Santa Cruz, CA
University of California-Santa Cruz


282 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Carson
What is your overall opinion of this school?

the campus is a bubble. it's in the middle of a forest. there are caves on campus. there is a tree, "tree 9", that people cli...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

the campus is a bubble. it's in the middle of a forest. there are caves on campus. there is a tree, "tree 9", that people climb. it's 20 minutes away from downtown. kind of gets boring at times because it isn't a big city. def a college town. biggest recent controversy: tree sitters there is a lot of school pride. our mascot is a banana slug, how cool/lazy is that? thousands of people travel up here for 4/20

Describe the students at your school.

there are a lot of white people on campus. then asians. i rarely see blacks most students are from LA and nor cal (san franc) students are very politically involved. there are protests held often.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

it's a bubble. for ***A LOT** of students, UCSC was the only school that they got into. A LOT. I can not stress that enough. This school is so easy to get into.

What are the academics like at your school?

classes are huge. my largest class is 435. i read as much as i can, but i guess i don't study much. i can say the same for most students. the classes are pretty easy i feel that UCSC is geared towards learning for its own sake because it doesn't seem that there is an opportunity to start a career in this small town.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

they're hippies. they all smoke pot

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

tradition: the first rain. everyone runs around naked during the first rain in the fall quarter. people party a lot. the parties often get raided by CSOs though. i don't really enjoy them because of that. the off campus parties are a hassle to get to because no one drives here and the bus are always packed. frats are NOT important here.. off campus: beaches, "downtown"(1 strip of stores)

Tim
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best things: having a view of the bay and redwoods from my bedroom window last year. Change: more money to feminist studies....

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best things: having a view of the bay and redwoods from my bedroom window last year. Change: more money to feminist studies. Too large

Describe the students at your school.

Not very diverse, lots of middle class white kids.

Tristan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The campus is by far the most gorgeous campus there is. There are deer everywhere, the redwood trees are amazing, and the vi...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The campus is by far the most gorgeous campus there is. There are deer everywhere, the redwood trees are amazing, and the view of the Monterey Bay is to die for. One thing I would change, is the insane protest against development and expansion on campus. It should be a good thing that more people want to attend UCSC. I believe our campus is just right but it wouldn't be bad to have more students. Whenever I tell people I go to UCSC, they roll their eyes and mention something about hippies, liberals, no grades, no clothes.When I'm on campus I'm usually in class. There is no "college town." In fact the town hates the college. The UCSC administration is "eh." Biggest controversy = tree sitters protesting campus expansion. There is a lot of school pride. There are way too many things that are unusal about UCSC to even write. I think I will always remember my experience with "The First Rain." Students usually complain about some protests going on.

Describe the students at your school.

They are extremely one-sided and pretty much hate everyone who isn't them. A republican, someone who bathes, and someone who is involved with sports and greek orgs would feel out of place. Most students wear very beat up clothing to class. Some different types of students interact. There is the hippie table, the punks, the lesbian/gays, the liberals, and then the people who are just there to hang out and relax. Most students are in the first three tables. A lot of the financial backgrounds of these students are low-income but there is a wide range of low-mid-high income. Oh these students are very politically aware and active. more than any other campus. They are predominantly so far left you can't even see the center. Most of these students do not think about how much they will earn.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not entirely. There are some crazy hippies and just crazy people in general and there are definitely a handful of liberals but there is also a very wide variety of people.

What are the academics like at your school?

Yes, many of the professors know my name. My favorite class is Human Health/Nutrition. There is a lot of work but it's worth it because I don't just get graded on two tests. My least favorite is a class for my major called The Film Experience. Class participation is very common. UCSC students do have intellectual contersations outside of class. Students are somewhat competitive. The most unique class I've taken is US Popular Music. My major/department on this campus is the absolute worst. I don't like anything about it. I do sometimes spend time with professors outside of class during their office hours. I feel the UCSC academic requirements are fine. I'm not really sure where they are trying to go with the education to be honest. Probably more for just learning for its own sake.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There are a lot of multi-cultural orgs on campus. I'm involved with Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority. Some students leave their doors open. Athletic events are not popular. Guest speakers are pretty popular. Theater is pretty popular. Very sad dating scene. I met my closest friends through the freshman dorms, other people, and the sorority. I hopefully would be sleeping at 2am on a Tuesday because I have an 8am class the next day. Oh the traditions... there is "The First Rain," Greek Week, Multicultural Festival, and the little gathering on April 20th. People are always partying. This school hates frats and sororities. Last weekend I hung out with my mom who came to visit and showed her around Santa Cruz. You can go see a movie. I hang out, go shopping, and go on adventures off campus.

erica
What is your overall opinion of this school?

There is no football team which is a downside. It would be nice to have something rally around. I also wish the campus admins...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

There is no football team which is a downside. It would be nice to have something rally around. I also wish the campus admins added more off campus shops and restaurants on campus because it would be a lot easier to spend more time on campus. The nice thing about UCSC is that you can be on campus, at the beach, or downtown and feel like your in entirely different places.

Describe the students at your school.

Anyone can find a place to fit in at UCSC. I dont think anyone would feel alone or friendless, its just not possible here.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Theres actually a lot of different types of people that go here. Its nice not to have a school where it feels like you need to play a sport and go greek to fit in, theres a group for anyone and everyone. It is pretty liberal though.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Its full of hippies and tree huggers and people smell. Its very liberal and the classes are as well.

What are the academics like at your school?

I've found professors here to be very helpful and interested in student needs. The school is really geared towards math and science majors which is somewhat disappointing coming from a politics major perspective. My classes are challenging and interesting but are often difficult to actually get into because of the size of the student population and how many people they allow to sign up for any given class. It is a bit overcrowded. It is a UC so there is often pretty much studying involved with any class.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

it might not seem like there are a lot of parties, and I mean sometimes there arent, but more often than not there is a big party @ least on the weekends. The bars are big Tuesdays and Thursdays. Im in a sorority and it really helps make a big campus seem smaller, but

Brett
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love the wilderness. If i could change one thing, it would be that the faculty and those in charge of the school implement...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love the wilderness. If i could change one thing, it would be that the faculty and those in charge of the school implement policies that reflect the needs of the students. We are known to be a very liberal accepting place, but i feel that the UC regents don't always adhere to what our students believe this school stands for.

Describe the students at your school.

NO DIVERSITY!!!!!! as a school u guys really need to work on that.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There are alot of stoners, but not everyone is one.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I like the social life, I like to go to partys and have fun. I wish our school was better at sports and had more team pride, as well as more frats, etc.

What are the academics like at your school?

My favorite classes are the one's that make me think, and the one's that I can connect pieces of info to real life. I don't think teachers know my name because lecture classes are pretty big.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

SOme stereotypes are that we are all stoners, and hippies. Thats not true, also people think UCSC is an easy school but its just as demanding as any other UC.

Conor
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The location is beautiful. I think it's a really good size. when i tell people i go to ucsc their first question is either, "...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The location is beautiful. I think it's a really good size. when i tell people i go to ucsc their first question is either, "do you surf?" or they make a reference to smoking weed. When the weather is nice i like to spend most of my time outside in the sun, other than that i'm usually at my apartment. there isn't any real central place for students to get together and socialize. not really a college town, but i think it's turning around. The administration is a little absurd at times, it's a real bureaucracy and can be a pain to get anything done. The latest controversy on campus is the protest to the building of a biomedical facility on campus. Students are still living in trees and at one point had completely taken control over a the parking lot where the facility is to be built, pulled several fire alarms in the neighboring classrooms and have recently broken into a professors home and harassed their family. There is school pride, but not a whole lot of it. I wish there could be more of it. One of the most unusual things about UCSC is it's mascot, the Banana Slug. But people tend to really like it. The most frequent complaints i hear from other students is the lack of classes and choice, and especially for the compacted majors like psychology and art. Also, the lack of any real athletic department.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

for the most part yes. Although only about a third of the school actually smokes weed on a daily basis.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The ultimate frisbee, swim and water polo teams seem to be the most popular on campus however attendance at these games is seriously lacking. I volunteer at the condom co-op which is part of the health center on campus and we sell safer sex supplies at cost for the students on campus. It's also a resource for any questions they might have about sex and safer sex practices. Most residents leave their doors open at the beginning of the year but as they find their group of friends the doors tend to remain shut. Athletics events like i said are not very popular. There are many guest speakers that come to UCSC. The theater department puts on many shows and is known for Shakespeare Santa Cruz. The dating scene can be difficult because the university is divided into 10 different colleges. My closest friend was my roommate, and i work with my other closest friends. If i'm awake at 2am on a tuesday i am most likely doing homework. Each year UCSC has the naked run on the night of the first rain of the year. People party every weekend. Greek life is only about 2% of the population at UCSC. Last weekend I went to a few parties off campus. On a saturday without drinking one can go downtown to the movies, go bowling at the boardwalk, just hang out with friends, go to the many programs that may be happening that night on campus, or just stay in. When i go off campus i usually go to friends' houses and hang out with them and go to parties.

What are the academics like at your school?

All of my professors have always made an effort to get to know every student's name and most of them really show a genuine interest in what each student has to offer. My favorite class here has been my french classes. The amount of time students study really varies. Some study all the time and others ten to not study at all. Participation is pretty common in every class. Intellectual conversation is always happening, and is sometimes done of the influence of substances. The most unique class i've taken has been Biology of AIDS. My major is Language Studies which combines linguistics with a focus in language and culture which is what i really enjoy. I do not spend time with my professors outside of class. The academic requirements are typical and fair. The education is geared for both getting a job and learning for the sake of learning.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Stoners, environmentalists, protesters, hippies.

Tristan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about UCSC is the scenic environment in which we are able to conduct our academic studies in. I would change ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about UCSC is the scenic environment in which we are able to conduct our academic studies in. I would change the fact that there are no goddamn sports teams in this school worth cheering for. I think that UCSC is the perfect size for a school.

Describe the students at your school.

UCSC is a very accepting environment, one in which I would imagine most people would feel welcome. It is a predominantly left leaning campus, with the students being very politically aware.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

We surf and smoke a lot of marijuana.

Jake
Describe the students at your school.

Everyone can fit in here, except conservatives and Republicans. Conservative Republican? Keep that stigma off your forehe...

Describe the students at your school.

Everyone can fit in here, except conservatives and Republicans. Conservative Republican? Keep that stigma off your forehead and stay in the political closet.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Everyone's heard the "hippie" stereotype, which isn't completely true. Authentic hippies died out, i believe...because everyone here is really cool as long as you're non-judgmental and have a laid back personality. One thing to remember though, if you happen to be conservative or a registered Republican, keep it to yourself. You can fit in with anyone anywhere, but a majority will place a stigma on your forehead if you come out of the political closet. Santa Cruz is full of great people, and is a really relaxed environment. Just remember what you're here to do, and don't plan on playing football or wrestling.

Lisa
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Oh my goodness, the bureaucracy. Seriously, everything administrative about this school is stuck on stupid. My freshman yea...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Oh my goodness, the bureaucracy. Seriously, everything administrative about this school is stuck on stupid. My freshman year the city buses went on strike. They keep making the rules more and more strict on campus. The academia is excellent, the students are cool, and it's a beautiful place to go to school, but trying to get a diploma is like wrestling a dragon for 4 years. Currently there are a bunch of tree-sitters protesting the expansion and it caused a lot of drama. The locals hate us a lot: there's a Santa Cruz Party Ordinance which makes it so that noise violations build cumulative fines that stay with the house after you move-so if you move off campus and throw one party at a house that had a lot of fines before, you could be looking at thousands of dollars over one night! This place caters to the college crowd, but it isn't really a normal town. We have amazing places to eat, but no In N Out, no Arby's, no real drive thrus, and most places except for bars, Saturn Cafe, Santa Cruz Diner, and Longs close fairly early. The school is actually getting too large for the town to handle, so there are probably going to be a few years where UCSC is harder to get into because of the limited resources. There's some school pride(we're the Banana Slugs, after all!) but not much in the way of sports or school spirit events. There are a lot of athletic, active people, but most of them are more about fun than representing the college. My experiences here are pretty amazing, and there's so many things I did(most of them I don't actually want published) that you'd have to try yourself, and it's an unforgettable experience.

Describe the students at your school.

I think this is a really comfortable, safe environment to come out of your shell. Really conservative people would definitely feel out of place, but the nature of most people here is to live and let live, so as long as you don't impose your opinions on others most people don't bother you about stuff. There's a culture of weird here, people love to be different and weird and unique. I've seen a lot of girls with mowhawks. You tend to find out someone is gay within five minutes of meeting them because they're that upfront about it. Students wear everything from the latest fall fashion to wrinkled sweats around here, it's really nothing to stress over. There are some cool thrift stores around town that I like to shop at to find super cheap-but-cute threads. The school is separated into different 'colleges' which creates a sense of community, but it also means that it's easier to never branch out and meet people across campus. People definitely interact a lot, but on average proximity and lifestyle can really account for a lot of the friends you'll make on campus, so make sure you put a little thought in where you live on campus your freshman year. I lived at Porter, which is the crazy kids/art/drug college, but there's a different theme and core class for each college, so make sure you pick the one that best fits you or you might be dissatisfied with the atmosphere at your college.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not really. I know some hippies and a lot of people who spend all their time smoking pot, but most of my friends are not really like that. There is a lot of weird stuff that happens like the First Rain and 4/20, but there's stuff like that at a lot of colleges, we're just known for it and it's really just an extreme generalization. As far as UCSC being the 'easy' UC, we actually have a really strong undergrad program in several majors, especially linguistics, much better than a lot of more competitive schools in California (those schools have great grad programs and that's where their prestige comes from, but undergrad there is underfunded). I've taken some amazing classes, and most people I know are very intelligent, not a bunch of slackers.

What are the academics like at your school?

A few of my professors have remembered my name, but the lower division class sizes are such that you can form a relationship with your professor, but they won't know you exist unless you come to them after class or during their office hours. My favorite class is Human Sexuality, with Overview of the Universe being a close runner-up. Least favorite was Statistics, because I'm not a math person. The extent to which students study varies widely: I had a boyfriend who seemed to eat, sleep, and breathe his chemistry books, but I also know a ton of people who study about as much as I do, and some who never, ever study. Ever. A lot of people ask really stupid questions in class that don't need to be asked. You know THAT guy, the one you really wish would just shush and let the teacher continue teaching? We have one of those in just about every class. I have had a lot of intense conversations outside class with people. Most people don't really compete at all, especially not within majors, where usually we're just trying to help each other out and get the best grades possible. The most unique class I have taken was Introduction to the Horror Film. Yes, you read that right. It was a literature class and it actually gave a very sophisticated analytical look at the development of horror through several decades. My major, psychology, is super impacted, just like everywhere, but it's not impossible to get classes. The professors are incredibly intelligent, and several of them are also therapists as a profession, so if you want that career they're interesting to talk to. You can usually talk to professors during their office hours, or if you run into them randomly and say 'hey I'm in your class' most of our professors are extremely laid back and will smile and talk to you for a minute. UCSC has some academic requirements that are inconvenient, but they throw you into some really cool classes. The thing I find irritating is that a lot of classes I need are offered simultaneously so I can't take both the same quarter. UCSC is a university, so compared to the little major-intensive 'get your degree in 20 minutes' colleges out there it's much more anchored in learning for learning's sake, but if you pick a major that leads to a specific profession it's possible to get a job right out of college. Most people are looking at grad school upon completion, however, because it's becoming more and more important to employers at competitive professions to have more than undergrad.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That we're all a bunch of stupid hippies! People think that 100 percent of us are pot-smoking, tree-hugging, liberal-minded morons. Also, a lot of people think that it's the 'easy' UC and that we're not as smart on average as other college students.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Organizations? Bah! Actually there's a few fraternities and Calpirg and some other things around here, but I, like many of my friends, don't really get into that stuff. I used to be really involved in extracurriculars in high school, but at UCSC there's a lot going on whether you sign up for stuff or not, so it's not a big deal. Students are very open at the dorms, depending on what part of campus you're at. I know people that would rig their doors to never lock, and you could knock on their door whenever you felt like it and they'd hang out with you. Athletic events are not popular, really. Guest speakers, especially poets and famous people, do tend to frequent the campus and draw large numbers, and the theater program has free shows that get big numbers as well. Andre Nickatina comes here pretty often and has really popular shows which a lot of people like. The dating scene itself is just like any other place, but it's a really cool place to go on fun dates if you're involved with someone. There's this awesome restaurant called Chocolate downtown that is a really cute romantic place to go on a date. My closest friends are from Porter college, and I met them by living near them over the course of my freshman year. If I'm up on Tuesday at 2am, I'm either playing videogames with my boyfriend and his housemates or finishing some homework or playing on my computer when I should be sleeping. Every year there is the First Rain and 4/20. These events are legend. People party pretty often, but it's not a daily thing. Frats and sororities are really not important at all: you can find plenty to do outside the greeks. Last weekend I went on campus for a guy's 21st birthday and my friends had a wine and cheese party at their apartment. If you don't want to drink on a Saturday night you can go out to eat, go to a show at the Catalyst or the Attic or otherwise, go bowling, if the weather is good you can go to the beach and have a bonfire, or you can hang out with friends at each other's houses which is what most people seem to do. Off campus is basically the same as on, except it's less of a community vibe, there's no CSO or RA people, and the food is usually better because dining halls are not exactly gourmet cuisine most of the time.

Caitlyn
What is your overall opinion of this school?

If I could change one thing, I would add more of a greek system. Until this year, I was part of the only international sorori...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

If I could change one thing, I would add more of a greek system. Until this year, I was part of the only international sorority on campus. When I wear my letters I can feel people judging me sometimes, and there isnt as much of a social scene because of how much santa cruz disapproves of greeks. Most everyone in the greek system complains about this, and people who aren't in it usually complain that there is not enough of a sports atmosphere, almost no one goes to games and we dont even have a football team. Even though there are almost 20,000 people here, it doesn't seem that big because it is broken up into 10 different colleges so you feel like you belong to a smaller community. There is a pretty good community in the down town area and a lot of student hang out and go to bars down there, but as long as you are living on campus you dont see much of it because its a 20 minute bus ride away. There is always a protest going on, which most of the time is pretty cool because it makes it easy to get involved, but sometimes it is taken too far and can even get violent. Recently we had a bunch of people tree sitting for almost 2 months on science hill and a whole parking lot was blocked off and they ended up blocking off a lot of entrances to buildings, which was pretty inconvenient. But people around here are very passionate about the environment and it shows. Its pretty obvious from our mascot, the banana slug, that we are not the typical college campus. We do still have a lot of the hippie traditions around like drum circles and the annual first rain naked run and a lot of other things that make you say "only in santa cruz". I think one of my most memerable experiences would be on 4-20 where hundreds of students flock to one large field and a huge cloud of pot smoke lingers above for the durration of the day. The amazing part, no cops or campus workers interfere.

Describe the students at your school.

The one thing me and all my friends have always said is that you can get away with wearing anything in santa cruz; a paper bag, overalls, even dressed as some sort of animal or plant; except wearing high heels. Because our campus is hilly this really makes sense but those preppy girly girls would probably be the only ones anyone would look twice at. That said, I'm in a sorority and I own 4 pairs of heels and get plenty of chances to wear them, just not anywhere on campus. There is a very casual bohemian feel to the average students wardrobe, but the spectrum is still pretty large. All different types of students mingle together and even though most people have a very distinctive style of their own they are all open minded for the most part and willing to broaden their mind. Tables of people in the dining hall will generally be completely random. I have a group of generally girly girl friends and sometimes we eat with the gangster hyphy crowd. That said, there are cliques and people are pretty close to their little group, but also very open to getting to know others. Almost all UC students in general are from california, and santa cruz is no exception. I would say about 60% are from northern california and 40% from socal, and about 85% are white. It is the most liberal school ever, so much to the point where you know that one kid in your building who is a republican. Everyone votes, in election years there are tables all over campus with flyers and information on different candidates. Money is not as important, and its not a common topic. It seems that normal for most college students, we are all relatively broke, and even though there is a spoiled kid here and there it is considered "uncool" to brag about that kind of thing.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Even though there are hippies, there are also jocks, preps, gangsters, and everything else across the board. The part of us that is still hippie-like is our thinking. Everyone is really positive and all about peace and love. Its amazing to walk into a bathroom stall and see a bunch of graffiti that, instead of hate messages and swear words, has poetry and uplifting thoughts and quotes.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There are a lot of organized groups and clubs on campus, but none of them have major popularity. I am a part of one of 2 international sororities on campus, and we have a lot of events and its a lot of fun, but greeks have a pretty bad reputation on our campus and we aren't allowed to have houses so that limits us. On a scale of 1 to 10 the popularity of athletic events is about a 1.5...people generally only know we have sports teams at all because of the parties they throw. In terms of dating, I read on a website once that the girls at santa cruz were graded as "A" and the boys as "C-" and I think that pretty much sums it up. There aren't as many people out on the dating scene because there aren't as many people worth dating. But there are so many other things to do that it usually doesn't matter. I met most of my closes friends here during the first week in my college, Cowell. We all lived in one of two adjacent buildings and met at one of the get-to-know-each-other socials that seem lame, but are really handy. Santa Cruz does an amazing job of placing roommates together, and my freshman roommate is still my housemate and one of my best friends. While living on campus, there is always something going on and always someone awake, there is never a dead moment (except sunday mornings). People party pretty often here, but it has been restricted by the party ordinance which will slap a house with huge fines if the cops show up, but there are ways to avoid it. I spend most weekends partying friday, saturday and sometimes thursday night and spend my days studying or enjoying the campus by hiking or picnicing. If I need a night away from drinking, I can generally find a friend who feels the same way and we cook ourselves dinner and watch a movie or go out to a cafe downtown. There are plenty of low key things to do downtown and its a common place to find students.

What are the academics like at your school?

I am majoring in psych, the most impacted major, so so far as an undergrad i have gotten to know none of my professors. The only time I tend to get to know teachers is when they are graduate students. But it really hasnt affected how much I have learned or enjoyed a particular class. My favorite classes have actually been outside of my major and the reason I liked them so much was because of the brilliant professors. Its pretty rare to be able to say you took a class taught by Angela Davis; she has been through a lot and really made me question a lot of societal norms. I actually cant even recall a least favorite class because even if I dont like the subject, I love the teacher, or vice versa. Even though procrastination seems to be popular here, students do spend a lot of time studying- usually in downtown coffee shops or on campus libraries. There are plenty of places to choose from, and the atmospheres have really encouraged good study habits. One of my favorite things about college is how often students have intellectual conversations outside of the classroom. Last night I was at a party and I got into a conversation with a few of my friends on first, current politics, and next the afterlife and our beliefs on religion. People are not afraid to think outside of the box here and take others ideas into deep consideration. There is a small percentage of people who are highly competitive but most students are just here for the knowledge, and if anything they are only competing with themselves. The GE's here are awesome because they are very broad and instead of being forced to take Math 101 you can take intro to logic or observational astronomy to satisfy the requirement. Classes range from normal college topics to bizarre ones such as a study of The Beatles or of Naked Art History.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Everyone assumes that the large hippy movement that took place in santa cruz a few decades ago is still prominent. There are some people who never shave, eat grass out of paper bags, and wear all the flowy hippy clothing, but that is only part of our student body. We also have a reputation for being the easiest of the UC campuses, the low one on the totem pole.

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  • Tuition & Fees
  • $13,539
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