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 in their homes during these trying times. Students who cannot pay rent to the campus during the shelter-in-place order will not be evicted for non-payment. 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. If University Village students have back-rent owed, they will be allowed to enroll and take classes in Spring 2021, and to also be considered registered. (Note: this applies to matters of owed rent. A student could potentially face a registration hold for other, unrelated reasons, which they would need to resolve separately).

 

What’s the difference between being enrolled and being registered?

  • Enrolled: Enrollment occurs in CalCentral. You choose classes, add them to a shopping cart, and then enroll.
  • Registered: In order to be officially registered at Berkeley, you must meet the following criteria:
  1. You must be enrolled in at least one course. [see above note on enrollment]
  2. Your tuition and registration fees must have been paid, either in full, 20% or the first installment if you are on the Tuition and Fee Payment Plan.
  3. Balances from prior terms must be paid.
  4. You must have no blocks against your registration.

As a reminder, students are considered registered when they have paid at least 20% of the Fall enrollment fees by the due date

 

I’m seeing a Past Due hold in my account, and I fear I won’t be able to enroll in classes because of UVA back rent I owe. What do I do?

If you encounter a hold on your registration that you believe is due to an owed UVA rent issue, you should contact Cal Student Central as soon as possible for assistance.

Please note: if you are more than 60 days past due on rent, you will continue to receive reminder notices of past due balance. Campus policy requires us to notify students of the amount they owe.

 

 Will you be increasing UVA rent in 2021?

There was no rent increase at UVA in January 2021. However, there will be a 4% per year rent increase that will go into effect for the next three years starting July 1, 2021. We strive to keep rent at an affordable rate for our students and their families while also providing a wide breadth of programs, services, and amenities. Rent and the subsequent increases are based on a variety of factors, including neighboring market rates. We understand that campus stipends may not reflect the reality of the cost of living in the Bay Area, however in order to provide the programs and services our residents appreciate, we must have this increase. Students with actual rent expenses that exceed the standard Cost of Attendance are encouraged to contact Cal Student Central to discuss a Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request and additional aid options.

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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. 

 

Can children or family members be tested at the UVA testing site?

While the new weekly testing requirement and access to the UVA surveillance test sites only apply to registered students, UHS has reopened our small clinical test site in the Family Resource Center as of January 26, 2021; this weekly site is open to any adult member of the UVA community with symptoms or close contact to someone with COVID-19. Testing for children is not currently available, but may be soon.  Details about the testing at UVA will be on the UHS testing page.

 

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:

 

Why haven't the playgrounds opened yet? 

While we understand that the State of California may be permitting some playground re-openings, UVA follows campus, county, and local municipality requirements that require our playgrounds to remain closed at this time. In addition, we would need to draw upon currently limited staffing resources to regularly maintain hygienic surfaces, and our top priority right now is in preventing virus transmission to the campus as a whole. We will communicate when playground spaces are able to safely reopen, but in the meantime, if you plan to visit an outdoor playground in the area that is open, please keep in mind this guidance from the California Department of Public Health. Also, remember that our general open spaces are available.

 

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 bandwidth issues at UVA and it’s impacting my ability to study and learn. What can I do?

We understand that the bandwidth at University Village Albany (UVA) has some problems that we are aware of and that we are planning to find solutions for in the future.

Essentially, there are historical infrastructure issues that have proven challenging. Especially with the move to mostly remote learning, we realize this presents some issues for residents. As a short-term solution, the Village Office and SAIT provided, at the beginning of the pandemic, 

  • 300 - 14 ft Ethernet cables
  • 300 - Ethernet adapters
  • 100 - USB-C to USB-A adapters

We strongly recommend UVA residents use the ethernet provided (and in an effort to help, SAIT has provided ethernet cables as noted above for free that UVA residents can pick up at the Village Office). Of course, this doesn’t solve all of the problems with internet bandwidth, and please know we are brainstorming as a campus on possible solutions. We will keep UVA residents posted on our progress.

Best practices that can help improve internet reliability include:

  • Establish first whether your wired connection works properly:
  • If you have a successful wired connection but want to try establishing WiFi, then attempt to set up your wireless router.
  • If you experience slow loading time with Zoom or other software, be sure you have accepted all updates on your device for your operating system and/or the programs you are trying to use.
  • Lastly, should you run into difficulties with any of the technical steps above, 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?

We can’t take new participants at this time, especially with uncertainties about what spaces may be open during the pandemic, our ability to maintain grounds services, among others. However, be aware that renewals were honored when they took place several months ago. When plots again become available, we will let UVA residents know. If you’re interested in joining a Waiting List, you can email gardenadmin@berkeley.edu.

 

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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