Students living in UC Berkeley’s residence halls will be able to move out of their dormitories one day later starting spring 2015.
Currently, students moving out of residence halls at the end of the spring semester must do so by the Saturday morning after finals week, facing a $100 fee each day after the deadline.
The idea behind the new pilot program was initiated by two ASUC senators, Eric Wu and Katherine Chung, and will allow students to move out Sunday at 10 a.m. for the spring 2015 and 2016 semesters.
Wu and Chung put the idea forward after students on campus had informally voiced concerns about the hard deadline implemented by the residence halls.
The Residence Hall Assembly then assessed the proposal from the ASUC and presented it to Residential and Student Service Programs, which approved it in February.
“Move-out is really chaotic; there are a lot of problems with it,” Wu said. “Last year, after a 7 p.m. final the night before, I realized there was a lot of room for improvement.”
During a three-month decision process, a work group formed by RHA President Vincent Canlas, RHA Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach Andrea Shen and members from RSSP, as well as some administration members, held meetings to address the potential issues associated with the program.
“They certainly looked at cons in terms of additional costs, additional utilities and additional food costs,” said Steve Sutton, assistant vice chancellor at RSSP. “But those things weren’t significant enough not to do the pilot.”
The extended deadline will not be implemented this spring, mainly due to the formal contracts that have already been signed with residents, supervising and managing services.
“My hope is that people will take advantage of it, but I hope they don’t take advantage of it negatively and just lag,” Canlas said. “The program is especially helpful for international and out-of-state students.”
Residence halls that usually charge late-move-out fees will be subject to this new deadline, and according to Willis St. Hill, housing facilities manager at Unit 2 and Maximino Martinez Commons, it is expected to reduce a lot of the stress students face.
The program will have no extra cost for the students, though according to Canlas, it is too soon to tell if the housing prices will go up as a result. After 2015, RSSP will formally assess the program and decide whether to put it in effect for future housing contracts after spring 2016.
“This is a great example of the student leaders coming to us and us listening and doing something that improves student life,” Sutton said.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the pilot program had been introduced by two ASUC senators. In fact, the senators introduced the idea, but the pilot program was developed from the start by the Residence Hall Assembly and Residential and Student Service Programs.