June 27, 2005
Conference season gets under way on campus
By Louise Donahue
Not long after thousands of UCSC students head home for the
summer, a new batch of residents begins arriving.
Summer is conference season, and the
campus is rolling out the welcome mat for 11,000 visitors this
summer. The visitors will attend 70 different conferences or
camps, learning about everything from Charles Dickens to cheerleading.
Some of the groups have been making UCSC their summer home
for decades, but 12 groups will be on campus for the first time,
said Martha Keeler, Colleges and University Housing Services
assistant director for conference services.
"We have an 85 percent return rate," Keeler noted.
"UC Santa Cruz is a very popular destination. Everybody
loves to come to such a beautiful campus." All the activity
is good news for UCSC's bottom line, bringing in an estimated
$4 million gross income to campus.
The visitors come in all ages and from around the world. The
University Extension Japanese English Language Program, for
instance, has been bringing middle school and high schoolers
school age youth to campus for 20 years to experience American
culture and learn English.
Cheerleaders make up a large part of the younger summer visitors,
Keeler said, adding that nearly 500 cheerleaders attend some
of the camps. Participants in other sports--from soccer to water
polo--are also well represented.
Music is another major draw, with participants in all ages.
Soundwall Music Camp, a rock music camp for youth, will be on
campus the same time as the Mandolin Symposium, an adult program
featuring renowned artists teaching technique, history and theory
of mandolin music in bluegrass, swing, jazz, and ethnic formats.
Academic conferences are also a mainstay. One of the best known
Dickens Universe, celebrating its 25th anniversary at UCSC
this summer. New this summer is the Nearly
Normal Galaxies conference, hosted by UCSCs Department
of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Additional information on UCSC conferences is available online.
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