Students must coexist with city residents

Crystal Zhong/Staff

By now, you are settling into your new neighborhood and becoming accustomed to our wonderful city. For those who are new to the campus, we are delighted you have chosen to come to UC Berkeley and join the exceptional scholars, world-class researchers and uniquely talented individuals who make up our campus community.

Beyond the UC Berkeley campus, you are now also part of another diverse and renowned community — the city of Berkeley. Surrounding the campus are neighborhoods of renters and homeowners, families and single professionals, students and seniors, many of whom are alumni of UC Berkeley. They are proud of the campus, just as they are proud and protective of their streets, gardens and homes.

The campus, the city of Berkeley and local neighborhood organizations work together to promote safe, sustainable and livable neighborhoods — whether you live in campus housing, a co-op, a fraternity or sorority house or a private house or apartment.

Upon us are the warm days of September that can draw us outdoors later in the evening, so please remember the following:

  •       Be a good neighbor
    • Respect your neighbors’ needs and schedules and make smart choices — especially concerning noise and parties. Violations can result in stiff penalties, including campus sanctions and steep fines, which can reach $2,500. Discuss potential conflicts with your neighbors and keep channels of communication open.
    • Don’t be shy. Take a moment to say hello and chat.
  •       Keep your neighborhood clean
    • Both the city of Berkeley and UC  Berkeley have a goal of zero waste by 2020. Your role in diverting, recycling, reusing and reducing is critical to a sustainable community. Visit for information about recycling and diverting waste.
    • Avoid citations for illegal dumping, overflowing refuse and recycling bins or blocking the right-of-way — fines can reach $1,000 a day.
  •       Get involved in the community
    • Attend neighborhood meetings and events, participate in local clean-up activities and support community safety efforts.
    • Volunteer in Berkeley. You can participate in the Berkeley Project Day in the fall or find a public service learning project that is right for you. Visit the campus website to find opportunities.
  •       Keep your neighborhood safe
    • If you see something suspicious or unlawful, call the non-emergency numbers for UC police, (510) 642-6760, or Berkeley Police Department, (510) 981-5900, and be prepared to provide a good description of the problem and people involved. In cases of emergency always call 911 or call 981-5911 from a cell phone.
  •       Help UC Berkeley maintain its well-earned reputation as one of the nation’s greenest schools
    • There are lots of ways you can go green: bring your re-usable water and coffee containers to campus, and choose to walk, bike and take transit whenever you can.
    • Check out the Student Environmental Resource Center for tips and ways to get involved in UC Berkeley’s sustainability community at and be sure to participate in the campus’s Earth Day each spring.
  •       Every drop counts
    • California is experiencing a drought of historic severity — and we all need to play a part in reducing our water use. Check the drought response page for latest updates and water saving tips for home and on campus. Visit

We also encourage you to take advantage of the many cultural, social and recreational features Berkeley has to offer. This is a wonderful place to live and learn. Welcome to the neighborhood! Have a great year at UC Berkeley!

There are additional resources for students. [email protected] aims to reduce alcohol-related risks and harm in the campus area. Happy  Neighbors seeks to create awareness and optimal neighbor relations through peer education and outreach. With The Berkeley Project, students positively impact their community by participating in service projects in and around the city of Berkeley. The city of Berkeley’s Zero Waste Programs and Services provides resources and tips about recycling, reuse and reduction of waste.

Chancellor’s Corner is a monthly opinion piece by UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. Tom Bates is the mayor of Berkeley.

Contact the Opinion Desk at [email protected] and follow us on Twitter at @dailycalopinion.

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