Like a broken record, we’ve seen the same issues persist at UC Santa Cruz over and over again. Students are swamped in loan debt. Many are rent-burdened, while others are struggling to even find a place to live. Student distrust of administration has only increased. Union members are calling on the university for livable wages. 

The urgency of addressing these issues is underscored by the chaos happening nationwide.

The country has been ravaged by extreme weather, from record breaking heat to thousands of acres devastated by wildfire. Amidst a climate catastrophe, institutions are challenging the rights of marginalized people daily. Legislators have introduced bills targeting trans people, voting rights, and reproductive freedom.

With suffering all around us, it may feel easier for some to disconnect. Oftentimes, checking the news can feel like an afterthought. And despite our increased access to the internet, access to information has become muddled due to misinformation and paywalls. Over 360 newspapers have closed since the start of the pandemic, and hundreds more shuttered in the years before. 

As mistrust of the media permeates our society, our local communities pay the price.

In this time, finding strength in community is essential. At City on a Hill Press, we are dedicated to listening and being present in our community. The students, educators, and community members are Santa Cruz. 

Student journalism is local journalism. As a collective, we report on issues that matter to the UC Santa Cruz student body, the Santa Cruz community, and beyond. We are guided by the philosophy of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. 

CHP is dedicated to uplifting underrepresented voices, and has been for over fifty years. Through our work, we critically engage with administration and city officials, asking the tough questions and providing you with the answers you need. 

We are doing more than keeping a pulse on what is happening culturally and socially. We don’t want people to look back on our work 20 years down the line just to recognize the same patterns — we want change. 

In this Primer, we’ve detailed topics from how to find support as a queer student to navigating the student debt crisis. Read on to find out about the wildfires in Hawai’i, AFSCME Local 3299 members demanding higher wages, and how ethnic organization leaders are fighting for change. On our last page, our call-in invites you to find a voice within the community. 

As we enter this school year, and the election season approaches, pay attention. CHP continues to provide a unifying voice on campus. We serve the community by doing our job of keeping you informed. With every story we publish comes the hope that it can inspire you to inquire, debate, and ultimately, create change.