Frequently Asked Questions

What is the college system?
Can I get a tour, or learn more about the college?
What's the weather like?
What recreation facilities are available?
How can I be part of campus sustainability?
When and how will I be notified about my Merrill Housing and roommate assignments?
Will I have to move out between quarters?
What should I bring for my Residence Room/Apartment? What is not allowed?
May I bring my skateboard or roller blades?
Can I have guests?
Can I decorate my room?
Can I cook in my room?
What sort of dining options are available to me on campus?
Are there washers and dryers at Merrill College?
How do I establish Internet and cable services?
How do I get my mail and what will my new address be?
How can I receive packages or certified mail at Merrill College?
Are there banks on campus? What banking services are available in Santa Cruz?
How and when will I receive billing statements? How can I make payments to the university?
How safe is the campus?
What kind of security is there on campus?
Should I bring a bike? Where can I store? Are there bike resources?
Can I bring my car to campus? What are some other transportation options?
I'm flying in - how do I get from the airport to Santa Cruz?
How do I get to Santa Cruz and the campus?
How do I get around campus, to town and elsewhere?


What is the college system?

All undergraduate students, whether they live on campus or not, are affiliated with one of ten residential colleges at UC Santa Cruz. Each college provides academic support, organizes student activities, and sponsors events that enhance the intellectual and social life of the campus, in addition to housing students in small-scale residential communities. Every college community includes students with diverse backgrounds and academic goals. Your college affiliation is independent of your choice of major. Each college holds its own commencement ceremony in June.

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Can I get a tour, or learn more about the college?

Campus tours are offered all year long through the Admissions Office. Individual residential rooms and apartments at Crown College may not be available for viewing.

You can also take a virtual tour.

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What's the weather like?

Santa Cruz weather is variable, but mild overall. In the fall, the weather usually remains quite warm and comfortable up through November, at which point we begin to experience the lower temperatures and rain that winter brings to Santa Cruz. This weather generally lasts through March, when it begins warming up again for springtime.

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What recreation facilities are available?

A valid UC Santa Cruz student ID grants you access to a variety of athletic facilities at the East Field House, including an Olympic-sized pool, tennis and basketball courts, and the state-of-the-art Wellness Center, fully equipped with a variety of aerobic, cardiovascular, and weightlifting equipment.

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How can I be part of campus sustainability?

UCSC is dedicated to sustainability. We actively support recycling and waste reduction, and there is strong participation by students, faculty, and staff across campus. You can be part of the solution by bringing your own reusable plate, bowl, cup, and flatware when you move in. These can be used when you attend programs offered by your college. If you are interested in finding out more about how you can get involved in UCSC's sustainability efforts, you can check out http://sustainability.ucsc.edu/.

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When and how will I be notified about my Merrill Housing and roommate assignments?

New students who applied for Merrill College housing and met the housing application deadlines will be sent an email message to their UCSC email account in mid-August with the information listed below. f you have not received this email by the end of August, you should contact the Housing Coordinator for Merrill and Crown.

August email message will include:

  - Room assignment
  - Contact information for roommates
  - Web site link to download important move in documents, includes: what to bring/what not to bring, simple steps for move-in and directions
  - Web site link to sign up for one of 2 move in dates

Will I have to move out between quarters?

You may not stay in your room during the winter break period, however you may keep your possessions in your room during this period of absence. You may stay in your room during the Thanksgiving and Spring Break periods as they are covered by the housing contract. Please note that dining service is not available for either break period. Please see the Terms and Conditions for more information about quarter breaks. 
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What should I bring for my Residence Room/Apartment? What is not allowed?

The Campus Housing Office has compiled an excellent visual aid to help you get an idea of what you'll need at college, and what is prohibited on campus. Check out What to Bring.

Apartment-specific items: cooking pots and pans, dishes and other kitchen utensils; toilet paper, dish soap. Apartments are provided with a vacuum, refrigerator, mop, broom, dust pan, trash can and recycling bins. 
We recommend that you do not bring any irreplaceable personal items or items of great value.

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May I bring my skateboard or roller blades?

No. The use of skateboards and roller blades is prohibited on all campus roadways, paths, bike paths, and in all areas of the college. You must carry, not ride, these items around campus. You are subject to a citation by the campus police department, or college disciplinary action, if you violate this policy.

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Can I have guests?

The housing contract allows a student to have a visitor stay in her/his room, with restrictions. Please talk to your roommate(s) about guests. Students may have a guest(s) for up to three (3) consecutive days and up to fifteen (15) days during one academic year. Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests at all times. See the Terms and Conditions of residence for specific policy details. 

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Can I decorate my room?

If you wish to hang items on the wall to decorate you room, you can do so. Please use pushpins or picture hangers. Using nails or screws is not permitted. Items may not be affixed to the ceiling or near smoke detectors or fire sprinklers. Students will be billed for any accidental or intentional property damage done to college or University property.

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Can I cook in my room?

For fire safety reasons, hot plates, electric or gas grills, toaster ovens or other cooking appliances are not allowed. Small microwaves are permitted in the residence hall rooms.

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What sort of dining options are available to me on campus?

Each pair of sister colleges shares a dining hall between them. The dining hall for Crown and Merrill Colleges is located near the academic buildings in Crown College. For information about campus-wide dining options please visit the UC Santa Cruz Dining Services Website

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Are there washers and dryers at Merrill College?

There is a laundry room in each of the residence halls and two laundry rooms in the apartment complex. You will need laundry detergent since there are no dispensers in the laundry rooms. A laundry basket or bag is also a handy thing to have. Washers and dryers are operated using a laundry card, which is available for purchase from a machine located at the college.  You will be provided a laundry card when you arrive as a first-time student, but any additional cards must be purchased through the company machines. Credit can be added to the card as needed via a website or by using a special machine located at the college. It costs $1 per wash and $0.75 per dryer load.  All laundry card and machine issues must be handled through WASH Services, the company that supply and service all machines and cards.

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How do I establish internet and cable services?

UC Santa Cruz ITS Telecommunications is a modern communications network that provides data services for students living on campus. 

Internet Access and Computing Support

The ResNet program, which stands for RESidential NETwork, is a joint effort between The Colleges and University Housing Services and Information Technology Services (ITS). Using the ethernet port from your room provides a direct connection to the campus network and the Internet. There are ethernet ports in all bedrooms. Most computers come ethernet-ready and no special fees or charges apply. If you need assistance you can call the ResNet Help Desk at (831) 459-4638. All you need to take advantage of your Internet port is an ethernet capable (or upgradable) computer with the appropriate configuration. For information about computer standards, specifications, or other questions, visit ResNet online at http://resnet.ucsc.edu. You can also e-mail questions to resnet@ucsc.edu. CruzNet is the wireless network technology at UC Santa Cruz and allows you to connect to the Internet from 200 wireless access points across campus. This service may or may not be available inside your bedroom, but is generally available in all study lounges, cafes, and libraries.

Cell Phone Service

The UC Santa Cruz campus is located on a large hill overlooking Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay, and the campus has many tall redwood trees and buildings that are situated within the trees. Service at UC Santa Cruz may be sporadic. Please consult with cell phone service providers before purchasing a cell phone to bring to campus. It is your responsibility to update your Student Portal if your cell phone will be your primary contact phone. 

Cable Network and Radio Station

All college residences are connected to basic cable via telecommunications jacks in the rooms. Residents can connect to on-campus student programming or dozens of local and national broadcast channels. Established in 1973, KZSC Santa Cruz 88.1 FM is a listener-supported, commercial-free, educational radio station located at the University of California, Santa Cruz. KZSC broadcasts 10,000 watts to the Monterey Bay Area 18-24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Tune in and you’ll find everything under the sun: public affairs, comedy, news, surf, jazz, rock, punk, reggae and funk. 

How do I get my mail and what will my new address be?

You will be able to receive mail and packages at the college. Only Merrill residents will be assigned a mailbox at the start of fall quarter. Both inter-campus mail and U.S. Postal Service mail is delivered to this address. The College Office is responsible for assigning a mailbox. Issues with your mailbox should be directed to the College Office.

Your address will be:

Student's Name
UCSC, Merrill College, #XXX*
641 Merrill Road
Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1105

*At the start of fall quarter, students will be sent an email message to their UCSC email account. This message will include the assigned mailbox number and the combination needed to open the mailbox. It is not possible to assign a mailbox prior to arrival, and new box numbers may be assigned each year. The college does not have space to store packages, so plan to have your packages arrive after you do. Mailboxes are shared, usually 2 students are assigned per box. It is important to check your mailbox frequently and carefully sort out your mail to avoid an overflowing mailbox. Once you receive your mail box number you can add it to your address. Mail will still reach you even without this box number, if the rest of the address is correct.

To avoid delays in delivery or lost mail, please do not put your residence hall room number or apartment number as part of your address. Also, do not use "P.O. Box" as part of your address, as this is not a Post Office mailbox.

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How can I receive packages or certified mail at Merrill College?

You may receive packages and any special delivery mail requiring your signature at your Merrill mailbox using the address listed above. An email to you is generated when your package is logged in. Swipe your student ID card to retrieve your package during open window hours (posted at the college mailroom).

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Are there banks on campus? What banking services are available in Santa Cruz?

Most major California banks have branches in Santa Cruz. Check with your local office for branch information. Bay Federal Credit Union (831) 479-6000, Bank of America (831) 457-3560, and Wells Fargo (831) 469-3525 have on-campus automatic teller machines at the Quarry Plaza near the Bay Tree Bookstore.

Check Cashing is available at the Cashier's Office and at the Bay Tree Bookstore for students, faculty, and staff with valid university ID. At the Cashier's Office, the check cashing limit is $25.00 per day with a charge of twenty-five cents per check. At the Bay Tree Bookstore, the limit is $10.00, and there is no check cashing charge. A valid student ID, picture ID, or driver's license number and a local or home telephone number are required to utilize check cashing privileges at both the Cashier's Office and Bay Tree Bookstore.

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How and when will I receive billing statements? How can I make payments to the university?

Please visit the Student Business Services web site for information on monthly billing statements, payment options, and payment deadlines.

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How safe is the campus?

While the University community and the town of Santa Cruz are considered friendly and relatively safe communities, neither is immune to the realities of the world. The Campus Police Department maintains reported crime statistical information and community alerts.

You will need to take precautions to secure your personal property and safety. Please keep your residence doors and windows locked and do not prop open any entry doors. Be aware of visitors and do not hold the door open for anyone to enter your residential building unless you know they live there. You must also consider your personal security and be aware of vulnerable situations. Keep your roommate and neighbors informed of your whereabouts and when you will be returning home. When possible, travel with a friend and check campus maps for the lighted paths and location of emergency Blue Phones. Report any suspicious activity immediately to your college staff or campus or city police. Your careful attention to security is in everyone’s best interest. Check out the list of safety and security tips provided by the Campus Police Department. 

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What kind of security is there on campus?

Residential Staff: Coordinators for Residential Education (CREs) are full-time professional staff, who along with student Residential Assistants (RAs), live on the halls and buildings along with students. They serve as the primary resource to residents and are trained to respond to emergencies, provide limited personal counseling and enforce campus policies. Both a CRE and an RA are on call and can be reached by calling the RA on-call phone (831)212-8722 from 3:00am to 8:00am M-F and from 3:00am-7:00pm on weekends .

Community Safety Officers (CSOs): Every night of the year, from 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., a staff CSO monitors the college. He or she is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of students, staff and guests; maintaining security and responding to emergencies; assisting residents who are locked out of their rooms; and enforcing campus policies and responding to noise complaints. You may reach a CSO by calling campus dispatch at 459-2100.

Campus Police and Fire Departments: The UCSC Police Department website is a great resource for information on crime prevention, campus crime statistics, personal safety tips, and campus policies. There is also a Fire Department on campus for emergencies.

Check out the Campus Public Safety Resources.

Night Shuttle Service, specifically the East Core Night Shuttle comes up the hill and stops at the Crown Circle every 30 minutes until about 11:50 p.m. Blue Light Emergency Phones are located throughout campus connecting the user directly with emergency assistance.

 

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Should I bring my bike? Where can I store it? Are there bike resources?

Yes, bring your bike if you like to ride on hills. Biking is a popular past time and transportation option for many UC Santa Cruz students. There are many trail options, both on and off-campus. Part of UCSC's natural beauty is the hilly terrain, which means lots of steep climbs and exciting downhill rides. To protect our environment, mountain biking is only permitted on fire trails.

Be sure to bring a high quality bike lock (u-lock) so that you can secure it at the bike racks located on campus. 

The college assumes no responsibility for damage, theft or loss. When you arrive to campus you should contact UCSC Police Department to register you bike. Campus rules and state law requires you to license your bike; unlicensed bikes can be cited. Please also bring a bike helmet.

Bike Safety and Resources: We recommend you review the information on bike safety and bike resources.

Another resource is the Bike Co-Op, located in the Redwood Building at the Bookstore Plaza, which provides repair services, education, advocacy and membership opportunities.

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Can I bring my car to campus? What are some other transportation options?

Parking regulations are strictly enforced, and all eligible students who bring a car to campus must purchase a permit in advance. First-year students and sophomores who live in University housing (including The Village, University Inn and University Town Center) are not eligible for a parking permit. Eligible students must apply for a parking permit through Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS). Contact the TAPS Sales Office at (831) 459-4543 if you have questions about parking. Even without a car, movement around our spacious campus is made easier by the network of foot and bicycle paths, and an extensive intra-campus shuttle system. Both day and night shuttles provide wheelchair accessible services and are free of charge. TAPS also operates a Disability Van Service, which provides transportation to those with mobility impairments. Additionally, the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (Metro) provides regular and convenient bus transportation to campus and to outlying areas around the Santa Cruz community. This service is funded by a mandatory student fee. You may ride any Metro bus without additional charge by showing your currently validated UCSC identification card to the driver.

UC Santa Cruz is also among a growing list of college communities that support a new alternative to car ownership: Zipcar. Zipcar allows you to use a car when needed, while avoiding the costs and headaches of car ownership. Zipcar provides self-service access to safe, convenient, reliable cars located on campus. For more information, visit the TAPS website.

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I'm flying in - how do I get from the airport to Santa Cruz?

UC Santa Cruz is located approximately 40 miles south of San Jose International Airport and about 70 miles south of San Francisco International and Oakland International Airports. Visit the campus Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) website for information about travel to and from local airports.

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How do I get to Santa Cruz and the campus?

The Campus Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) website has information about travel and transportation services. They include information on getting to and from local airports, including door-to-door shuttle services; traveling to other cities and universities; transportation alternatives, such as the Zipcar rental program, and links to local public transportation such as BART, Greyhound and Amtrak.

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How do I get around campus, to town and elsewhere?

There are a variety of transportation options available. 

Around Campus:
Day and Night Campus Shuttles: The campus operates shuttles with various routes both day and night. A fare is not required; the shuttle is supported by the Student Transit Fee.
Disability Van Service: For those not able to access the day and night shuttles because of a permanent or temporary disability, there is a Disability Van Service. Reservations and medical documentation are required, however a fare is not required. 

To and From Downtown and County-wide:
Santa Cruz Metro Bus Services (Metro) operates wheelchair-accessible routes that serve the campus, including a "Night Owl" on Friday and Saturday nights until about 2:00 a.m. A currently validated UCSC Student ID serves as a bus pass.

Bicycle Trailer and Shuttle: The campus operates a bike trailer and van shuttle from Mission Street to Campus. Cyclists can avoid the hill up to the campus and at the end of the day ride their bikes down the hill. 

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