May 4, 2021 - Berkeley Life Roundup: Vaccinations & Fall 2021, Campus Openings

This message was sent to all undergraduate and graduate students on 05/04/21:


Dear undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students,

It’s May, and we’ve nearly made it through this academic year. To all of our graduating Golden Bears: Congratulations! You showed true UC Berkeley spirit by succeeding in your academic goals during a pandemic year. Bravo!

In May, we also celebrate the many contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continue to make to our campus and beyond.
Here are this month’s other key takeaways:

We’re moving slowly (and safely) back to the post-pandemic normal. You can now schedule on-campus events, or study in tents on Lower Sproul, add your name to a waitlist for fall football, go to RSF (reservations required), and visit BAMPFA. At the same time, please don’t celebrate spring with big parties and don’t let your guard down. We don’t want to lose ground we have worked so hard to gain. For some inspiration and ideas, see one student’s “Day in the Life” in photos. 

As we head into summer, you can stay informed about what’s happening and find support and track important updates about the return to campus in fall 2021 on Berkeley Life. 

Health and Safety

Vaccination Policy

The University of California has shared details of a proposed policy (PDF) on COVID-19 vaccination. Under the proposed policy, University of California would require students who are accessing campus facilities at any UC location, including UC Berkeley, to be immunized against COVID-19 beginning this fall. 


  • Over the next two weeks, UHS has vaccine appointments open to all students at the Pauley Ballroom. There are no costs to students. 
  • If you haven’t already, you are encouraged to arrange to get vaccinated as soon as you can, before coming to campus. Those in California can find an appointment using
  • If the proposed policy is adopted as drafted, students who choose not to be immunized and who do not receive an approved medical exemption or religious belief exception would remain eligible to receive University services, but will be limited in course registration, will not be permitted to attend in-person classes or events, and will not be able to access campus facilities including housing.
  • If you got your vaccine(s) outside of University Health Services, you can upload your vaccine records in eTang as well as submit a declination form if declining to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Check out the UHS Vaccination webpage for comprehensive information about vaccination, including how to get a vaccination, eligibility, SHIP, and more.

Video: Post-Vaccination Explained 

Even after you get vaccinated you may still be expected to wear a face covering, to physically distance, and to follow other precautions. Watch our student-produced videos "Post-vaccine Life Explained,” Part 1 and Part 2 to see why that is. 

Fall 2021 Resources and Support

As the community prepares to welcome you for a new academic year, learn how you can find support and track important updates about the return to campus in fall 2021 on Berkeley Life. 

No Parties (and Other Dos and Don’ts)

With Alameda County’s recent move into the Orange Tier, sunny spring weather, and more of our loved ones getting vaccinated every day, you might be tempted to let you guard down on COVID-19 safety. We just need to hold out a little longer. Don’t throw or attend a large party (even if you think you are safe). Unless you receive approval (submit a pre-approval request), gatherings remain prohibited. Even when on private property, student organizations who violate the campus temporary provision can be unrecognized and lose their privileges. Here is the latest information on campus COVID-19 Dos and Don’ts, if you have more questions.

REMINDER: Your Financial Safety

Due to a nationwide cyberattack last month, student confidential personal information (including social security numbers and bank account information) may be at risk, which could hurt your ability to get a credit card or car loan. If you haven’t already, sign up for one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection for adults using enrollment code JCZGTC333. Also, place a fraud alert on your file from the three credit reporting agencies:  

Looking Ahead to Fall 2021

Need some easy-to-find resources? Just bookmark these three key sites answering frequently asked questions about fall 2021: General Student FAQ for Fall 2021, Instruction FAQ, Housing FAQ.


Connecting and Community

Celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

In May, we honor the accomplishments and contributions that Asian Americans (AA) and Pacific Islanders (PI) continue to make to our campus and beyond, and we stand together against the incidents of hate and violence that have been escalating against members of these communities. Upcoming events include a panel about historical and contemporary issues affecting the AAPI community, as well as a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri.

Observing Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

This year Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr happen to fall during finals week, May 10 to May 14. The University supports students who are navigating their academic requirements while participating in these religious activities.

During Ramadan, Cal Dining will provide adjusted meal options in the dining commons, including modified carry-out options that are specific to Ramadan. A meal plan is not required to purchase meals from the dining commons—any guest can pay for individual meals. Additionally, the Muslim Student Association, community members, and the university are offering complimentary hot meal boxes each night for Muslim-identifying students.

Outdoor Study Hall

As we enter the final days of the semester, we wanted to share that outdoor study halls will be available at three campus locations during RRR (reading, recitation, and rest) and finals week. These study spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. We ask students to limit use of space to 2 hours at a time. Please note, that all campus and public health guidelines including face coverings, physical distancing, and campus testing/screening requirements are applicable.

  • Lower Sproul Plaza May 3-12, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Chemistry Courtyard (behind Tan, Latimer, and Hildebrand) May 3-12, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

How to Choose Housing

On campus or off-campus? Res hall or coop? And what is a Theme Program anyway? Four students, including an RA, get real, sharing their stories and living situations.

Safe and Sustainable Move-Out 

If you’re living in Berkeley and planning to move out at the end of this semester, please help ensure a safe and sustainable Move-Out. Do not dump unwanted items or furniture on the curb; it can result in fines of up to $1,000. Through the Cooperative Reuse program, this month you can donate reusable furniture and household items, as well as recycle mattresses. 

Summer Housing Available

Cal Housing is accepting applications for continuing students who want to live in campus residence halls or apartments this summer. Enrolled in summer sessions? Apply now for Summer 2021. Not enrolled in courses, but staying in Berkeley this summer? Apply now for Summer Transition Housing.

Off-Campus Housing Tips for Fall 2021

If you’re looking for off-campus housing for fall 2021, be sure to check out Cal Rentals, UC Berkeley’s free off-campus housing listings service. Read the Cal Rentals staff’s top tips for finding housing for fall 2021

Updated Guidelines for On-Campus Events

Need to schedule an event on campus for your club or class? Now through June 15, campus units and Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) can complete this pre-approval form to apply to hold in-person gatherings at specific outdoor spaces on campus. The activity must demonstrate a need for in-person participation (for example, events will not be approved that could otherwise be held virtually). Campus masking, social distancing, and testing/screening requirements will still be applicable. Visit the Event Services website for more details.

Football Is Back: In Person

Football will be back this fall in Memorial Stadium! Show your student spirit by joining our student pass waitlist. You can place a deposit by accessing your Cal student account via Calbears. (Please register your student account using your student ID if you haven't done so already.) For additional assistance, text 1-800-GO-BEARS (1-800-462-3277). 


The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is again open to the public. Among the exhibits are 75 quilts made by the late Bay Area artist Rosie Lee Tompkins, photography by Ulrike Ottinger, and a student-curated exhibition of Latin American art.

On Borderlands with Natalie Diaz and Ailton Krenak

UC Berkeley’s Arts Research Center brings many voices to our campus arts community. This month, ARC, with the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs, presents a conversation with Natalie Diaz and Ailton Krenak: On Borderlands, Friday, May 21, noon (Pacific). This conversation centers around colonial legacies of encampment and border making in the Americas, with a particular focus on the occupation and destruction of indigenous lives and land. Register here to receive a personalized Zoom link to join the webinar.

RSF Resumes Limited In-Person Operations

The Recreational Sports Facility has resumed limited in-person operations for UC Berkeley students. Reservations are required.

Have You Rolled Down 4.0 Hill?

Berkeley students will do just about anything to get those good grades, it seems. If you want an A, try rolling down 4.0 Hill before your midterm or final. And whatever you do, don’t step on the seal in Memorial Glade! Of course, good study habits really help, too. And don’t forget to hike the Big C or ride to the top of the Campanile. Campus traditions and superstitions are all part of the Berkeley experience!

Anywhere Diaries Episode 3: Christine

Follow along with transfer student Christine as they take you through a day in their life at UC Berkeley. The art history and society and environment major shares their experience working with the Berkeley Student Farm and BARE magazine, Berkeley's premier fashion and art publication.


Resources and Support

Spring Emergency Loans: Deadline May 14

Spring emergency loans will be available until Friday, May 14. Students should choose the EFT (electronic fund transfer)/Direct Deposit option when applying. All continuing students who are eligible to file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or CADAA (California Dream Act Application) are encouraged to file a 2021/22 financial aid application in anticipation of next academic year, as a financial aid application will remain the basis of awarding for any future rounds of emergency funding. 

Commencement for Spring 2021

A campuswide virtual commencement ceremony will take place on May 15 at 9 a.m. Between May 16 to 20, graduates can participate in an in-person, student-only procession to mark this important milestone. This year’s commencement speaker will be Wally Adeyemo '02, former UC Berkeley student body president and deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. 

Graduation Gear 

Graduation gear like gowns, stoles, graduation caps, honor cords, are now available at the Cal Student Store. Order online and pick up in-person to get your gear on-time. 

Student Technology Equipment Returns

Are you a graduating student or won’t be returning to UC Berkeley in the fall? The laptops and peripherals you rented through the STEP program should be returned, by appointment at Eshleman Hall or through the mail. Fill out this required form in order to make your appointment or get your mailing label.

Summer Reading List for New Students

The theme of this year’s Summer Reading List for New Students is “Lift Our Gazes,” inspired by the soaring poem 22-year-old Amanda Gorman read at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. The readings on this list were carefully chosen by Cal students, faculty, and staff, and include an intimate early memoir from a former president, fractured musings from a late queer Bay Area poet, and a sobering exploration of segregation in America.

Food Pantry Hours

The UC Berkeley Food Pantry will continue operating in their pop-up space on the 1st floor of the MLK Jr.  Building off of Lower Sproul Plaza. The Food Pantry will be closed from May 16t to May 31 but will reopen with new summer hours on June 1.

Day in the Life in Photos

We’re still in a pandemic and may still be dealing with some aspects of it next year. If you need some inspiration and ideas, check out how one student copes with campus life during photos. 

Finally, I need to give all of you UC Berkeley students a round of virtual applause. I’m so proud of how you rose to the challenges of this particular academic year. Yes, it was hard. Yes, we all struggled in one way or another. But for the most part you rolled with the punches, jumped in the fray, and pursued your academic career. I can’t say enough about what a major accomplishment that is.

Again, my heartfelt congratulations to our graduating class of 2021. We know you’ll make us proud as Cal Alumni. Go Bears!

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.

This message was sent to all undergraduate and graduate students.