Policy Handbook

This document will help you with your conference planning. Read carefully through this document and contact your Conference Coordinator with any questions.

Any exceptions to these policies must be approved in writing by your Conference Coordinator.


Both the application and deposit must be received to reserve space for your conference. The deposit is ten dollars ($10) per person or one thousand ($1,000) dollars, whichever is greater, and will be credited on your final invoice. The deposit is non-refundable except in cases where your group cannot be accommodated (make checks payable to “UC Regents”). Please submit a previous year’s program schedule and/or marketing materials with your application.

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Rates reflect room and board, including 3 meals per day, served in a shared dining hall, starting with dinner on check-in day and ending with lunch on check-out day. Rates are based on a minimum of 3 nights stay and a minimum of 30 participants. Groups that fall short of these minimums will incur a surcharge of $5.00 for less than 30 participants and $10.00 for less than 3 nights, to a maximum of $15.00 per participant, per night. Rates vary depending on level of custodial and linen service. The standard apartment rate includes beds made upon arrival with bed and bath linens provided and changed weekly. Youth rates in residence halls do not include linen. Periodic custodial service to common areas is included in both rates. However, custodial service is not included in youth residential rooms and rooms must be left clean, see section Residential Housing .

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All groups staying on campus must provide Conference Services with a Certificate of Liability Insurance and Endorsement, naming “The Regents of the University of California, its officers, agents and employees” as certificate holder and additional insured. Insurance companies providing conference coverage must have at least an “A-” rating. Policy “begin” and “end” dates must include early arrivals and late departures, and include all staff and commuters. Liability insurance is required and the liability form must be received no later than 30 days prior to the start of conference. No group will be allowed to check in without the approved insurance certificate confirming minimum liability requirements.

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Final conference invoice will be sent to you no later than September 30th which will reflect your conference charges. You will have fifteen (15) days to review and consult with your Coordinator if you have questions regarding any charges. Payment must then be received within forty five (45) days of the invoice date. Checks should be made payable to UC Regents and payments should be mailed to Conference Services, Colleges, Housing and Educational Services, 1156 High Street, Conference Services, Santa Cruz, CA, 95064.

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Before a Conference Agreement is written to secure your facilities reservation, your Conference Coordinator will contact you to verify your number of expected participants. The signed Conference Agreement must be returned within 30 days of receipt or your facilities reservation may be cancelled. Your Conference Agreement will reflect the number of participants in your program and the length of stay on campus. You will be financially responsible for 85% of your guarantee for the full program dates, whether or not participants stay for the entire program. Recreation fees, when applicable, will also be included in your Agreement and the 85% guarantee will apply. For groups with linen service, no-shows and cancellations made less than 48 hours prior to arrival will incur a one night room and board charge.

Included with your Conference Agreement: 

  • Conference Check-in Information
  • Form Addendum (if applicable)
  • ADA information
  • Insurance form requirements
  • Dining hall location and your group’s assigned meal times
  • Background Check Certification Form – required for youth group staff including chaperones


Upon receipt of your group’s signed Conference Agreement, you can expect to receive a packet of the required forms, which you will need to complete and return no later than May 15 to guarantee services requested.  Rooms are assigned on a first-reserved basis, so it is suggested that you complete the formal request forms as soon as possible as Conference Services cannot guarantee any special services requested after the May 15 deadline. Charges for services will be reflected on your final invoice.

  • Additional Services Request Form – To request services such as transportation, meeting room media, catering and permits for alcohol events.
  • Telephone and Residential Key Request Form – To request youth group sleeping room keys, master keys and office phones.
  • Commuter Meal Form – To order Commuter meals for conference participants who are not staying in campus housing must be pre-ordered prior to arrival and will be distributed on site. Commuter pre-ordered meals are not refundable and will be billed to the conference on the final invoice
  • Pack-Out Meal Form – To order meals “to go” when off campus
  • Health Services Request Form – To arrange for your participants’ access of UCSC Health Center services.
  • Summer Programs Handbook – To share with your staff and includes essential information regarding supervision, security, conduct, decorations, noise policies and other campus information.
  • General Information Flyer – This is designated to share timely information with your staff and participants which includes campus information regarding housing, meal locations, assigned dining times, parking requirements, Summer weather, tips on what to bring, and your conference office location and hours.
  • Meeting Room Information Form – Update and confirm your meeting room requirements on this form which must be submitted no later than 30 days prior to your arrival. Room assignments are based on availability, therefore it is recommended to submit your requests as early as possible as they are assigned on a first-reserved basis.


You can expect to receive a Housing spreadsheet form, with floor plans and instructions on how to complete your rooming assignments. For groups requiring linen, please complete and return the housing spreadsheet, no later than (2) weeks days before your conference group arrival. For Groups not requiring linen service, please return your completed housing spreadsheet no later than one (1) week before your conference begins. Room assignment worksheet submissions which are not received one (1) week prior to arrival will incur a $75.00 late fee plus an additional $20.00 for every day the form is late thereafter.

Changes to rooming lists will be subject to a $10 per change fee if submitted less than (14) days from check-in for linen groups. Non-linen groups are subject to the late $10 per change fee if submitted less than 72 hours from the first participant check-in.

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UCSC requires a minimum of one (1) staff, a minimum of 18 age or more, per every ten (10) participants ratio in residential housing for all youth (18 and under) groups, with staff reflecting gender mix in residential hall and with whom the background checks and fingerprinting have been conducted. The essential background checks and fingerprinting applies to all Youth group staff including residential, program staff as well as chaperones. Chaperones must accompany youth groups traveling to/from meeting or social space and at sit with their youth groups during meal times in the dining room.

Background Check Certification forms must be provided by the organizer to each staff member, completed and returned to the Organization before the group start date. The organizer is required to keep the certification forms for all staff members on file for a minimum of one year after the group end date.

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If your group plans to be off campus and therefore are unable to dine in the dining hall, ‘to go’ replacement meals can be arranged for housed guests only and must be placed a minimum of 7 days prior to the date. Orders submitted less than 7 days prior cannot be accommodated. For any commuters who require a pack-out meal, an additional charge of $5 per non-housed participant, in addition to the appropriate meal charge will apply. The group designated representative will be responsible for picking up the pack-outs at the assigned dining hall and returning any loaned coolers back to the dining hall the next day.


Groups represented by a UC Santa Cruz sponsorship, paying by recharge, are required to complete an Entertainment Reporting Form (ERF), with the appropriate recharge number, to cover all conference entertainment-related expenses (meals, parking, etc.) Per campus protocol, the ERF must be approved and signed by the sponsoring department, including the department Event Order Approver (EOA), Event Expense Certifier (EEC), and any other required approvals and submitted 34 days prior to group conference arrival. The approved ERF must then be submitted to Financial Affairs. More information about UCSC entertainment reporting requirements can be found on the UCSC Financial Affairs website.

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Alcohol Permits and Policies

Any conference event on campus where alcohol is served is limited to your conference participants and invited guests aged twenty-one (21) years and older and must have an approved permit on file. Permits are issued for specific location, date, and time. Alcohol cannot be sold on campus. All events serving alcohol must provide food and non-alcoholic beverages. Use the form you will receive in your Conference Information Handbook to request permits for individual events. Upon receipt of permit, carefully review the permit rules to make sure the date, time and location is accurately detailed.

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Animals on Campus

Pets are not permitted on campus during the summer Conference season. Exceptions are granted for qualified service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) who are permitted on UC Santa Cruz property. Refer to rules listed in the UC Santa Cruz Service Animal Policy which details campus ‘on leash’ and clean up requirements, at all times.

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Campus Conference Offices

Offices are located at designated college sites, staffed with student Conference Assistants from 7:00am – 8:00pm, (7) days a week, who are dedicated to assist you with check-ins, check-outs, route mail, post messages, assign parking permits, offer miscellaneous items for purchase and provide campus information. 

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Check-in Procedures

You will be provided with check-in and check-out information and a map to your Conference Office and registration area. Please distribute this information with your group. At check in, participants will be issued keys and/or access cards, a meal card or wristband, and parking permit, if needed. Inform your Conference Coordinator of any cancellations promptly to minimize cancellation fees.

Participants who arrive after the scheduled check-in time can register at the assigned campus Conference Office until closing. Offices are open until 8:00pm. Please inform your Conference Coordinator of any guests arriving after 8pm so that arrangements can be made. Community Safety Officer (CSO) can be reached at (831) 459-2100 to escort late arrivals to their room and unlock their door. Late arriving guests must register the following morning at the Conference Office, which opens at 7:00am to receive room keys and parking permits.

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Check-out Procedures

Check-out time is 1:00 p.m. unless special arrangements have been made in advance with your Conference Coordinator. Trash must be removed before check-out. Participants must return their individual keys and meal/flexi cards in the original envelope and sign the check-out roster. A key sorting fee of $1 per key will apply if keys are not returned in the original envelope. Do not leave keys in rooms.

Trash Removal

Trash and food must be taken to nearby receptacles. Should trash be left in the rooms, a garbage removal fee will be reflected on the group final invoice. Remember to advise your participants to double check their rooms upon departure for personal belongings, make sure that all windows are closed and doors are locked.

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Children on Campus

Please advise your Conference Coordinator if you anticipate having children housed with your group. There are no childcare facilities available on campus during the summer months. Groups who allow their participants to bring children must register the child with the Conference Services Coordinator (14) days prior and will be charged for their sleeping room for room and board, unless the child is under the age of (3) years of age. No child can be left unattended at any time, including the dining hall, sleeping room or common areas.

Youth group staff responsibilities are detailed in the Staffing Requirements for Youth section.

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Community Safety Officer Information

Community Safety Officers (CSOs) are on duty from 7:15 pm to 2:45 am, seven (7) days a week to assist conference groups with late arrivals and ensure a quiet and safe environment on campus. CSOs can be reached at (831) 459-2100.

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Due to the nature of the University educational schedule, essential maintenance and construction projects occur throughout the campus during the summer quarter and are outside the control of Conference Services. Conference Services works closely with maintenance staff to mitigate interruptions, however at times maintenance staff may need access residential buildings for planned and unplanned repairs. If this should happen during your conference, we will work to minimize the impact of these essential projects.

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Construction and Maintenance

Due to the nature of the University educational schedule, essential maintenance and construction projects occur throughout the campus during the summer quarter and are outside the control of Conference Services. Though Conference Services work closely with maintenance staff to mitigate interruptions, maintenance staff may need access to residential buildings for planned and unplanned repairs.  If this should happen during your conference, we will work closely with you to minimize the impact of these projects.

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Early Arrivals and Late Departures

Arrangements must be made in advance for conference participants or staff members requesting an extended stay on campus one day before and/or after the conference dates. Liability insurance coverage must include the dates of all early arrivals and late departures. Accommodation is subject to space availability and appropriate insurance, and is granted at the discretion of Conference Services. Additional housing charges will apply.

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Final Estimates For Conference Participants

The most current estimated number of housed participants and commuters must be received by your Conference Coordinator no later than thirty (30) days prior to the start date of your conference. This number is used for facility and food service planning purposes only and does not change the contracted participant number.

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Keys to residential buildings will either be metal keys or access cards and checked out to participants with their corresponding key number and must be returned upon departure. Please return keys to avoid lost key penalties which must be in the envelope provided at check-in.

Keys to meeting rooms and/or master keys may be issued to an authorized conference representative on a limited basis. Master keys must be in the custody of the representative at all times or stored in the safe provided. Lost master keys can result in heavy penalties, as detailed below.

Lost Key/Meal Card Fines

  • $75 per lost residential/meeting room key
  • $38 per lost meal card/wristband
  • $10 per lost key card
  • $1 per key not returned in original envelope

Master keys are subject to significant rekeying charges (up to $300,000) if not returned prior to departure.


Laundry facilities are located in each college residential area and require a credit or debit card. Please see your campus conference office for details.

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Lost and Found

Cell phones, eye glasses, or any other items perceived as having a value of $100 or more, will be turned over to the Lost and Found managed by the UC Police Department which is located at the base of the East campus entrance. Only property with a value of over $300 is kept for 90 days. Found keys issued by the University are forwarded to the campus Lock Shop at (831) 459-2165, also located near the base of the East campus entrance.

Police Lost and Found (831) 459-2231 Hours are 9:00AM - 11:30AM and 12:30PM - 3:30PM, Monday through Thursday

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Marketing Your Conference

Marketing efforts for the promotion of your conference to prospective attendees should be submitted to your Conference Services Coordinator prior to going live, to ensure appropriate campus information is reflected in your marketing materials. It is suggested that you provide a preliminary agenda, a copy of this year and/or last year’s marketing materials along with your application. Whereas you may identify the University as the location of your conference, you may not use “The Regents of the University of California, Santa Cruz” or “The University of California” in any manner that could be construed as sponsorship of your program.

The University of California, Santa Cruz, is a public educational institution, and reserves the right to prominently display and promote admission and/or other campus information it deems appropriate at all conference activities and locations which utilize its facilities.

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Meal Information

Conference sleeping room rates include three meals a day on campus, beginning with dinner on day of arrival and ending with lunch on your departure day, unless special arrangements are made two (2) weeks prior to arrival with your conference coordinator. Specific meal times will be defined in your Conference Agreement and are assigned at specific meal times, in a shared dining hall to minimize time in line and optimize seating. Groups are not allowed entry to the dining hall before their assigned time and are expected to complete their meal within the allotted 45 minutes.

Catering: Catered meals are available through University Catering for special events, coffee breaks, water stations or special events, at an additional cost and will reflect a partial credit when ordered 2 weeks ahead of time and at times that replace a scheduled dining hall meal. Pack out dining hall meals may be available if requested no less than seven (7) days in advance. catering.ucsc.edu

Missed Meals

If your group plans to miss any meals, please inform your Conference Coordinator a minimum of fourteen (14) days prior to minimize waste.

No credit is given for missed meals, except when replaced with a UCSC-approved catered event and when ordered a minimum of seven (7) days in advance

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Parking permits are required 24/7 and parking rules are strictly enforced. Parking is included in your room and board rate and will be issued upon check-in. Commuters requiring parking permits must be ordered (7) days prior to arrival, as stated in the Commuters section.

Conference participants requiring accessible parking must have proof of disability displayed in or on their vehicle. Overnight camping in cars or RV’s is not allowed. Advanced arrangements are required with your Conference Coordinator for trailer, boat or oversized vehicle parking on campus, including buses.

Parking tickets issued are municipal violations issued by UCSC campus Police and which are the responsibility of the participant to resolve. Conference Services has no jurisdiction over parking tickets. To contest a citation, take your ticket to the UCSC Police Department located at the base of the East campus entrance. 

Parking Citation Inquiries - (831) 459-4373

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Removal Of Personal Property

Conference participants are responsible for the removal of their personal property from University premises by the designated check out time on the day of departure. Conference Services will take reasonable measures to notify the individual or contact person to make arrangements for shipping of left property, including lost and found items. Conference Services may, but has no obligation to, remove and store unclaimed items for up to ten (10) days. At the end of ten (10) days, items left on University premises shall become the sole and exclusive property of the University to dispose of appropriately.

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Quiet Policy

Quiet hours in residential areas and outdoor spaces are between the hours of 10:00pm and 8:00am. Conference events in meeting rooms or outdoor spaces using amplified sound must have an approved amplified sound permit. Please remember to advise your group of the strictly enforced ‘Quiet Hours’ ordinance prohibiting amplified or loud noise beyond 10:00pm.

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Residential Housing 

Generally, adult groups are housed in apartments and youth groups in residence halls. All beds are twin XL size. Cooking in apartments or residence halls is not allowed and microwave ovens and hot plates are prohibited. Apartment refrigerators remain operable, but stoves are turned off during the summer quarter.

Apartments feature a shared kitchen, living area and bathroom(s). Beds in apartments may be raised 36-40 inches off the floor or bunked. Residence hall rooms may have one to four beds per room (may be bunked or lofted) and share bathrooms for 10-15 persons.

Youth groups must furnish their own bed and bath linens, including pillows. All beds in your assigned housing areas must maintain the original configuration. Conferees are not permitted to move or reconfigure the beds due to safety regulations and are subject to damaged property and labor charges should their beds not be left as originally configured.

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Shared Communities

During the summer the UCSC campus is a thriving community. Other conferences, sports camps, UCSC Summer Session, faculty, and staff will be present on campus. Additionally, professional staff and their families live in many of the residential buildings and may be using shared laundry facilities, etc. Please be mindful of residents and staff within the UCSC community and avoid activities which might disturb others. If you would like to know if staff is living in your group building, or have a question about anyone you have seen on campus in your area, please consult with your Conference Coordinator.

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Conference Services will provide most groups with two (2) complimentary directional signs with the group name and check-in location. Signs are limited to (17) characters (including spaces) placed prior to the group’s check-in. Contact your Conference Coordinator should you require additional signage.

Conference signs are not allowed at the Main campus entrances and unauthorized signs will be removed. Since UCSC has two separate entrances, it is advised that you emphasize the correct (East or West) entrance that is closest for your guests to navigate to their college location. This is most important at night, since our campus is dark at night. Please take the time to share the maps and directions to your guests, as often GPS does not steer guests in the most direct route

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Smoking Policy

Smoking is prohibited in all UC Santa Cruz facilities, on all University grounds or in any University-owned or leased properties, inclusive of indoor or outdoor areas. Smoking, smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (vaping) is strictly prohibited. Violators are subject to eviction and $500.00 fine per incident, at the discretion of Conference Services.

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A free campus shuttle provides limited weekday service around campus. Buses are also available to charter for on or off campus transportation. Please indicate your transportation needs on the form provided in the Conference Information Handbook you will be receiving.

Santa Cruz City buses travel through campus seven (7) days a week excluding holidays. Fare, routes and schedules can be found at Santa Cruz METRO

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