November 10, 2020 - Berkeley Life Roundup: Give Thanks (Even in 2020)

This message was sent to all undergraduate and graduate students on 11/10/20:



Dear undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students,

We're giving thanks this month... including thanks that we've almost made it through 2020! Let's take a moment to be grateful for each other and our Berkeley community.

Here are this month's key takeaways:

For Thanksgiving break, review campus guidance about holiday travel to keep as safe as possible. After Thanksgiving, refocus for the final stretch of the semester with Rec Sports virtual and in-person programming and enjoy entertainment with Cal Performances' Student Stream Pass. As finals approach, brush up on student remote study tips. Happy Fall!

Health and Safety

Bears Protecting Bears
With COVID-19 cases rising across the country and the winter holidays coming up, please keep physical distance between each other, wear face coverings, wash hands often, and get regularly tested. By doing your part you show that #BearsCare. Find the latest COVID-19 updates on the campus coronavirus information page.
Spring Recess 2021  
Spring recess will take place as originally scheduled, but keep in mind that the week after will be remote. Students will be strongly encouraged to avoid travel as, per the CDC, travel increases chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Good news: The campus is partnering with student groups to develop spring-recess activities in the Berkeley area. 
COVID-19 and Student Conduct
Some students have expressed concerns about cooperating with contact tracing efforts for fear of discipline pursuant to the temporary provisions related to COVID-19. The campus will not use information obtained through contact tracing to impose discipline. The same is true of sexual assault or sexual harassment or other serious misconduct investigations. An individual who participates as a complainant or a witness in an investigation will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for a violation at or near the time of the incident, unless the institution determines that the violation is egregious.

Plan for Thanksgiving Break
If you're living on or near campus, it's strongly recommended (based on recommendations from public health experts) that you consider either remaining in Berkeley for the Thanksgiving holiday, or returning home and remaining there through the end of the semester. This year, Thanksgiving break is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 29, with a noninstructional day on Wednesday, Nov. 25. 

Exposure Notification App Launches Monday
Beginning Monday, Nov. 16, UC Berkeley will be participating in a pilot of California COVID Notify, a smartphone-based COVID-19 exposure notification system. Berkeley will join several other UCs in piloting the technology on behalf of the state of California. Campus privacy, health, and student affairs leaders will be answering questions on the UC Berkeley subReddit this Thursday, Nov. 12. at 4 p.m.

If You Visit Campus 
As more student spaces become available and as holiday breaks free up time, you may find yourself on campus. Make sure you know what is expected of Berkeley community members. Find a quick reference checklist at Student Facilities & Protocols or read about the experience of Visiting Campus in 2020 on Berkeley Life. 
Connecting and Community

Fall Into Rec Sports
Celebrate fall and keep up your health with Rec Sports' virtual and in-person programming. Choose from complimentary kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals at the UC Aquatics Center, lap swimming on campus, and on-demand and live virtual fitness classes.
Cal Performances Student Stream Pass
Registered UC Berkeley students can now purchase a $15 Student Stream Pass that allows access to all performances in the Cal Performances at Home online series. Performance videos feature world-renowned artists performing world music, jazz, and theater, as well as holiday programs like A Christmas Carol. Most are available on demand for three months. 
Free Evening with Yo-Yo Ma
An Evening with Yo-Yo Ma, presented as part of the Cal Performances at Home online series, is available for free to registered UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students. Reserve your space for the performance premiere live on Friday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. (Pacific time); the performance will be available on demand from Nov. 28 to Dec. 12. 
Help Shape the Berkeley Story 
Share your story...and get some great experience for your resume. Join our Student Affairs Cast who are featured on social media, in campus videos, and brochures. You pick your activity, you shape the Berkeley story. 
Resources and Support

Cal Student Central Virtual Front Desk 
Cal Student Central's new Virtual Front Desk is up and running. The Virtual Front Desk is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Pacific time). Phone and online advising options will remain available for more specific needs. Open a case online anytime.
2020-21 Financial Aid Applications Available
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the California Dream Act Application are available for the next academic year. It is important to complete your application as soon as possible to meet all financial aid deadlines. The application priority deadline is March 2, 2021. If you file after March 2, some types of financial aid may be limited. Remember, you need to submit an application each year.
Manage Your Finances 
Bears for Financial Success is a peer-to-peer program that teaches students how to manage their personal finances. Book an appointment or request a presentation online.

Individual Workrooms
Need a quiet place for virtual counseling, to prep/teach as a GSI/UGSI, to have personal conversations, or for virtual job interviews? Book a space in advance for Eshleman Hall or the MLK Jr. Building. Individual rooms will be available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Food Pantry Pickup
Due to COVID-19 guidelines, the Food Pantry's grocery bag pickup is currently based on the first floor of the MLK Student Union. Come as often as you need (check the website for hours of operation).

Free NYT and WSJ Subscriptions
Did you know that all UC Berkeley students can read The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal for free? The Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) and UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly (GA) worked together so you can activate your free subscription at: and

Free Digital Course Materials
Thanks to the UC Berkeley Library, students can connect with free digital versions of the materials they need for class - videos, books, and articles - providing financial relief during challenging times. The effort is continuing in spring 2021. For more academic support, find remote study tips here.

Jump-start Your Career
Want to learn more about how you can jump-start your career or internship search? We put together a list of Cal Career Center resources that you can use right now from your home that may help you land your next internship or job.

Enjoy a happy and healthy Thanksgiving break. 

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

Berkeley Life Roundup is a monthly email with news just for students: health and wellness information, a summary of important campus updates, resources and support, and opportunities to connect, engage, and learn. Please also check out Berkeley Life hub and Berkeley Life Instagram. Graduate students can also connect with Graduate Division Instagram, as well as other platforms.