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.


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 residential rooms and rooms must be left clean, see section Residential Housing .


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.


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 the number of the participants 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 Information Form (includes check in and sign information) 
  • Addendum (if applicable) 
  • ADA information 
  • Insurance form requirements
  • Dining hall information with your group’s assigned meal times
  • Background Check Certification Form – required for youth group staff


Upon receipt of the signed Conference Agreement, you will be sent any required forms which correspond to special services your group needs. These forms must be returned no later than the due date of May 15 to guarantee the services requested.  Conference Services cannot guarantee any special services requested after the May 15 due date. Note, if no special services are needed, you will not receive the ancillary special services forms. Charges for these services will be added to 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 entry keys (for youth programs), master keys and office phones. 
  • Commuter Meal Form – You may purchase commuter meal tickets for conference participants who are not staying in campus housing, which may be distributed by your designated representative. Commuter meal tickets will be provided to your designated staff to distribute to commuters. These pre-ordered meals are non-refundable and will be reflected on the conference 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, etc. 
  • General Information Flyer – To share with your participants and explains campus information regarding housing, meal locations and times, parking requirements, weather and climate, what to bring, and on-campus conference office locations and hours. 
  • Meeting Room Information Form – Update and confirm your meeting room requirements on this form.


Housing Assignment Worksheets and Instructions – You can expect to receive a comprehensive housing spreadsheet thirty (30) days before your conference, along with floor plans and instructions for assigning rooms to your participants in the spreadsheet. You will be responsible for assigning your participants to their rooms. For groups with linen service, you must return the completed housing spreadsheet fourteen (14) days before your conference check-in. For groups without linen service, you must return your completed housing spreadsheet seven (7) days before your conference check-in. Late submissions will incur a charge of $75.00 for each day not submitted.  Changes to rooming lists will be subject to a $10.00 per change fee when submitted less than fourteen (14) days from check-in for linen groups and less than seventy-two (72) hours from check-in for non-linen groups.


Pack-Out Meal Form - If your group plans to be off campus for any meal, a pack-out (dining hall replacement meal for housed guests) can be arranged with seven (7) day notice. Less than 7 day notice will not be accommodated. The group’s designated representative will be responsible for picking up the pack-out meals at the assigned dining hall. All loaned equipment must be returned to the same dining hall by the next day. 


Groups are required to make a prepayment of 100% of the estimated costs as itemized in the Conference Agreement, which includes a $10.00 per person security damage deposit for contracted recreational facilities, as applicable. This payment is due no later than fourteen (14) days prior to your conference check-in.


A final conference invoice will be sent to you by September 30th which will detail all charges incurred for your conference. You will have fifteen (15) days to review and consult with your Coordinator if you have questions regarding any charges. At the end of the 15 days, your invoice is due as presented and payment must be received within thirty (30) days of the invoice date. Checks should be made out to UC Regents and payments should be mailed to Conference Services. 


Residential Housing - UCSC requires a minimum of one (1) staff per every ten (10) participant ratio in residential housing for all youth (under 18) groups, with staff reflecting gender mix in residential halls. All staff and chaperones must be at least 18 years of age.

Staff Background checks – The conference is required to perform background checks and fingerprinting for their conference staff in youth programs. This includes residential and program staff as well as chaperones. Background Check Certification forms will be provided and must be kept on file by the conference group.


Groups represented by a UC Santa Cruz sponsorship, paying by recharge, are required to complete an Entertainment Reporting Form (ERF) for their conference which captures all entertainment related expenses (meals, tickets, etc.) and includes the ERF recharge number. Per campus protocol, the ERF must be approved and signed by the sponsoring department Event Order Approver (EOA), Event Expense Certifier (EEC), and any other department top-level required approvals. 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.


  • Reserve on-campus housing in student residences
  • Check-in/out conference participants at a designated area
  • Schedule meeting rooms, media services, and catering
  • Manage parking and campus shuttle transportation
  • Reserve computer labs
  • Reserve sports and music facilities
  • Assign dining halls, meal times, and arrange for pack out meals
  • Coordinate commuter fees, meals, and parking
  • Arrange for alcohol and amplified sound permits
  • Accommodate ADA requirements
  • Issue parking permits
  • Provide and set up conference group directional signs (2)
  • Provide detailed final invoice in September



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 Details Packet 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.

Animals on Campus

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

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 be sure to share this timely information with your on-site representatives and participants. During check in, each participant will be issued keys and/or access cards, a meal card or wristband, and a 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 close. (Most offices are open until 8:00pm but are not open 24 hours). If guests will arrive after 8pm, you must inform your Conference Coordinator so arrangements can be made. Late arriving guests must phone the Community Safety Officer (CSO) at 831-459- 2100 who will meet them at their designated college and unlock their room. Late arriving guests must check in at the Conference Office the following morning to register, receive room keys, and a parking permit.

Check-out Procedures

Check-out time is 1:00 p.m. unless special arrangements have been made in advance with your Conference Coordinator. 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 may apply if keys are not returned in the original envelope. Do not leave keys in rooms. Residences must be left free of any garbage, food or any other left-overs to avoid additional clean-up fees.

Trash and food must be taken to nearby bins. Removal of excessive trash by custodians will be billed to the group in the final invoice. Advise participants to check their rooms upon departure for personal belongings and make sure that all windows are closed and doors locked. 

Children on Campus

Please advise your Conference Coordinator should you anticipate having children housed with your group. There are no childcare facilities available on campus during the summer months and minors cannot be left unattended in any residence or other campus location. Youth group staff responsibilities are detailed in the Staffing Requirements for Youth section.

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.


Commuters are participants who are not housed on campus. No more than 20% of a conference group can be commuters.  Commuters will be charged a flat rate. A list of commuters must be provided to your Coordinator at check-in and commuter fees will be reflected on your final invoice along with any additional fees (parking, meals, recreational fees, etc.).

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.

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 adequate insurance, and is granted at the discretion of Conference Services. Additional housing charges will be assessed on the final invoice.

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.


Keys to residential buildings may be metal keys or access cards. Keys are checked out to participants by key number and returned at departure. Please return keys in the envelope provided at check-in to avoid lost key penalties.

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 in the Lost Key/Meal Card section.


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

Lost key/Meal card

Lost keys are subject to the following fines:

  • $75.00 per lost residential/meeting room key
  • $10.00 per lost key card
  • $38.00 per lost meal card/wristband

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

Marketing Your Conference

All information publicizing your conference to prospective attendees must be reviewed and approved by Conference Services prior to printing. Include publicity information with your application (prior years information is acceptable). You may identify the University as the location of your conference, but do not use “The Regents of the University of California, Santa Cruz” or “The University of California” in any manner that could reflect sponsorship of your program without written prior approval from UCSC Conference Services  management.

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

Meal Information

Most conference rates include three meals a day on campus, beginning with dinner on day of arrival and ending with lunch on your departure day. All groups will be assigned specific meal times in a shared dining hall. Meal times are assigned in intervals designed to minimize time spent in line and maximize seating. Groups are expected to enter the dining hall only during their assigned time and to complete their meal period within forty-five (45) minutes.

University Catering can provide catered meals and food breaks for your conference and a credit is given for the replaced dining hall meal. Pack-out meals are available if requested at a minimum of seven (7) days in advance.

Due to University insurance restrictions, groups cannot prepare meals or bring “pot luck” prepared food for conference attendees.

Missed Meals

If your group plans to miss any meals, please inform your Conference Coordinator at least 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.

Noise Policies

Quiet hours in residential areas and outdoor spaces are enforced and are in effect between the hours of 10pm and 8am. All events in meeting rooms or outdoor spaces using amplified sound must have an approved amplified sound permit. If you aren’t sure about an activity you have planned, please check with your Conference Coordinator to make sure the meeting space is appropriate for the activity.

On-Campus Conference Offices

Offices are located at designated college sites and office staff coordinate check-ins and check-outs, route mail, post messages, and provide general information. Conference parking permits, water bottles, and other items are available for purchase at these offices. Hours of each office are generally 7:00am – 8:00pm, but may vary.


Parking permits are required 24 hours a day /7 days a week and parking rules are strictly enforced. Parking is included in your room & board rate and you will receive a permit upon check in. 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.

Commuters and visitors may purchase parking permits at any of our conference office locations.

Parking is strictly enforced. All tickets issued are municipal violations and the responsibility of the participant to resolve. To contest a citation, take your ticket to the Police Department located at the base of campus. 

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 expense of the conference group. 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. 

Residential Housing 

Generally, adult groups are housed in apartments and youth groups in residence halls. All beds are twin 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 be used as configured. Conferees are not permitted to move or reconfigure beds due to liability and safety considerations. Any group found to have reconfigured beds will assume liability for resulting injuries or damaged property and charged a penalty, as well as any labor charges, to restore the original configuration.

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 respectful to all others within the UCSC community and avoid activities which might disturb others. If you would like to know if any staff is living in your buildings please ask your Conference Coordinator.


Conference Services will provide most groups with complimentary directional signage indicating the group’s name and check-in location. Signs are limited to seventeen (17) characters (including spaces) and will be placed prior to the group’s check-in. Contact your Conference Coordinator for additional signage.

Unauthorized signs will be removed and a penalty may be assessed for each sign that is removed. No conference signs are allowed at the Main entrance.  It is the responsibility of the conference to direct participants to the correct campus entrance.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is prohibited in all UC Santa Cruz facilities, on all University grounds, and on all University-owned and leased properties regardless of location. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e.g. “e-cigarettes”) is strictly prohibited. This smoke-free policy applies to all indoor and outdoor areas, including personal vehicles and parking lots. Violators are subject to eviction and $500.00 fine per incident, at the discretion of Conference Services


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 Details Packet 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 http://www.scmtd.com/

The staff at UC Conference Services is here to help you coordinate and enjoy your summer program. Please refer your participants to our website and add our link to your website. http://conferenceservices.ucsc.edu .