The Resource Centers at UC Santa Cruz are essential for creating safe spaces attuned to students’ individual needs. Oftentimes, the Centers provide cross-cultural spaces and events to foster solidarity between communities on campus.
From interpersonal support to cultural celebration, each Resource Center offers distinct programs engineered to support students, built on themes of leadership and relationship-building.
African American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC)
The African American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC) is home to programs and services that provide support for African, Black, and Caribbean (ABC) students. In tandem with the campus’ history of Black activism, the AARCC was the first ethnic resource center, established in 1990.
The AARCC facilitates programs like Black Academy, an extended first-year orientation program to generate links with the greater Black community in Santa Cruz. Others focus on academic success, financial aid and literacy, and community organizing. ABC seniors can look forward to AARCC’s Black Grad, an annual commencement ceremony nearing its 50th anniversary. The AARCC can be found at the Ethnic Resource Centers (ERC), located on the third floor of the Bay Tree Bookstore. It is open Monday through Fridays from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.
American Indian Resource Center (AIRC)
The American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) grounds its services and programs in Indigenous knowledge and practices to support the needs of Native students on campus. The AIRC is committed to preserving Native heritage and land in and beyond Santa Cruz by hosting annual speaker series and cultural events. IndigeThanx happens every November as an alternative community event to Thanksgiving. IndigeFest occurs at the Quarry every spring quarter, equipped with local and cultural music, food and performances.
The AIRC, like other resource centers, is a conduit for community organizing: the Prison Reading Project brings books regarding Indigenous history and culture to incarcerated American Indians in California and Nevada. Find the Center at the ERC, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center (AA/PIRC)
The Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center acknowledges the complexities of the Asian diaspora and promotes cultural and political engagement for the Asian American (AA), Pacific Islander (PI) and South/west Asian and North African (SWANA) communities on campus. At the AA/PIRC, students can foster connections to cultural student organizations like Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance (APISA), Bayanihan, Hmong Student Association, and others.
The AA/PIRC is designed to build professional skills by providing volunteer and internship opportunities. Come May, the Center hosts a myriad of cultural events for AAPI Heritage Month, including a Year End Ceremony for graduating AA, PI, and SWANA students. The AA/PIRC, located in the ERC, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
El Centro, also known as the Chicanx and Latinx Resource Center, emphasizes the historical and cultural significance of Chicane and Latine communities in Santa Cruz and beyond. Chicane and Latine students can participate in El Centro to adopt critical knowledge about social justice, cultural longevity, and alumni networks.
El Centro holds several annual cultural events that cultivate student engagement and solidarity, such as the Dia de los Muertos Ceremonia and Pachangas, a collaboration between El Centro and the AARCC that highlights Afro-Latine identities. You’ll find El Centro at the ERC, open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lionel Cantú Queer Center
Lionel Cantú Queer Center, known as the Cantú, is dedicated to fostering a campus community that empowers and sustains its LGBTQIA+ members. The Cantú works to honor the legacy of its namesake, late professor of sociology Dr. Lionel Cantú, Jr. An active supporter of the Resource Center, Dr. Cantú identified as gay and spent much of his career researching the impacts of sexuality on migration, particularly in Latin American immigration.
Staff at the Cantú guide students in navigating campus and society as LGBTQIA+ individuals, through undergoing legal name changes, accessing LGBTQIA+ counseling services, and more. The Cantú is located at Merrill College next to KZSC, but has temporarily relocated to the ERC due to facility repairs. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays.
Founded in 1985, the Womxn’s Center has served as an intersectional feminist community space. The Center organizes several annual events, most notably the Welcome Fall Ball, and Take Back the Night during Sexual Assault Awareness Month every April. Other events include speaker panels, career success workshops, and conversations about intersectional identity.
In addition to campus and local resources on topics like body image, mental health, and domestic and dating violence, the Center also offers a lending library of feminist books and academic resources. You’ll find the Womxn’s Center at Cardiff House, which is at the base of campus near faculty housing. The Center is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m.
Disability Resource Center (DRC)
UCSC’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) provides equal education access and support for the academic needs of students with both permanent and temporary disabilities. The DRC provides valuable in-class and out-of-class services for students, such as testing accommodations and American Sign Language interpreters, as well as accessible university housing and dining services.
In addition to these student services, the DRC hosts the Inclusive Computing and Technology (ICAT) Lab and has online resources for faculty and students to foster inclusive and accessible environments in the classroom and beyond. The DRC is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; like the ERC, it is housed on the third floor of the Bay Tree Bookstore.