New HSI grant to aid transfer students; nightly van service returning to residential campus; remember to vote!

To: UCSC Community

From: Chancellor Cindy Larive

It is wonderful to see our campus buzzing with activity, especially events that so clearly reflect our campus values and aspirations. Last night’s Dia De Los Muertos event was a special way to be in community with so many students and employees, and to celebrate the rich diversity of our campus. I had the opportunity to be part of last month’s celebration renaming our Research Center for the Americas for civil rights icon Dolores Huerta. What an inspiring night, and a declaration of our strong belief in research excellence and social equity. Last week’s conference All-in: Co-creating Knowledge for Justice was a fantastic, full-house event, highlighting the community engagement central to our Institute for Social Transformation and Professor Rebecca London’s Campus + Community initiative. And yesterday’s Giving Day was record-breaking, raising over $1 million from more than 3,700 donors supporting 140 student projects and other campus initiatives focused on student success. UC Santa Cruz is on an incredible trajectory!

The highlights

New HSI grant to aid transfer students on their path to UCSC

Strategic planning committees gathering info, detailing opportunities

Community safety a shared responsibility

Vote! Let your voice be heard!

New HSI grant funds efforts with transfer students

While still celebrating the many contributions of our community that earned UC Santa Cruz the Seal of Excelencia for our outstanding commitment to serving Latinx students, we learned of more positive news on our university-wide efforts to achieve educational equity —  a $3 million grant that will support Latinx community college students seeking to transfer to our campus. Once those students are on campus, the grant will also support their contribution to research projects and preparation for graduate school.

I am deeply proud that UC Santa Cruz has become a national leader among Hispanic-Serving Research Institutions. It is our staff and faculty working together with students that creates systemic change that reduces barriers to enrolling and graduating from UC Santa Cruz. This grant helps us to do that. I am grateful to our entire HSI team, and to the faculty and staff across campus who work collaboratively to best serve our students.

Strategic planning on tap

Work on Leading the Change: The UC Santa Cruz Strategic Plan is well under way. Strategic planning is our opportunity to develop a shared vision for the future of UC Santa Cruz that delivers on our mission by advancing our campus goals of fostering student success, amplifying our research impact, promoting an inclusive climate, and becoming more sustainable and resilient.

Five committees, each focused on a thematic area and composed of a diverse group of campus stakeholders, have begun to meet. The membership and charge of each committee can be found on our Leading the Change website. The committees are charged with broad engagement of campus stakeholders to identify opportunities for improvement related to their theme and propose measurable indicators of progress and success. In winter quarter, the committees will begin presenting the priorities that are emerging in their work and ask the greater campus community for input and feedback through a number of mechanisms including a campus survey.

Working together on community safety

We are restarting our Safe Ride program. The nightly van service on our residential campus was stopped in 2020 shortly after the start of the pandemic. The revamped program will be managed by TAPS. Students will be able to go online, fill out a ride request, and a van will shuttle them anywhere on campus. Details are still being finalized, but organizers hope to have it up and running after the November holiday break. More details are coming soon!

We are lucky to live, work and study in a remarkably beautiful setting and I am grateful to our whole campus community for sharing the responsibility of promoting safety. Remember that you can report suspicious activity by calling 911 from any phone or by using one of the many "blue light" emergency phones found throughout campus.

Vote! Vote! Vote!

Exercising the right to vote is the foundation of our democracy, and I encourage you to participate in this fundamental aspect of civic engagement. The general election is November 8, just five days away, so make sure you're prepared to cast a ballot.

Every California registered voter should receive a vote-by-mail ballot by Election Day. Return it by mail postmarked on or before November 8. You may also drop it in an official ballot drop box, visit a voting location, or stop by your county elections office by 8 p.m. November 8. You’ll find an official ballot drop box in Quarry Plaza in front of Bay Tree Bookstore.

You can vote in-person at the Stevenson College Event Center and at our Silicon Valley campus, Room 2110. Both sites will be open Saturday through Tuesday, November 5-8. There you can also drop off mail-in ballots and complete same-day voter registration forms. The hours and other voting information can be found on our Election and Voter Information webpage.

Banana Slugs are known for making a difference — cast your ballot!