UCSC Colleges: Porter College


Porter College is named after Benjamin Porter, the grandfather of three contributors to UCSC. The Porter family owned some of the lands of Porter Meadow (a meadow right next to Porter College) and donated this as well.

Porter was in fact named “College Five” for about 12 years before it received its official name. Porter opened in 1969.


Porter’s theme revolves around the arts. The core course explores Art and the social implications of famous works.


Porter College is located on the lower west side of the University of California, Santa Cruz, just south of Kresge College and slightly north of Rachel Carson College.

Porter was UCSC’s first college located on the west side of campus. Porter is currently nestled between Kresge (to the north) and College Eight (to the south), and is a short walk away from Science Hill.

Porter has two bus stops — one south of the college that it shares with College Eight and one east of the college. Only buses traveling clockwise around the school’s loop stop here, though.

Most areas of campus are accessible from Porter by foot in about 10-15 minutes, though going to the East Field area might take some time.


Porter’s dorms come in singles, doubles, triples, and quads. Doubles are the most common. You can request specific floors based on your preferences — single-sex, substance-free, and a few others based on interests. Currently, some of Porter’s dorms are still under reconstruction.

Each of Porter’s apartments contains two single rooms, two double rooms, two bathrooms, and a common kitchen and living room. There are four apartment buildings. From the outside, the apartments look fairly modern and even spacious, with plenty of windows and a good view of the redwoods.


Porter has its own dining hall that it generally shares with Kresge. Porter is perceived to offer more of a vegan/vegetarian menu but offers about the same amount of foods as the other dining halls.

It’s definitely worth noting that the dining hall closes at 7 PM Monday through Friday, and isn’t open on the weekends. College Eight’s dining hall is a short walk from Porter and is open for more hours, however, so that’s always an option as well.

Porter’s dining hall is undergoing renovation and isn’t supposed to reopen until winter 2010.

Things to Remember

  • Porter carries the torch of UCSC’s reputation as a “hippy” or “hipster” school. Porter definitely caters to the more art-oriented students, as well as the marijuana culture (the traditional First Rain begins at Porter, in fact). If you’re opposed to these lifestyles, you might not appreciate Porter as much as another college.
  • Be prepared for all of the construction that’s going on. You may have to wake up to the sound of jackhammers most mornings, and with the dining hall being closed, you’ll have to go elsewhere to eat.
  • Even when the dining hall reopens, it still closes early and isn’t open on weekends. Be prepared to find food somewhere else at these times.

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