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Class of 2004 begins arriving for new school year at UC Berkeley, where most classes start Aug. 28
24 Aug 2000

By Media Relations

Student fees hold steady; other costs rise
Housing demand is up
Meet the incoming class
New construction moves campus into 21st century
Hepatitis B vaccines required of some students
New appointments made in leadership positions
Student leader emphasizes Cal spirit

Eleven Cal athletes, one coach, head to Olympics


Berkeley - A new school year is under way at the University of California, Berkeley, where, for most of the 31,300 students expected to enroll, classes begin next Monday, Aug. 28. Currently, the campus's newest students are in the midst of Welcome Week activities - orientation sessions, campus tours and students receptions - that traditionally are held the week before school starts.

Classes at UC Berkeley's School of Law (Boalt Hall) began on Monday, Aug. 21.

Today (Thursday, Aug. 24), from noon to 2 p.m. at the Underhill parking area, incoming students are invited to CALapalooza 2000, where they can learn about campus services available to them and meet representatives from more than 150 campus groups.

Expected at UC Berkeley this fall are 22,675 undergraduates and 8,625 graduate students. The freshman class, comprised of 3,759 students, already has one distinction - it has the highest number of women ever to enroll in a fall freshmen class and the highest percentage of women, 54.1 percent, to enroll during non-war time, according to Gregg Thomson, director of UC Berkeley's Office of Student Research.

Freshmen will flock this fall to the ever-popular Freshman Seminars, small classes of no more than 15 freshmen taught by some of the campus's most distinguished faculty members. This semester's seminars include a class on the Golden Gate Bridge taught by one of the world's foremost bridge engineers; another on modern advertising theory taught by a noted professor of rhetoric who also happens to be a five-time Jeopardy champion; and a new examination of Jane Austin's "Pride and Prejudice" - taught by reading the entire text aloud in class.

Student fees hold steady; other costs rise

Student fees for the 2000-2001 school year remained steady. The $4,046 in fees, including health insurance, paid by California residents remains the same as last year. (Fees are higher for the professional schools of law and business; non-residents pay an additional $10,174 in tuition above fees charged state residents.)

But the cost of housing has gone up this year, just as it has for renters everywhere in the Bay Area. For students living in campus residence halls, the total cost of a year at UC Berkeley - including fees, room, board, books and personal expenses - is estimated at $15,642, an increase of $598 over last year. For students living off-campus, the upcoming year's budget is estimated at $15,220. Last year, it was $14,230.

The standard estimated budget for undergraduates in residence halls breaks down this way:

2000-2001   1999-2000
Fees: $4,046 Fees: $4,046
Books: $1,048 Books: $854
Housing: $8,670 Housing: $8,266
Personal: $1,428 Personal: $1,436
Transportation: $450 Transportation: $442
Total: $15,642 Total: $15,044

Housing demand is up

UC Berkeley's housing office was able to provide rooms to all 4,009 incoming freshmen and transfer students who sought campus housing. Campus housing facilities can accommodate 6,250 students, including those in graduate student and family housing. Plans are underway to build housing for an additional 840 students on the south side of campus beginning this year.

Students seeking housing off-campus this fall are finding a tight and expensive rental market again this year. "What's available is expensive, and there's less available than in past years - and there's more competition for it," said Sondra Jensen, director of administrative services for the UC Berkeley Department of Housing & Dining Services.

A youth hostel-type operation has been set up to temporarily house up to 36 students, she said.

According to Cal Rentals, the campus's community housing listing agency, the average studio apartment in Berkeley commands $816 a month, a one-bedroom apartment goes for $1,100 a month, and a two-bedroom apartment is $1,600 a month.

"We see a lot of students doubling, tripling, quadrupling to make it affordable," said Jensen.

Meet the incoming class

The freshman class of 2004 totals 3,759 students. There also are 1,575 incoming transfer students.

The ethnic breakdown of the freshman class is similar to last year's, with slight increases in the number of Chicano and African American students.

  • Chicano/Latino students make up 9.1 percent of the class, compared to 9.3 last year.
  • African American students make up 3.9 percent of the class, compared to 3.6 last year.
  • Asian American students make up 44.8 percent of the class, compared to 44.9 last year.
  • American Indians make up 0.3 percent of the class, compared to 0.6 percent last year.
  • White students make up 30.6 of the class, compared to 31.5 last year.

(Note: These percentages do not total 100 percent because of students who identified themselves in the "other" and "decline to state" categories).

Two trends continue, according to the Office of Student Research. The number of Vietnamese students continues to increase, from 3.6 percent last year to 4.2 percent this year. The number of Southeast Asian students again increased, from 3.8 percent last year to 4.4 percent this year.

New construction moves campus into 21st century

One of Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl's major goals is to "renew the foundations of excellence" at UC Berkeley. That is translating into a campus abuzz with construction.

"This work is critical to sustaining the preeminence of our faculty and supporting the extraordinary work they do as we educate the very best students of each generation," said Berdahl. "All across campus we are working to improve the usefulness of our laboratories, we're upgrading our classrooms and addressing the very real issue of seismic safety."

Major projects currently underway include an ambitious modernization of the historic Hearst Memorial Mining Building and seismic overhauls of Barrows, Hildebrand and Latimer halls, and of Silver Laboratory.

Plans are also underway on the south side of campus to balance the pressing need for more student housing with the demands for more faculty and staff parking and more student recreational space. The Underhill projects call for new housing for more than 800 students, a seismically secure central dining facility and a three-story parking facility for 1,000 vehicles topped by a new sports and recreation field.

Hepatitis B vaccines required of some students

Under a new state law, all California students 18 years old and younger require a hepatitis B vaccination as a condition of enrollment. The state-mandated requirement affects about 3,800 incoming UC Berkeley freshmen.

Students must return to University Health Services a hepatitis B form sent to them earlier this year that requests their hepatitis B immunity status. If they haven't had the series of three doses upon enrollment, the health service can provide them. The vaccine is considered a safe and effective way to prevent hepatitis B.

"As of July 1, 1999, the state requires that California children get a hepatitis B vaccine as they enter 7th grade or show proof of hepatitis B immunization," said Pam Cameron, assistant director of clinical services at University Health Services. "We would expect, over the years, that more and more of our incoming freshmen will be previously immunized."

New appointments made in leadership positions

There are five new senior managers in the academic administration for the new school year.

Paul R. Gray, former dean of the College of Engineering, is the new executive vice chancellor and provost. History and economics professor Jan de Vries is vice provost for academic affairs and faculty welfare. William C. Webster, an engineering professor, is vice provost for academic planning and facilities. Mary Ann Mason, a professor of social welfare, is the new dean of the Graduate Division. And in January 2001, Mary Beth Burnside, former dean of the biological sciences, will become the new vice chancellor for research.

The campus also has three new deans: John P. Dwyer, dean of the law school, Boalt Hall; A. Richard Newton, dean of the College of Engineering; and Richard Malkin, who for the next two years will serve as interim dean of the College of Natural Resources.

Student leader emphasizes Cal spirit

At UC Berkeley, Teddy Liaw is this year's president of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC). Liaw said he hopes to create a new "Cal spirit" among students that reflects their feelings of pride about the campus as a whole - not just about a team or student organization or academic department.

"Cal spirit," he said, " is a sense of attachment to and ownership of Cal. I'd like to see people of my generation graduate from Cal with a united school mentality - not just pride in only the things they were part of."

Liaw said there are some 450 to 500 student organizations on campus, but not many activities or goals that unite those groups.

He hopes to launch the "One Campus Campaign," a series of projects to bring UC Berkeley's diverse student body together. Liaw's proposed projects include a multi-cultural show at which students share music, dance and food; the chance for students to watch "away" football games together on a moveable projection screen on lower Sproul Plaza; and a student leadership conference for representatives from many of the campus's diverse groups.

Eleven Cal athletes, one coach, head to Olympics

Eleven current students at UC Berkeley and one of the campus's coaches are headed to the upcoming summer Olympics in Sydney. In addition, 22 former UC Berkeley students - including basketball star Jason Kidd, who left campus in 1994 to turn pro, and soccer champion Joy Biefeld Fawcett, who graduated from Cal in 1990 - also will participate in various competitions.

Among the current students headed to Australia is Anthony Ervin, the first person of African American heritage to compete for the U.S. Olympic swim team. Ervin will race in the 50-meter freestyle and the 4 x 100 freestyle relay.

Another UC Berkeley swimmer, Staciana Stitts, will swim the 100-meter breaststroke; Nicole DiSalvio, a softball pitcher, will pitch for Italy's team; Ericka Lorenz and Heather Petri, both on UC Berkeley's women's water polo team, will compete for the United States; and six male rowers at UC Berkeley will compete for various countries. Filip Filipic, Ivan Smiljanic and Mladen Stegic will row for Yugoslavia; Nito Simonsen will row for Norway; Jake Wetzel will row for the United States; and Kevin White will row for Canada.

Barry Weiner, UC Berkeley's gymnastics coach, has been chosen as assistant coach for the U.S. men's gymnastics team.



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