Information for all Universe Participants
We will once again be using our secure online registration through Authorize.net, using a simple Wufoo form. This will allow you to pay conveniently and securely via credit card, and we hope it will streamline our confirmation process (and save some trees). You can also register and select another method of payment (check or Purchase Order). If you prefer the old-fashioned way, you can print out the Registration Form and send it to us with your payment.
SCHOLARS AND OTHERS
You do not need to be a scholar to attend. The morning and evening lectures are given by our consortium member faculty and sometimes invited guest faculty. These speakers are sharing important scholarly research while the afternoon talks are generally lighter and cover more general topics of the Victorian era. We try to offer activities for everyone, but please be aware that certain programs are restricted to our member faculty and grads as a privilege of membership. If you are a scholar from a non-member school, you are encouraged to attend the 19th-Century Seminar and share your research with colleagues. We also offer a daily workshop for high school teachers as an opportunity to share teaching materials and strategies related to several 19th-C novels. High school students are welcome to attend the daily undergraduate seminar.
WEATHER AND CLOTHING
Santa Cruz has a very mild climate, although it can sometimes be rather hot during the Universe week (temps in the 80s, low humidity). A perfect day starts out foggy and cool, turns sunny and warm about mid-morning, and cools down again in the evening. Fashion mavens will layer, layer, layer. Rain in August is an anomaly, although we often have some drizzle at night. It's safe to leave your umbrellas and rain coats at home, but definitely bring a sweater, jacket, or sweatshirt (or buy one of ours!).
Many folks used to warmer nighttime temperatures are surprised at how cold it feels at night here. The temperatures usually fall into the 50s at night, but can feel colder due to the marine influence. Even if it's 100 degrees when you're packing to leave, do not forget your jacket! You'll thank me later.
The atmosphere at the Universe and in Santa Cruz, is very casual and comfortable. Do bring shoes that are comfortable for walking. UCSC is full of trails both paved and not, and there are few flat areas.
We host a Victorian Dance on Friday night and you're welcome to dress in costume, or just show up in light, comfortable clothes. It can be very warm during the Dance.
Participants can use the pool and Wellness Center on the East side of campus for a small additional daily charge and there are tennis courts on both the West and East sides.
You will be housed in shared apartments at College Eight. The configuration of apartments varies but we try to accommodate your requests. Bedrooms have Ethernet hookups (bring your own cable or rent one from us) and the campus also has wi-fi available to guests. Each apartment has a common living room and kitchen area and a shared bathroom. We will set out coffee in a central location each morning at 8:00, but caffeine junkies should bring a small coffee maker.
This is a college, so rooms are small and efficient. Each person is issued two towels and one washcloth. We also can provide some bathmats upon request. Your bed will have sheets, a pillow, and two blankets. There is a limited supply of extra blankets and we have extra hangers. Apartments are heated but there is no air-conditioning on campus (no need for the A/C, believe me).
If you're driving and want to spend the week in relative luxury, bring your favorite pillow, an extra blanket (or down comforter), lots of hangers, and nice thick towels. Trude Hoffacker always brings a fitted sheet (twin extra long). She has been coming since the beginning, so she knows a thing or two.
The apartments do not have TVs, radios, or alarm clocks. We rent out hot pots for the week, but we have a limited supply. There are no kitchen supplies in your apartment.
We endeavor to fulfill your housing requests to the extent that we can, so please tell us if you're a very light sleeper, or you snore like a freight train, or are apt to converse with yourself during the night. We'll see what we can do. If you have other needs, such as a ground floor apartment or grab bars in the bathroom, please notify the office. Smoking is not allowed in any of the buildings.
Anyone with mobility or breathing concerns should call the Project office (831 459-2103). There is a LOT of walking involved and there are hills. The dining hall is located at College Eight, along with several classrooms, but the lecture hall and more classrooms are located across the road at Porter College.
COMMUNICATING WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD
If you bring a laptop, it should either have an Ethernet card, to take advantage of the E-net connection in the apartment, or you may ask for the guest wi-fi log in instructions at check-in. Bring your own cables. Wi-fi and cell phone reception at College Eight is a bit spotty, so we try to have a central computer available. Printing can be done on the Project's printer in our temporary office. A small photocopier is also available by prior arrangement with staff.
The Conference Office has indicated that phone service in the apartments may no longer be provided since most folks now bring cell phones.
You may give your family the Dickens Project office number (831 459-2103), or the College Eight Satellite Conference Office number. The Project and the satellite office will take messages and post them in a central place. If you need to receive a fax while you're here you may have it sent to the Project fax (831 459-4424) at no charge.
OTHER HANDY THINGS TO BRING
Did I mention comfortable shoes and clothes? Did I mention the walking? Did I mention your jacket?
The campus can be very dark at night, so bring a small flashlight. An alarm clock could be handy for those not used to getting up for 7:30 breakfast.
By all means, bring a camera. It's beautiful here and you're bound to see interesting things and make many new friends.
Definitely bring your already-read Penguin edition of the novel.