No Summer Vacation
Campus Hops with Camps, Courses, CalSO, Construction
By Tamara Keith, Public Affairs
Final exams are long over, as are 55 spring graduation ceremonies and the annual mass exodus from student residence halls.
Has the campus settled in for a long, quiet summer?
Summer Sessions will draw 12,000 students this year, from May 24 to August 13, filling all classrooms most of the day.
Virtually anyone can enroll in summertime undergraduate classes, and for a mere $25, people 55 and older can audit as many classes as they like.
There are special programs for junior and senior high school students getting a head start on college. International students flock to campus and a whopping 38 percent of Berkeley undergraduates -- about 8,500 students -- have chosen to study on campus this summer rather than vacation.
"Summer is the most diverse time of year at Berkeley," says Gary Penders, Summer Sessions director. "It's been called the best kept secret in America."
Even goats come to Berkeley in the summer. Hundreds of them, owned by a company called Goats R Us, have returned to the hills east of campus to graze the days away.
"We count on them every year to come up here and eat the fire fuel," says Kathleen Moorehouse, resource manager for the Office of Laboratory Animal Care, one of the buildings the goats visit.
Some 6,500 children, aged six months to 17 years, are flooding campus for dozens of summer camps -- at the Botanical Garden, Lawrence Berkeley Lab and Haas School of Business, which offers a summer program for young business enthusiasts. There's a safari camp, one for kids learning English and sports camps led by Berkeley athletes and coaches.
In two-day CalSO orientations June 11-July 17, about 6,500 incoming freshmen and transfer students learn from current students what it takes to survive at Cal. Among the lessons learned are how to use Tele-BEARS, what classes to take first semester and where to find the best slice of pizza.
For the 13th summer in a row, Central Valley youngsters are spending six weeks, through July, in Coalinga/Huron House near campus. As part of the Academic Talent Development Program, the 21 students, from grades 7 through 12, take special college preparatory classes and learn about urban living and living together.
Good weather and fewer students means building construction can intensify during the summer months. "Some of the more disruptive work is scheduled," warns Jeffrey Gee, director of design and project management. "For example, major underground utility work is now underway in various parts of the campus."
Scheduled for completion this summer are four major projects: Haas Pavilion, Edwards Stadium, McCone Hall and the temporary surge building, now known as the West Hearst Annex. The Pacific Film Archive is scheduled to move into the annex in late August.
And not all faculty flee. According to the Summer Sessions annual report, 163 regular faculty members remain on campus to teach classes. Others stay in town to catch up on research projects.
"Summer is the best time to get a lot of research done," says Tsu-Jae King, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences. "It's a good time for creative thinking. It's less rushed, and I can spend more time with the grad students who do research because I'm not preoccupied with teaching."