For those of you new to this school, welcome. For those of you who are returning, welcome back.

When we first entered UC Santa Cruz as Porter freshmen, we were learning constantly, latching onto every big idea that came our way — or sometimes we were simply in our seats in class after a long night. Eventually we learned the bus routes, and not long afterward, we found in UCSC what we liked most: our community, our home.

This school has a lot to offer, and so does the city. There are nearly 18,000 students here, and all of them belong to one group or another. We urge you to use our guides in this year’s Primer to find a group you’re interested in, attend the local elections, go to a sports game or find your favorite restaurant downtown.
You are growing up in what is without a doubt the most exciting time history has ever seen. There are people on this campus who care about the same issues you do, like the UC’s budget crisis, the coming county and federal elections, desalination and the Long Range Development Plan. These are just some of the biggest issues you might engage with, and it’s up to you to get involved, to participate.

The theme for this year’s Primer is community engagement. We want our readers to take action on these issues, which have potentially huge consequences for our readers.

No matter what, our experiences at UCSC and in the city have taught us to never sit still. Every day we learn more. We have learned to always keep moving, to never feel content with what we know, to make ourselves uncomfortable. We learned that this is what it means to be a reporter. In the end, this is your student newspaper, and if we can capture your thoughts, words and even your hardships in print — the issues that affect you most — we consider our work half done.
The other half lies in your hands, with your ability to do and say what you believe with the information we give. We urge new students — and old ones — to find your way to the voting booth, to the next city council meeting and to the next Board of Regents meeting.

We’ll meet you there.

Michael Mott and Mikaela Todd
City on a Hill Press Editors-in-Chief