StudentsReview :: The University of California - Santa Cruz - Extra Detail about the Comment
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The University of California - Santa Cruz

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityF Faculty AccessibilityF
Useful SchoolworkF Excess CompetitionF
Academic SuccessF Creativity/ InnovationF
Individual ValueF University Resource UseD+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA+ FriendlinessF
Campus MaintenanceA Social LifeF
Surrounding CityF Extra CurricularsC+
Describes the student body as:
Snooty, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:
Unhelpful, Self Absorbed

Lowest Rating
Educational Quality
Highest Rating
Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty
He cares more about Friendliness than the average student.
Date: Jun 24 2005
Major: Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc (This Major's Salary over time)

Okay, I tried to be fair with my school, but I had to give it mostly bad grades because I am being honest. Currently, I am a Film and Digital Media major, and a transfer student from City College of San Francisco. Believe this: I was so hot to get out of my JC, but now that I am in the Film major here, I wish I could go back. At City College a student can get an AA in Film Production and have some definite hands-on training; at UC Santa Cruz there is no guarantee of working on any film projects, let alone getting the chance to touch any equiptment. Apparently, the school is set up as a "research" facility, with the film major taught by professors doing their own research projects, who are smart, yet, not all are good "teachers". The professors get money to work on their own research, and have very little time to talk to students. This, combined with the fact that some can not translate the way they think into an understandable form that one can decipher, makes for a very confusing, boring, analytical and theory based major which should not at all be under the ARTS category - it should be placed under SOCIOLOGY or HISTORY.


1. Not a real "Film" major. Pay attention to the guide the school gives about the program, because it says in it that the major is theoretical and analytical. Believe that, and do not have any false illusions about working on projects, or gaining usefull skills, because they only let in a certain amount of students, many of whom have NO talent for filmmaking. They get in based on their success in the critical based classes, and the application they have to fill out.

2. The staff at the "Film Department" office are less than helpful. If you want to get lots of attitude, and employees who hate their job but need the money, this is the place for you. You will get suckered-in when UC Santa Cruz has their orientation, but a dark cloud will fall as soon as you become a student in the major.

3. The TA's are mostly SOCIOLOGY or HISTORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS majors (for some reason), and, if your a person (like me) who has spent 99.9% of your life with the single dream of being a filmmaker in the business, they do not share your enthusiasm nor your passion for the art and craft of filmmaking. Oh sure, they like watching movies and television, and, most are sharp as tacks, but they know nothing about filmmaking. There is something unnerving about being told what a Medium Shot is, by someone whose life goal is to analyze tons of material and write essays (mindless fluff) on what historical implications the Cosby Show had on young white teenage surbanites, and how that made them want to act Black - useless material for any artist whose dream is to express themselves through the "craft" of filmmaking.

4. As I said before, there is a chance of getting in to the

Production Concentration
- a slim chance. I know students that have spent their entire student career at UCSC,in the major, and have not made ONE FILM. They left disgruntled and worried about the future, because their goal was to learn skills, and all they did was study them. If you look at the schedule of classes, you will see that there are not a lot of production classes (or film classes for that matter), and the major is impacted. The production classes will be there, but all the students will not get to get in them, so if you want to work on film, do not come here.

those are just a few of the things about the major I am in, and, in the process of trying to change. Very briefly, I will talk about the school in general and the town.


The school is very segregated, with Oakes being the major one with people of color, and Porter being the "artsy" one, for example. But, it is also segregated demographically. The old story goes, that it was built in the 60's, with no central area and the colleges segregated, to keep students from protesting (which sounds a bit strange to me). There are a lot of close-minded people of every nationality here, as well. I have noticed that most of the people from major metropolitan areas recognize the lack of diversity, yet there are also people from small towns in Northern California that think it is the most diverse place on Earth. Seriously, as a person from San Francisco, I know it is not, but if you are from a place like Fortuna, Humboldt, or Colusa, you will probably think it is. Lastly, every thing is expensive (food, etc) and there are hardly any ATM's or ability to pay for things with a debit card, there are hardly any payphones, and not only is the school segregated within,racially and demographically, but it is also separated by great distance from the town of Santa Cruz itself.


The campus is in one of the loveliest settings, and the deer are not afraid of humans.


Oh, there are many. For one thing, the town is very "homogenous" if you know what I mean. There are definitely more white people than I am use to. But, my uncomfortability toward white people is not the issue - I have none. But, it is the underlying anger that runs through the town that bothers me. First, the locals hate the students, and I do not mean just a dislike for certain students, but HATE. My housemate's boyfriend has locals recorded on digital video talking about beating up every student they see. Plus, there are many incidents with locals showing up at parties to start trouble. These locals make me laugh, because in reality all they really are are small-town suburban surfer kids trying to act tough by taking advantage of students who are miles away from their own stomping grounds - they would not last five minutes doing the same thing where I am from. Also, I had a lot of experiences with locals saying racist things just because there are not many people of color to tell them any different.They have said a lot of derogatory things about Blacks, Asians, and Latino's. In addition, many try to make fun of Black slang. They use it in a way in which they are actually making fun of the people who talk that way. To be fair, I would not say that all locals are racist, but many do say racist things which really just boils down to them being ignorant, which in my view is just as bad.

Well, there you have it… my experience with the school and the town. I am sure I have more to say, but it is 1:44am in the morning here, and I am kind of tired. So, hope this is helpful.

commentThanks for such a thorough review. I was thinking of transferring from my local junior college to UCSC as a film major, but now that you explain that it is more theory-based than hands-on practice, I think I'll look for another school
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