Winter break saw the death of Shane Sanchez, a staple of Crown and Merrill colleges. Students and staff members remember the coordinator for residential education (CRE) at Crown College, as a brave and dedicated leader, always willing to stand up for those with less power in the community and on campus. 

A staff member of UC Santa Cruz since 2005, Sanchez’s work can be seen in the restoration and beautification of the Crown and Merrill College Community Room and personified by his dedication to develop student leaders. 

Those who worked closely with him remember instances of Sanchez going out of his way to lend assistance and showing deep compassion when handling student affairs. Though he wasn’t under Sanchez’s direct supervision, third-year and former Merrill resident assistant Christopher Bolaños recalled being able to count on Sanchez for guidance. 

“He was really what the college was meant to be,” Bolaños said. “These are what the CREs are meant to be. Regardless of the college or your affiliation, for anything that’s happening, true undivided attention is what Shane gave us and it was really amazing.” 

Sanchez was a familiar face throughout campus. He could be seen frequently walking his dog, Galaxy, around campus, and he brought an explosive personality to the fitness classes he taught at the Office of Physical Education, Recreation and Sports. Sanchez also provided time as the advisor to the Tabletop Gaming Association and supported the Interfaith Council on campus. 

The university will be holding a celebration of life for Sanchez open to all on Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. at the Cultural Center at Merrill.