Convocation celebrates new students, academic year

UC Santa Cruz is continuing its renewed tradition of hosting a convocation to mark the start of a new academic year and welcome new first-year and transfer students—despite a global pandemic.

In a video published today, Chancellor Cynthia Larive, interim Vice Chancellor Jennifer Baszile, SUA President Shivika Sivakumar, college provosts, resource center directors and the president of the UC Santa Cruz alumni council welcomed new Banana Slugs to their college journey.

"This is the start of your academic journey and it's important to get the most from the experience. Soon enough, we'll all come back together again in person," Chancellor Cynthia Larive said.

Student Union Assembly President Shivika Sivakumar recalled how eager she was to explore all of UC Santa Cruz's opportuntiies when she enrolled two years ago. 

"This year—this time right now—is the opportunity for you to pursue your passion, to create a difference, to make a positive impact," Sivakumar said. "You're not alone in this. We're in this together. We will build community we will support one another. We will stay resilient and then we will do this together.

The UC Santa Cruz college system and the core courses they offer are two of the defining elements of the undergraduate experience.

"The colleges are giving you a foundation for your liberal arts education," Kresge College Provost Ben Leeds Carson said. "No matter what your expertise is, your liberal arts education means you find a bird's eye view. You are the one who can lead by helping experts talk to one another."

In addition to the educational experience, the colleges are about building community, Oakes College Provost Marcia Ochoa said.

"Students come to UC Santa Cruz and identify with their college and make friendships that last an entire lifetime," Ochoa said. "The college is a place where we really hope you start to feel at home at UC Santa Cruz, where you have people who you can turn to to lift you up if you're having a bad day or help answer your questions."