are also recreation clubs if you are primarily interested in organized recreation and individual performance. Clubs are coed and feature some combination of recreational participation, advanced instruction, and individual competition. Web:

Banana Slug Mascot

The Banana Slug, a bright yellow indigenous gastropod found in the campus’s redwood forest, was the unofficial mascot for UCSC’s coed teams beginning in the university’s early years. In 1981, when some campus teams wanted more organized participation in extramural competition, UCSC joined Division III of the NCAA. Since the application required an official team name, UCSC’s then-chancellor polled the student players, and out of this small group emerged a consensus for a new moniker—the sea lions. It was a choice that the chancellor considered more dignified and suitable to serious play than the Banana Slugs. But the new name did not find favor with the majority of students, who continued to root for the Slugs even after a sea lion was painted in the middle of the basketball floor. After five years of dealing with the two-mascot problem, an overwhelming pro-Slug straw vote by students in 1986 convinced the chancellor to make the lowly but beloved Banana Slug UCSC’s official mascot.


To make it convenient for you to utilize campus physical education, recreation, and sports facilities, field houses are located on the east and west sides of the campus. At both the East Field House and the West Field House, you will find the following: gymnasium, tennis courts, outdoor basketball and volleyball courts, and locker rooms. The East Field House also has the Wellness Center, which offers two floors of state-of-the-art cardiovascular and strength-training equipment, a dance studio, the martial arts room, handball/racquetball courts, equipment center, 50-meter swimming pool, half-mile jogging track, and sports fields. An outdoor strength-training and cardiovascular-fitness court is located near the east jogging track. In addition, personal training and drop-in fitness classes are offered. More information is available on the website at

The UCSC Boating Center is located on FF Dock at the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor. The boating program offers PE instruction as well as a boating club with boat usage for students and community members alike. Boating courses are offered for dinghies, 24'–32' keel boats, sea kayaks, and rowing shells. Web:

The Student Union

The Student Union is a student-governed facility where students can take a break and lounge, play pool or ping-pong, use computers, meet, or watch television. Located in the Quarry Plaza across from the Bay Tree Bookstore, the Student Union complements college facilities by providing a centrally located place for social, recreational, and educational gatherings for all students and members of the campus community.

The Student Union is also home to the campuswide student government (Student Union Assembly) and student organizations, the Bike Co-op, Engaging Education, and Student Organization Advising and Resources (SOAR).

The Union is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Union is closed holidays and quarter breaks. For more information, call (831) 459-3167.

Graduate Student Commons (see Grad Commons)

Student Activities

Campuswide Student Activities: SOMeCA

SOMeCA brings together three dynamic areas of campuswide student engagement: Student Organization Advising and Resources (SOAR), Student Media, and Cultural Arts and Diversity. The organizations and programs of SOMeCA offer students a place of self-discovery. SOMeCa’s professional and experienced staff offers instruction, mentorship, leadership training, organizational development advising, and project management to all students. Visit:

Student Organization Advising and Resources (SOAR)

UCSC offers the student body over 150 student-initiated organizations, including cultural, social, political, religious, academic, ethnic, and environmental organizations, as well as fraternities and sororities. Participating in a UCSC student organization provides valuable experience in leadership and teamwork and develops a network of rewarding and lifelong friendships.

UCSC student organizations govern large-scale and established programs. For example, student leaders host high school students to encourage and support their entrance into college. Others produce major campuswide events to raise funds for cancer research and local community nonprofits. Performing arts organizations perform at conferences and competitions across the country. These are just a few examples of organization experiences that contribute to UCSC students becoming more self-directed, connected, and successful in pursuing their studies and careers.

Student organization membership is open to all UCSC students. Learn more at the Student Organization Advising and Resources (SOAR) office. Contact SOAR at (831) 459-2934, e-mail, or visit SOAR is located on the second floor of the Student Union.

Student Media

Student Media at UCSC include 20 print publications and campus Student Cable Television (SCTV). Every year, hundreds of students enrich their educational experience through internships, academic credit, fellowships, and employment opportunities with media organizations.

The award-winning student newspaper of record, City on a Hill Press, covers campus and local news, sports, music, and offers art reviews and commentary. Fish Rap Live! provides an alternative forum for free expression of ideas, humorous coverage of local and campus events, and personal journalism. TWANAS, the Third World and Native American Students Press Collective, publishes a newsmagazine that seeks to broaden awareness of perspectives of color in the campus community. Other campus magazines include the critical film journal, EyeCandy; Leviathan Jewish Journal; Gaia, which focuses on environmental issues; and the Disorientation Guide. Annual literary journals include Chinquapin, Red Wheelbarrow, ALAY, and Matchbox.

Artistic, narrative, experimental, documentary, news, and public-service film and video are produced by broadcast organizations, including Banana Slug News, Rainbow TV, Film Production Coalition, On the Spot, and others. Many of the participating students are affiliated with UCSC’s Film and Digital Media major; however, students from all disciplines are encouraged to participate.

To contact student media organizations, call the Student Media Center at (831) 459-2840 or SCTV at (831) 459-5360. Visit the Student Media web site for links to print, radio and broadcast organizations.

Cultural Arts and Diversity (CAD)

Cultural Arts and Diversity (CAD) strives to enhance the cultural climate of UCSC and its surrounding community by celebrating diversity. CAD fosters the spirit of unity between cultures by providing students with outlets for the creative talents of various cultures through theater, lectures, presentations, and productions. By promoting access to resources and services that support these endeavors, CAD strives to provide cultural awareness and diversity, build collaborative partnerships and community outreach, enhance retention and recruitment efforts, and provide opportunities for leadership and educational development. The Cultural Arts and Diversity Center promotes the following programs:

  • African American Theater Arts Troupe

  • Rainbow Theater

  • Rainbow/African American Theater Arts Troupe Outreach

  • Classes offered through Theater Arts and Stevenson College

Contact the CAD Office at (831) 459-1861 or visit the web site at:

UCSC and Systemwide Student Governance

UCSC offers a wide variety of opportunities to participate in university governance at the college, campus, systemwide, and national levels. Regardless of what level you choose, participating in student government provides a wonderful opportunity to practice leadership skills, meet others who share your interests, and learn a great deal about yourself and the university.

Student Union Assembly

The Student Union Assembly (SUA) is the undergraduate advocacy organization and the official student voice of UCSC. It comprises three representatives from each college government; six elected officers (chair, internal vice chair, external vice chair, organizing director, commissioner of academic affairs, and commissioner of diversity); and one appointed representative from each of the following student organizations that represent historically underrepresented people within the UC system: African/Black Student Alliance; Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance; The Network (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans*, and Intersex Students); Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan; Student Alliance of North American Indians; and Ethnic Student Organization Council. The SUA also provides paid part-time internship opportunities for students each year. These internships include, but are not limited to, field organizers, treasurers, outreach and publicity, and strategy and planning.

The SUA conducts open meetings every Tuesday at 6 p.m. throughout the academic year. Students interested in advocacy, activism, and politics, as well as those concerned with their own and their friends’ lives, are invited to get involved. The assembly operates via issue-specific campaigns and around general campus concerns. In the past, the SUA has formed campaigns around fighting fee-hikes, defending affirmative action, saving financial aid on a national and state level, striving for reasonable campus growth, and reforming UC Regents’ procedures. Current issues have been fighting to make a UC education affordable, fighting to stop balancing budgets on the backs of students, fighting for the rights of UC workers, and working with community groups because UCSC students are also Santa Cruz residents. The SUA also works with the UC Student Association and the United States Student Association on system, state, and national issues. For more information, contact the SUA at (831) 459-4838. Visit the SUA office on the second floor of the Student Union or visit the SUA web site.

Systemwide Student Government: UCSA

The UC Student Association (UCSA) is the statewide association of graduate and undergraduate student governments from the 10 UC campuses. UCSA is the officially recognized voice of the students to the UC Board of Regents, various UC administrative offices, and the UC Office of the President. Issues covered by UCSA include UC fees and financial aid, comprehensive admissions policies, and academic policies, as well as broader issues of social responsibility such as environmental concerns and civil rights. UCSA coordinates the yearly selection of the UC Student Regent.

The SUA external office provides grassroots membership and support for the two main UCSA offices in Oakland and Sacramento. The campus office organizes students to run the grassroots campaigns that are adopted each summer during the UCSA Congress. At this session, delegates from the 10 UC campuses come together and choose the critical issues to be worked on for the next year. Issues in the past have included voter registration drives, letter-writing campaigns on particular UC issues, and increases in financial aid. UCSA provides a thorough introduction to UC politics and student representation. Students may also serve on systemwide committees through UCSA and gain a wide knowledge of the entire UC system though their service.

Two officers help to coordinate UCSA activities on our campus. The external vice-chair (EVC) is the official representative to the UCSA Board of Directors. This position has voting rights for UCSC, is the primary contact regarding all UCSA issues, and coordinates all lobbying of UCSA and local, state, and Federal governments on behalf of UCSC students. The organizing director (OD) coordinates with the EVC to effectively run the grassroots campaigns that are sponsored by UCSA every year. These positions are elected for one-year terms during spring quarter every year.

The Student Union Assembly officers in charge of UCSA activities can be reached at (831) 459-4838.

College Student Governments

Each college has its own form of student government, enabling students to gain experience in planning, budgeting, implementing, and evaluating a wide range of college programs and policies. Like the colleges themselves, each college governing body has its own character, structure, and meeting times and dates. For information, inquire in your college office or talk to our college programs coordinator.

The Graduate Student Association (GSA)

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) provides governance and representation for graduate student interests with regard to tuition and fees, health insurance, parking, on-campus housing, and other important issues. The GSA makes available quarterly travel grants for graduate students attending conferences or traveling on thesis-related research. The GSA also organizes and co-sponsors events campuswide, in addition to offering annual graduate student and solidarity orientations. The GSA is strongly committed to working toward intellectual and social diversity, including advocating for and working with underrepresented groups at the university. For more information, contact the GSA (, or visit our office at the Graduate Student Commons.

Student Representation on Campuswide Committees

Serving on a campus advisory committee is a recognized channel for student involvement in the university’s decision-making processes. Advisory committees, composed of faculty, staff, and student representatives, are established to develop and recommend policies on a wide range of topics. Each year the Student Committee on Committees (composed of one student appointed by each college and chaired by the Internal Vice-Chair of the Student Union Assembly) nominates more than 100 students to serve on over 50 administrative and Academic Senate committees. For information about the selection process, contact Student Committee on Committees, (831) 459-5533, or the Student Union Assembly, (831) 459-4838.

Community Service Opportunities

Community service is a vital part of the university’s mission. It is possible for individual students, as well as campus-wide student organizations, to develop service projects that link the university with the broader Santa Cruz community. With the financial support of the campus’ Community Service Project funding, students have aided local groups such as Students Toward Achievement in Writing Success, the Strange Queer Youth Conference, and the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center.

The Student Volunteer Center, located in the Dean of Students Office at Hahn Student Services, connects students with local volunteer opportunities based on skills and interest. Volunteer opportunities range from aiding youth and elderly to addressing homelessness and environmental issues. The Student Volunteer Center also sponsors events for the campus community where students can volunteer their time.

For more information about service opportunities, see the web site or contact the Student Volunteer Center at (831) 459-3364 or e-mail

Campus Cultural Programs

Throughout the year, UCSC offers frequent and varied cultural opportunities. Students, faculty, and staff may participate as audience members, performers, or behind-the-scenes support crew. The considerable range of offerings includes art exhibits, lectures, films, concerts, recitals, and dance and drama presentations; programs vary from single performances to weeklong cultural celebrations. The colleges host a number of events, and the departments frequently engage speakers of particular academic interest to address the campus community or present lecture-demonstrations.

The Arts Division serves as a gateway to the entire university, presenting high-quality research and work by faculty, students, and guest artists. Art exhibitions, film screenings, digital arts presentations, music recitals, as well as several theater, dance, and music presentations, are offered in conjunction with the academic programs. In addition, the Arts Division offers regular public lectures and colloquia to introduce audiences to professional practitioners and scholars in the traditional and digital arts.

In addition to attending Arts Division activities, UCSC students are invited to participate in a wide variety of activities open to all UCSC students. Join an Indonesian gamelan ensemble, sing in the UCSC Concert Choir, play in the UCSC Orchestra, or audition for a theater or dance production. 

For up-to-date information about cultural offerings from the Arts Division, contact the Arts Division Events Office at (831) 459-2787 and visit us online at and on Facebook.

Bay Tree Bookstore

UCSC’s Bay Tree Bookstore is located in the Quarry Plaza complex in the center of campus, at the intersection of Hagar Drive and Steinhart Way. The bookstore serves as the campus resource for UCSC course materials, including new and used course books and customized faculty publications; general reading and reference books; a wide variety of school and personal supplies (including computers and computer supplies); and many other items such as residence hall living needs, small appliances, backpacks, emblematic apparel, art supplies, posters, gifts, greeting cards, testing supplies, and academic regalia. Services include online reservations for course materials, textbook rentals, student debit accounts, special ordering of books, book buyback services, passport photos and passport application processing, fax services, and limited check cashing. The bookstore also houses the campus’s convenience store (the Express Store) and Student ID Card Services. For more information, call (831) 459-4544. Web:

Child Care and Early Education Services

Child Care and Early Education Services offers programs for children of students currently enrolled in classes at UCSC. All of our centers are conveniently located on campus near the West Entrance. Free or low-cost tuition rates are available for students who meet the eligibility requirements for subsidized care (please see Eligibility for State Funding Chart at All meals are included in the program (breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack).

Our programs are dedicated to providing the highest-quality developmental care possible in a secure, homelike environment characterized by warmth, affection, and support. The classrooms stress the importance of meeting children’s needs in all areas of development: social, emotional, physical, cognitive and creative. The curriculum emphasizes play as a learning process and provides environments that are rich and challenging.

Programs are open to all children without regard to religion, color, ethnicity, gender, and physical or mental ability. All of our centers are located in the Family Student Housing Complex. Each of our centers is operated during the academic year from September through June, and closed during the summer months, administrative and university holidays, and staff development days. All of the child care spaces are provided for children of student families only. The majority of the spaces are reserved for students who meet the qualifications for subsidized care. Fee-for-service spaces at a below market rate may be available for student families whose income exceeds state-subsidy requirements.

Information about programs, fees, and applications is available at and at the Early Education Services Office in the Community Building at Family Student Housing; at (831) 459-2967, or by e-mail at

Infant Center

The Infant Center serves 12 children ages 11 to 24 months. Small groups, low child-to-adult ratios, and primary caregivers ensure consistent and nurturing care. The hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Preschool Center

There are three preschool classrooms that serve a total of 36 children from 24 months until they enter kindergarten. Each classroom provides small groups with low child-to-adult ratios, and an environment that provides a stimulating and rich curriculum, which helps prepare children for kindergarten. The hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.

School Age Center

The School Age Program serves 16 children. It operates as an after-school recreation program during the academic year. The program provides developmentally appropriate arts and crafts, life-skills and sports activities, occasional community outings and quite time for homework. The hours of operation are 12 noon to 6:15 p.m. for kindergarteners; and 2:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays for 2nd through 4th graders. On Wednesdays (public school minimum days), care is available from 12 noon to 6:15 p.m. for all school-age children. Extended care is available on a sign-up basis on some Santa Cruz City Schools closure days (university closure days excluded).

UCSC Alumni Association

UCSC’s graduates—more than 90,000 of them—can maintain a lifelong connection to the campus through the UCSC Alumni Association. Through the dues they pay, Association members contribute to the living-learning environments at each college and the enrichment of the entire campus. Membership dues directly support student programs, special activities, and other projects at the colleges and campuswide.

The association promotes excellence at UCSC by making annual awards. It supports students by offering two types of scholarships (college service and financial need), and enriches campus and college intellectual life through its Distinguished Visiting Professor program and endowment.

The association sponsors programs that engage and reconnect alumni with each other and the campus. Hundreds of alumni return to campus during the annual Alumni Weekend to enjoy receptions, tours, panel discussions, and other programs through which they reconnect with old friends, faculty, and students. Thousands more reconnect through the Online Community (, which offers an online alumni directory, association event information and RSVP services, and much more. Many alumni also reconnect at regional events across the country and through Association-sponsored affinity groups.

The association connects alumni and students through career programs. Alumni act as career mentors online through the Career Services’ Career Advice Network, and in person at the annual Multicultural Career Conference and similar events. The Alumni Association, in partnership with other UC Alumni Associations, brings politically minded graduates to Sacramento for an annual legislative conference aimed at increasing support for UC.

Members of the Alumni Association enjoy a range of benefits. These include use of the campus pool and recreation facilities, Kaplan and Princeton Review course discounts, library privileges across the entire UC system, access to the online Digital Library, and more.

Information about the Alumni Association is available by contacting us at 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, locally at (831) 459-2530, toll-free at (800) 933-SLUG, via e-mail at, and on the web:

University Interfaith Council

The University Interfaith Council (UIC) seeks to integrate spirituality with academic life and to promote tolerance, peace, and understanding of all faiths and spiritual traditions. The UIC is open to all religious groups. Programs include celebrations and interfaith gatherings; educational events, including religious study courses; community service; worship/meditation; and spiritual care and counseling for students, faculty, and staff. The UIC strengthens a campuswide sense of spirituality and increases awareness of options for spiritual life on campus. For more information on University Interfaith Council events and discussion boards, visit the UIC web site.

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Revised: 09/01/14