Student Life

2017-18 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. Students live, study, and socialize with others from their 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.


At UC Santa Cruz, students are housed in small-scale residential communities, which provide close-knit living environments within the larger university. Each community provides an academically and socially supportive environment and offers special programs designed to help students transition to campus life, build a strong connection with the campus, and get the most out of their UCSC experience. A space in university housing is guaranteed to all new undergraduate students entering in the fall quarter who submit all forms and required fees by stated deadlines.

After accepting the UC Santa Cruz offer of admission, all undergraduate students become affiliated with one of our 10 colleges. Once affiliated with a college, all students are sent information about the housing options available, and instructions for completing the online housing application/contract process. The housing options available to you will differ depending on whether you are a freshman or a transfer student—though all students have access to campus dining facilities. Housing application periods open in mid-May for new freshmen and mid-June for new transfers entering in the fall.

College Residences

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.

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. Students can request to live in a mixed-gender (students of any gender live on the same floor or apartment, though bedrooms are single-gender) or single-gender (students of a single gender live on the same floor or apartment) area. Room assignments allowing transgender and gender-nonconforming students and their allies to live together in the same room regardless of gender or legal gender are also available by request. 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, 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 options serve to complement a student’s experience in residence.

Each college’s residential program is a team effort. Live-in student and professional staff members provide orientation and support services, 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 (including the Transfer Community) include meal plans. Students with meal plans may use their student ID cards to access any of the 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.

More information on the colleges, including videos, can be found here and at the Housing website.

Redwood Grove

Located on the west side of campus between Kresge College and Graduate Student Housing, Redwood Grove is a quiet and studious apartment community for students from all colleges. Each apartment has private and shared bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. Information is available at Redwood Grove housing and by email at

The Village

Located in the Lower Quarry, The Village is a unique community for continuing 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. Information is available at The Village Housing and by email at

University Town Center

The University Town Center, located at the corner of Pacific and Cathcart in downtown Santa Cruz,  houses continuing and transfer students in two- and three-person studio apartments. A meal plan is optional.Information is available at UCSC University Town Center Housing Info and by email at

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. Also, see information on childcare and youth programs, below. Information is available on the Web at Family Housing, and by email at

Camper Park

A 42-space Camper Park is located on the north side of campus and includes university-owned single-occupant recreational vehicles that are rented to students. The park includes a community building with rest rooms, showers and laundry facilities, and a lounge/study room. Information is available on and by email at

Graduate Student Housing

Conveniently located adjacent to "Science Hill," home to many of UCSC's main academic facilities, each apartment offers four single bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. Ground floor apartments have decks, while upper apartments have private balconies. Information is available and by email at

Campus Housing Office

The Housing 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. Advisers are available on a drop-in basis to assist students with any questions regarding housing contract policies and procedures, housing and dining charges, payment plan options, meal plans, and more.

Location: 104 Hahn Student Services Building (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday). Information is available and by email at

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.

Location: 104 Hahn Student Services (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday). Information is available at Off-Campus Housing and by email at

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

Physical education classes and the recreation, sports, and fitness programs offered by OPERS provide a variety of interesting and challenging activities in which you are invited to participate. The emphasis is on opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, and habits related to wellness that last through a lifetime of enjoyable physical and recreational activity.

You can 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.  See

Physical Education Courses

Physical Education offers students an opportunity to learn and improve skills in a variety of areas while gaining knowledge about the relationship between fitness and wellness. With these experiences, students are more equipped to make important choices leading to healthy lifestyles.

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 welcoming environments.Studens may enroll in as many courses as they desire and are permitted to repeat any course. While many of the courses are for students at the beginning level, some are designed for the more advanced student.

Subjects offered include swimming, scuba, sailing, rowing, kayaking, basketball, racquetball, tennis, volleyball, ballet, folk dance, jazz dance, modern dance, fencing, soccer, tai chi chuan, strength training, fitness and conditioning, yoga, aikido. and more. See the Physical Education website for more information.

Intramural Sports

Intramural Sports offers a wide collection of recreational and competitive activities designed to encourage participation for all eligible people to play on campus. The program prides itself on sportsmanship, inclusion, and justice.

Intramurals are structured for different skill levels and are conducted in a safe, supervised environment. You do not need to be an experienced athlete to play! Intramural Sports are open to all UC Santa Cruz students, faculty, staff, and alumni or community members with current memberships. Intramural Sports are a fun way to play, meet friends, learn new sports, test physical ability, and relieve the stress of daily routines. Most activities allow you to select the days and times you play, as well as the people on your team. See the Intramural Sports website for more information.

Sports Clubs

UCSC Sports Clubs are split into two separate categories: Competitive Sports Clubs and Non-Competitive Sports Clubs. Competitive Sports Clubs compete against other universities in sanctioned leagues, tournaments and matches. Non-Competitive Sports Clubs either have two or less competitions per year or their focus is entirely at the recreational level. See the OPERS website for more information.

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, see

Recreation Program

The Recreation Program is designed to provide the UCSC community with an opportunity to gain skills, have fun, be challenged, and make personal connections through outdoor, recreational, and hands-on learning experiences. We offer a wide range of courses that provide opportunities for beginners as well as more experienced participants. You can expect well-organized classes, activities, and informal teaching. Be prepared to be active and involved. Courses are led by recreation instructors and UCSC student leaders. Student leaders make up the foundation of the Recreation Program, bringing experience and enthusiasm to the programs they lead.

The 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 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. See the Recreation Calendar for activities offered, and see the Recreation website for more information.

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. Both the East Field House and the West Field House offer a 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 through FitLife. More information is available on the FitLife website.

The UCSC Community 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. See

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. 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 experiential learning program that allows students to practice sustainability at a hands-on level. All UCSC students are invited to come and participate in PICA activities such as sustainability workshops and garden workdays. For further information, please visit the PICA website.

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.

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.” See the Kresge Food Co-op website, or 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 Redwood Building, next to the Student Union.

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, employees, visitors, and some upper-division residential students. UCSC has a parking prohibition for first- and second-year residential students; students who have fewer than 90 units at the start of the academic year will not be eligible to purchase a permit to park on campus for any part of the year. 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 the TAPS web site.

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 2:30 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 five 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, quarterly bike helmet giveaways and morning bike shuttles that run from an off-campus location up to campus. Popular bike services include the Bike Library, which lends bikes for free on a quarterly basis, free weekly bike maintenance clinics, and free bike skills classes.

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 $7.50 per hour and include all vehicle fees, gas, insurance, mileage, and reserved parking on campus. Members have access 24 hours per day to 24 vehicles—17 on campus and 10 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, see the Zimride website.

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 fees. 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, or for additional information, visit the Student Health Center website or email

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 mandated by the UC Regents to carry health 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 suitable insurance by the specified deadline. For detailed information regarding insurance coverage and the waiver process, see Billing and Insurance Information page on the Student Health Center website. The Student Health Center only accepts UC SHIP, not any other health insurance plans.

For students who successfully waive UC SHIP, it is recommended that students and families consider adding CruzCare, which provides access to the Student Health Center for illness and injuries and covers in-house laboratory tests and X-rays, for a quarterly flat fee. Fees will be assessed for most visits for students without UC SHIP or CruzCare.

Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Requirements

All new incoming UC students are required to obtain specific vaccines and tuberculosis (TB) screening. Compliance with this requirement will be tracked by student’s submission of an online Immunization form and TB Risk screening. These forms must be submitted securely online at Additionally, all new incoming students are asked to complete a Personal Health History Questionnaire. For more information about UCSC Student Health Services and the UC-wide immunization requirements, please visit the Student Health Center website.

Student Health Outreach and Promotion (SHOP)

SHOP is UC Santa Cruz’s destination for information, conversation, and self-exploration. It’s the place for students to go to learn about health and wellness in a safe, non-judgmental environment.

SHOP provides opportunities for students to explore and enhance their health and wellness as they pursue their academic goals. SHOP offers information, education, resources, and support on issues related to alcohol and other drugs, sexually transmitted infections and sexual health and other concerns relevant to college students. All UCSC students are welcome and encouraged to drop in and speak with SHOP's professional and student staff. 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. For information call (831) 459-1417 or visit the SHOP website. 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.

  • The Birth Control Patrol—make an appointment with a peer to choose a contraceptive option.
  • Workshops, activities, and events.

  • Sexual health questions? Speak to a SHOP staff person.

SHOP is located at the Student Health Center. For more information, visit the SHOP website, call (831) 459-3772, or email

Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE)

Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) provides support, advocacy, resources, and violence prevention education to the UC Santa Cruz community. We respond to the needs of students, staff, faculty, and non-affiliates impacted by stalking, dating/domestic violence, and sexual assault by providing free and confidential advocacy and support. To request an appointment with a confidential CARE advocate, email or call 831-502-CARE (2273).

CARE also works collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff to educate the campus community about the vital role that each of us has in preventing violence and creating a culture of consent and respect. We supervise a peer prevention education program for students covering topics like:

  • How to support survivors

  • Reporting options

  • Healthy communication and relationships

  • Bystander intervention skills

  • Media literacy

CARE is located at Kresge 714, near the Owl's Nest Cafe. Come by to learn more about our programs, sign up for peer educator training, or just enjoy some tea. Find us online at, or follow us on Facebook by searching "UCSC CARE."

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

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. CAPS also provides ADHD assessments, psychosocial groups, and online options. 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 students 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 visit the Counseling and Psychological Services website or call (831) 459-2628.

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, student development, and social engagement. 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 efforts to enhance the recruitment and retention of students who self-identify within the African diaspora.

AARCC works directly with numerous (student) organizations, which include, but are not limited to, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), African/Black Student Alliance (A/BSA), African American Theater Arts Troupe (AATAT), African Student Union (ASU), Black Sistas United, (BSU) Black Men’s Alliance (BMA), Destination Higher Education (DHE), Rainbow Theatre, Rosa Parks African American Theme House (R.PAATH), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (DST), Black And Queer Questioning (BLAQQ), Black Campus Ministries (BCM), and UMOJA.

AARCC works collaboratively with various campus units/departments and in the surrounding community to enhance cultural and ethnic diversity initiatives on the UCSC campus. AARCC is located on the third floor of the Bay Tree Building in Quarry Plaza, and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (831) 459-3207, email, or visit the AARCC website.

American Indian Resource Center (AIRC)

The American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) works in collaboration with other resource centers, faculty, staff, students, and organizations such as the Student Alliance of North American Indians (SANAI), the University of California American Indian Counselors/Recruiters Association, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of California Indians, 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, email, or visit the AIRC website.

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

The Asian American Pacific Islander Resource Center (AA/PIRC), established in 1999, provides and enhances opportunities for developing leadership, building a stronger sense of community on campus, and linking students to community service opportunities. AA/PIRC offers education and dialogue on issues affecting Asian American/Pacific Islanders with the goal of addressing students’ multiple and diverse academic, social, cultural, and other cocurricular needs. Students can also gain leadership experience through the AA/PIRC Internship, volunteering, and/or participating in student programs.

AA/PIRC is located on the third floor of the Bay Tree Building at the Ethnic Resource Centers. Add your email address to AA/PIRC’s listserv to receive campus and community announcements. For more information, call (831) 459-5349; email; or visit the AA/PIRC website.

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: Bienvenida--New Student Welcome Program; Día de los Muertos; Pachanga; César Chávez 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 email, or visit

Cantú Queer Center

The Cantú Queer Center at UC Santa Cruz provides an open, inclusive, intersectional, and welcoming space, promoting education about all genders and sexualities, and empowering self-exploration of these identities. We serve as a resource to LGBTQQIA students by providing opportunities for leadership and personal development and through programs and services that work to eliminate heterosexism, bi-phobia, and gender-identity oppression. We strive to develop an atmosphere of acceptance and well-being from which the campus community can fulfill the academic mission of the university.

Besides the Cantú Queer Center, there are two queer spaces on campus tucked within McHenry Library: the GLBTI Reading Room on the 4th Floor, and the Gloria Anzaldua Reading Room on the 3rd Floor. Both spaces have beautiful displays that will make you feel at home. You can drop by and use these rooms if they are available or reserve them for individual or group use.

The Cantú Queer Center is open Monday through Friday; usual hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can reach the center at (831) 459-2468 or via email at The Cantú Queer Center website provides an overview.

Women’s Center

The Women’s Center is devoted to helping students maximize their academic and personal success at UCSC. The center is a student-run resource center that creates and sponsors student-oriented programs, workshops, writing collectives, film screenings, and discussions throughout the academic year. Topics addressed include women’s leadership and empowerment, gender and sexuality, race and culture, health and wellness, reproductive rights, advocacy to end sexual violence, and much more. Center staff are available as a resource for on- or off-campus referrals and informal advising.

All students are encouraged to get involved in the center's annual events, which include Sister Solidarity: Women's Heritage Month, Take Back The Night, and more. Other opportunities for involvement include volunteering and work-study paid internships. The center is the ideal space to study, take a break from classes, check out a book from the lending library, and connect with the women's community.

The Women's Center is located at the Cardiff House, an historic farmhouse near the Carriage House in the lower campus. Center hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, please contact (831) 459-2072, email, or visit the Women's Center website.

The Student Union

The Student Union is a student-governed facility where students can take a break and lounge, meet friends, play pool, use computers, 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 governing body (Student Union Assembly) and to student organizations, like 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.

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 mentorship, leadership training, organizational development advising, and project management to all students. Visit the SOMeCA website for more information.

Student Organization Advising and Resources (SOAR)

UCSC offers the student body over 160 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, email, or visit the SOAR website. SOAR is located on the second floor of the Student Union.

Student Media

Student Media at UC Santa Cruz include print publications and broadcast organizations. 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; and Gaia, which focuses on environmental issues. 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 website 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 CAD website.

UC Santa Cruz and Systemwide Student Governance

UC Santa Cruz 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 UC Santa Cruz. It comprises three representatives from each college government; six elected officers (president, vice president of external affairs, vice president of internal affairs, vice president of academic affairs, and vice president of diversity and inclusion); 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; Queer Student Union; Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlán; Student Alliance of North American Indians; and Ethnic Student Organization Council. The SUA also provides paid part-time internship opportunities for students. 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 8 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 include 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 systemwide, statewide, and national issues. For more information, visit the SUA website.

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.

The SUA 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 Student Union Assembly's vice president of external affairs (VPE) 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 VPE to effectively run the grassroots campaigns that are sponsored by UCSA each year. These positions are elected for one-year terms during spring quarter every year.

The Student Union Assembly's VPE may be contacted at

College Student Governments

Each college has its own student government, encouraging students to participate in program development and implementation, as well as determining where college membership fees should be allocated. Student governments give students a voice at the college and with the campuswide student government. Like the colleges themselves, each college governing body has its own character, structure, and meeting times and dates. For information, contact the programs coordinator at your college.

The Graduate Student Association (GSA)

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) advocates for graduate student interests with regard to tuition and fees, health insurance, transportation, housing, graduate student well-being, support for marginalized grad students, and other important issues. The GSA ensures graduate student representation on campus committees and works with the campus and UC administration to implement GSA Council goals. The GSA awards travel grants for graduate students attending conferences or traveling on thesis-related research. The GSA also organizes and co-sponsors events for graduate students, including international grads and grads from historically marginalized communities.

The GSA is funded by student fees and operated by an Executive Board. Representatives from departments that offer graduate degrees make up the GSA Council. The Council meets several times per quarter to strategize around and discuss issues that impact graduate students. For more information, contact the GSA website or email

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 Vice President for Internal Affairs 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, see the Student Union Assembly website.

Community Service Opportunities

Community service is a vital part of the university’s mission. It is possible for individual students, as well as campuswide 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 Student Volunteer Center website, call (831) 459-3364, or email

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 theater, dance, and music presentations, are offered in conjunction with the academic programs. The Arts Division also 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 division activities that are 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 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, UCSC 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, fax services, passport processing, and limited check cashing. The bookstore also houses the campus’s convenience store (the Express Store), Student ID Card Services, and a self-service postal kiosk. For more information, call (831) 459-4544, or see the Bay Tree Bookstore website.

Child Care and Early Education Services

Child Care and Early Education Services offers programs for children of students currently enrolled in classes at UCSC. Our center is located on campus near the West Entrance in Family Student Housing. Free or low-cost tuition rates are available for students who meet the eligibility requirements for subsidized care (please see the 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. Our program emphasizes nature-based learning incorporating the beautiful UCSC campus environment, garden activities, outdoor play, all supporting a S.T.E.M. curriculum.

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 center is open most days during the academic year from September through June, and closed during the summer months, administrative and university holidays, and staff development days.In addition, Early Education Services will run a modified program during the summer months. 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 email at

Infant-Toddler Center

The Infant-Toddler Center serves children ages 11 to 36 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

The preschool classroom serves children from three years of age until they enter transitional kindergarten. The classroom provides small groups with low child-to-adult ratios, and an environment that supports a stimulating and rich curriculum that 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 provides an after-school recreation program for children during the academic year. The program provides developmentally appropriate arts and crafts, life skills and sports activities, occasional community outings and quiet time for homework. The hours of operation are 12:30 p.m. 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 5th graders. On Wednesdays (public school minimum days), care is available from 12:30 p.m. 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).

UC Santa Cruz Alumni Programs

Once a banana slug, always a banana slug! From the moment students step on campus they become part of the UC Santa Cruz community for life—transforming from students to alumni.

The UC Santa Cruz Alumni community is over 100,000 strong—a network of dynamic, innovative, successful, philanthropic, and world-changing individuals around the world. UC Santa Cruz alumni are part of the 1.7 million University of California alumni living and working around the globe as leaders and contributors in our communities, businesses, and culture. UC Santa Cruz alumni are advocates, volunteers, supporters, friends, and ambassadors for their alma mater.

Opportunities abound for alumni to stay involved in the UC Santa Cruz community through networking, mentoring, attending events, volunteering, and engaging in philanthropic opportunities. Alumni stay connected through online alumni networks and social media. Programs like the Career Advice Network (CAN) and the annual Multicultural Career Conference create opportunities for alumni to mentor students toward success.

UC Santa Cruz Alumni programs are governed by the Alumni Council, an elected board of alumni volunteers. The Alumni Council seeks to build a robust connection between students and alumni, connect alumni where their passions are the strongest, and to strengthen the alumni network throughout the UC Santa Cruz community for personal and professional advancement. The alumni network supports students and alumni through the pivotal moments in life.

UC Santa Cruz Alumni promotes excellence through scholarships and awards. Alumni support student scholarships each year, including the Alumni Association Scholarship, College Service Award, Graduate Student Awards, and Leadership Service Awards Alumni enrich campus and college intellectual life and recognize and celebrate notable members of the UC Santa Cruz community by presenting two annual awards each year, the Alumni Achievement Award and Outstanding Staff Award, and by publishing articles about notable alumni in UC Santa Cruz publications. For information visit the UC Santa Cruz Alumni website.

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 website.

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Revised: 09/01/17