‘Waiting to assist’: UC Berkeley housing prepares for hybrid fall semester

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Jessica Schwabach/File

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After UC Berkeley announced its plans for fall, students need to consider housing options both on and off campus.

For traditional on-campus housing, UC Berkeley plans to house at most 6,500 students in residence halls and undergraduate apartments. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and to keep students safe from the transmission of the disease, campus housing will not offer living arrangements with more than two individuals per room, according to campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff.

In an email to students, Cal Housing said students who completed the 2020-21 academic year housing application will need to fill out an additional housing application form by June 24 in order to be considered for on-campus housing. Although not guaranteed housing, students will be notified in July if they receive a housing offer, and they will have five to seven days to respond.

Due to UC Berkeley’s limited ability to house all students this fall, some may need to explore alternatives, according to Ratliff.

“For off-campus housing, our team at Cal Rentals is waiting to assist, free of charge, students in their search for additional off-campus housing options,” Ratliff said in an email.

Incoming freshmen and new transfer students are encouraged to decide for themselves what method of housing would work best for their needs, Ratliff added.

In addition to applying for campus housing and seeking off-campus accommodations, students can also consider living at home and studying remotely.

We recognize that studying remotely may not be desirable or possible for all students, though for some students it may be the most desirable option to living away from Berkeley until the campus is able to resume operations typical of previous semesters,” Ratliff said in the email.

Other organizations, such as the Berkeley Student Cooperative, are currently in the process of evaluating their fall plans for assisting students.

The BSC, which offers low-cost off-campus cooperative housing to low-income and otherwise marginalized students, will share information about any alterations to fall plans with incoming members by early July.

“We are expecting lower occupancy than normal for Fall,” said BSC Executive Director Kim Benson in an email. “We are also working with UC Berkeley, the City Health Department, Tang Center, and other student housing cooperatives to share resources and best practices which we will integrate into our Fall operating plans.”

Students and parents are encouraged to visit the campus housing website for more information about on-campus housing and the latest updates, Ratliff said.

Contact Aryia Dattamajumdar at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @AryiaDm.