February 9, 2021 - Berkeley Life Roundup: Celebrate, join, apply

This message was sent to all undergraduate and graduate students on 02/09/21:


Dear undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students,

We have enjoyed a few spring-like days in Berkeley lately, and the sunshine is tempting us to gather outdoors. And it’s at this time, when we’re experiencing “pandemic fatigue,” that we all must be extra vigilant about following COVID-19 safety practices. 

For those of you living on or around campus, we have updates on our COVID-19 guidelines. For those of you elsewhere, please join us in remaining mindful about social distancing, face coverings, and handwashing.

Here are this month’s key takeaways:

Let’s find ways to celebrate. For Black History Month, events of all sorts are taking place across the campus community. You can also rediscover Black@Cal, from the student perspective. Our campus task force also released its report on Becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution; we welcome your comments. Spring is a great time to find your fun as a Golden Bear...even during a pandemic, Cal offers many ways for you to enjoy the college experience. We’re even celebrating Love Data Week with a series of events to raise awareness around research data. And let’s all share Valentine’s Day this year by showing a little kindness toward others.

Health and Safety

Flatten the Curve
Following a surge in new cases of COVID-19 in students living both on and off campus, students were urged to avoid gathering inside with people outside their household/bubble, to keep up with surveillance testing, and to continue following best practices such as physical distancing and handwashing. The campus also required students living in residence halls to self-sequester from Feb. 1 to at least Feb. 15, a proactive public health tool to slow the spread.
Badge System in Use
Health Ambassadors are now using the University Health Services badge system at Cal Dining’s three dining commons, as well as other campus buildings, to check for compliance with mandatory testing requirements. Be prepared to show your green badge using the UC Berkeley mobile app (also see “Download the Berkeley App” below) or the web browser on your phone. (If you have a meal plan, you will receive food, no matter what color your badge is.)
Download the Berkeley App  
The UC Berkeley mobile app now offers expanded functionality. On campus? Use it to fill out the daily symptom screener, access the color-coded Testing Badge, or view the COVID dashboard. Off campus? Use the app to apply for a loaner laptop, connect with Bears for Financial Success peer financial advisors, or meet with your University Health Services counselor.  
COVID Conversations: Congregate Student Living Webinar
A panel of student leaders will discuss managing COVID-19 in campus residence halls and group housing near campus. Please join the webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 16 from 6–6:45 p.m. Register to attend this event. You must also be a berkeley.edu Zoom user to sign up.

Connecting and Community

Celebrate Black History Month
Join UC Berkeley and the entire UC community in commemorating Black History Month 2021 with events such as a discussion with Pulitzer Prize-winner Alice Walker, a series of talks sponsored by Black Students in Public Policy, or exploring ways to get involved in the community on campus.

Find Your Fun at Cal
A current student did some research on some of the fun activities and events you can find this spring (and beyond). Stay tuned...soon on Berkeley Life we’ll post all about how you can connect with clubs and organizations!

Feb. 10: Fighting the Disinformation Machine 
Register today for “Fighting the Disinformation Machine: Social Media and the Future of Journalism,” a free online conversation featuring Graduate School of Journalism Dean Geeta Anand and Tristan Harris, star of the 2020 Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma. Sponsored by Cal Performances, in partnership with UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, the event starts at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10.

Celebrate Love Data Week
Join us for a series of events for Love Data Week from Feb. 8–12. This year, the UC campuses are partnering to celebrate a nationwide campaign designed to raise awareness around research data. Tune in for sessions that explore data ethics, data security, and much more. Visit the event page to register for UC Berkeley workshops and other sessions to be offered systemwide.
Spring 2021 Streaming Series: $5 Per Performance
Sign up for Cal Performance’s twelve-performance series of new, full-length music and dance video streams premiering on select Thursday evenings, Feb. 25 to June 10. Tickets are just $5 per performance for UC Berkeley students. 

UC Aquatics Center Open 
Looking for a fun way to spend the weekend? Cal Adventures’ UC Aquatics Center at the Berkeley Marina has reopened for the spring. UC Berkeley students are invited to reserve complimentary kayak and stand-up paddleboards Saturdays and Sundays, perfect for physical distancing. Spots fill quickly; register today. 
Feb. 15 Deadline for GBO Leaders
Don’t forget: The deadline to apply to become a Golden Bear Orientation Leader is Feb. 15. If you’re an undergrad looking for a serious leadership opportunity, be sure to fill out the GBO 2021 application as soon as possible. Graduate students, if you know an undergraduate who would be a dedicated Orientation Leader, please fill out this nomination form.

Student Experiences from Fall 2020
Berkeley students are smart and resilient, and nothing seems to encapsulate this better than how many Golden Bears handled the experience of attending fall 2020 remotely, during a once-in-a-century pandemic. Read about how students found the silver linings from fall 2020...you might find some ideas you can use this spring.

Resources and Support

Explore Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Meet with a peer advisor who can help you connect with undergraduate research opportunities and prestigious scholarships. The Office of Undergrad Research and Scholarships (OURS) peer advisors host weekly drop-in hours to help answer your questions. For underrepresented and first-generation college students, you can also contact Underrepresented Researchers of Color (UROC) via email at:  uroc@berkeley.edu.
Financial Aid Applications Priority Deadline
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the California Dream Act Application are currently available for the next academic year. The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will begin notifying students about financial aid verification requirements this month. To be considered for all available sources of funding, submit your application by March 2. Remember, you need to submit a financial aid application each year.  

Apply to Be a Firebaugh Scholar
Applications to join the 2021–22 Firebaugh Scholars cohort are open for Berkeley undergrads through March 19. Firebaugh Scholars receive funding and academic support to design and complete an independent faculty-sponsored research project over the course of one academic year. Scholars also receive support in applying to graduate school and post-baccalaureate opportunities.  Application and additional information can be found at tinyurl.com/FirebaughAppGuide.
Your Feedback on Becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution
Please share your comments and feedback on the campus report on Becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution. The campus HSI Task Force began its work in late 2019, and its three working groups examined the myriad issues involved with becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution by 2027. HSI is a designation by the US Department of Education that requires at least 25 percent of enrolled undergraduate students to be Chicanx/Latinx and for the university to be a preferred destination for students eligible for Pell Grants.

Celebrate spring, Bears...but celebrate safely!

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.