Many students engage in activities that are not sanctioned by the university and are entirely student initiated. The legality of some of these traditions is disputed, so be aware of the consequences that may incur if you choose to participate.

If you have personal anecdotes about your own experiences with these activities, please post them in the comments section. If you know that there are inaccuracies with the telling of these traditions, feel free to edit and add more as you wish.


First Rain Run

The First Rain run is, essentially, a student run throughout the campus where the participants are partially or, more likely, entirely naked. It generally takes place on the first major nighttime rainfall during Fall quarter. In this tradition, the run is usually initiated by Porter College students, who then run through all the colleges in a circular path, picking up students along the way. There are many people who participate, but if you just want to watch you will be in good company. The run ends again at Porter with a drum circle in the Porter Meadow. Rumor has it that this past year the run ended at the Wellness Center on campus with all the runners jumping into the swimming pool and then being chased away by the police.

If you are a UCSC student and choose to engage in this activity: yee

  • If nothing else, wear a smile and some decent shoes. There are lots of sharp, prickly, unpleasant things laying all over the campus, and shoes will help prevent unfortunate accidents.
  • Respect each other's bodies.
  • Remember that all school and city laws still apply during this activity. Though generally there aren't problems with this, public nudity is still considered offensive by some people and this doesn't mean that you should go around naked on campus all the time.
  • Even though you'll be running in the rain, remember that with any strenuous physical activity, dehydration can occur. Please drink water. Supposedly some Resident Assistants from on-campus housing will occasionally set up water stations for runners.

Climbing Tree 9

Tree Nine is a huge tree on upper campus which is well known for being climbed by students.


April 20th (420)

The 2012 420 celebration at UCSC. Photo: April 20, 2012, by Bradley Stuart Allen.

Though 420 is well known across the nation as a day for celebrating the drug marijuana, at UCSC, this day is truly an event. During the day, many people gather in the Porter meadow for music, friends, celebration and, of course, weed. The event can generally be noticed from far away due to the huge cloud of smoke hanging over the meadow. The event climaxes at precisely 4:20 in the afternoon, where generally the music gets loud and people cheer and smoke. Some people just go and watch and spend time with friends and refrain from smoking. However, some people who are sensitive to pot may get a buzz simply by breathing the air and not formally smoking.

If you are a UCSC student and choose to engage in this activity:

  • Remember that everything that is illegal off campus is illegal on campus. Smoking marijuana is illegal and the university doesn't promote the use of any illegal substances.
  • Be Responsible when using any drug or substance that may cause impairment.
  • If you choose to smoke marijuana, know your legal rights in case of confrontation by the police or arrest. Plus, here's a comic for all you "right-brainers" out there. Also keep in mind that so many people engage in this tradition that it is unlikely that everyone could all be arrested and detained, simply by their sheer numbers.
  • Bring sunglasses, water and snacks.
  • If you have severe respiratory problems, bring your inhaler (if you use one) or avoid the area during the day.


Student Strikes and Protests


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