UVA FAQs

You may reference an archive of recent communications for the UVA community.

To submit a question for our team to review and answer, you may submit your question here.

NOTE: These FAQs are intended for our University Village Albany residents. This FAQ will be updated with new information frequently, so please continue to visit this site for information.

 

Registration/Enrollment and Rent Questions:

 

I can’t pay my rent, what should I do? Will I be evicted?

First and foremost, we are committed to keeping our students and student families at UVA in their homes during these challenging times. Students who cannot pay rent to the campus during the pandemic will not be evicted for non-payment. However, it is crucial that these students reach out to Cal Housing (apts@berkeley.edu) as soon as possible so that we can work with them to find solutions for rent payment.

In addition to contacting Cal Housing, students may also consider applying for rental assistance through the State of California’s Rental Assistance Payment Program which opened “Phase 1” on March 15, 2021. For residents of Alameda County, this program is administered by the county. Read more about the process here: https://www.ac-housingsecure.org/. Based on the information available at this time, the landlord application seems to be only applicable for landlords with 5 or fewer units.  Also, we do not know whether residents of housing provided by colleges and universities will be eligible for this program or whether the University is an eligible property owner.  Eligibility is determined by the State and County (not the University).

 

What is SB 91 and how can it help me?

SB91 legislation extends eviction protections under AB 3088 until June 30, 2021, as long as tenants submit the appropriate declaration(s) and pay 25% of the rent owed for September 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 by the end of the moratorium – June 30, 2021. Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords, but those unpaid rent amounts accrued during the protected period cannot be the basis for an eviction.

This legislation also establishes the State Rental Assistance Program to allocate the $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance California will receive. The program states that it targets aid to income-qualified tenants (at or below 80% of the area median Income). The program also helps eligible property owners who agree to waive 20 percent of unpaid rent. At this point, it is not clear if the University of California is an eligible property owner.

 

Is the campus doing anything to help those behind on rent?

We have heard UVA student feedback about the need for support in paying both current rent and owed rent from previous months due to pandemic hardships. While we previously were discussing and began offering in February 2021 a 25% monthly repayment plan aligned with AB3088, the state of California has since passed and counties have recently begun implementing a law, SB91, to which we are now aligning our support and respecting the eviction protections it affords. 

To be eligible for the eviction protections SB91 affords, students must submit a COVID-19-Related Financial Distress Declaration. Completed declaration forms may be submitted to Cal Housing at apts@berkeley.edu.

Separate from SB91 or the State Rental Assistance Program, Cal Housing will continue to offer repayment plans (as we always do) to any student who wants to follow a set rent payback schedule to make progress with lowering the rental debt they owe.

 

Do I have to pay interest?

No. We have committed to not charging interest for housing balances.

 

When will evictions return?

The campus is not initiating eviction proceedings for nonpayment of rent at this time. We will inform you well in advance if the campus decides that pandemic conditions have abated to the point that evictions for nonpayment of rent are going to commence. It’s important to note that the campus has rarely evicted students for nonpayment of rent before the pandemic. We expect that such evictions will again be rare after the pandemic.  

 

I have past due housing charges, how do I know where my payment will be applied?

For students with past due housing charges, payments will be applied in the following manner through June 30, 2021:

For students with past due housing charges only: 

  • UC Berkeley will apply payment to the oldest past due housing charge, then the next oldest, and so on

  • For students with a current housing charge, and past due housing charges: 

    • UC Berkeley will apply payment to the current month housing charge, 

    • then the oldest past due housing charge, then the next oldest, and so on

  • For students with a current housing charge, past due tuition and fees / miscellaneous charges, past due housing charges: 

    • UC Berkeley will apply payment to the current month housing charge, 

    • then oldest tuition & fees / miscellaneous charges, 

    • then the oldest past due housing charge, then the next oldest, and so on

  • For students with a current housing charge, current tuition & fees / miscellaneous charges, past due housing charges: 

    • UC Berkeley will apply payment to the current month housing charge, 

    • then current tuition & fees / miscellaneous charges, 

    • then the oldest past due housing charge, then the next oldest, and so on

  • For students with a current housing charge, past due tuition and fees / miscellaneous charges, current tuition and fees / miscellaneous charges, past due housing charges: 

    • UC Berkeley will apply payment to the current housing charge, 

    • then past due tuition and fees / miscellaneous charges, 

    • then current tuition and fees / miscellaneous charges, 

    • then the oldest past due housing charge, then the next oldest, and so on

  • For students with a current housing charge, current tuition and fees / miscellaneous charges

    • UC Berkeley will allow payment to apply based on the standard system rules (tuition and fees, then housing)

    • Standard rules will give precedent to tuition and fees if they were billed on the same day as housing.

 

What if I want a payment to be applied differently to the rules outlined above?

Students can provide written instruction (by creating a ticket through Cal Student Central) to:

  • Apply their payment to the oldest housing charge on the account. 

  • Indicate that the payment is not intended for housing charges.  

    • Payments not intended for housing will apply to the oldest tuition and fees / miscellaneous charges, then the next oldest, and so on.  

    • Students cannot select specific non-housing charges to pay.  

All other payments for past due UVA residents, with no instruction, will follow the outlined rules. 

The UVA payment application process will run through 6/30/21, aligned with the end of SB91 coverage period.  After this point standard payment application rules will be reinstated; payment will be applied to the oldest charges first based on the due date for each charge. Standard rules will give precedent to tuition and fees if they were billed on the same day as housing.

The UVA payment application process does not apply to financial aid/awards.  Written instructions for applying financial aid/awards will not be accepted.  Financial aid/awards will apply according to established system rules. 

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Financial Aid Questions:

 

What are my financial aid options for Spring 2021?

Students are encouraged to file a financial aid application and complete all required tasks as soon as possible. Spring financial aid disbursements are already underway. 

Spring emergency loans are available for eligible students through May 14. 

Students may also visit the UC Berkeley COVID-19 Student Relief Funds website to explore other possible local campus support funds with the Basic Needs Center on a case-by-case basis. 

Please contact Cal Student Central (create a case online) for assistance with your financial aid.

 

What if I need more financial aid than I was initially awarded?

If you have expenses that exceed the standard cost of attendance, you can submit a  Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request Form.  

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Basic Needs and Mental Health Resources Questions:

 

What basic needs options are there on campus?

We understand that for any resident who needs to self-isolate or self-quarantine, obtaining food may prove challenging. The UVA Bear Pantry and diaper bank remain open and operating. During this time, we have increased our funding for Bear Pantry and have also relaxed our income restrictions. The Basic Needs Center also has a Food Pantry that remains open on select days. Please email basicneedssupport@berkeley.edu or call (510) 859-7507 (Monday-Friday 9 am.-6 p.m.) for immediate support. 

 

What mental health resources are available at UVA?

UHS Social Services counselors are also available for counseling appointments by phone.  If you are an established client you can directly contact your counselors Zenaida Hernandez at (510) 520-7031 and Jason Straussman (510) 561-8199. If you are a new client, please call our front office at (510) 642-6074.  Also, UHS has additional mental health resources to help during these times. 

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Childcare Questions:

 

Is UVA ECEP’s location open?

ECEP’s UVA center is open and accepting new applications for children. Extra precautions have been put in place to protect children, their families, and staff members. Our teaching staff have completed ongoing training on new health and safety protocols to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission within our child care centers. At drop-off and pick-up, adults are required to wear a mask and engage in social distancing. Each center will have designated stations outside of the classroom for conducting wellness checks.

For more information, please visit ECEP’s website at ece.berkeley.edu

 

What support, if any, will we have if our children do not return to the classroom?

If you rely on a school, a daycare or another facility to care for a child, elderly parent or another household member so that you can work (only applies to work, not school), and that facility has been shut down because of coronavirus, you may also be eligible for unemployment benefits.  

 

Since there is less access to childcare, will the emergency dependent care hours be increased?

At this time, we do not have an increase in the available emergency care hours. 

 

What are my other childcare options?

Below is a list of backup childcare resources offered by the University of California, if needed:

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International Students Information:

 

If I am an international student, am I at risk of being deported if Cal is all-remote?

Fortunately, the federal government has rescinded the rule that would have potentially put our international students at risk, allowing them to make decisions that work best for them.

 

If I am an international student who needs to be in the classroom, will I qualify for childcare?

ECEP’s UVA center is open and accepting new applications for children. Extra precautions have been put in place to protect children, their families, and staff members. Our teaching staff have completed ongoing training on new health and safety protocols to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission within our child care centers. At drop-off and pick-up, adults are required to wear a mask and engage in social distancing. Each center will have designated stations outside of the classroom for conducting wellness checks.

For more information, please visit ECEP’s website at ece.berkeley.edu.

Below is a list of backup childcare resources offered by the University of California, if needed:

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Medical / Testing / SHIP Questions: 

 

What should I do if I feel sick or someone in my household thinks they may be sick?

University Health Services is open and providing care. If you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact UHS at (510) 643-7197. You can also get health and mental health information on our UHS coronavirus webpage. If you or your partner lose your private health insurance, the student and their dependents are eligible for the Student Health Insurance Program. To obtain coverage, please complete a Waiver Reversal.

 

Does my family have health insurance?

All registered students at the University of California are required to meet the university’s health insurance mandate. Registered UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students are automatically enrolled in the Berkeley Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) as a way to meet this mandate unless they have proof of other qualifying health insurance. Voluntary SHIP plans provide coverage for “dependents” such as a spouse or registered domestic partner and dependent children. See https://uhs.berkeley.edu/insurance/insurance-dependents, or for additional questions, (510) 642-2000.

For non-student residents without SHIP, the City of Berkeley has information on its website around assistance with signing up for Medical. 

 

What testing options are there available?

Effective January 26, 2021, all registered students living at University Village Albany (UVA) will be required to participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing once per week. Surveillance testing will be available Tuesdays and Wednesdays at UVA and will not require travel to the central campus - although all UCB students, faculty, and staff can choose to schedule at any campus surveillance location. Appointments are required ahead of time and can be made on etang.berkeley.edu. Testing will be at the Community Center Gym from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., and surveillance testing is free.  Test results will be available in the eTang portal within 2-3 days; you will also be contacted by phone if you have a positive result (*please make sure you have the correct phone number listed in the portal).

 

Why do I need to get tested?

Early identification of cases plays a huge role in reducing virus transmission within our community. As you may be aware, regular testing has been required for residential halls and on-campus apartments for some time. Surveillance testing requirements have now been expanded to include the UVA community. 

 

Myself or my relative is experiencing a mental health crisis. Are there resources for them/us?

If you are feeling overwhelmed and would like support, Village Social Worker Zenaida Hernandez and Social Work Fellow Jason Strausmann are available to meet over the phone. You can reach Zenaida at 510-520-7031 and Jason at 510-561-8199.  

Additionally, counselors at University Health Services (UHS) at the Tang Center are available for urgent concerns: Counseling and Psychological Services website or (510) 642-9494 (after-hours counseling line (855) 817-5667). Please see UHS’s Managing Fear resource for more information and the CDC’s recommendations for managing the stress and anxiety that many experience in a pandemic, including how to identify stress in children and teens. 

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UVA Community Questions:

 

May children use the playground? 

With the recent reduction in California COVID-19 restrictions, we are now able to reopen the outside playgrounds. Please make sure to follow the COVID-19 protocols listed below to reduce the transmission of the virus.

1. Face masks over the mouth and nose are required for everyone 2 years of age or older with caregiver supervision at all times to ensure face mask use.

2. Do not use the playground when different households are unable to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or when the capacity limit (no more than 2 children per play structure; with one child using said structure while the other is waiting to use it and maintaining minimally 6 feet distance) has been reached.

3. Caregivers must monitor to keep adults and children from different households at least 6 feet apart.

4. Consider coming on different times or days to avoid wait times and potential crowded times.

5. No eating or drinking on the playground, to ensure face masks are worn at all times.

6. Wash or sanitize hands before and after using the playground. Hand sanitizer is only available at the central playground.

7. Elderly and persons with underlying medical conditions should avoid the playground when others are present.

8. Limit visit to 30 min per day when others are present.

 

My neighbors are very noisy during the day - I'm in classes and can't concentrate when I hear kids playing! What should I do?

If you aren’t able to reach a reasonable solution with your neighbors, or if you experience an egregious noise violation, you may notify us if a community member isn’t in compliance with the following:

  • Disruption during quiet hours, defined as the time between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 1a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday-Saturday, with unreasonable noise prohibited in all residential facilities, courtyards and surrounding areas. Unreasonable noise is any noise that disrupts or potentially disrupts the lives of residents or neighboring community members, such as a house party. 
  • Disrupting Courtesy Hours, which are in effect 24 hours, 7 days a week, and which can be broken by any unreasonable noise that disrupts or potentially disrupts the sleep or studying of other students at any time is prohibited. 
  • Use of amplified sound, which may include subwoofers and musical instruments, in outdoor areas without permission of a Residential staff member is prohibited. 

As a reminder, the Residential Code of Conduct is available online, as is our Village Manual.

 

I’m experiencing internet connectivity issues at UVA and it’s impacting my ability to study and learn. What can I do?

 

We strongly recommend UVA residents use the Eduroam Wi-Fi provided via the newly installed Aruba access points. If you also require a wired connection for your laptop or other devices, visit https://studenttech.berkeley.edu/uva for setup and troubleshooting tips.

 

  • For additional support, please contact Student Tech Services through Zoom, phone or email. Student Technology Services (STS) is paying special attention to requests from University Village at this time so they can receive timely assistance and/or escalation as needed.

The University wishes to ensure that all students have equitable access to the technology resources they need to support research, teaching, and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the technology resources you have available to you do not enable your effective participation in remote instruction or other academic work, please consider the following resources.

 

Residents completed a survey and received results about our thoughts and ideas on safety improvements.  Any progress on implementing any of those changes?

Negotiations are underway to receive funding for multiple high priority projects with great impact to the residents, including updating the internet capabilities and relieving staffing issues. The proposal is currently at the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs level and we are hopeful we will be able to move forward with many of the changes before the end of the school year.

 

Why were Community Garden plots not available this year?

The Community Garden is currently unable to assign new plots due to COVID-19 restrictions on in-person programming. Previously-registered gardeners have been allowed to renew their plots, but we are not accepting new gardeners. We hope to open the garden to new gardeners later this year. To check for updates, please visit our website: https://www.ucvillagegarden.net/. For questions, please email help@ucvillagegarden.net.

 

Is smoking permitted at UVA?

UC Berkeley is a tobacco-free environment, and that includes campus residences such as University Village. Tenants are responsible for ensuring that their family, other occupants, and guests comply with the tobacco-free policy.

 

If the campus loses power due to a public safety power shutoff or wildfires, will UVA?

Not necessarily, as we are on a different power grid than the main campus. However, we would encourage all residents to be prepared for power outages should they occur, and have bottled water, packaged or canned food, and formula on hand, as well as portable power chargers.

 

Why is the no-pet policy not being enforced?

We do allow assistive animals if they are approved in advance. Fish in tanks under 20 gallons, small animals in tanks under 10 gallons, and caged birds, are also permitted on the premises.

If you are being seriously impacted by a neighbor’s pet or assistive animal, you may contact the Village Office to report egregious issues.

 

Are we going to have another town hall meeting in the near future?

We will continue to have town hall discussions on an as-needed basis, as we understand the importance of hearing from our residents.

We are planning to ideally have at least one townhall-type meeting per semester (including summers), either virtually or in-person at UVA, as health conditions allow. We will communicate more on this in the future as we develop these plans.

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Safety/Security

 

What are some alternatives being discussed to improve security other than increasing police presence?

There is an ongoing lighting project which will increase the illumination across UVA. We have partnered with a company that will be switching all exterior lights to LEDs and replacing worn/fogged up covers.

 

Can we install more cameras around UVA to prevent theft? 

The infrastructure at UVA is not set up for the easy installation of cameras, but it's a long-term goal we have. Especially in light of recent events, we are exploring our options regarding camera installation. 

 

How will we ensure that the increase in policing is not accompanied by an increase in racial profiling?

 This is a real concern for many, as it came up in several questions. This is something that we are mindful of, and will continue to partner with UCPD on our overall strategy to be less reliant on law enforcement from UCPD. One way we are reimagining security at UVA is through leveraging our Community Assistants (CA) who can observe and address concerns in the community in lieu of UCPD officers.

 

Can UVA become a gated community?

Installing a gate isn’t a feasible option, because it would impact our AC Transit service, make it more difficult to get packages delivered, slow down emergency response, and create a barrier for guests.

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COVID-19

 

How is the mandate of wearing facial coverings being enforced?

When on campus, physical distancing and wearing facial coverings are required at all times. In addition to that, All UC Berkeley students will need to accept the Keep Berkeley Healthy Pledge in CalCentral.  The pledge creates a shared understanding of the expectations in our community and helps us hold each other accountable for the measures that will be taken to protect the community. Students who do not acknowledge reviewing the pledge will not be permitted on campus or other UC Berkeley property. For students moving into the campus residence halls later this week, the expectations for living in the halls are outlined in the Residential Code of Conduct. Students will be required to comply with all city and county public health orders.

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