UC Berkeley launches Cal Week to replace Cal Day amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, UC Berkeley kicked off “Cal Week,” a series of virtual events for newly admitted students that started Saturday.

Intended to replace Cal Day — UC Berkeley’s annual open house event that often helps solidify college choices for incoming students — Cal Week features prerecorded and live video streams to create a virtual admit day experience. People from various campus departments will participate in virtual panels, and prospective students can tour the campus online from their homes, according to a UC Berkeley press release.

“Instead of trying to attend a bunch of different sessions in just one day, Cal Week gives students more time to interact with the campus community, to get an understanding of what Berkeley has to offer, and how they fit in,” said Stefan Montouth, an associate director of marketing in UC Berkeley’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, in the press release.

According to the Cal Week website, Cal Week will feature more than 100 online events from April 18 to April 24. Visitors can access content through the Cal Week Virtual Environment and Content Hub, with certain events requiring prior registration. Sessions will also be recorded to accommodate those who cannot watch livestreams in real-time.

Individual departments across campus will host their own Cal Week events, according to their respective websites. The College of Engineering will host several student experience and advising information panels throughout the week, while the Rausser College of Natural Resources plans to hold information sessions on its available majors.

For organizations that typically conduct Cal Day and admitted student events at satellite locations, the virtual nature of Cal Week allows for minimized logistics. Anh Tran, the Cal Alumni Association’s chief program officer, said moving events online had enabled more events to be held than anticipated.

“Normally, there are challenges with booking space and having money for putting on events, but in this case, we didn’t have that,” Tran said.

Tran added that hosting events online made Cal Day activities more accessible to low-income students who might not have been able to travel to campus to experience the activities in person.

Members from various identity groups will also host panels throughout the week. Students can tune in to hear from panelists at campus recruitment and retention centers, as well as transfer student advisers. Information on housing and transportation is available for students and parents alike.

In the press release, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Stephen Sutton said campus is “committed to helping students navigate their journey at Berkeley” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While new uncertainties may continue to arise, our newest to oldest Golden Bears know that this community is characterized by scholars of extraordinary creativity and resilience,” Sutton said in the press release.

Contact Revati Thatte at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @revati_thatte.