September 2, 2021 - Celebrating Safely this Labor Day Weekend

This message was sent to all undergraduate and graduate students.

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Get Consent, Respect Boundaries: Practice affirmative consent at all times. Practice acceptance of your own and others’ boundaries.
  • Gather smart: It’s best to gather only with fully-vaccinated friends or your household group. If you’re attending a game: fans are strongly encouraged to wear facial coverings in outdoor areas when in attendance at home events this season and facial coverings are required at all times in indoor spaces.
  • Help reduce virus transmission: Face coverings are required indoors in campus buildings and off-campus in the City of Berkeley. Testing is free and available to all students, faculty and staff. Please take advantage of this important resource. 

Dear UC Berkeley Students,

With the first home football game and Labor Day weekend upon us, we are excited to welcome back fans to Memorial Stadium but at the same time, we want to encourage you to keep your health and safety, and that of the broader Berkeley community, in mind as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to surge. 

First, we’d like to note a few changes to this year’s football season:

  • The football games are being held with spectators this year in line with state and local public health policies. Fans are strongly encouraged to wear facial coverings in outdoor areas when in attendance at home events this season. Facial coverings are required at all times in indoor spaces (such as restrooms) for guests ages 2 and up regardless of vaccination status, unless actively eating or drinking. Masks will be available at each gate for fans upon request. (As a reminder - face coverings are still required indoors in campus buildings and off-campus in the City of Berkeley)
  • The UC vaccine mandate does not apply to sporting events, but all UC Berkeley students, staff and faculty are required to be fully vaccinated or have a University approved exemption. 
  • Gathering on “Tightwad Hill”(aka Charter Hill) IS NOT permitted. While tailgating on or near campus is generally allowed, fans are asked to act responsibly and in line with public health guidelines during these pregame activities. As an alternative, consider watching a live stream of the game at home with your household members instead. 
  • For complete schedule information, including kickoff times and television networks, visit the football schedule page CalBears.com.

Below are some additional tips to help you enjoy the weekend safely:

  • Remember, consent and healthy relationships embody respect, listening, open communication, and agency. Consent is active, continuous, and can be withdrawn at any time. Alcohol and other drugs can impact someone's ability to consent. Look out for one another: speak up or take action when another student is pressuring someone or crossing a line. Check in with your friends and partner to ensure boundaries are being respected throughout every interaction.
    • When you see someone you haven’t seen in awhile, please ask them if they feel comfortable before hugging or providing any other physical contact. Personal comfort levels at this stage of COVID vary, and we need to respect each other’s boundaries, personal space, and bodies.
    • Be knowledgeable about resources. All students - graduate, professional, and undergraduate - can access UC Berkeley’s PATH to Care Center. If a friend tells you that they have been impacted by sexual violence and harassment, relationship violence, or stalking, offering support and connecting them to resources is important. Survivors feel most supported when they are believed, listened to, and empowered to make decisions that help them feel safe and comfortable. One way to help your friend or peer is to offer to sit with them while they reach out to resources for support or to report. You can also support and respect them by maintaining their privacy and accepting their choices, regardless if you agree with them or not.
  • Gather safely. If you plan to watch the game or attend a social gathering, keep it COVID-safe by gathering only with fully-vaccinated friends or your household group (As a reminder - face coverings are required indoors in campus buildings and off-campus in the City of Berkeley).
  • If you plan to view the game at a public indoor space, remember that face coverings are required in the City of Berkeley unless you are eating or drinking.
  • Be yourself: As you are navigating spaces, think about choices you are making. You have individual choice and identity; you don’t have to conform to social pressure.
  • If you or your friends choose to use or serve alcohol or other drugs, center your and others’ safety and well-being.  Use PartySafe@Cal Harm Reduction & Risk Management approaches to get what you want without what you don’t want. Make a mindful plan and stick to it… every time! 
  • If you are out with friends, have at least one person who will watch over the group. When out at night, look out for your friends and stay in well-lit places. 
  • Use and encourage others to have a safe means of conveyance at all times (e.g., traveling with a trusted friend or in a group, taking a taxi/rideshare (just remember you need a face covering for public transportation), or utilizing the free night safety services available to every member of the campus community such as BearWalk or the night safety shuttle: nightsafety.berkeley.edu). Do not drink and drive! 
  • Notice (and point out to your friends) the Emergency “Blue Light” Telephone stations located around campus. These can be used to notify UCPD that assistance is needed. If you need help, dial 911 or use a blue light emergency phone (located throughout the campus and identified by a blue light on top of the phone box or column).

Please have a safe and fun weekend and enjoy the game and the long weekend. Roll on you Bears!

Regards,

Stephen C. Sutton, Ed.D., Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Sunny Lee, Ph.D., Dean of Students   

Jim Knowlton, Director of Cal Athletics