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Back to School: Campus coming alive again for Fall 2003

Back to School features
• Advice from the experts: Recent grads tell how to succeed at Cal
• Making the most of your Berkeley experience: Advice from professors
• Welcome Week in review slide show Slide show
• Move-in weekend slide show Slide show
• New profs take careful notes at orientation

Fall 2003 classes begin Monday, Aug. 25, at UC Berkeley, but many of the estimated 32,900 students expected to enroll are already on campus, settling into the Berkeley lifestyle and preparing to hunker down with their books.

This week, traditionally known as “Welcome Week,” is a time for students to move into residence halls and apartments, visit campus departments and attend workshops that range from how to choose a major and excel at college math to how to manage stress and keep off those excess pounds known as the “Freshman 15.”

 New Student Convocation
Members of the incoming class fill Memorial Glade for New Student Convocation. (Steve McConnell photos)

Meet the new students
An estimated 3,640 freshmen are expected to register at Berkeley this fall, and while the number is largely the same as last year, the incoming class is one of the strongest ever academically. New students will range in age from 12 to 77; slightly more than half of the incoming class are women. Learn more about the student body.

Costs going up
For the first time in many years, UC Berkeley students are seeing an increase in UC registration and education fees. Earlier this month, when the California Legislature adopted a 2003-2004 budget that left the UC system with deep cuts, the UC Regents approved a 30 percent student fee increase. Grants and other awards are softening the economic blow for thousands of UC Berkeley students. Learn more about fees.

Martha Olney meets new students
Martha Olney, economics professor and a 2003 Distinguished Teacher Award winner, chats with new students at the chancellor's reception.

New classes abound
The new school year means new ways to learn and teach. Among the first-ever classes offered this fall will be the “Post-Dilbert Workspace,” for students interested in designing a kinder, gentler office space; “Writing the Sierra,” in which freshmen will camp, hike and pen thoughts about nature in Kings Canyon National Park; and several classes created to help students, especially freshmen, break the ice with their professors. Learn more about new classes.

Building and rebuilding
 Work on new Stanley Hall
Construction crews labor in the giant, concrete-lined hole that eventually will become the new Stanley Biosciences and Bioengineering Facility.
Construction continues throughout the campus, both to add more student housing and to continue the upgrading of seismically suspect classroom buildings. Although it sometimes seems the whole campus is one large work zone, Capital Projects says there is light at the end of the tunnel – more than half the square footage identified in 1997 as needing seismic retrofitting has either been completed or is in progress. Learn more about campus construction.

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