University of California-Santa Cruz Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?


The best thing about UCSC is the campus setting. It is easily the most beautiful campus I've ever seen. I'd love to see more ethnic diversity on campus. It pales in comparison to the diversity I've seen at the community colleges I've previously attended. I think the size is just right. I like that the campus is spread out since it gives me a chance to hike to class. I spend most of my time at the Social Sciences buildings since that is where most of my classes are. This is definitely a college town, although bear in mind that there seems to be friction between the students and the locals. Recent biggest controversy is the campus' plans to shut down the school on April 20 when many students assemble behind Porter College to get high all day. There are already protests planned. Frequent student complaints include the Long Range Development Plan and tuition costs.


There are a lot of things I love about UCSC. I love the weather. I love that it's in a forest. I love that it's right next to the ocean--so close that you can see it from some of the higher parts of campus. I love that when you get your student ID you can ride the city buses for free. I love that we have a gym, a swimming pool, tennis courts, a track, and lots and lots of sports and outdoors activities. I love that I got into shape here because the campus is so hilly--instead of gaining 15 pounds when I got here, I LOST 15 pounds. Prepare yourself for thighs of steel, especially if you live up at Crown College (aka Cardiac Hill). I love watching the deer and bunnies in the morning and evening, grazing next to where I live. One thing I'd change is I'd make the campus non-smoking (regular, not pot). I HATE climbing one of those crazy UCSC hills, then reach the top gasping, only to inhale a huge lung-full of Camel. I think the school is about the right size. You definitely meet people, and it can get very busy, but there's always a place on campus where you can get away into the forest, and it's nice and quiet. Most people nod when I tell them I go to UCSC. "It's a good school," they say, and that's true. It's a UC ,so it has all the requirements of a major university. The university is definitely less urban, less stressed out, and less uptight (though some of the administrators can be real jerks, as in all places) than some of the other more famous UCs, like Berkeley and UCLA. I spend most of my time on campus either in the Science and Engineering library studying, or back at my room studying. We have two libraries, plus interlibrary loan, so you can pretty much get any book you want, which is awesome. It's DEFINITELY a college town. Like, the college OWNS the town, more or less. Why do you think we get to ride the city buses for free? I think the UCSC administration, from what I've met at least in terms of the sciences, is pretty decent. I've met the Crown Provost (the guy who deals with academic matters at Crown) and he's definitely a nice guy. From what I've heard they're definitely aware of some of the problems at the school and they're working on some really good ideas to fix them. The biggest controversy has been the protesting of UCSC's plan to expand and, among other things, build a biomedical center. It caused a lot of ruckus. The protesters took over the parking lot where the center was to be built, and are also tree-sitting. The tree sitters are still there but the ground protesters have left. It really sucked for a while because since there was some spray-painting they had to lock the nearest building, Physical Sciences, so you had to show your ID every time you needed to use the bathroom or get a drink of water while on that side of campus. I'd say yes, there is a fair amount of school pride. We're the banana slugs, after all! They tried to change us to the sea lions, or something, a while back but students insisted and now we're officially the banana slugs. I love my slug sweatshirt. Slugs for life! I've heard from the cheer leading squad, however, that since nothing rhymes with "slugs" (mugs? tugs? lugs?) they have to use "UCSC." Anything unusual about UCSC? It's tolerant atmosphere. I've never felt so comfortable--it's VERY LIBERAL HERE. Girls walk down the street holding hands and kiss, and there's not so much as an eyebrow twitching. There's a great GLBTI support system on campus, and lots and lots of ethnic events. It's really very multi-cultural and pleasant. I've never lived anywhere where diversity is so accepted and embraced. I'll always remember getting lost my first few weeks. Don't pay attention to the maps so much...they're really badly written. Have someone show you around. The problem is the maps show the buildings as small and the roads as long, but it's the other way around. You can usually cut across campus fairly quickly--no more than 15-20 minutes, unless you're all the way down at Oakes college, which is far away. Most frequent student complains...THE DINING HALLS!!!!! When I first came I thought the food was okay, but especially at Crown the food SUCKS. In order of best dining halls I'd rank College 9/10 Dining Hall, Porter/Kresge, Oakes/Eight, Crown/Merrill (I haven't tried Stevenson/Cowell).


The best thing is the location in the redwood, it's a beautiful campus.


The school i feel is just right. One thing that people do tell me, when i tell them that I go to UCSC is about the mascot that we have they make fun of it. I spend most of my free time in both my hometown and UCSC. The most frequent complains is that the school is boring, their is not enough parties going on.


UCSC is by far the most beautiful campus that I have ever seen. It is a large campus and that may seem intimidating, but the set up of the college system allows for students to really feel at home in a certain part of the big campus. The town of Santa Cruz is lovely, though there are not too many activities and things to go do. The public transportation certainly leaves something to be desired. The town has a bit of a college town feel, but it is not all consuming, and there is defintely tension between the University and the rest of the town.


UCSC is a beautiful, forest-situated campus well-insulated from the small town just down the hill to the south. People usually spout about the stereotypes when I tell them I attend UCSC, and usually I try to give them a more accurate picture. I am pretty disappointed with UCSC's administration, which I find to be quite contrary to the campus' original, progressive, environmental, 'alternative' educational mission. I feel like there is a distinct trend towards bolstering scientific programs while neglecting the humanities and arts. Also, expansion of the campus is changing it's small-school feel and environmental impact for the worse. That said, the campus and surrounding environs are an excellent place for broadening one's intellectual, emotional, and artistic horizons, experiencing a unique and beautiful ecosystem, and meeting interesting people who live in unconventional ways.


Overall, I love UCSC. It has problems. Class selections can be limited, the intellectual atmosphere outside of class could be stronger, and campus housing could be much cheaper. But, when all is said and done, the campus is beautiful, most professors are great, classes are smaller than many other universities, the students are great, etc.


"What's one experience you'll always remember" I'm eating in the Cowell Dining Hall all by myself and suddenly a stranger comes up and sits with me. We sit and talk and I find out so much about this person who I barely know. She's from Washington, a fourth year (like myself) and yet how could this have happened? I realize that at UCSC, everyone has stories. Everyone has some degree of separation. One of my friends back home even knew of someone I had a conversation at College Ten's Cafe Revolucion even though he goes to UCSD. I suppose at UCSC there's a casual atmosphere that thrives on the discussion and the interactions among students that I find different at other universities. I recall a friend who tried to transfer from here to Davis but suddenly found herself missing home here at Santa Cruz. I'm gonna remember that, how one conversation can lead to another in the places we live and begin to share ideas in order to find out more about the world and more importantly ourselves.


UCSC is a good school. It seems to lack excitement. Maybe because its not a party school. Its hard to party on campus because the campus is secured and regulated by CSO's. Everyone who lives off-campus lives all over the city so there isn't an high concentration of student housing where there can be parties. There are parties all the time, but not big parties. nothing crazy. So you hear about students leaving town for teh weekend all teh time. They go down to other schools to hang out or go on outings. I don't think this would be so common if UCSC was a major party school.


The best thing about UCSC, is that pretty much anyone can fit in somewhere, whether your a hippie, a loser, a frat boy, a partier, a stoner, a nerd anyone and i mean anyone, except political conservatives can fit in. I would have all the RA's, CSO's and CRE's thrown out on their asses, they're way too strict on campus. It's a little too small, but i wouldn't want it much bigger either. People don't tend to react much at all to the fact that I go to UCSC, some think it's kind of funny that our mascot is a banana slug though. When I'm on campus I like to go out into the woods, just walking to class i go through the forest. It's pretty much the example of a small college town, it only has fifty thousand or so people in Santa Cruz so the university plays a huge role in the town life. I think the administration needs to lighten up a little bit on some thing but generally the administration is invisible to us students. The biggest controversy recently would definitely be the hippies who climbed up in some trees to prevent further construction on campus and protested and stuff, yeah. There's a funny kind of school pride but it's very much there, most people say they love santa cruz, and they think why'd we want to be something as normal and ridiculous as the sea lions or the bruins when we can be the banana slugs, we're actually very proud of what school we go to but we're not big on sports rallies or anything as ridiculous as that. Everything is unusual about UCSC, it's in the middle of a huge enchanted forest for god's sake. I'll always remember when the CSO's came into my dorm room and found over thirty empty handles of hard alcohol stashed all around the room. Frequent student complaint are all about the police and/or the campus security officers, who are all a joke.


A lot of people on campus are really friendly, and the campus is gorgeous. I would want more parking in more convenient locations. The school is really large but the individual colleges make it easier to get to know people. I spend a majority of my time either in class, at the library or visiting friends at college ten. I don't think there is that much school pride probably because our school doesn't have as many large sports teams like other schools. I will always remember getting lost late at night during the first week of school with people i had just met from my still friends with some of them!


Having things in smaller units, that make up bigger units, so that it is easy for everybody to be part of the university. I would make the food on campus better. School size is just right. They say 'oh that's a good school' or 'that's the hippy school right?'. Library or just hanging around, it's a beautiful campus. College town, definitely. Financial aid department is pretty lame, they take a while to get anything done. Before the current issue of putting up more buildings with protests, probably the suicide of the chancellor. There is probably quite a bit of school pride, but I try and distance myself from such fruitless endeavors. We try and stay strange. Being able to go and talk my way out of a C to an A- by saying how inappropriate the assessment was in the course. Lots of 'sporty people' complain about there not being enough school and sport pride, and lack of campus support for sports, but we don't really care about that, now do we?


UCSC is a very out-doorsy school. If you do not like trees, hiking, the ocean, or deer, do not come here. On sunny days it is a magical campus, an incredible ocean view through giant redwood trees. It is a huge campus- very spread out, so be prepared to walk. It is also detached from the rest of civilization (or the small town of Santa Cruz), but fortunately UCSC is a little city in of itself. Busses will take you into town, although kind of a hassle sometimes. The town is not particularly spirited when it comes to the university. Most Santa Cruz locals are not super stoked on "Slugs", although this is possibly because most of my interaction with locals is with surfers, who do not like Slugs at all. However without the university Santa Cruz would be a little red-neck hick town in the trees with amazing surf.


This school is based on a college system that has no unity through the school. It fosters community based ideals, which is quite nice. It's hard to get involved in student life because of it though.


best thing = mindset: liberalism, alternative living, unconventionalality. I would change the administration's attitude towards students regarding a variety of things: protests, graffiti in bathrooms, BEAURACRACY, school = good size, I was once asked (phone interview for a job) if I regularly wore shoes when I told them I was from UCSC, most of my time is spent in my apartment, "what college town", ADMINISTRATION needs to get back in touch with the principles this college was founded on, biggest recent controversy = Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) protest starting Nov. 7th 2007 with tree-sitters currently still in trees. I have photos from the protest. administration practically called the national guard out. not soooo much pride... who needs mob mentality? Unusual: 4:20, First Rain, Tree 9... Experience: protest, COMPLAINTS: beauracracy, overfilled classes, $$$ hikes


The best thing about UCSC is easily the beautiful campus. To be able to attend college classes in the middle of a redwood forest, bridges linking the many facilities across the forest's deep ravines. Sometimes the fog rolls in and blurs the campus, the only markers are the many orange globes of the street lamps. UCSC is completely overcrowded. 90{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of the upper classmen were pushed off campus by the enormous influx of freshmen who spend every weekend screaming in the quad and trying to burn the building down. Finding parking is an hour-long commitment that may eventually lead you to park on the opposite side of campus than the one that would have been necessary. Most of the campus' chaotic issues could be solved by somehow lowering the freshman population, but I know that it is only going to get worse. The most recent controversies spawn from the more liberal students vehemently disagreeing with the proposed LRDP plans, especially with regard to the science hill construction, which would lead to more facilities assisting with bio-engineering. The most note-worthy expression of this dissatisfaction was the protest on science hill wherein the liberal student presence lived in the science hill redwood trees in the hopes that the new building construction would be abandoned


The best thing about UCSC is that it is located in the forest and is away from the city. It seems more like a little town. I think that my school is just the right size. It has enough people where i meet new people every day and it is small enough where i dont feel like i am getting lost. I wish we had better places to eat on campus, that is one thing i would change. When i tell people i go to ucsc they usually think i am a hippie or very liberal. I spend most of my time on campus at college ten because that is where i live. this is not a college town, the town likes to be separate from the school as much as possible. I think its administration needs some changes but that it good be great one day. The biggest controversy is the LRDP and all the people living in the trees. A lot of people like this school but there isnt much school pride because ucsc is not very competitive. Something unusual is that there are deer all over campuss. I'll always remember walking to class through the trees and seeing all the wildlife. Most frequent complaints are that there are a lot of hills.


The atmosphere is the best thing about the campus. It lacks a high intensity, stressful environment and thats great to see in a college--especially when there are students going crazy everywhere else. The college SERIOUSLY lacks funding, even though we pay as much as the other UCs. Many student groups are under funded, minority students are NOT helped in the way they should be(as a result MANY LEAVE). I do not believe the administration has our best interest in mind. Whenever a hate/bias report is given, nothing is done. When students need money for enrichment, nothing is offered. The town in Santa Cruz is difficult to explain--or wait rather simple--they love our money but hate the students. They pass city law, parties, at the same time, the fees are unconstitutional for having those parties. Residents complain about students but businesses love us. We bring Santa Cruz 1 Billion dollars in revenue, you would think there would be some sort of student appreciation. Think again.


The best thing about UCSC is the campus. I would like to change the class size. While the school is a good size, I don't think it should get any bigger. When I tell people that I go to UCSC they usually either don't know about the school, or react to the location, rather than the school. I spend most of my time on campus in class. Santa Cruz is definitely a college town (especially the downtown and the Westside). I think the UCSC administration is too far removed from the students themselves. The biggest recent controversy on campus is the tree-sitting going on right now. I would say there is a low to medium amount of school pride. The most unusual think about UCSC is its campus, as well as the way the humanities curriculums are organized: to teach the unconventional, rather than the canon. One experience I'll always remember is riding my bike down the bike path on a beautiful day. The most frequent student complaints have to do with too-large class size and lack of off-campus activities.


The best thing about UCSC is the laid back attitude of most of the people. The campus itself is one the most beautiful places I have ever stayed and I feel lucky to live on such a nice looking campus. the school is also pretty accepting of alternative lifestyles. you might meet people who aren't down with that but most people are totally chill about it. People aren't in such competition for good grades like they are other schools. If you go to class, study and not fall asleep, classes are generally easy to pass. The town is small, which can get a little boring sometimes but it's big enough that if you need to get somewhere it's not too complicated. Public transportation isn't too bad. Most of the bus drivers are friendly and the buses are usually on schedule. One thing I'd change is the college system. It isolates people. You can meet others through classes and through mutual friends but you usually see the same old people everyday. If I owned the university I would totally remodel and do away with the college system, because honestly i think it is shit. especially because each college has a theme and most people choose the college on superficial things aside from the theme, (which is the most important,) in terms of how the college looks or if they know people there. that kills me! i CAN'T STAND when someone says "I chose college ten because it's the newest and i don't wanna live in old dorms. ewww" My freshman year, the size of the school was just right. Now in my junior year I think it is starting to get out of control. Classes are harder to get into as the ones you want to take are already closed by the time your enrollment appointment comes around. The university wants to accept a bunch of students but then not accommodate them. case in point: we used to have lounges on our res hall floors. now, the lounges are dorm rooms. in the apartments, there used to be four and 5 person apts. now they're doing 5 and 6 person plus, there is one small gym for all these kids and EVERYONE goes to the gym. When I tell people I go to UCSC they have one of three responses: "wow, that campus is beatiful!", a blank look on their face and "where is that??" or "yeah, aren't all the kids stoners up there?" people either know a lot about the school or nothing at all. the banana slug mascot is often brought up as well when they hear UCSC. I spend most of my time at my college, because I don't really have other reasons to go anywhere else. my job is at the college as my dorm room is as well. I also go to friend's houses off campus when i'm not in my room doing work. UCSC is a college town. not extreme but it's definitely got that feel to it. because there are more students now they have to compete with residents for housing off campus. residents seem to have a love/hate relationship with the college students. many of them are older so they don't like all the loud parties and stuff. Administration, except for a select few, do not care about the students. the university is a business. they do not support diversity or ethnic minorities. too much emphasis and administration is put towards the sciences and research and not to anyone else. it seems like all they really wanna do is act like they care but really they don't. it's really hard to get things done dealing with administration. when students have a problem they are often given the run around are sent in circles through admin because no one knows how to solve problems. biggest recent controversy was definitely the tree sitters in response to the expansion of the campus. there was a massive protest and a lot of people got in trouble. there was also a controversy about a faculty member being targeted/harrassed at his house for using testing animals or something to that effect. People are proud to say that they have a banana slug mascot because it's random and not intimidating at all and that smoking weed is a normal activity, but due to the fact that we don't have a football or good basketball team people don't have the pride like UCLA students do. UCSC is unusual. drugs are plentiful and it's seen as unusual if you don't smoke/drink heavily/do drugs. we hidden caves, an extremely tall tree called tree nine in the middle of the forest that kids climb. the first rain tradition where when it rains for the first time of the year, kids run around the school naked. The most frequent student complaints are that administration needs to get it together and start thinking about the kids. the whole class enrollment system is shit. needs to be overhauled. we need more than one gym..and we need more space for students to live it. DIVERSITY. provide more/better resources for students of color. a lot of students of color aren't attracted to the school because there's nothing here for them. other schools support their minority populations so much better. this may also be due to the fact that many of the people in higher levels of administration are white.


I think the best thing about my school is the campus. It is an absolutely beautiful beautiful forest just a few miles from the beach, what more can you ask for? One thing I would change would be the increasing enrollment. Because the University of California keeps letting more people in than they can handle, there is an intense housing shortage on campus, making it so that only first and second years can get housing on campus. This makes the party scene a little crazier without older people to guide the younger ones in how to party safe. I think the school is just right in size, but the numbers of people coming to UCSC are increasing. When I tell people I go to UCSC, they ask if I am a pot-smoking hippie, but I just tell them that I am not and that I am very focused on my academics and that they shouldn't believe everything they hear about UCSC. I spend most of my time in my dorm room or near my dorm room studying outside. I am a Resident Advisor so my visibility in the community is important. UCSC's administration is interesting. Sometimes it seems like they don't care about the students, but it's not awful. The biggest controversy on campus right now is the expansion of the university. They want to tear down acres and acres of forest to build more housing and more academic buildings. While these sound like great things, tearing down our beautiful forest would be terrbile. As for school pride, I think we have a lot of it. People love this university and we wear out mascot (the Banana Slug) with pride! The thing that is unusual about UCSC is that there is no central location on campus to congregate. The experiences I will always remember from this university are the amazing classes I have taken under the Feminist Studies department. The faculty in that department are phenomenal and so intelligent, it blows my mind. The most frequent complaints from students include not being able to live on campus after the first two years (off campus is kinda far because the university is so secluded from the town) and that the dining hall food sucks. In my opinion, the food will suck no matter where you go.


The best thing would have to be the location and select faculty members. For the most part people react by saying "oh...." and trailing off, but most people don't actually know too much about the school. I spend most of my time at the Cowell Cafe or in the Science & Engineering Library and of course outside! Biggest recent controversy = tree sitters and animal rights attack on professors, just check out the local paper for more info Alot is unusual about the school, but I suppose our mascot and lack of a huge emphasis on sports surprises a lot of people. And first rain. I can't speak for anyone else but my complaint would have to be old, dingy, cramped classrooms (not all of them but a good portion). Lack of funding for the humanites. And of course overcrowded inadequate housing.


I love being close to the ocean and the crazt Santa Cruz locals that make this area unique. people believe we all smoke weed here when I tell them I go here, but not all of us do. I think it's pretty small here I always see the same people everywhere I go. e still Many complaints I here is that there is nothing to do here so many people go home. The recent controversy was the LRDP protest, where there are still tree sitters. I love the UCSC traditions like the first rain, 420, drum circles, and Tree Nine! I have school pride for UCSC, but I don't think all people feel that way.


I like the size of our university. We have lots of beautiful views and places to hang out or study. At the same time, the school is still small enough to where you'll recognize familiar faces everywhere. I spend most of my time at the International Living Center, where i reside. I go downtown once in a while, but since I am under 21, I don't find it all that exciting. The biggest controversy on campus is the LRPD trying to build a new biomedical building on Science Hill and causing protesting. I feel like UCSC students have pride, although it is harder to show it without the typical college football and other competitive sports. I don't think there is another college campus in the world quite like the beautiful UCSC. I love being surrounded by nature, it is incredibly peaceful. I don't know how living anywhere else will compare.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.