Winter 2021 Instruction and Housing Planning

To:  UC Santa Cruz community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive and Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer

Dear campus community,

We are so pleased about the start of the fall quarter and could not be more grateful as we begin another academic year together. So many people have worked hard to welcome students, propel our research mission, and support high-quality instruction during this unique time.

To help our students, staff and faculty plan for the future, we write to update you about campus plans for winter instruction and housing. We continue to align with county and state guidelines and to prioritize public health and well-being, promote equitable access to education, and commit to high-quality instruction and student support in all of our planning. 

Winter instruction

Much like we did in fall, UC Santa Cruz will continue to offer most courses remotely or online for winter quarter 2021, providing in-person instruction for a small number of courses that may not be effectively delivered remotely, such as some laboratory, studio, field-research and field-study courses. Each course will have the mode of instruction listed within the schedule of courses, available Nov. 13. 

This fall, we are hosting six in-person courses on the residential campus and two at our Silicon Valley Campus. Our in-person instruction and learning spaces will remain modified to ensure that we comply with physical distancing and other public health measures. While we expect to have a small increase in in-person courses in the winter quarter, students are still encouraged to live and learn remotely.

Housing and dining

Those without suitable alternative living arrangements will again be prioritized for Winter quarter on-campus housing. The residential housing and dining experience will remain modified to accommodate current public-health guidance. Additional students may be accommodated, space permitting. More information will be forthcoming from our Colleges, Housing and Educational Services division in the coming weeks. 

Students who are taking all courses remotely and who have a safe place to live and learn should still refrain from seeking off-campus housing in Santa Cruz. 

Student services

Student Health Services is providing services in person and remotely. Counseling and Psychological Services, Basic Needs support, Learning Support Services, and CARE are all open and providing services remotely. A full list of services and operating hours can be found on the COVID-19 webpage and the Division of Student Affairs and Success website.

Planning for a healthy campus 

Faculty and staff who are currently working remotely from home should plan to continue to do so through June 30, 2021. This time period could be shorter if pandemic conditions improve or longer if pandemic conditions worsen, but we want to give you our current projections. 

Reducing the spread of COVID-19 remains a top priority, and we are continuously evaluating how we can best achieve this goal. In collaboration with the campus Molecular Diagnostic Lab, the Cowell Student Health Center has ramped up an asymptomatic testing program for our campus and is also testing students who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. 

Please continue to be diligent about following local, state, and campus public-health mandates. The campus has also instituted protocols to reduce COVID-19 spread on campus, including:

Even though this is not how we imagined the academic year would look, our community has responded just as we expected — with resilience, deep creativity and care for one another. We are all in this together. Thank you for making UC Santa Cruz so much more than just a place. As soon as we are able, we will provide updates about spring quarter. Until then, we hope you stay safe, stay well, and stay connected, and remember that no matter where you are, you’re still a Banana Slug.