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.
Party school--NOT TRUE! Especially for the sciences. UCSC has a world-famous physics and astrophysics department with people such as Sandra Faber and Joel Primack who are literally experts in their fields. As a research university, most undergrads have the opportunity to get scholarships or work with their professors over the summer on projects, unlike schools like Berkeley which--while famous--don't funnel as much money towards the undergrads, preferring to send the money to graduate programs. Stoners and laid back? Also not correct. There are a lot of pot-smokers on campus, but it's not that noticeable. It's not like you turn a corner and see a bunch of kids enveloped in smoke. Most of my fellow physics majors are good students, they work hard, but they do have lives.
The stoner, liberal UCSC student is easier to fit into a stereotyped image but it is clear that the overpowering majority of students attending UCSC are incapable of being categorized into a simple group. On the same topic, UCSC students can actually be very studious and punctual. As for the LRDP, anyone who has tried to park on campus can attest to how potently UCSC needs more parking. As for UCSC students being liberal, we are living in a time when constriction to one side of the political spectrum or the other is a sign of fatal weakness. Intelligent UCSC students are carefully watching the shifting state of politics.
There are a lot of people who smoke weed at UCSC, however not everybody does. Yes, the weed here is dank and plentiful, and policies about smoking are relaxed, but it is easy to find people who do not smoke. In essence, the school is not filled with pot heads, although there are decent amount. Just as not everybody who attends UCSC is a stoner, not everybody who attends UCSC is a hippie. There are a few "dirty hippies" who come to class without shoes on, and some even live in the forest. But for the most part people shower regularly, and dare I say, dress trendy?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not really, it's as hard as you want to make it and some majors/classes are more difficult than others but it's definitely not a walk in the park. It is not entirely full of hippies, there are some here but it's a big school and ultimately there are a lot of different people, some just attract more attention than others like any school.