UC Santa Cruz student-run CruzHacks revamps for its sixth year

CruzHacks judging in progress
CruzHacks judging in progress
The organizing team of CruzHacks 2019
The organizing team of CruzHacks 2019
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Rajinder Dhaliwal

With a new slate of leaders at the helm, the UC Santa Cruz student-organized CruzHacks aims to bring together 500 hackers of all backgrounds for a weekend of innovation. The non-profit hackathon hopes to create an environment in which high school and college students can work collaboratively to harness their talents and make their visions for social change a reality. While most hackathons cater to a narrowly focused tech community, CruzHacks endeavors to create engagement and value for the Santa Cruz community as a whole.

Coding in the context of community

CruzHacks differs from other hackathons in its commitment to inclusion as well as its own Tech Cares initiative, which allows winners in that prize category to give donations to local organizations of their choosing. Creating and building lasting relationships with the surrounding community is at the cornerstone of CruzHack’s mission.

In order to more efficiently achieve its goals of diversity, CruzHacks has introduced new initiatives to help first time hackers through pre-hack workshops. These workshops cover many of the basics from HTML, CSS, Python, and Javascript to the fundamentals of Google Firebase. By launching these efforts CruzHacks hopes to engage many would-be hackers who, although as enthusiastic as others, often get ignored by large hackathons. With an unparalleled emphasis on the inclusion of underrepresented groups and service to the surrounding community, CruzHacks truly embodies a vision of a hackathon for all.

What’s new for CruzHacks 2019?

This year’s event will take place in a new venue from January 18th-20th 2019, at 5pm in the Stevenson Event Center. The new location will allow the event to start earlier than in years past, allowing more time for participants as the hackathon hopes to act as an immersive, weekend long experience for all those involved. Part of this experience will reside in the plethora of workshops which will be held during the event. The technical workshops will cater to all levels, addressing topics ranging from basic web development and cloud frameworks to machine learning and blockchain programming. In addition, CruzHacks will also offer several non-technical workshops to allow hackers to take a break when they desire. From dog petting and yoga to video game stations and stargazing there will be recreational options for a wide variety of interests. Regardless of whichever specific activity appeals to any one person, CruzHacks promises to be enthralling weekend for hackers, audience members, and the community at large.

Hackers, mentors, and judges apply now!

Applications are officially open for all positions and can be found at cruzhacks.com. The hacker application requires a student to fill out personal information as well as a questionnaire to gage if their values align with the hackathon’s mission. Creating a hackathon for all requires everyone involved to be committed to a vision of inclusion.

Faculty members are highly encouraged to apply as mentors and judges. The participation of faculty members is greatly desired in order to further engage the UCSC community as well as offer hackers access to a vast reserve of expertise and teaching ability. However, these mentor and judge positions are not limited to faculty members. Those with the knowledge and passion for helping others in a hackathon setting are always needed.

Act fast. Applications will close on December 20th, 2018!

Sponsorship Opportunities

With over 500 participants from more than 25 universities, last year’s CruzHacks was an overwhelming success. The reason that the student organized event is able to grow each year is due to the generosity and support of its sponsors. In a world increasingly dominated by high tech industries, sponsorship allows companies a unique opportunity to evaluate potential employees and engage with members of the local community. By having an on site presence during the event, sponsors can not only recruit but also discuss their own company’s products and services and get feedback from student creators.

Additionally, faculty members are encouraged to reach out to their networks regarding sponsorship opportunities. It requires a collaborative effort to create an event for the community at large, and our faculty members’ commitments to this fact do not go unnoticed!

CruzHacks has three sponsorship tiers: CENTI, KILO, and GIGA which allow firms of all sizes to get involved. Each tier differs in its monetary commitment and received benefits. For more information regarding sponsorship, please checkout our sponsorship perks and contact Amit Saxena at amit@cruzhacks.com.