University of California-Santa Cruz Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Devin

There is literally and endless amount of diversity in UCSC, the latino groups are very active and dominant, well not dominant as most student due seem to be white, but nearly all of the student government is latino and it's a very tight knit group at Santa Cruz. Religion isn't such a big deal at santa cruz, christians are kind of scoffed at, but mostly just behind their backs. Christians might feel a little out of place as well as African-Americans, since there's such a small population of both, as well as conservatives. Some types of different students interact, but there is a pretty distinct division among those student who like to drink and smoke and those who don't. And then there are those who are ambitiously involved in school activities, such as sport and student government and studying and those who aren't, other then that everyone really interacts. At the four tables there are the people talking about a party and how they're going to get alcohol tonight, most of these kids are white, are from LA or areas around there and have money. There are the hippie stoners who are all also half rastifarian, they're stoned out their minds. Then there are a group of latino student who dress very simply, talk quietly and laugh annoyingly loudly, many of them are involved in student government, then there is at the last table the sciencey kids, kind of nerdy but not that nerdy, many of them are very smart do really well in school and most of them like to drink occassionally and do drugs occassionally but on about once a week, if even that. There is mostly people of lower and middle income going to Santa Cruz, mostly middle, but there is also a distinct group of people from the upper class. UCSC is very politically aware, almost all the way to the left, and no most students don't talk about how much money they're going to make one day.

Harper

i have found that many groups on campus are open and inviting to anyone who is interested in their cause. all different types of people interact with each other. students on campus are definately active and aware of issues taking place locally and globally.

Trevor

I try and avoid them, I don't think that racial groups need groups, it simply serves to reinforce feelings of being separate, same goes for LGBT and I haven't seen any socio-economic groups, but in general, I think they're pointless and just serve to give people friends when they have issues going out and meeting people. Probably a hardcore republican. Casual wear. Yes. One with the nerds, who are entirely too geeky for their own good, the strange people that group together (the lgbt groups, etc), the normal down to earth students who are common everywhere, and then the serious intellectuals who most people avoid because they are dicks. The bay area, CA. Middle class. Yes. Left. Rarely.

Dylan

UCSC students are predominantly from California, but not from one specific region. Most come from fairly wealthy families, but downplay this. Santa Cruz is not an urban place, so somebody looking for a big city feel and bumping nightlife would feel out of place. While San Francisco is about an hour and 20 minute drive away, Santa Cruz its self is tucked up between mountains and ocean. UCSC students are probably more introverted overall than at other colleges, but at the same time friendly and very open minded. It is a very liberal school, and people who like George Bush would feel very uncomfortable at this university. Most people are politically aware, perhaps not particularly active, but know a bit about foreign affairs. It is hard to generalize because you will find people here and everywhere, some of whom have their head in the clouds, and others who are NPR junkies.

Tiffany

This is school is not ethnically diverse at all, but it very LGBTIQ friendly.

matt

I have not experienced any racial, religious, LGBT, etc. groups. Groups are usually based on interest. I am in SAM (student art movement) club- it is good so far. Uptight overachievers would feel out of place here. people wear t-shirts and jeans or shorts. people have been known to show up in absolutely ludacris outfits on Halloween. different types of students usually stay to themeselves. Santa Cruz tables: hipster indie/stoner table, "bro" table (+ bro hos), asians, nerds. Most people are SoCal, then mostly NorCal. Most are middle class. Most people are surprisingly politically aware: Left wing. No- I have not once heard a student talk about making money.

Tim

Here I find myself surrounded by sniveling weasels always complaining about one thing or another: how classes are too big, how professors do not know them, how the long-range development plan is going to cut down trees and destroy the environment, how there aren't any ethnic studies taught on campus, how the food in Santa Cruz is atrocious, and how their major needs more money than the other majors on campus. One friend of mine considers himself left-wing, but the left-wing politics of the campus make him consider the center instead. Whining.

john

There is a distinct lack of racial diversity in UCSC that any member of the administration would be awkward in dealing with. There are posters on every bus-stop assuring, what seems to be many supportive groups relating to race. Of course what should be important is UCSC showing me that there is a place for my race and class no matter what they are. In my position it may be difficult to clarify. Luckily most lectures and classes are run with a prevailing focus on informality. I have no way of knowing how many times I have gone to class wearing pajamas. The point is that UCSC classes offers the anonymity necessary to blend into the back of a philosophy lecture.

Jessica

Students that are of the minority sometimes feel out of place here at UCSC becasue it is not a very diverse campus. Most students just wear regular jeans and shirts to class. Yes i think that different types of students interact every day in their classes and in the dining halls. Most UCSC are from the Bay Area. If there were four types of tables there would be the hippie/vegan table, the preppy girls who are talking about partying, the boys who are talking about girls, and the table of people who are left over. Most students at ucsc have rich families. Yes a lot of students talk about the money they want to make when they get older.

Erica

Many student groups are under funded, minority students are NOT helped in the way they should be(as a result MANY LEAVE). Black students receive no help and the change from northern california to santa cruz can be difficult.

Moira

There is very little racial diversity on this campus, however, I feel that in terms of religion, LGBT, and socio-economic status, the diversity is more apparent. I believe that an African-American republican student who drove a Hummer would feel out of place on this campus. Most students dress very casually in class (sometimes too casually). Different types of students do not really seem to interact. UCSC students are almost exclusively from California-- and all parts. The most prevalent financial background is middle class. Students, in general, are politically aware and active. There are a number of students who are completely apathetic and a smaller group who are intensely active in a political sense. Students at UCSC are by and large liberal. I rarely hear students discussing their projected incomes.

xtina

Many groups on campus are autonomous yet they seem to get along. there may be some racial tension among blacks and everyone else because they are literally the smallest "mainstream" minority on campus and they feel like everyone else has it beter than them. LBGT individuals are actually accepted on this campus by most everyone. A lot of students here aren't religious. the ones that are have found their own niche of like minded students who they get along with. differences in socio-economic status are kind of hard to point the finger on. people can tell if someone is a santa cruz local, if they're from the bay or if they came from southern california. there is a good mix of people from differing regions of the state and from various socio-economic backgrounds. most people don't care about your "affiliations" such as these. as long as you're chill, like to have a good time and don't cause drama they will like you. a student that would feel out of place is a very conservative-conservative person. Many people voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential primaries. most kids from socal often feel out of place if they don't give the school a chance. the weather is very variable but the staples in most student's wardrobe is a UCSC sweatshirt, a coat/jacket, jeans, SANDALS. boots (uggs and imitations..also rainboots) it rains a lot so most kids aren't really trying to impress. when it gets sunny the women show a lot of skin. some kids even wear sandals in the rain! The mos prevalent financial backgrounds seem to be working to lower middle class and upper middle class. it's kind of hard to tell because everyone looks pretty much on the same level. you can definitely tell who the urban city kids because a lot of them wear visible brand names. again, most students are from the bay area or southern california. everyone says they're from L.A even if they're from the valley, northridge, etc. some people even say they're from L.A. when they're from like san diego or something. people up north represent their cities. if they're from SF they will say SF. if they're from somewhere else that is what they say. lots of santa cruz locals as well, and there are very few people from out of state.

Renee

Racially, UCSC is not the most diverse campus. About 55% of the university is white, while only 3% or so is black, leaving the rest of the percentage to other races, the largest portions of which being Asian/Pacific Islander and Latino/a. As for religion, it isn't really discussed much, so I think people who are really religious have a hard time finding spaces to discuss it on campus. I know there are numerous resources for Christian, Jewish, and Muslim students, but beyond that it is pretty limited. As for LGBTQ students, there is a resource center and, as a queer student, I would say there is a generally friendly atmosphere on campus. I have heard of a few problems, but mostly it is a very accepting school of LGBTQ students. Statistically, this school has the highest family income than any other school in the UC system. That means a lot of students here have their education paid for by their parents. As someone who is financially independent from her parents, I can say that my experience is very rare and sometimes it can be frustrating. Usually students wear jeans, flip flops and sweat shirts to class, nothing fancy. I would say that different types of students interact well. Most UCSC students are either from the LA/San Diego area or the Bay Area, as well as the Central Valley. There is a small international student population, as well. Students are generally politically active and aware and are definitely predominantly left politically.

Blake

Not racially diverse. Great for LGBTQI students! Very upper middle class. Intensely conservative students might feel a bit out of place at times. Most students are from Southern CA or the Bay area it seems, primarily Californians.

kristen

I was on the GLBTI floor freshman year. I loved it and was an eye opening experience. Students are pretty laid back about attire for class. An unfortunate aspect of UCSC is that the college seperated therefore I feel like we dont get to meet as many people as we could and people tend to hang out with people from their college.

Nina

UCSC is filled with various organizations and clubs. There is something for everyone. I can imagine that a very high-maintenance, big city type of person would feel out of place at UCSC, due to it's slow paced, laid back kind of feel. Most people at UCSC have some sort of financial aid or loans. The students are mainly from Northern CA and some from Southern CA, with few out of state and international students. Some students are very politically involved, while others are not. Students don't seem to be too concern with money or at least dont talk about it on a regular basis.

Carson

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.

Tim

Not very diverse, lots of middle class white kids.

Tristan

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.

erica

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

Brett

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

Tristan

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.

Jake

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

Lisa

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.

Caitlyn

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.