March 31, 2020 - Possible consolidation and importance of physical distancing

UC Berkeley Director of Residential Life, Glenn DeGuzman, and Executive Director of Housing, Events and Facilities Residential and Student Service Programs, Heidi Scribner, sent the following message to undergraduate and graduate students living in on-campus housing 03/31/2020:

As you have seen, many of your roommates and floormates have moved out. For those returning/remaining, our highest priority is to ensure your living community is managed in a way that minimizes transmission of COVID-19, and that you have access to critical services.

We are asking all residents to complete this short survey by Thursday, April 2 so we can get an accurate assessment of who plans to remain and who plans to leave.

Possible Housing Consolidation for Residential Halls

We may move students living in the residential halls to help ensure we are balancing the need for physical distancing (also known as “Social Distancing”) while ensuring no one is alone. While we understand this can be distressing and moving is always disruptive, please know that your physical and mental health are guiding our choices and remain our top priorities.

We will be moving to single occupancy bedrooms for all residents. If you are currently sharing a room with someone (i.e., your roommate(s) has not moved out), you will each get your own room. This is our primary way to ensure we are maximizing the physical distance between residents.

Residents who are the only one or two left on their floor/in their building will be relocated to floors or buildings with others to ensure that no one is left on their own. This will help prevent loneliness and feelings of isolation. 

We are also working to make sure we have sufficient RAs to help support you. Our goal is to keep a consistent Hall Staff Member (RA/TPRA/SRA) with your community. Wherever possible, we will try and keep communities intact as we know how important maintaining friendships is during this trying time.

Finally, we have many facilities and dining staff who have child or elder care responsibilities or other needs. We want to support them as well. As such, we will consolidate our dining facilities and the number of buildings they need to regularly upkeep to ensure we have sufficient staffing to continue to provide you the services you need.

If you are requested to move, we will be providing boxes and tape that you may use to pack up your belongings and will be engaging a moving service to move your boxes to your new space. Our goal is to give you a week’s worth of notice if you need to move. We will provide you more information as soon as we have completed our current assessment.

While we are still making assessments based on the exact locations of remaining residents, it is highly likely that we will close the Clark Kerr, Foothill and Stern facilities, and potentially Beverly Cleary and some Unit 3 towers, and relocate those students to Units 1 and 2. We will also move people within the Units if they are currently sharing bedrooms. We are not planning to move students out of the apartment style facilities (with the exception of Clark Kerr Campus buildings 16 and 17) - those will remain open as they are not as densely populated and do not rely on central dining facilities.

We will share more details as we develop them but our goal is to ensure you only move once. Similarly, if you are planning to stay over the summer, we will try to make your move directly into your summer residence location.

If you plan to move out before the end of the semester or have already moved out, please submit your housing cancelation form as soon as possible so we can get an accurate assessment of who plans to remain. If you plan to move out by April 20, we will not relocate you. Consult the Spring Move-Out page for move out options and logistics. If you plan to leave campus but are not planning to cancel, please note that in the short survey.

Possible Housing Consolidation for Student Apartments 

For those in apartments that may have unoccupied bedrooms, we may reassign a student to a bedroom as part of this process. As these will involve separate bedrooms, we will be able to maintain appropriate distancing. We continue to encourage good physical distancing within the apartment. We will announce more as plans become finalized. 

Importance of Physical Distancing

It is vitally important you continue to practice physically distancing (also known as “Social Distancing”) so you don’t spread the virus. If you recently traveled (such as during spring break), it is important you follow the latest public health guidelines about travel and self-isolating, especially if coming from the Tri-state (NY, CT, NJ) region.

  • Keep 6 feet away from others at all times. Moving to single occupancy in our residential halls will assist you in keeping your distance.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (contains at least 60% alcohol) regularly - when you enter the building, after collecting your mail, before and after eating.

  • You should NOT be in someone else’s room or apartment. These are unsettling times and it’s natural that you want to be with each other but adherence to these practices is critical to preventing the spread of the virus. If you need to connect with someone, we suggest that you do so via technology. It is important that you keep 6 feet away from other residents at all times.

  • If you see someone in an elevator, wait for the next one to provide ample space between you and the other residents. If you are waiting for the elevator, wait 6 ft apart and make sure to keep 6 ft away from the stairwell and bathroom doors (you may need to wait in your room and verbally hold your place in line).

  • If you see someone in the stairwell, yield to the person going downstairs. If you are going upstairs, take the exit to the nearest floor and wait in the hallway until the person going down has passed. If you touch the railing, please make sure to wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Our custodial staff continues to focus on hourly cleaning of touchpoints throughout our facilities (e.g. building entrances and exits, elevator buttons, light switches, etc) but everyone needs to do their part.

Check out the Housing FAQ page for additional answers regarding our housing operations in light of COVID-19.

Be well and stay healthy.