UVA Email #5 - Updates: Reimbursement Form; Town Hall Follow-Up

Dear UVA residents,

We are continuing to share updates as we have them about the recent theft of a UVA key box containing master keys to the entire Village. 

Thanks to all of the residents who joined us in this afternoon’s town hall meeting. It was important for us to hear your concerns, answer as many questions as we could, and share the latest updates that we have on this developing situation. 

We understand we didn’t get to all of your questions. We will be following up in subsequent emails with answers as we are able to answer them. It may be challenging to give concrete timelines at this moment, but we’re dedicated to sharing timelines as soon as we can. Please use our dedicated Google Form to submit additional questions/concerns you may have about this matter/. We also are trying to keep updated information and a running list of recent communications on our UVA FAQs webpage.

Update: Reimbursement Form Now Available

We now have a reimbursement form ready for those who have utilized a locksmith, purchased a lock system they installed themselves, or lodging accommodations such as a hotel or Airbnb.
Please use this reimbursement Google Form:


You will need to:

  • Be logged in using your Berkeley email address
  • Completely fill out the form and upload images of your receipts in order for us to process your reimbursement(s). 
  • If you have multiple expenses (such as staying multiple nights at the hotel), please submit one reimbursement request if possible. This will help us process requests more quickly.

We set reimbursement rates of $250 per door for locksmith charges and $250 per night for accommodation charges. However, if your actual expenses exceed those amounts, please submit for reimbursement anyway. We will consider on a case-by-case basis expenses over $250 when reasonable (i.e., we will not reimburse stays that are significantly more expensive that the standard local market prices for an average accomodation).

We will work to reimburse you as quickly as possible (and aim to do so in under a week where feasible).


Answers to Common Questions

We have received a number of inquiries from residents and wish to share the answers to common ones with all of you. 

  • Mailboxes and storage units: When we modify the apartment front and back doors, we will also modify the mailboxes and relevant storage units at that same time. If you have any concerns about mail safety, you can notify USPS directly to put a “hold” on your mail until the mailbox keys are permanently changed.
  • Door chains: As a reminder, if you don’t currently have a door chain, please submit a work order at: maintenance.housing.berkeley.edu. (Emergency maintenance contact is (510) 642-2828 or maintenance.housing.berkeley.edu)
  • Hotel/Airbnb: We will reimburse you $250 per night for accommodations including a hotel, Airbnb, or other accommodation (previous emails indicated local hotels, but we want to support your choice in where it’s best for you to stay in the broader Bay Area and neighboring areas). Please keep all receipts.
    • This offer is in effect for stays at least through Monday night (May 9), and may be extended, subject to our ability to find solutions. We will update you before the offer comes to an end. 
  • If you are away from the area, we will be able to change your locks while you are away. Your new keys will be held at the Village Office and available for you to retrieve during normal business hours. If you return home after hours, please contact the Community Advisor (CA) on Duty at (510) 224-8298.
  • Changing the locks: If you call your own locksmith* to change door locks or change the locks yourself, we will reimburse you for locksmith or supply costs up to $250 per door (i.e., units with two doors will be eligible for up to $500). Our locks are institutional-grade mortise locksets. Please keep all receipts.
    • Members of the UVA community report positive experiences and reasonable prices with the following locksmiths:
      • Multi Locksmith - 510-254-4070
      • Hero Locksmith - 510-603-6744
    • Most digital locks are designed to work on standard residential locksets so it is unlikely they will work on our institutional grade mortise locksets. However, if you can install one, we will reimburse you up to $250 for the expense.
    • Special note: If you share a common door with another unit, you are only to change your own unit’s locks. If your unit has a  “shared back door,” that some East Village 2nd and 3rd floor townhouses have, please first discuss and come to an agreement with your neighbor. 
    • *Note: Any lock changes you have during this period (until we are able to permanently change locks) should be understood to be temporary. We will need to change your locks again to be in compliance with requirements that we have a uniform system across UVA, in part for fire safety requirements. 


Other Reminders: 

  • Google Form: We have a dedicated Google Form that we are monitoring throughout the weekend (May 7-8) to respond to you as soon as possible with any questions or concerns you may have. Please reach out to us if you need.
  • Doorstops: Upon further examination, we’ve found that doorstops may not be as effective, especially where there are linoleum tiles. If you feel they may be effective for your unit, you are still welcome to pick up two free doorstops at the Village Office. However, we are recommending that you utilize door chains (see bullets above)
  • The Village Office has dedicated operating hours this weekend (May 7-8) to help support UVA residents. Student Affairs staff will be available 10am - 8 pm this Saturday and Sunday at the Village Office to support you.
  • Support resources:
    • Many professors are understanding about situations like this. If you are having difficulty communicating this situation to your faculty, please contact the Center for Support and Intervention.
    • Counselors at University Health Services (UHS) are available: Counseling and Psychological Services website or (510) 642-9494 (after hours counseling line (855) 817-5667)
    • SVSH concerns, they should call the Care Line at 510-643-2500. It’s a 24/7 service.


Thank you again for your continued patience and understanding. We will continue to share important updates with you via your Berkeley email account. 




Stephen C. Sutton, Ed.D. (he/him/his)

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs


Jo Mackness (she/her/hers)
Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, Student Affairs


Samuel Santos Jr. (he/him/his)
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Engagement, Office of the Dean of Students 


Makoto (Mako) Ushihara (he/him/his)

Executive Director, RSSP Housing Facilities