December 8, 2020 - Berkeley Life Roundup: Winter Celebrations

This message was sent to all undergraduate and graduate students on 12/08/21:



Dear undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students,

We’re wrapping up 2020 and planning ahead for spring. Good luck on your final exams and please stay healthy while the world continues to fight COVID-19 (wear face coverings, maintain physical distance, and wash your hands). The virus is spreading and we encourage you to avoid travel. If you must travel, please pay attention to all public health guidelines for wherever you decide to spend winter break (these are updated regularly so check often).

Here are this month’s key takeaways:

Join the Chancellor tomorrow for the final Campus Conversation of the year. Get into the holiday season spirit with a Student Union Winter Celebration (including raffles and prizes) between now and Dec. 12. And, we’d love to hear and share your stories about fall 2020 on our Student Affairs channels (and you could win a prize).

Health and Safety

New Regional Stay-at-Home Order
Due to a rise in statewide COVID-19 cases, a Regional Stay Home Order was announced and will last through Jan. 4th, 2021. It prohibits private gatherings of any size, many types of operations except for critical infrastructure and retail, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing. Bay Area counties, including Alameda County where UC Berkeley is located, have adopted this stay at home order early. 

Curfew in Alameda County
All residents of Alameda (where Berkeley is located) and several other California counties are ordered to stay at home each night between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The statewide curfew, which began Nov. 21, applies to residents of counties in the purple “widespread” tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, including Alameda County where UC Berkeley is located. The order remains in effect until 5 a.m. on Dec. 21, 2020, and may be extended or revised as needed.
Spring Recess 2021  
Spring recess will take place as originally scheduled, but keep in mind that the week after will be remote. We strongly encourage you to avoid travel as, per the CDC, travel increases chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Good news: For those of you in the area, the campus is partnering with student groups to develop spring-recess activities in the Berkeley area. 
Exposure Notification App 
Please consider joining UC Berkeley in a pilot of California COVID Notify, a smartphone-based COVID-19 exposure notification system. 

Connecting and Community

Final Campus Conversation of 2020
Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos will provide insight into the past semester, take a look ahead, and give an important campus budget update at the Campus Conversation, Dec. 9, from noon to 1 p.m. 

Free Speech for Student Activists Workshop
Apply by Dec. 9 to participate in a “Free Speech for Student Activists” online workshop. This opportunity is open to all Berkeley undergraduates and is co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, and the Mario Savio Social Justice Program. (Note: A session will be held for graduate students in February.) Questions? Email:, with the subject “Free Speech Workshop for Student Activist”.

Cal Band’s Virtual Halftime Shows
The Cal Band has been busy this fall creating wildly creative virtual halftime performances for Cal football games. Check out their recent videos, Nickelodeon Nostalgia and Party of the Decade.

Winter Celebration & Raffles
Celebrate the winter season with the Student Union with a week of virtual events and raffles (with prizes). Join us for our holiday pop-up shop, crafting tutorials, live yoga, dinner and a movie, and more. Brought to you by the Student Union, Berkeley Art Studio, University Health Services, and Rec Sports. Vist the Student Union website between Dec. 5 and 12 to participate.

Virtual Art Classes
The Berkeley Art Studio has gone completely virtual with classes and workshops ranging from ceramics to drawing, and painting to graphic design. It’s easy to get accessible materials and enjoy some creativity right at home. Look out for upcoming CrafterDark workshops with free material pick up in the MLK Jr. Building.
Conversation: Women of Berkeley Public Health
Learn about women changemakers in Berkeley Public Health at a live-streamed conversation Dec. 10 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This free event features Jane Garcia (La Clínica de la Raza), Julie Gerbering (former head of the CDC), Meredith Minkler (pioneer in community-based participatory research), and Eveline Shen (reproductive justice leader, executive director of Forward Together). The conversation will be moderated by Berkeley Public Health’s Executive Associate Dean Amani M. Allen.

Rec Sports On-Demand Available
As we approach Winter Break, keep connected with Rec Sports’ on-demand virtual fitness classes. Latest COVID-19-related updates are here.
Share Your Story, You May Win a Prize
Wanted: Student stories from the fall semester to share on Berkeley Life and Berkeley Life Instagram. Who did you meet? How did you tackle Zoom? Best experience, toughest challenge? Open to all Berkeley students; all completed surveys will be entered to win one of three $25 Amazon gift cards. Just take a few moments to complete the Student Affairs Fall 2020 Berkeley Student Experiences survey. We can't wait to hear about your adventures!
Resources and Support

Picking Spring 2021 Classes 
Are you making decisions about your course schedule for the spring semester? Berkeley Life’s Choosing Classes at Cal offers advice from a fellow student to help both new and seasoned Golden Bears plan their semesters. Whether you're a new undergraduate student in Phase I, or a continuing student in Phase II, enrollment will be open for you through Jan. 10, 2021.

Free Password Management Tool 
UC Berkeley is offering Free LastPass Premium to all students (and staff, and faculty). LastPass is a password management tool that securely manages your passwords in an online vault. 

Start Spring Semester with a New Laptop 
Are you using an outdated or shared laptop? Would new technical equipment help with your classes? The Student Tech Equity Program (STEP) provides laptops, web cameras, noise cancelling headphones and other equipment to students in need. Devices are mailed directly to your home (US only) or curbside pickup is available on campus if you live locally. 

Data Center Shut Down Jan. 2-3, 2021
A reminder about the upcoming shutdown of the campus’ Data Center scheduled to start Saturday, Jan. 2, with completion planned by Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. Systems affected include Cal Central, CalTime, and Student Information Systems (SIS).

Library Expands Contactless Pickup Service
The UC Berkeley Library has been safely connecting members of the Berkeley community (with current Cal 1 or Library cards) with a trove of materials through Oski Xpress, the Library’s contactless pickup service. Oski Xpress is expanding, drawing from the circulating collections of fourteen libraries on campus. Request items through the Library’s online catalog, OskiCat, and schedule a time to retrieve them at a pickup station outside of Moffitt Library.
Important Dates on the Academic Calendar
Just a reminder of some important upcoming dates: The last day of instruction for fall 2020 is Friday, Dec. 11, with the semester formally ending on Dec. 18. Spring semester starts Jan. 12, 2021. Congratulations to the Class of 2020; details on the December Commencement can be found here.
Food Pantry Hours
The Food Pantry will be operating modified hours through Dec. 18. Don’t forget: 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).

Enjoy your Winter Break. We’ll see you in 2021!

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.