Conference Attendee Handbook

Welcome to the University of California at Santa Cruz! Established in 1965, UCSC is one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States, with majestic redwoods and breathtaking views of Monterey Bay. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our beautiful campus and facilities with you. This Conference Attendee Handbook will help you become familiar with the policies and procedures here at UCSC. We hope that your stay at UCSC will be a pleasant one. Should you have any questions please contact your Conference Coordinator or Conference Office.

UCSC requires 1:10 staff to participant ratio in residential housing for all youth (18 and under) groups, with staff reflecting gender mix in residential halls. The conference is required to perform background checks and fingerprinting for all staff in youth programs. This includes residential and program staff. Youth participants must be accompanied by supervising staff at all times. 

All staff must be familiar with, and responsible for, upholding UCSC policies. We recommend CPR and First Aid training for all staff. All programs must be in compliance with California state law as well as local ordinances. Federal law prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions. Staff and managers are responsible for reporting sexual discrimination. Please see the Title IX Office for information on policy, procedures and reporting. 

UC Santa Cruz is a diverse community and will not tolerate the denigration of another human being on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or other characteristic. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for such behavior. There are many other conferences, programs, and activities on the UCSC campus that will be occurring during the same time as your conference. Interactions between any member of your group, including staff, and other people at UCSC are expected to be respectful and civil at all times. Any actions, words, or behaviors that show disrespect or rudeness to other groups or persons on campus could be subject to the immediate suspension of the participant(s) involved and possibly termination of the conference and the forfeiture off all fees associated with the conference. 

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Illegal drugs, fireworks, explosives and all weapons are prohibited. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in any areas occupied by individuals under 21 years of age. 

It is illegal to tamper with alarms, fire-fighting equipment, and elevators in any way. Candles and other open flames are not allowed. Screens are not to be tampered with. Litter is to be placed in the trash and recycling containers provided in each area. Any damages to university property will be charged to the organization hosting the program. 

Please observe quiet hours between 10:00 pm and 8:00 am. Participants are expected to behave appropriately at all times; excessive noise or rowdiness will not be tolerated, especially around college and administrative offices and dining halls. Loud sound systems may not be used in residential areas or dining halls.

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Community Safety Officers (CSOs) perform nightly rounds, ensuring the safety of the colleges and participants. CSOs enforce policy, assist with lockouts when the Conference Office is closed, act as a contact during emergencies, and ensure the security of all buildings. Please be aware of the CSOs in your area and get to know them. CSOs wear black or tan vests with the UCSC insignia and carry UCSC identification. They work 7:15pm-2:45am. To contact a CSO, call (831) 459-2100. 

Late arriving participants (after the campus Conference Office is closed) should call the CSO line. The CSO will then arrange to meet the guests at their college and let them into their room or apartment. The participants should check-in the next morning at the assigned Conference Office to receive room keys, meal cards/wristbands, and parking permits.

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Damages to University property will be billed to the conference. Failure to comply with University policy may incur financial penalties and/or termination of housing and removal from campus.  

We understand the value that decorations and “spirit” add to programs. Decorations must be contained to the residential areas; the hanging of materials is not allowed on rooftops, buildings, fences, trees, bushes, or any other surface. Chalk, paint, glue, and glitter are not allowed. All signs/posters must be hung with a low-tack adhesive tape (painter’s tape or adhesive putty) to prevent stains and paint removal. Do not cover room numbers. All decorations must be taken to the dumpster or recycling bins and rooms returned to original condition before departure. 

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Should a participant or staff person need to leave early, please notify your Conference Coordinator and Conference Office. For safety issues, it is crucial Conference Services is kept informed of all persons residing on campus. The room key/card and meal card must be returned to the Conference Office and the participant or authorized staff must sign the check-out roster with the departure date. Room and board charges are not pro-rated for early departure. 

Program staff is expected to ensure that rooms are emptied of trash and recycling materials, all windows and entry doors are locked prior to the group departure.  

As a community that treasures its natural environment, we ask all visitors to help maintain a litter free campus. Trash bins and recycling containers are located near all residential buildings and placed throughout the campus. Turn off unnecessary lights and please report water leaks to the Conference Office. As UCSC is working towards a Zero Waste campus, please distribute personal water bottles and bulk beverages in place of individual cups and bottles.

Santa Cruz County has received much less rainfall than normal for multiple years so the Santa Cruz City Council has extended Stage 1 water restrictions. What you can do to use less water:

  • Take a 5-minute shower instead of a 10-minute shower (saves 12.5 gallons)
  • Turn the faucet off while brushing teeth/shaving (saves 10 gallons/day) 

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Physical and verbal harassment will not be tolerated and is prohibited on the campus. If any form of harassment occurs, please notify your Coordinator or Conference Office immediately. UCSC’s Title IX Officer can be reached at (831) 459-2462. is a resource for harassment policies, procedures and reporting.

In the event that there are problems in the residence areas such as broken furniture, lights, door locks, etc., please contact your Conference Coordinator or Conference Office as soon as possible. Conference Services will take the appropriate actions to remedy the problems. 

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It is important that individual/group noise not disturb other programs or university staff working or living on campus. All cheering, yelling, loud radios, etc. must be limited to the playing fields or other appropriate facilities. Your cooperation in maintaining these policies is greatly appreciated. Quiet hours are in effect 10:00 pm – 8:00 am. 

The University assumes no responsibility for participants’ and/or staff personal property. Expensive items such as computers, stereos, and cameras should be left at home. Participants should be advised to bring only a small amount of personal property and money. The University does not have facilities to secure money. 

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Pets are not permitted on campus. Exceptions are granted for qualified service animals. Please refer to UC Santa Cruz Service Animal Policy for information.

Courtesy phones, for campus calls only, are located throughout the residence halls and college areas. Phone lines in res halls and apartment bedrooms are no longer active. 

Messages for your group will be taken by Conference Services staff in the Conference Offices. Please arrange to check for messages each day. The Conference Office will make every effort to deliver emergency messages. Questions regarding additional phone services should be directed to your Coordinator. 

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Staff and participants are responsible for the security of their rooms and buildings. Keep all doors and windows locked. Do not prop open outside doors. Report anything that you feel jeopardizes your personal safety or the safety of the community to the University Police at (831) 459-2231 or dial 911. Report lost key or entry cards to your Conference Office immediately. 

UCSC is smoke-free and prohibits smoking on all university property, including residential buildings. 

Smoking and the use of all tobacco products including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, snuff, water pipes, pipes, hookahs, chew and any other non-combustible tobacco product is prohibited. This smoke-free policy applies to all indoor and outdoor areas.

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We request that all visitors register at the Conference Office. Visitors and guests are not allowed to stay overnight on campus.


ATM machines, accepting most credit cards, are located just across from the Bay Tree Bookstore in the center of campus.

The Bay Tree Bookstore is located in the center of campus, on Hagar Drive. The bookstore carries campus souvenirs, apparel, food and snack items, computer and office supplies. For hours of operation, refer to the bookstore website at, or call (831) 459-4815. 

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These offices are located at various locations throughout campus and are staffed by Conference Services employees to assist you in making your stay at UC Santa Cruz a pleasant one. Your Conference Office assignment is based on your housing location. Prior to arrival you will be notified of your Conference Office location, phone number and hours of operation. Please be aware that Conference Offices are not open 24 hours. Please visit the Conference Office for directions, campus maps, email access, tourism guides, mail pickup, bus and shuttle information. Staff are also available to help with room and key issues, and lost meal cards and wristbands.

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West Conference Office
Porter Apt. Bldg. E, Apt. 105
(831) 502-7000
Open Daily 7:00 am – 8:00 pm 

Central Conference Office
Merrill Res Hall D
(831) 502-7004
Open Daily – call for specific hours 

East Conference Office
Stevenson, Apt. Bldg. 9, Apt. 201
(831) 502-7002
Open Daily – call for specific hours


Jessica Dowd
Cell: (831) 212-6735 (June-August)
Office: (831) 459-4429
Assistant: (831) 212-4788 (June-August)

Christine Marez
Cell: (831) 325-7327 (June-August)
Office: (831) 502-7058
Assistant: (831) 212-4796 (June-August)

Heather Robinson
Cell: (831) 212-6733 (June-August)
Office: (831) 459-5092
Assistant: (831) 212-4179 (June-August)

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The UCSC Copy Center, located in the Baskin Engineering Building, Room B25, offers full service copying, including digital color copies, bindery, fax, and laminating. For store hours and pricing, visit them at, (831) 459-3888. Conference Services no longer manages copy center accounts. 

Campus custodians clean the residence hall bathrooms and lounges. However, it is the responsibility of the group participants to clean their own rooms. Dumpsters and recycling bins are located at every college near the residence halls. Excessive trash left in the halls or in rooms will result in charges made to the conference. 

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Three meals a day are included in most nightly rates. Meals generally begin with dinner on day of arrival and end with lunch on departure day. Your group will be assigned a dining time and dining hall. Be sure to allow time in your schedule to get to/from your dining location. For the first meal, it is recommended programs allow extra time for participants to orient themselves to the dining hall. Participants are expected to arrive at assigned times and dine within a 45-minute meal period. 

Each participant must show a wristband or meal card to gain access to the dining hall. Wristbands may be looped around a neck lanyard or worn on the wrist. They must be visible and presented to the cashier for each meal. The fee for a lost wristband/meal card is $38.00, obtainable at the Conference Office. Group directors should make arrangements with their coordinator for day-only (commuter) participants. 

Appropriate behavior in dining halls is expected. Each person is expected to clear his/her own dishes. Food is not to be removed with the exception of one dessert item. Please do not bring cooking appliances or tamper with stoves. 

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The Cowell Student Health Center is open on a limited schedule during the summer. Use of the Health Center must be coordinated through Conference Services prior to arrival. 

24 Hour Emergency Care
Dominican Hospital
1555 Soquel Drive
Santa Cruz, CA
(831) 462-7700

Laundry machines are located in either the basement or first floor of residential hall clusters. There is one laundry room per apartment cluster as well. Machines are credit/debit card-operated.

Mail, including small packages, may be sent directly to the campus Conference Office no earlier than five days prior to your conference addressed as follows:
Participant Name
Conference Name
Campus Conference Office (West, East, or Central Conference Office) 
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

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Parking is strictly enforced on campus 24/7. Parking is by permit only, with the exception of some metered and/or pay station spots in each lot. White “Conference Parking” signs are posted at the entrance to lots designated for conference participants (not all lots are conference lots). Permits are available through your Coordinator or Conference Office. Do not park in any reserved, pay station, or metered space. Tickets are municipal violations and the responsibility of the participant. 

Summer weather in Santa Cruz can reach into the 70-90s but can be much cooler at night and early mornings. Dressing in layers is recommended. It is advised that guests bring a sweater, jacket or sweatshirt. Our campus is built on uneven, sometimes steep, terrain and many areas can only be reached by walking – please bring comfortable shoes. Sunscreen is a must for all skin types and should be applied regularly. 

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Shuttle Services 

Free on-campus shuttles operate M-F, 7:30 am – 6:00 pm, every 15 minutes. Weeknight service will run along perimeter routes every 30 minutes until 10:00 pm. There is no weekend shuttle service. For special transportation arrangements, see your Coordinator. For attendees with disabilities, contact your Coordinator in advance. 

City Bus Service 

Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District buses travel through campus M-F, 6:25 am – 11: 50 pm and 7:45 am – 11:30 pm weekends. The fare is $2.00/ride or $6.00/day pass, exact change required. (831) 425-8600 

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It is the responsibility of your staff to inform visitors and program participants of applicable emergency procedures. In case of emergency, your staff will assume responsibility for the evacuation of all participants, visitors, and program staff. Most buildings have evacuation maps posted at the entrance. If your building lacks a map, contact your Conference Coordinator or Conference Office. In the event of a disaster, unless it is unsafe to do so, go the assigned evacuation area or the closest safe location and wait for further instructions from emergency personnel. It is crucial that all room assignments be kept current and your Conference Office informed of any room changes or vacancies made during your occupancy. 

On campus phones: dial 911
Dispatch nights/weekends: (831) 459-2345 or 459-2100 

University Police (831) 459-2231
University Fire Dept. (831) 459-3473 

See Conference Offices phone numbers

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California has many active fault zones. Earthquakes are not uncommon; however, most are not severe. In the case of an earthquake: 

  • Remain calm, reassure and assist others 
  • If you are indoors, stay there. Move away from windows. Get under a desk or table or stand in a doorway. 
  • If you are on a stairway, grab the handrail for support
  • Shield yourself from falling furniture, debris and glass
  • If you are outdoors, move to an open area away from hazards 
  • Avoid buildings, electrical wires, power poles, trees, and other potential hazards
  • Do not re-enter buildings until they have been declared safe
  • After the shaking stops, exit using stairs (do not use elevators) 
  • Be prepared for aftershocks 

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In the event of a fire, activate a fire alarm and call 911 if it is safe to do so. Do not try to extinguish the flames yourself. Building occupants are required by law to evacuate the building when a fire alarm sounds or when directed to do so by a public safety official. 

  • Stay calm. Do not rush or panic.
  • Use the nearest stairs and proceed to the nearest exit
  • Do not use an elevator
  • Proceed to the designated evacuation meeting point
  • Wait for instructions from emergency responders 
  • Do not re-enter the building until you have been instructed to do so by emergency responders


Tampering with smoke detectors, fire alarm stations, fire extinguishing devices, or door closure apparatus/alarms is illegal; such actions will result in disciplinary action and/or fines. 

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The design of the UCSC campus allows for visitors to experience our breathtaking natural environment. For safety reasons, please do not feed the wildlife. If you plan to hike, do not go alone; take a map and notify your group of your intended route and expected time of return. 

Because of our unique environment, there have been occasional sightings of mountain lions. Report all sightings to the campus police, (831) 459-2231.

All youth must remain with adults at all times. Keep children close to you and/or pick them up so they do not panic and run. 

  • Do not approach a mountain lion 
  • Do not run from a mountain lion
  • Do not crouch or bend over 
  • Do all you can to appear larger – raise your arms, make noise and slowly back away
  • If a mountain lion behaves aggressively, throw stones, branches or anything you can find 

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