New Student FAQS

When can I move in?
What do the rooms look like?
What's my new mailing address?
How's the weather?
What should I bring?
What should I leave at home?
What are the bathrooms like?
Why can't I bring candles or incense?
Can I cook in my room?
Do you offer accommodations for students with disabilities?
Where will I do my laundry?
Will my cell phone work on-campus?
How will I get around campus and downtown?
Should I bring my bike?
Can I bring my car?
Can I bring my skateboard or hoverboard?
How do you choose roommates?
How will I connect to the internet?
What if I don't have a computer?
Can I bring any pets?
Can I bring musical instruments or a sound system?

When can I move in?

Please go to Important Porter Housing Dates webpage for this information.

What furniture is in a residence hall or apartment bedroom?

See FloorplansThe standard room at UCSC is a triple room, but we have a limited number of double and single rooms as well. Each resident will have a bed, desk (with built in lamp), dresser, wardrobe and chair. Each room has a shared trash can and recycling bin. The rooms are carpeted and shades cover the windowsWe recommend that you do not bring additional furniture with you. We cannot remove or store the furniture originally provided in your room nor are you allowed to remove it.

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What's my new mailing address?

Every Porter resident has a mailbox assignment at the Porter Student Mail Center. Your mailbox number and combination will be sent to your campus email prior to your move-in. In order to avoid delays in mail delivery service, please follow the format below for your current school address. Please avoid deviating from this format, as it will result in delays. Your mailing address at Porter will be:

Your First and Last Name
411 Porter-Kresge Road, Box Number
Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1076

All University-student communications will be delivered to your mailbox, so it is important to check it frequently.

How's the weather?

Fall and Spring tend to be quite warm and pleasant, with warm sunshine and mild breezes. Occasionally you'll wake up to a thick coastal fog, but it usually burns off around noon. Our winters, however, can be quite rainy. From about late November through mid-March, temperatures will average about 60°F (wet or dry), and there will be many days that you'll want to wear a jacket.

For additional Santa Cruz weather information, go to Weather.com

What should I bring?

These items are only suggested and highly recommended. You are not required to bring any one thing from this list.

  • Sheets - the mattresses are extra-long twins. Fitted sheets should be 80" extra-long
  • Blankets, bedspreads, pillows
  • Towels/washcloths
  • Personal toiletries: including soap, shampoo, etc.
  • A "caddy" for your toiletry items
  • Flip-flops for the showers
  • Bathrobe
  • Alarm clock (with battery back-up)
  • Clothing hangers
  • Laundry bag, detergent
  • Flashlight for occasional winter storm power outages, or evening walks
  • Ethernet equipment or support (free wireless is also provided in the residential halls). Routers are ok.
  • UL-approved power strip with surge protection
  • Headphones
  • TV cable (if intending to have a TV)
  • Umbrella
  • Clothing and shoes for cold and rainy weather
  • Water filter pitcher
  • U-Lock for bicycle (chain locks do not deter possible bike thefts)

What should I leave at home?

You may absolutely NOT bring:

  • Candles or incense. They have been the primary source of fires on campus
  • Alcohol or other drugs
  • Drug paraphernalia and other smoking devices including pipes, bongs, hookahs, e cigarettes, etc.
  • Extension cords without an internal circuit breaker
  • Fireworks or firearms of any sort
  • Knives, swords or edged weapons (decorative or otherwise)
  • Paintball guns, BB guns, air rifles or other dangerous weapons
  • Pets, with the exception of fish
  • Portable heaters without an automatic tip-over "off" switch
  • Skateboards, roller blades, skates, razor scooters, hoverboards
  • Tubular-type halogen lamp

Possession of any of the above items may result in the forfeiture of your on-campus housing as well as University and criminal sanctions. Students can expect serious and immediate disciplinary action if these policies are violated. For more information about specific rules and policies refer to http://deanofstudents.ucsc.edu/student-conduct/index.html or your housing contract housing.ucsc.edu/TandC-collages2016-17.pdf.                          

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What are the bathrooms like?

In most halls bathrooms are designated as mixed-gender with private toilets and shower stalls. In our single gender halls, bathrooms are used by individuals who identify with that gender.

Why can't I bring candles or incense?

Candles and incense have been a major source of fires on campus. In fact, Porter had a dorm fire several years ago that was caused by a candle. We'd like to keep our buildings as safe as possible - whether you intend to burn them or not, please leave your candles at home.

Do you offer accommodations for students with disabilities?

We do work with our students to find the best possible space for them at Porter College. If you have a need for a disability-related accommodation, then please visit the Disability Resource Center's web page and fill out a Housing Accommodation Form. This may be found at http://drc.ucsc.edu/

Can I cook in my room?

Yes and No. It depends on what and how you are cooking. Hot plates, open flame stoves, electric frying pans and woks are NOT allowed. They are fire hazards. Hot pots (for heating water), small microwaves, and hot air popcorn poppers are allowed as long as they are used appropriately. You are also welcome to bring a refrigerator. Please keep in mind that there are only a few two-plug outlets in each room. If you plan to bring any electrical equipment, you may only use UL-approved power strips with circuit breakers.

Porter Dining Options

UCSC Dining

Where will I do my laundry?

Porter has two laundry rooms: one attached to the E-building in the apartments and the other in the B Building. You will not need to bring any quarters as our machines are card-operated. New students will be provided a card upon move in. However, you will need to bring your own detergent and fabric softener.

Will my cell phone work on-campus?

The UCSC campus is located on a large hill overlooking Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay. Since the campus has many tall redwood trees and buildings are situated within the trees, cell phone reception may vary. The quality of your reception on-campus really depends on your carrier. Our micro cellular antennas service Nextel/Sprint, Verizon, ATT/Cingular and T-Mobile plans.        

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How will I get around campus and downtown?

Most students walk to classes. It's often the fastest and the most direct method---and it's beautiful too! You'll find that many of your routes will leave you feeling like you're hiking in the forest. UCSC also has a great shuttle system - with weekday and weekend routes throughout the campus. For more information, check out the Campus Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) site .

The Santa Cruz Metro Bus System is an efficient way to get around town, and it's easily accessible at campus shuttle stops. All rides are free to UCSC students with a valid Student ID. City buses run through campus and into town every 10-15 minutes weekdays and less frequently on the weekends.

Santa Cruz Metro Transit District's Metro Online

Should I bring my bike?

If you have a bike and are an avid rider, bring it! If you are thinking about buying a bike just for college, you might want to wait until after you've seen the campus and had a chance to check out the bus system and footpaths. UCSC is much more "hilly" than most college campuses, and biking is not our most common form of transportation. If you do want to bring a bike, bring a strong "U" bike lock to prevent theft.

Can I bring my car?

That depends. Freshmen and sophomores who live on campus are not eligible for a parking permit (temporary or permanent). Qualified junior and senior transfer students may be eligible for remote parking at any time.

Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS)

Can I bring my skateboard or hoverboard?

Currently skateboards or hoverboards are not permitted on-campus. You may get a traffic citation if you do. There have been many serious accidents on campus involving skateboarders and motorists and skateboarders and pedestrians. But, there are several skate parks in town available for use.

Santa Cruz City Skate Park

How do you choose roommates?

That's a complicated question. We spend most of the summer reading and rereading your questionnaires to try to get a sense of the combination(s) that might work for you. In most cases we try to match you with other students who share similar lifestyles and living habits. Interestingly enough, we've found that music choice, sleep habits, and cleanliness are often the best indicators of compatibility. Roommate matching is very hard to do, so we appreciate all of the information that you can give us about yourself! 

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How will I connect to the internet?

Each of our rooms has its own Ethernet connection provided by ResNet, UCSC's data access support center. Use of the internet is free, but each student is responsible for providing their own Ethernet cord. Furthermore, residents of Porter A and B Buildings have wireless access in their rooms and in the buildings' lounges. The Porter Apartments do not have wireless. You may also choose to set up your own wireless router. For information on ResNet and for computer configuration, please visit http://its.ucsc.edu/resnet/.

What if I don't have a computer?

No problem! Porter has a computer lab available for student use in addition to UCSC's multiple learning labs. The computer lab at Porter is a Macintosh Lab with advanced software and specialized equipment for graphic design, musical composition, and technical illustration.

Can I bring any pets?

Pets, with the exception of fish, are not allowed in Porter's residence halls. This policy is strictly enforced. For the benefit of all - especially your pet - please leave yor animals at home. If you bring your fish, make sure that its tank is made of plexiglass and holds 10 gallons or less.

Can I bring musical instruments or a sound system?

Keep in mind that we have over 1300 students living in a small area here at Porter. We live in a closer proximity to each other than you may have previously experienced. Acoustic instruments are welcome at Porter-but please leave your drum set or an amplified instrument at home. If you bring a stereo system, please leave the 40" speakers at home and bring headphones. Amplifiers must be used with headphones. The sound insulation in the residence halls is simply not sufficient to limit the impact of loud music. Noise complaints may be issued any time there is an infraction of the noise policy-- multiple violations will result in judicial sanctions.

UCSC Music Department