University of California-Santa Cruz Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Maria

The grades thing definitely isn't - when UCSC was first founded in 1965, the school used long narrative evaluations rather than letter grades, but that practice has long been replaces by the traditional grading scale. And, yes, of course there are a lot of hippies - the school is literally surrounded by forest paths and hiking trails, so it naturally becomes a kind of hippie haven. And weed is big here, especially on 4/20, but its not a necessity for a social life at all. But there are so many people who don't fit that mold. There are a great number of students who don't party, don't smoke, and spend weekends studying or hanging out with a close-nit group of friends rather than partying. We've really got all types of people, because Santa Cruz attracts a lot of different students for different reasons.

Cameron

Tussanee Reedboon

Cameron

Julianne Quimby

Cameron

Jake Pierce

Cameron

Eric Young

Cameron

David Burns

Cameron

Barbara Barton

Cameron

Adam Lease

Marshall

Of course they are accurate for SOME portion of the student population, however i found that as far as academics it was department specific in terms of attitude. But... everyone smoked pot.

Jessica

There are a lot of hippies there, and a lot of radicals. People are protesting all the time and it seems they will protest anything and everything. Things sometimes get out of control. Students there are often very friendly though.

Parker

Most of the time, yes. As bad or good as it may sound, everyone at UCSC is in some way a hippie, a stoner, a free-loader, a vegan, an environmentalist, a feminist or a tree hugger. Whether you abstain from showering in order to reduce the consumption of water, or you have given in to your feminist urges and given up shaving your legs all together or you are a part time vegan, you definately live up to UCSC standards.

Alex

in some ways, but if you aren't into these things, i don't think it should prevent someone from coming.

Jon

You can see the reasons behind it but not completely accurate

Lavender

Yes and NO. The university as a whole is comprised of very diverse groups of people. Some are liberal while others are more conservative. Some smoke during 4/20, and many don't. But then again, every university has students who smoke, drink, or do other stronger drugs as well as some students who do not. Some people really REALLY care about the environment and so they take certain life-style choices that lead other ignorant people who don't understand environmental issues to refer to the "hippies" in a negative way.

Lauren

There are a lot of people who smoke pot. There are a few smelly hippies. There are people who think they are left wing radicals, but all they do it talk.

Megan

Partly. There is a lot of marijuana to be found, but it is a rigorous university, just like any other UC.

Lindsay

To some extent, they are but not completely.

Claire

Only a little bit. Everyone showers, except for a few people who live in trees. The student body is very socially active in protests and causes, which is always well-minded but occasionally gets carried away.

Alex

yes

Allison

hah some people are they come here for the stereotype but most people i have encountered are normal

Whitney

No. It is definitely a liberal school, but there aren't only liberal students. There are kids who live in trees, and there is the "naked run" on the first rain of the year, but there are ALL kinds of students. We represent nearly every category of ethnicity and lifestyle. The student body is welcoming, tolerant, and eager to help other students.

Jessica

To a certain extent yea, maybe. Obviously the stereotype will attract a certain type of person, but its a university and there will be stoners, activists, and preps at all of them. There are different colleges and they each have their own stereotypes, giving us a pretty wide spectrum. plus now that the regents are trying to streamline the UC system, they are all getting to be the same anyway.

Admiral

There are people who do that, but most people come to UCSC in the hopes of leaving with a degree, so it isn't as massive as people think. April 20th is the only day when you will see pot smoking en mass.

Morgan

No, many of us are extremely hard working and competitive students.

Tom

No. We party the same if not less than other schools and there are many students here that chose this university over UCLA and Berkeley because of the various strengths it has. Marijuana use is high in Santa Cruz not necessarily on campus, and there is a difference

Charlie

Sadly, ALL true

Jamie

To some extent, it depends on which college you live in. But there's definitely jock types/SoCal types. A lot of people party. College 9/10: The cliquey people who only want nice dorms Porter: The cool, artsy type people. LOTS OF DRUGS/PARTYING Kresge: Hippies and druggies Merrill: Gay people and feminists Crown: Nerdy, science lovers. Some are crazy nerdy but there are also cool nerds. Oakes: The "minority" college 8: Where all the people who didn't get into UCSB go Stevenson: Generally cool people Cowell: The athletes

Connie

The stereotypes are not accurate... everyone finds there place here. You make college what you want it to be, and what you get out of it is how much effort you put into it.

Bryan

To varying degrees. There is a lot of pot smoking, but it's not as extensive as some make it out to be, and very few people are constantly high. There are some hippies, and the school definitely is liberal leaning. There are varying degrees of commitment to education here, but the vast majority of students put a lot of effort into their classes. The stereotypes regarding the individual residential colleges all have at least some truth to them as well.

Emily

Yes and no. There are certainly those sort of people here, definitely. It's my experience that they make up a particularly loud minority. It is true that people tend to be laid-back here; I have yet to meet anything close to a workaholic.

April

Yes, for the most part many do fit the stereotype of smoking a lot and being almost too laid back. It is a place where people come specifically for that atmosphere. They come here to smoke and drink on the beach.

Lauren

Not really. Sure, the campus definitely has a laid-back feel to it, and most people I've encountered are pretty friendly. And, yeah, pot isn't exactly frowned upon by most people (you just need to look at the crowd on 4/20 for confirmation). But people here are still serious about their futures and their educations. You can't exactly run a university where nobody cares about their grades, you know? And the college stereotypes are marginally accurate. Crown is a lot more anti-social than, say, Cowell, for example. But I imagine the stereotypes are fading more as the UC takes in more and more students.

Tristan

To an extent.

KJ

for the most part, yes

Bobby

Students are known for being granola eating, foul smelling, stoner hippies. I'm not gonna lie, they exists in great numbers. But what most people don't know is that hippies and "normal" people live side by side in perfect laid-back harmony...just don't get sucked in and you'll be fine.

Jessica

There are a lot of protests, but not all students get involved in them. The rallies are helpful because they remind the student body that we can always voice our opinions. Many students do get high and drink, but what college doesn't have that. When in class, I do not encounter a lot of high people. They usually take the day off from school.

Willow

Yes and no. UCSC is a wonderful, very notable university and one of the best when it comes to biology, anthropology and astrophysics. We also have a stellar computer science major in addition to one of the best Latin American and Latino Studies departments. Being an anthropology major I can attest to how amazing that department in. For grad students it is one of the most prestigious in America. As for the hippie thing, you'd be surprized how many aren't hippies. I came hear looking forward to the hippie culture, but instead got a whole lot of other cultures that don't include the term "hippie." If you look hard enough, though, you can find people who are authentically interested in alternative lifestyles, such as those who work on the organic farms or gardens. As for the pot, well, its kinda unavoidable no matter where you go, so I can't really say. I, personally, don't smoke, but I do know people that do. It's no worse hear than at any other college. And there aren't so many protests as demonstrations. Protests can get violent so people have been doing more silent, peaceful demonstrations. But our protesting history, that's a whole other can of worms.

Ciara

I would say in some instances this could be true, in a sense it really is, but we truly are a great college and one that strives for success and for our degrees. We like to have fun just as much as anyone else, but we also try our hardest to reach our goals. I would say it's a diverse cultural atmosphere and the people are allowed to be who they want, when they want.

Katie

Nooo no no. Sure, there is some percent of the student body that abides by certain stereotypes, but what college campus doesn't? From my experience, UCSC students are mellow, down to earth, smart individuals who like the small town feel of the campus and appreciate the beautiful scenery they're so lucky to study in.

Alex

No. There are some slackers, like any college, but they don't succeed. There are a lot of hippies, but there are a lot of serious students as well.

Blake

Yes, it's lame, but the people are nice too.

Jesse

sure, partly. But im sure these stereotypes can be found at other schools also. stoners: Lots of people enjoy smoking weed, but there are a number of people who also do not partake. IT generally isn't an issue, it only becomes an issue when dealing with those who vehemently HATE marijuana. A large number of us smoke marijuana responsibly and still manage to succeed in our classes. slackers/lazy: UCSC doesn't tend to get the cream of the crop (UCB and UCLA) but its not like we're UCR or one of the state schools. Alot of people try to get by doing the smallest amount of work possible, but you can find that at any school. Ive met some very smart and very dirven people at this school who've inspired me to work harder. rich bros: yes, there is the guy who's driving a BMW or audi and is sooo proud that his daddy bought it for him. And yes, UCSC is has the wealthiest student body of all the UCs. Some rich people try to hide it here (i think they call it bummy chic or something), unlike UCLA where you have to have the Lexus... White: Take it from someone who isn't white. UCSC is VERY white and most of these white people suck. It isn't that they are overtly or intentionally racist (though you get those folks too) its just that many, if not most, of them come from all white towns like pleasenton and danville and don't know how it interact with people of color. At least white people from Los Angeles aren't scared to look at you...

laura

Well, alot of people smoke weed, but plenty of people don't, and alot of those who do smoke don't let it get in the way of their studies. As far as academics go, my department is one of the best in the country (right next to MIT). It all depends on your major: don't study linguistics if you want to bullshit your way through college.

Blake

I dont think its true. I guess if you look for these aspects in our community you'll find them, but I'm sure they exists on other campus's as well. Hippie is a word that can mean different things to different people. So depending on your definition of a hippie depends on whether we have a lot of them or not. I really like this school, I feel free to be myself and nobody here will judge you on your appearance. UCSC is a pretty accepting place. The school is what you make of it, not what it makes of you.

Colin

People here are always rallying to get more money for sports and things of that type. The hippie stereotype is outdated and the people that are still like that are getting outnumbered fast.

Casey

Sure, UCSC and its students are eclectic. You'll find way more vegans, vegetarians, raw, pothead hippies here than most other places. But I'd say that only composes 25% of the student population - the rest of us love our steaks and dress in old-fashioned cotton. Contrary to the popular belief, UCSC is not artistic - it's population is. There are few to no art classes here, and if you aren't an art major (there's no art minor) you can take about 3 classes (which, from what I hear, suck). There's only something like one photography class of 30 students on campus, which is always full.

Ben

Pretty accurate. EVERY college has lots of weed, UCSC is just open about it. But we are more active than most colleges, meaning anything from parties to peace marches. No one is shy about anything.

Gene

partialy

Maria

The weed part is accurate but there are not as many hippies as is exaggerated.

Emmerson

I think to some degree they are. Hippie/Yippie culture is definitely alive and thriving here at UCSC. You'll see barefoot, bearded students wearing drug-rugs and chullos. I think it is not fair to call all students stoners though. Bear in mind that this is *college* and that there are students that are into experimentation. I don't think it's any more of a party school than, say, UC Berkeley or UC Davis. It really depends on who you know. As far as it being a lower-tier school, I can not verify that information since I have not gone attended any other UC campuses.