Fall 2020 FAQs

NOTE: We are continuously updating this and other Student Affairs informational websites as Fall 2020 details become available. Please continue to visit this site, and remember to pay attention to campus email communications with important information.
 

Last updated August 7, 2020

 

  1. Will fall classes be held in-person or via remote instruction?

  2. Will the fall semester be canceled?

  3. Has a decision about fall semester been made?

  4. Will I still have to pay for tuition or student fees if I’m not physically on campus?

  5. Will orientation still be held?

  6. If fall classes are offered via remote instruction, should I live in Berkeley?

  7. If classes are via remote instruction again, will they be P/NP?

  8. How can I tell which classes will be taught in person? When will the schedule of classes be updated to reflect in remote and in-person offerings?

  9. Can I enroll as a full time student even if I am not comfortable coming to campus?

  10. Where can I find more information about instruction?

  11. What will the Spring 2021 semester look like?

  12. Can I live on campus this fall?

  13. Will I be able to live on campus in Spring 2021?

  14. How can I stay connected and/or get engaged at UC Berkeley?

  15. Will every in-person class be required to offer a remote option?

  16. Am I guaranteed to have at least one in-person class?

  17. Will I still be eligible for financial aid if I live with my family?

  18. Is there a resource if I need help terminating an off-campus lease due to COVID-19?

  19. If in-person classes become available at some point in the semester, will I need to return to campus?

  20. Will I be able to meet with my faculty member in person?

  21. Will there be in person activities on campus?

  22. How will you make sure students follow public health guidelines?

  23. If I test positive for COVID-19, will I have to leave campus?

  24. After the sequestering period can students go off campus and have meals with families? / Can they go home on the weekend or go back and forth between the residential halls and their family’s house?

  25. Will students be tested and sequestered each time they go home/return back to the dorms?

  26. If my student tests positive for COVID-19, will they have to leave campus?

  27. If a student has friends already at Berkeley, are they able to opt out of their bubble and/or create their own?

  28. Can two people (that requested to be roommates request to be in the same social bubble?

  29. Are on campus apartments (as opposed to residential halls) going to have a “bubble “?

  30. Is any socialization outside of bubbles not allowed?

  31. How are the cohorts assigned? Based on living arrangements?

  32. How will students living on campus be placed into “social bubbles”?

  33. Once a cohort has completed its initial sequestration period, do you anticipate any relaxation of masking within the cohort?

  34. Are we restricted to interact only with our assigned social bubbles?

  35. If students are living in an off campus situation, will there be no connection with student activities?

  36. Will there be study spaces on campus this fall?

  37. How can students find study groups?

  38. Do we have strong enough WiFi to accommodate so many students attending Zoom lectures?

  39. Will anything fun be happening on campus?

  40. Can someone speak to potential benefits for freshmen to come live on campus? What activities will be happening? Is there any benefit beyond providing housing?

  41. Will each floor still have an RA? Will the RA organize any introductions or group activities, however small?

  42. Will students be able to visit our friends in different buildings? Or different floors?

  43. If I move on-campus in the fall and then decide that I feel unsafe, what is the process of cancelling my housing contract and what are the financial repercussions of that?

  44. When can I move in?

  45. Are parents allowed to access rooms at moving dates? / Will parents be able to move their students into the residential halls?

  46. The housing contract indicated that the residence halls will be closed for Thanksgiving and students cannot return to the residence halls after Thanksgiving. Can you please clarify whether students can return back to residence halls after Thanksgiving?

  47. Will the double rooms in the Apartments be converted to singles?

  48. Do single rooms in a residential hall have a bathroom included?

  49. How will communal bathrooms in residential halls be handled ? How will occupancy in communal bathrooms be regulated ?

  50. If we stay home for fall, is there an on campus housing option for spring?

  51. When can we start applying for spring housing?

  52. Is on-campus housing ever mandatory for freshmen?

  53. Given that the rooms have all been switched to singles, do we know what will housing look like in the Spring? If the situation changes, will rooms be converted back to doubles in order to fit more people? 

  54. Will instructors be on campus for support or office hours at all?

  55. Will there be a discount on tuition and fees? If not, can we pay in-state tuition instead?

  56. What facilities will be open during the semester? Libraries, gyms, etc.?

  57. Will Cal Dining be open for students to eat at?

  58. Will you allow students who sign residential hall housing contracts to opt out of the meal plan? 

  59. How are you going to enforce rules?

  60. What can you share about a "social norms campaign" I have heard reference to?

  61. What if I am struggling with costs, and need computing support?

 


 

Will fall classes be held in-person or via remote instruction?

We have made the difficult decision to begin the fall semester with fully remote instruction. However, we continue our preparations to implement hybrid and/or flexible modes of instruction as soon as public health conditions allow. It is our intention to conduct some in-person classes this fall for those students who wish to come to campus. The in-person classes will be restricted to a limited number of people, as dictated by factors including local public health guidance and our own building density guidelines.

Students will not be required to take in-person classes or be present on campus for the smaller discussion sections; almost all academic offerings will be provided via a remotely delivered method. 

Finally, to reduce COVID-19 exposure that could come about as a result of students traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, all in-person instruction (as well as final exams) will be delivered remotely after Thanksgiving.

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Will the fall semester be canceled?

We will not cancel the fall semester. You may see fuller details in this FAQ, below

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Has a decision about fall semester been made?

Yes. As noted above, we have made the difficult decision to begin the fall semester with fully remote instruction. However, we continue our preparations to implement hybrid and/or flexible modes of instruction as soon as public health conditions allow. Please read the latest update here. As a reminder, please continue to check your Berkeley email as you will continue to receive further important updates as we approach the fall semester. It is also important to note that the COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-changing matter, and may require changes to our current plans based upon the latest guidance from public health officials. Your safety and well-being are of paramount importance.

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Will I still have to pay for tuition or student fees if I’m not physically on campus?

Tuition and mandatory fees are set by the University of California Office of the President for all UC campuses. Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year. Mandatory university charges for tuition and student services continue to help cover ongoing operations such as the delivery of instruction and the cost of student services such as registration, financial aid, and remote academic advising. Our teaching continues, even as its method of delivery has changed. Students are connecting with and learning from world-class faculty, completing coursework, earning full course credit, and making progress toward an immensely valuable UC Berkeley degree. UC Berkeley student services continue to be available to students via remote options including virtual study jams, remote movie nights,  “Coffee & Career” video chats, online fitness and art classes, and student-led programs and activities to ensure that the term remains a very powerful and enriching one for our students.
 
Some campus-based fees were established to support certain efforts like the Wellness Fee which is paying for many essential health services. Others were established to maintain the safety of buildings or other facilities when necessary for the health and safety of students—e.g., to address seismic deficiencies. Even as UC campuses such as ours have curtailed limited aspects of their operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the costs that campus-based fees are intended to cover continue. 

UC Berkeley is not able to offer in-state tuition for nonresidents. The difference in tuition for residents versus nonresidents is a reflection of the significant investment by California taxpayers in the University of California system.

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Will orientation still be held?

Update on August Golden Bear Orientation: In order to serve all students, most of the in-person components of Golden Bear Orientation will be transitioned to online events. The new online orientation programs occurring in August prior to the start of classes will include a combination of live and recorded content so that all students — whether in Berkeley or anywhere in the world — can participate. Learn more about plans for Fall 2020 GBO.

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If fall classes are offered via remote instruction, should I live in Berkeley?

We are empowering students to choose what works best for them. In general, if you can reasonably live and learn where you are right now, staying there may be the preferred choice for you. However, you may decide to reside in the Berkeley area if you have on-campus housing, critical in-person classes (depending on public health conditions), in-person research or work, or other specific directive to come to campus; or accessibility, accommodation or other needs. If you will be living in the Berkeley area, visit the Cal Housing FAQ page for information about on-campus housing and Cal Rentals for assistance, free of charge, with off-campus housing options. 

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If classes are via remote instruction again, will they be P/NP?

The Academic Senate modified the grading policy for the spring 2020 semester to default to Passed/Not Passed (P/NP) for undergraduates. Graduate students were given the option to switch to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading and graduate programs were permitted to increase the fraction of S/U courses that can count toward degree requirements beyond the existing cap. This was specific to spring semester only and in response to the mid-semester disruption of transitioning to remote instruction and the stress of the rapidly developing pandemic. For the Fall Semester, the campus (both students and instructors) is much better prepared. As a result, to date, the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate has no plans to implement a default P/NP grading policy for the fall semester.

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How can I tell which classes will be taught in person? When will the schedule of classes be updated to reflect remote and in-person offerings?

We have made the difficult decision to begin the fall semester with fully remote instruction. However, we continue our preparations to implement hybrid and/or flexible modes of instruction as soon as public health conditions allow. If previously approved in-person instruction returns later in the semester, students can use “Mode of Instruction” to search for in-person and remote classess in the Berkeley Academic Guide Class Schedule, the CalCentral Schedule of Classes (available via the enrollment card in CalCentral), and Schedule Planner (available via CalCentral). Please note: students will not be required to attend classes in-person—they can continue to attend classes remotely through the semester. 

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Can I enroll as a full-time student even if I am not comfortable coming to campus?

Yes. Students are not required to be present on campus in Fall 2020. To begin, all courses will be offered remotely. If previously approved in-person instruction returns later in the semester, students will not be required to attend classes in-person—they can continue to attend classes remotely through the semester.

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Where can I find more information about instruction?

Visit the Office of the Registrar website at registrar.berkeley.edu/service-adjustments/instruction-faq for the latest information.

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What will the Spring 2021 semester look like?  

Right now we are focused on Fall 2020. Spring 2021 is six months away and many things can change between now and then. As you may have seen in media reports, there are several vaccines in development and new treatments are being developed. Here on campus our researchers are expanding testing, studying transmission, developing ventilators, raising awareness of inequality, and much more. While we are hopeful with the changes we are seeing, we will make decisions about Spring in consultation with our local public health officials as we get closer to Spring.

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Can I live on campus this fall?  

Yes. On-campus housing for students in the residential halls will be single occupancy only; you’ll get your own room. We will be able to accommodate all students who have received housing offers. Occupancy levels in apartments for undergraduate and graduate student and student family housing (University Village Albany) remain the same. All housing complexes will continue to have residential life, housing, custodial, maintenance, and other critical staff on site. Additional information is available at housing.berkeley.edu/fall2020covid.

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Will I be able to live on campus in Spring 2021? 

Housing contracts are for the full academic year 2020–21, so if you wish to live on campus for the fall, your contract will be for both fall and spring. 

If you decide you want to apply for a spring-only housing contract, you may update your 2020–21 housing application term to "Spring Only" at portal.housing.berkeley.edu

Spring-only housing assignments will be offered on a limited, space-available basis. Availability for spring-only occupancy will depend on the public health situation and the number of students who decide to live in campus housing this fall. The Spring housing application deadline is October 1.

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How can I stay connected and/or get engaged at UC Berkeley? 

Our teams are actively developing plans for how we provide the services and programs, academic support (including advising and tutoring), and community building remotely which makes for a rich and inclusive student experience. 

We will provide services to students living and/or learning remotely and we are committed to ensuring students have access to the key in-person services they need, such as pick-up services for the Food Pantry, textbooks, Amazon store, and more. We also intend to develop and offer a variety of resources to help registered student organizations (RSOs) conduct their activities remotely. 

However, understand that we will likely be unable to offer many in-person student services and/or opportunities for in-person engagement and that most campus buildings will be closed to student use. Additionally, many campus staff members will be required to work remotely.

It’s also important to note that due to public health concerns, there will not be opportunities to gather with groups of other students on campus at the start but we hope to switch to a more flexible approach should public health conditions allow. The State of California is currently drafting guidance for universities and colleges, we expect to share that soon.

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Will every in-person class be required to offer a remote option?

 To begin, all courses will be offered remotely. If previously approved in-person instruction returns later in the semester, students will not be required to attend classes in-person—they can continue to attend classes remotely through the semester.

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Am I guaranteed to have at least one in-person class?

To begin, all courses will be offered remotely. If previously approved in-person instruction returns later in the semester, those classes will only be avilable to the students in those classes.

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Will I still be eligible for financial aid if I live with my family?

We are committed to offering financial aid to support students in covering the estimated total cost of attendance, including tuition, housing, books, food needs, and more, whether they are living on or near campus or outside of the Bay Area with their family. 
Students not living in on-campus housing are encouraged to update their “Cost of Attendance” information in CalCentral as soon as possible. Click on “Update Housing” and select “Living Off Campus.” Please review Financial Aid & Housing Updates for Fall 2020 for more detailed information. Should the standard allocation not match your actual living expenses, you may request a cost of living adjustment in mid-August.

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Is there a resource if I need help terminating an off-campus lease due to COVID-19?

Please see this document, provided by UC Berkeley's Student Legal Services.

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If in-person classes become available at some point in the semester, will I need to return to campus?

If instruction returns to a hybrid or flexible format later in the semester, students will not be required to attend classes in-person—they can continue to attend classes remotely through the semester.  

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Will I be able to meet with my faculty member in person?

While we have remote instruction, students will only engage with faculty remotely (faculty will not hold in-person office hours). If we pivot to a hybrid approach and some in-person instruction resumes, students should check with the faculty member how best to engage; some faculty have offices that are conducive to in-person office hours while others may need to continue to use remote office hours. Students engaged in research with faculty should check with the faculty member how best to engage.

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Will there be in person activities on campus?

Traditional gathering spaces on campus will either be closed or restructured to support physical distancing. To begin the semester, in-person events, gatherings, or social activities will not be allowed on campus until public health conditions allow. Student services such as financial aid counseling, tutoring, career advising, student development support, and registered student organization advising will be offered remotely. Only select services will be offered in-person via grab-and-go models such as the Food Pantry, Cal Student Store, the Amazon Hub+, and the university library. Registered student groups, fraternities and sororities, and other groups of students should hold all activities virtually.  We hope to switch to a more flexible approach should public health conditions allow.

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How will you make sure students follow public health guidelines?

The campus will clearly communicate what is required and will provide students with the support that they need to comply. While we hope that it is rare, refusing to comply with requirements such as physical distancing and face covering will result in consequences that could include being excluded from campus altogether. Off campus, the city can impose fines and even cite people criminally for failing to comply with public health orders.

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If I test positive for COVID-19, will I have to leave campus?

Students will not be required to leave campus just because they test positive. Students who test positive will be required to adhere to public health guidelines; University Health Services will provide guidance about where you should reside and how long you should isolate yourself from others based on your unique circumstances. They will need to comply with “contact tracing,” which means they will have to disclose who they have been in contact with over the last several days so that those people can also self-isolate. Students who test positive will be able to resume their activities once University Health Services confirmed they have recovered and are no longer infectious.

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After the sequestering period can students go off campus and have meals with families? / Can they go home on the weekend or go back and forth between the residential halls and their family’s house?

County public health officials recommend that if people interact with anyone outside their immediate household, they should form fixed social bubbles to minimize contact with others. The officials recommend that people should maintain social bubbles for at least three weeks and that each person can belong to only one bubble at a time. Switching social bubbles would require periods of no contact to avoid the spread. For most students, this would not be realistic.

Will students be tested and sequestered each time they go home/return back to the dorms?

We don’t have the testing capacity to do this on a regular basis, so traveling back and forth to see family, other than on designated holiday breaks, is strongly discouraged.

If my student tests positive for COVID-19, will they have to leave campus?

Students will not be required to leave campus just because they test positive. Students who test positive will be required to adhere to public health guidelines; University Health Services will provide guidance about where they should reside and how long they should isolate from others based on their unique circumstances. They will need to comply with “contact tracing,” which means they will have to disclose who they have been in contact with over the last several days so that those people can also self-isolate. Students who test positive will be able to resume their activities once University Health Services confirmed they have recovered and are no longer infectious.

If a student has friends already at Berkeley, are they able to opt out of their bubble and/or create their own?

 If your student wants to interact with other students outside of their bubble, community living may not be the best living situation. If they are living in the residence halls, they will need to limit their in-person interaction to the social bubble that we have assigned to them. 

Can two people (that requested to be roommates request to be in the same social bubble?

We will do our best to keep mutually selected and assigned roommates in proximity to each other, but the bubbles will be pre-selected (though we are striving to have these social bubbles align with their Golden Bear Orientation groups).

Are on campus apartments (as opposed to residential halls) going to have a “bubble “?

No. Our apartments (note - different from our residential halls) are not sequestering or requiring testing, as they are different living arrangements from the residential halls, and are considered their own living “pods.”

Is any socialization outside of bubbles not allowed?

We do not support students interacting in-person with other people outside of their bubble. We will provide engagement opportunities with others who are.

How are the cohorts assigned? Based on living arrangements?

The cohorts will follow Golden Bear Orientation groupings as much as possible (for example, continuing students or transfer students would be groups together), but we are striving to have these social bubbles align with their Golden Bear Orientation groups. 

How will students living on campus be placed into “social bubbles”?

The current Public Health Order allows for “social bubbles” of 10 to 12 people, with restrictions stating that people can only participate in one bubble for in-person interactions. Our current plan, being developed, is that students living on campus will be placed in cohorts of 9-10* students based on where they will be living. 

  • These small Berkeley Bubbles in the residential halls are in place so they can socialize and have a smaller family-like experience. 
  • We are striving to have these social bubbles align with their Golden Bear Orientation groups. 
  • (*Our tower-style residential hall floors will have 9-10 cohorts, while some sites such as Clark Kerr Campus and Blackwell Hall may have more “wings” of cohorts, given their different building layout)

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Once a cohort has completed its initial sequestration period, do you anticipate any relaxation of masking within the cohort?

When residents leave their room, we expect them to wear face coverings as they will be in a shared community space. We understand that residents are going to get close to each other when they pass in the halls or use the restrooms. Social bubbles will need to have honest conversations with each other at the beginning of the year to establish their expectations of each other, in addition to following public health and Residential Life staff guidance so they can make choices to help protect each other.

Are we restricted to interact only with our assigned social bubbles?

We do not support students interacting in-person with other people outside of their bubble. We will provide engagement opportunities with others who are outside of their bubble only online. 

UC Berkeley’s various student services continue to be available to students via remote options including virtual study jams, remote movie nights,  “Coffee & Career” video chats, online fitness and art classes, and student-led programs and activities to ensure that the term remains a very powerful and enriching one for our students.

If students are living in an off campus situation, will there be no connection with student activities?

Our teams are actively developing plans for how we provide the services and programs, academic support (including advising and tutoring), and community building remotely which makes for a rich and inclusive student experience for both those living on and off campus. We will provide services to students living and/or learning remotely and we are committed to ensuring students have access to the key in-person services they need, such as pick-up services for the Food Pantry, textbooks, Amazon store, and more. We also intend to develop and offer a variety of resources to help registered student organizations (RSOs) conduct their activities remotely. 

UC Berkeley’s various student services continue to be available to students via remote options including virtual study jams, remote movie nights,  “Coffee & Career” video chats, online fitness and art classes, and student-led programs and activities to ensure that the term remains a very powerful and enriching one for our students. See the Dean of Students Office’s Involvement website for more.

Will there be study spaces on campus this fall?

We will start the semester remotely, and we will not have any large gatherings on campus this fall. As public health conditions and testing capacity allow us to resume more activities on campus, the top priorities will be instructional and research spaces. We will then prioritize study spaces for students.

We plan to create structured outdoor spaces using, for example, chalk circles for physical distancing and enhanced wireless internet signals. As public health conditions permit, we plan to have a student-centered space, such as the MLK Student Union or the library, open to students for limited amounts of time. Access would be controlled to limit the number of people in at one time; facial coverings and physical distancing would be required. If study spaces become possible, the amount of time spent there by any single s tudent will be limited — these have been identified as typical spaces to spend no more than several hours in.

Please note: we are still awaiting state guidelines for colleges and universities which may provide further restrictions and limitations.

How can students find study groups?

In an earlier Campus Conversation about Instruction, we shared that faculty are being more proactive and intentional in helping students connect with each other to form study groups. Students are definitely not going to be the only one in search of a study group. If they don’t want to wait for their professor, they can post on their “Class of” Facebook group, the Berkeley subreddit, asking the professor/GSI to make an announcement to the class/section, etc.

Do we have strong enough WiFi to accommodate so many students attending Zoom lectures?

Yes, and we are continuing to make wi-fi upgrades.

Will anything fun be happening on campus?

UC Berkeley’s various student services continue to be available to students via remote options including virtual study jams, remote movie nights,  “Coffee & Career” video chats, online fitness and art classes, and student-led programs and activities to ensure that the term remains a very powerful and enriching one for our students. See the Dean of Students Office’s Involvement website for more.

Can someone speak to potential benefits for freshmen to come live on campus? What activities will be happening? Is there any benefit beyond providing housing?

As we’re learning more, our recommendations for students have shifted. We are now advising that: In general, if you can live and learn remotely, you should do so. There will still be opportunities to engage with Berkeley remotely.

Will each floor still have an RA? Will the RA organize any introductions or group activities, however small?

This year, each resident will be assigned a Hall Staff member. Hall Staff will begin the year with Community Chats and messaging to establish group connection, community norms, and safety information. 

The hall staff will continue to do “BearChats” or intentional conversations with every resident, modified to video check ins. Our focus is to help build the relationship and provide community connections to online Community Chats, bulletin boards, emails, and group text chats.

Will students be able to visit our friends in different buildings? Or different floors?

We do not support students interacting in-person with other people outside of their bubble. We will provide engagement opportunities with others who are outside of their bubble only online.

If I move on-campus in the fall and then decide that I feel unsafe, what is the process of cancelling my housing contract and what are the financial repercussions of that?

 If you did not cancel your housing contract for 2020–2021 by the deadline (July 26), you will remain financially responsible for your housing contract.

When can I move in?

We will stagger student arrival to residence halls and undergraduate apartments to avoid the typical high-density move-in experience. We will share more information here as we have it. The earliest move-in date for residents is August 20 (with move-in dates lasting several days). On-campus residents will receive emails with detailed move-in instructions. In general, all students moving into residence halls will move in prior to the start of instruction so they can self-sequester for 7-10 days, a preventative measure where people deliberately restrict their movement to avoid contact with others. Be sure to check your email for the specific move in date for each location.

Are parents allowed to access rooms at moving dates? / Will parents be able to move their students into the residential halls?

Due to the need to reduce density and have a more clear number of people on site each hour and across the move in days, we will limit any “helpers” for a student moving in to 2 people. We will also need to keep foot and vehicle traffic moving across each day so everyone will need to prepare to be as efficient as possible with moving their student into housing so we can then get to others with later appointment times on the same day. 

The housing contract indicated that the residence halls will be closed for Thanksgiving and students cannot return to the residence halls after Thanksgiving. Can you please clarify whether students can return back to residence halls after Thanksgiving?

To reduce COVID-19 exposure that could come about as a result of students traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, all in-person instruction (as well as final exams) will be delivered remotely after Thanksgiving. Unless closure is necessary for compliance with an order of a public health authority, campus residence halls will remain open during Thanksgiving, and through the end of the fall semester. The residence halls will close for winter break, although campus apartments remain open and residents may stay during this time period.

Will the double rooms in the Apartments be converted to singles?

On-campus apartments will not change nor will family housing at University Village.

Do single rooms in a residential hall have a bathroom included?

No. Students will have access to a communal bathroom facility, which will be cleaned frequently.

How will communal bathrooms in residential halls be handled ? How will occupancy in communal bathrooms be regulated ?

Students are required to use a face covering while using communal bathrooms to the extent that wearing one does not interfere with their hygiene activities such as teeth brushing and showering. Students will be required to wear a face covering in the hallways and common areas. We are managing bathroom use and capacity through the reduction of density of residents, and we are following California recommendations for higher education and our campus health experts regarding our communal bathrooms.

If we stay home for fall, is there an on campus housing option for spring?

Housing contracts are for the full academic year 2020–21, so if you wish to live on campus for the fall, your contract will be for both fall and spring. If you decide you want to apply for a spring-only housing contract, you may update your 2020–21 housing application term to "Spring Only" at portal.housing.berkeley.edu. Spring-only housing assignments will be offered on an as available basis. Availability for spring housing will depend on the public health situation and the number of students who decide to live in campus housing this fall along with inventory availability. The Spring housing application deadline is now October 22.

When can we start applying for spring housing?

You can start applying now. Please note that you want to apply for a spring-only housing contract at: portal.housing.berkeley.edu

Is on-campus housing ever mandatory for freshmen?

No, it is not. In normal circumstances, many of our freshmen do choose to live on campus, but it is not mandatory.

Given that the rooms have all been switched to singles, do we know what will housing look like in the Spring? If the situation changes, will rooms be converted back to doubles in order to fit more people? 

Right now we are focused on Fall 2020. Spring 2021 is six months away and many things can change between now and then. However, it is not our plan to convert rooms since we will have many vacancies and will offer spring housing to the level that we are able (per public health guidance). We do anticipate having space, however we simply can’t predict yet to what extent. 

Will instructors be on campus for support or office hours at all?

While we have remote instruction, students will only engage with faculty remotely (faculty will not hold in-person office hours). If we pivot to a hybrid approach and some in-person instruction resumes, students should check with the faculty member how best to engage; some faculty have offices that are conducive to in-person office hours while others may need to continue to use remote office hours. Students engaged in research with faculty should check with the faculty member how best to engage.

Will there be a discount on tuition and fees? If not, can we pay in-state tuition instead?

Tuition and mandatory fees are set by the University of California Office of the President for all UC campuses. Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year. Mandatory university charges for tuition and student services continue to help cover ongoing operations such as the delivery of instruction and the cost of student services such as registration, financial aid, and remote academic advising. Our teaching continues, even as its method of delivery has changed. Students are connecting with and learning from world-class faculty, completing coursework, earning full course credit, and making progress toward an immensely valuable UC Berkeley degree. UC Berkeley student services continue to be available to students via remote options including virtual study jams, remote movie nights,  “Coffee & Career” video chats, online fitness and art classes, and student-led programs and activities to ensure that the term remains a very powerful and enriching one for our students. New student orientation is also offered remotely.

Some campus-based fees were established to support certain efforts like the Wellness Fee which is paying for many essential health services. Others were established to maintain the safety of buildings or other facilities when necessary for the health and safety of students—e.g., to address seismic deficiencies. Even as UC campuses such as ours have curtailed limited aspects of their operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the costs that campus-based fees are intended to cover continue.
UC Berkeley is not able to offer in-state tuition for nonresidents. The difference in tuition for residents versus nonresidents is a reflection of the significant investment by California taxpayers in the University of California system.

What facilities will be open during the semester? Libraries, gyms, etc.?

As of today, the libraries are closed. You can check their latest status here. All residential hall fitness centers and the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF) will also remain closed until further notice pending local county directives. Some recreational services and opportunities will be available online. In summary, most buildings will not be accessible to students especially since all classes are remote.

Will Cal Dining be open for students to eat at?

Yes. On-campus dining will be offered “to-go.” Additional changes include: no self-service stations, salad bars and similar options; food will be served to students from our staff behind sneeze-guards to prevent transmission;  and we will ask patrons to stand 6 feet apart from each other at all times (physical distancing). Be sure to keep up with the latest Cal Dining news at our website.

Will you allow students who sign residential hall housing contracts to opt out of the meal plan? 

No, this will not be possible. 

We’ve heard some concerns about special dietary needs. We should add that students with any dietary concerns should contact the Cal Dining staff dietitian (jaylenerd-at-berkeley-dot-edu) to discuss the variety of options available. 

How are you going to enforce rules?

There will be expectations for behavior and conduct when on University property, and we will respond appropriately for repeat and/or egregious offenses. All residential students will be asked to abide by the Residential Code of Conduct and all students must follow the Campus Code of Conduct. The campus will clearly communicate what is required and will provide students with the support that they need to comply. While we hope that it is rare, refusing to comply with requirements such as physical distancing and face covering will result in consequences that could include being excluded from campus altogether. Off campus, the city can impose fines and even cite people criminally for failing to comply with public health orders.

What can you share about a "social norms campaign" I have heard reference to?

Work is already under way for a public-health education campaign focused on setting social norms for how students engage and interact. We are also developing an escalation protocol with equity and safety in mind. The campus will clearly communicate what is required and will provide students with the support that they need to comply. 

All students using campus facilities will be required to sign a Keep Berkeley Healthy Pledge before being able to access physical spaces (current plans are to have students sign this by mid-September in Cal Central). Our approach focuses on accountability with developmental and educational principles, reserving punitive sanctions for repeat and/or egregious offences (such as deliberately wiping your face on someone). While we hope that it is rare, refusing to comply with requirements such as physical distancing and facial coverings will result in consequences that could include being excluded from campus altogether. Be aware that off campus, the City of Berkeley (and possibly Oakland and other surrounding communities) can impose fines and even cite people criminally for failing to comply with public health orders.

What if I am struggling with costs, and need computing support?

We are closing campus computer labs, including in the libraries, due to health and safety risks, but we are using the Student Technology Equity Program to address the digital divide. Students in need of computing support, such as laptops and WiFi hotspots, should contact STEP via the website.