Chancellor and Mayor celebrate the new school year
We write with a warm welcome to our new and returning golden bears as you settle in Berkeley and neighboring communities. We hope you are excited to embark on a year of learning, discovery and personal growth at the best public university in the world.
Berkeley is a wonderfully diverse city – home to a rich history of political activism and an astonishing array of intellectual, cultural, artistic and recreational pursuits. We encourage you to explore the many opportunities the community and campus offer, and to do so in a way that is respectful to all who call Berkeley home.
Before sharing recommendations, we would like to reiterate the joint commitment of the campus and the city to build urgently needed housing for students and those formerly homeless on People’s Park. site, while providing a significant amount of free space. We are grateful that Cal students support the project by a two-to-one margin according to a recent survey, and we greatly appreciate the support of the city council, our neighbors, local churches, and professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping homeless people. . However, some opponents of the project have illegally occupied the site, preventing the construction of much-needed housing. The Chancellor’s recent message provided details on the status of the project and the state of the construction site. For now, we have increased public safety patrols in the area and are urging people to avoid the site.
Stay healthy and keep your community healthy
Taking steps to protect your health and the health of others has never been more important. We encourage you to follow the public health guidelines the city and campus are developing as this unprecedented situation COVID-19[feminine] the pandemic continues. Wearing an inner mask is strongly recommended and being up to date with vaccines/booster shots is mandatory on campus. Staying alert and self-assessing symptoms and testing when symptomatic or high-risk activities before and after remain valuable tools to slow the spread. While monkeypox remains a low risk for the general public, activities such as sex with multiple partners and prolonged skin-to-skin contact greatly increase the risk. Read CDC guidelines to understand symptoms and minimize your risk.
Be a good neighbor
Take the time to meet your neighbors. You can get to know them in complete safety thanks to an outdoor meeting, hidden or remotely; or a note, an SMS or an e-mail. Some of your Berkeley neighbors remain at higher risk during the pandemic. You can help them stay safe by understanding their needs and expectations. Plus, make smart, respectful choices about noise and parties – respect your neighbors’ schedules and city ordinances with programs like The Happy Neighbors.
Support local businesses, respect their service
When venturing safe or ordering, consider supporting Berkeley’s diverse small businesses. Neighborhoods adjacent to campus – such as the Telegraph District and Downtown Berkeley – are home to dozens of businesses that have adapted to public health requirements and eagerly await your patronage. It remains a difficult time, so let’s be attentive to their health and respectful of their service.
Be an engaged citizen
Ahead of the 2022 midterm election cycle, register to vote here or in your home country. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to get involved in your local community – try to attend virtual meetings of the City Council and other councils and commissions. While at UC Berkeley, you can also volunteer through The Berkeley Project or the Public Service Center.
Learn about the region’s rich past and its connection to the present
UC Berkeley sits on land originally inhabited by the Ohlones. Head north to visit Mortar Rock Park to see the acorn grinding pits carved into solid rock by the ancestors of the Ohlone people, then stop at Ohlone Park, which houses a four-sided mural, celebrating Indigenous culture. Visit ‘oṭṭoy, a collaboration between Café Ohlone and the Hearst Museum, opening September 1. Then use the Telegraph Berkeley Tour app to learn about civil rights shop-ins, the disability rights movement, Japanese internment during WWII, the free speech movement and more about our shared history.
Go green — think sustainably
UC Berkeley and the city have ambitious zero waste goals: your help to divert, recycle, reuse and reduce is essential. Talk to your roommates about reducing waste: the ecology center offers tips for litter-free living, and the student environmental resource center can help you reach your sustainability goals while pursuing a more equitable future, fair and resilient. Discover Cal Dining’s plant-based menu to reduce your carbon footprint and enroll in one of Berkeley’s 800 sustainability-focused courses.
Plan ahead to keep you and your community safe
Berkeley is not immune to crime. Reduce risk by planning ahead and being aware of your surroundings. At night, travel in groups along major thoroughfares and keep electronic devices out of sight. Use campus night safety services like BearWALK, night safety shuttles and door-to-door rides. If you see anything suspicious, call the non-emergency numbers: UCPD (510) 642-3333; Berkeley PD (510) 981-5900. In case of emergency, dial 911; from a mobile, text 911 or call (510) 981-5911.
Living in Berkeley gives you the chance to interact with a wonderfully diverse population, take advantage of countless resources and opportunities, and gain insights and skills that will serve you well after college. Let’s take advantage of all that Berkeley has to offer and — and keep the Berkeley community healthy and vibrant. Here’s to a safe semester, and go Bears!
Carol Christ is the chancellor of UC Berkeley and Jesse Arreguín is the mayor of Berkeley.