Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods offer would allow campus to enroll 1K more in-person students

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Gabriel Nuer/Staff

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Despite losing the California Supreme Court case that froze enrollment at 2020-21 levels, UC Berkeley may be able to virtually enroll all of the students it intended to after partial relief offered by Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods, or SBN.

SBN will agree to a “temporary, partial” deal to allow campus to enroll 1,000 more in-person students for fall 2022, provided 90% of the students are California residents and the UC Office of the President does not attempt to increase enrollment for the 2022-23 year through further legal action in courts or state legislature, according to an SBN press release.

“Our offer ensures that virtually all of the deserving California high schools students that UC Berkeley would like to admit could attend during the 2022 school year,” said SBN President Phil Bokovoy in the press release. “No transfer students that UC Berkeley wants to admit would have their enrollment deferred.”

The agreement would allow campus to enroll 43,347 students, approximately the number of students enrolled in fall 2019. The press release notes this matches the pre-pandemic level. Additionally, the 10% nonresident cap matches the cap campus promised for incoming in-person students in the fall.

However, campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said UC Berkeley is not interested in the deal, as the enrollment decisions for UC campuses are made by elected officials in concert with the UC Board of Regents.

“UC Berkeley will not give in to a group of litigants and cannot give a group of litigants the authority to decide how many students get enrolled in the university because those decisions are far more appropriately made by elected representatives,” Mogulof said.

Mogulof noted Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín and the city council unanimously voted to file an amicus brief in support of campus. Additionally, the campus has an $82 million agreement with the city of Berkeley to provide compensation for the impacts of campus’s students’ presence in the city.

Campus will be able to enroll almost all of the students it planned to, Mogulof said. However, 1,600 students would not be able to start in person, and campus is reducing the number of graduate students as a result of the freeze.

Campus will continue seeking legislative relief and focusing on their partnerships with elected representatives, according to Mogulof. He noted campus believes this would have the greatest possible potential to influence the current admission cycle.

“The idea that we should allow a small group of litigants to override (the) decision of elected representatives does not make sense,” Mogulof said. “We’re proceeding with what we believe to have the greatest possible potential to influence the current admission cycle and that’s legislative relief.”

Maria Young is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @maria_myoung.