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UC Berkeley Press Release

Fall semester 2004 set to begin at UC Berkeley, where classes for most students start Aug. 30

Editor's note: Fees for some graduate schools were published incorrectly in the original version of this story. The corrected fees are below.

– Fall semester classes begin Monday, Aug. 30, at the University of California, Berkeley, for most of the estimated 32,650 students expected to enroll - including 3,713 freshmen, 1,725 new transfer students and 2,700 new graduate students.

This coming weekend, "Move-In Day" at the residence halls is a two-day event, Aug. 21-22. "Welcome Week" follows, and this year's Aug. 23-27 activities for students include special campus tours, sunset viewing from the Campanile, a Cal Band parade, opportunities to meet Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl, and workshops ranging from how to get started in undergraduate research to excelling in your first Cal math class.

UC Berkeley students once more are seeing an increase in registration and education fees, a result of reduced state funding to public higher education. For many students - those whose families meet federal guidelines for need - the fee increase will be covered entirely or in part through grants and other forms of financial aid.

The University of California took a 6 percent cut in state funding this year, about half of which will be offset by a third year of increases in student fees - a 14 percent rise for undergraduates, a 20 percent rise for graduate students, and additional increases for graduate students in business, law, optometry and other professional schools.

"This year's reduction in state support for UC Berkeley is similar to, though slightly smaller, than the cut we took last year. The difference is, there is some relief on the horizon," said Chancellor Berdahl. "The groundwork has been laid with the state to stabilize student fee increases starting next year and begin to restore state funding to levels that allow us to sustain Berkeley's preeminence and keep our doors open to qualified students."

On campus this fall, blue and gold aren't the only school colors. Several new environmentally friendly initiatives are making UC Berkeley "greener" than ever. The 2,500 to-go containers used daily in the dining halls are now made of sugar cane, which biodegrades quickly; more excess food will head to homeless shelters; and cafeteria leftovers will be composted at "Berkeley Worms," the campus's worm collective.

For its environmental efforts, Crossroads, the largest of the four dining halls, recently was certified as a Bay Area Green Business by Alameda County officials. Campus officials aim to have the other three certified by fall 2006.

Also new at UC Berkeley this school year is an increased housing supply, renovated landmarks such as Sproul Plaza and Hertz Hall, and buildings that are safer from earthquakes.

One campus residence hall has a new name - the Ida Louise Jackson Graduate House. The former College Durant Apartments now honor a pioneering UC Berkeley alumna who was the first African American woman certified to teach in California and the first African American to teach in Oakland. She died in 1996 at the age of 93.

And up at Memorial Stadium, the football team has earned its highest preseason ranking in 50 years. The Golden Bears placed No. 13 in the Associated Press poll and No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

MEET THE INCOMING STUDENTS

Campus officials estimate that about 22,850 new and continuing undergraduates will register this fall along with 9,800 new and continuing graduate students. Final registration numbers will be available later in the semester.

The oldest incoming student who indicated plans to register is 72; the youngest is 16.

New Freshmen
An estimated 3,713 freshmen are expected to register this fall, a slight increase from last year.

The ethnic breakdown of this group is projected to be about 45 percent Asian American, 32 percent white, 10 percent Chicano/Latino, 8 percent who declined to state their ethnicity, 3 percent African American, 1 percent "other," and 0.4 percent American Indian.

Estimates show that women will represent about 55 percent of the freshman class, up slightly from last fall.

The new freshman class is one of the strongest ever. These incoming students generally scored higher than those in the previous freshman class on standardized tests, and they took more honors and advanced placement (AP) courses.

Overall, 85 percent of the new freshmen come from public high schools. About 27 percent of them are first-generation college students. The percentage of underrepresented minority students who are entering freshmen will be about 13 percent of the class, down from last year by 2 percent.

Geographically, roughly 38 percent of the California freshmen are from the San Francisco Bay Area, 15 percent from other Northern California areas, 25 percent from Los Angeles County, and 22 percent from other Southern California areas.

New Transfer Students
The number of new transfer students, most of them from California community colleges, is estimated at 1,725.

The group's ethnic breakdown is expected to be 41.5 percent white, 30 percent Asian American, 13 percent Chicano/Latino, 9 percent who declined to state their ethnicity; 3 percent African American, 2.5 percent "other," and 0.9 percent American Indian.

New Graduate Students
Campus officials are expecting approximately 2,700 new graduate students to enroll in fall 2004, compared to 2,981 last fall. Women are expected to comprise 47 percent of the new entering class, the same as last year.

These new students hail from every state in the country except North Dakota. Fifty-three percent are from California, 31 percent from other parts of the United States, and 16 percent from foreign countries.

Enrollment for new graduate students who are international students will be about 425 this fall, compared to 469 in fall 2003.

The average age of these new graduate students is 28. The youngest is 19, the oldest 61.

RISING STUDENT FEES

For California undergraduate students living in residence halls, the overall cost of two semesters at UC
Berkeley, including educational fees, mandatory health insurance fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses and transportation is now estimated at $21,538 - up from $20,066 in fall 2003.

THIS YEAR
Fees : $6,730**
Room & board: $10,744
Food: $886*
Books & supplies: $1,240
Personal: $1,298
Transportation: $640
Total: $21,538
*Beyond that included in campus meal plan
**Includes $774 student health insurance

LAST YEAR
Fees: $5,828**
Room & board: $10,313
Food: $899*
Books & supplies: $1,158
Personal: $1,208
Transportation: $630
Total: $20,066
*Beyond that included in campus meal plan
**Includes $608 student health insurance

Graduate students in most master's and Ph.D. programs will pay about 20 percent more this year than last, which is less than the 40 percent increase originally proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. California residents will pay $7,456.90 per year, which is $727 more than that paid by undergraduate California residents ($6,729.90).

Those in some professional degree programs will be charged a Professional Degree Fee in lieu of the 20 percent general fee increase, though a California superior court last week issued a preliminary injunction against instituting this increase for continuing professional students who initially enrolled prior to Dec. 16, 2002.

Note: The following figures were corrected 9/14/2004

  • Law school students who are California residents will pay $21,530 a year; nonresidents pay $33,776 a year.
  • MBA students who are California residents pay $21,512 a year; nonresidents pay $33,757 a year.
  • Doctor of Optometry students who are California residents pay $15,327 a year; nonresidents pay $27,572 a year.
  • Students in the joint M.D.-Ph.D. program (with UCSF) who are California residents pay $19,762 a year; nonresidents pay $32,007 a year.

MORE STUDENT HOUSING AVAILABLE

The campus is welcoming its new and returning students with an increased housing supply, and even more rooms will be added in the coming year.

The new Channing Bowditch housing, which opened Aug. 1, adds 228 beds in apartment-style suites. The building, reminiscent of local Craftsman-style architecture, houses upper division undergraduates.

By January 2005, construction will be complete on one new residence hall and one apartment building at Unit 2 on the south side of campus, adding an extra 400 beds by spring semester. Nearly 450 beds in two more residence halls will be added to Unit 1 by August 2005.

When these new residence halls are complete, the campus will have added rooms for nearly 1,200 students over the last three years.

"With the additional housing, the chances are better than ever that we will be able to accommodate students who want to stay on in residential units for their sophomore year," said Roland Addad, marketing manager for the campus's Residential and Student Service Programs.

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IMPROVE SAFETY, BEAUTY

Students who haven't stepped foot on Sproul Plaza since June will notice that the best-known entrance to UC Berkeley has been refurbished. The repair and renovation includes new paving stones for improved safety and accessibility.

In July, the campus's $14 million Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library opened its doors, providing state-of-the-art space for the country's top-rated academic music library. The three-story building doubles the space of the old one.

The Department of Music's concert venue, Hertz Hall, is reopening. The retrofit, scheduled for completion by Aug. 30, upgrades the building's seismic rating from poor to good.

Several other ongoing seismic retrofit projects are in the works in campus buildings including Le Conte Hall, the southern portion of Davis Hall and buildings 2 and 10 at the Clark Kerr campus.

Occupants are beginning to move into the Seismic Replacement Building, now called by its address, 2195 Hearst. The building houses campus administrative employees displaced from their original offices because of seismic retrofit work.

Closed through the end of the year for historic repairs and improvements is the North Reading Room of Doe Library.

The demolition of the northern portion of Davis Hall will begin in early September to make way for the new home for the Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society (CITRIS). The groundbreaking for the new CITRIS building is scheduled for late October. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2007.

UNIQUE FALL CLASSES AND OTHER STORY TIPS

"Physics for Future Presidents" (Physics 10)
Instructor: Richard Muller, professor of physics and a researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (510) 486-7430, ramuller@lbl.gov

None of the current crop of presidential candidates has taken this popular introductory physics course, but if Muller had his way, all future presidents would. The class covers physical concepts that he considers necessary prerequisites for living in today's complex world.

"I'm teaching the elementary physics that is most useful for someone who's trying to live in a technological world, to contribute to that world, and to make correct decisions," Muller said. "It's not just for future presidents. Anybody who votes should know these things. If you know these things, you're going to be able to communicate with more people, make better decisions, and do more for yourself and for others."

Muller takes the same approach in his monthly column, "Technology for Presidents," in Technology Review magazine. In it, he dissects such issues as dirty bombs, President Bush's plan to send a man to Mars, the search for Osama bin Laden, the hydrogen economy and even diets.

He uses such real-world situations in his class as an entrée to discussing the basic concepts of physics. Because Physics 10 is designed for non-majors, he hopes students will learn these examples and the surprising physics underlying them and remember them as they pursue their careers, whether in law, politics, business or education.

"My goal," he said, "is to show them they can really understand the technological world, that they can look beyond the newspapers and understand things in order to make wise decisions.

Classes on same-sex marriage
Instructors: Lawrence Cohen (510-642-2284 or cohen@berkeley.edu), William Drummond (510-642-5710 or wdrummon@berkeley.edu), and Liz Drogin (lizdrogin@yahoo.com)

Same-sex marriage is drawing attention in voting booths, headlines, courtrooms and the classroom.

This fall, Assistant Professor of Anthropology Lawrence Cohen's class, "Sexuality, Culture and Colonialism," will focus on same-sex marriage. Cohen has taught the undergraduate course on sexuality, culture and colonialism for the past decade, drawing primarily students majoring in anthropology and those pursuing a minor in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies.

The course will explore kinship and types of marriage in various parts of the world through history, examining ways people care for each other through such expressions as love, financial support or physical contact with friends, siblings, spouses, partners, parents and even co-workers. Students will discuss why some relationships are legally or socially recognized while others are not. Cohen will lead an examination of ritual, how it has changed, and what it means today in the context of marriage.

Students also will look at reasons for opposition to and support for gay marriage,

At the Graduate School of Journalism, Professor William Drummond's "Queer Eye for Straight

Journalism Guys" course will examine media treatment of gays and lesbians from the 1960s to today's controversy about gay marriage and other issues. Students will trace the historical evolution of gay rights as a news topic. Two weeks before the start of classes, Drummond reported the class full and students pleading to get in.

In the Sociology Department, Adjunct Professor Liz Drogin is teaching "Marriage Practices and Beliefs in Contemporary America," exploring the marriage practices and beliefs among different groups in the United States, and related current issues, such as same-sex marriage.

"Freeing the Wrongly Accused"
Instructors: Dr. Lola Vollen, a visiting scholar at the Institute for International Studies (510-526-2168) and author Dave Eggers, I.F. Stone Teaching Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism

Students in this journalism course will interview 10 men and women convicted of crimes and jailed before being exonerated and freed, then produce oral histories about their post-release experience with the judicial and correctional systems. These histories will be included along with student interviews with family members, lawyers, prison authorities and police associated with their cases in a book and CD, "The Exonerated." It will be published in spring 2005 by McSweeney's Books.

Vollen, a physician and co-founder of the Berkeley-based Life After Exoneration Program, which helps exonerated prisoners after their release, said the class project will offer the general public a new look at contemporary human rights issues and produce a historical document and tool for education, policy development, scholarship and advocacy.

In the past decade, more than 350 people convicted of crimes have been freed after proving their innocence and an average of 12 years behind bars. Unlike parolees, the exonerated receive no assistance with job training, housing, counseling or financial aid.

Eggers wrote "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" and "You Shall Know Our Velocity."

"The Presidential Reporting Project"
Instructors: Susan Rasky, lecturer in the Graduate School of Journalism (510-642-9054 or rasky@berkeley.edu), and Bob Calo, acting associate professor of journalism (510-643-4645 or calo@berkeley.edu)

Four UC Berkeley journalism students will cover the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City beginning later this month - filing stories, photos, and audio and video clips over the phone for special election Weblogs.

The students' campaign stories will appear on a Cingular news site at www.rucingluar.com.election and also on a campaign blog at the Graduate School of Journalism's Web site at http://journalism.berkeley.edu/projects/election2004/reporting/.

The Cingular Wireless Election Program is financing the students' trip to New York.

Technology offers interesting enhancements of campaign coverage, Rasky said. She added that the students' central charge remains to learn how to report on a major election. In addition to multimedia
stories for the Web, the students will write for print and broadcast.

The young journalists who cover the convention then will join other students in "The Presidential Reporting Project" and visit "battleground states" to report on voting booth issues in Florida and the congressional races in Texas.

"Oh Say Can You See"
Instructor: Dennis Levi, professor and dean of the School of Optometry (510-642-3414 or dlevi@berkeley.edu)

Freshmen will get a different kind of campus orientation in this innovative vision science seminar. Levi will take students on a tour of "natural" optical illusions on the Berkeley campus as well as a field trip to the Exploratorium in San Francisco. In turn, the class will learn what the illusions reveal about how the brain processes the flood of visual cues it receives.

"Studying optical illusions is a great way to understand the rules and guidelines that govern our visual cortex," said Levi. "This class will literally help students view the campus from a different perspective."

The seminar will meet approximately every other Tuesday.

UC BERKELEY'S NEW "GREEN" INITIATIVES

A full press release is available on the environmentally friendly initiatives underway at UC Berkeley's dining commons this fall. The hyperlink is http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/08/19_green.shtml, or contact Noel Gallagher at UC Berkeley Media Relations, (510) 643-7944 or nkg@pa.urel.berkeley.edu.

IDA LOUISE JACKSON GRADUATE HOUSE

For more information on this newly-named residential complex, which will be dedicated on Aug. 30, please contact Noel Gallagher at Media Relations at (510) 643-7944 or nkg@pa.urel.berkeley.edu.

WELL-KNOWN SPEAKERS TO VISIT CAMPUS

Richard Clarke, the Bush administration's former U.S. counter-terrorism chief whose book "Against All Enemies" and 9/11 commission testimony generated heated debate, will be onstage Sept. 7 at Zellerbach Auditorium. Talking with Clarke will be Michael Nacht, dean of UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, and Steven Weber, director of the campus's Institute of International Studies.

Molly Ivins, a best-selling author and syndicated columnist whose Web site says she writes about "politics, Texas and other bizarre happenings," will discuss American politics and more on Oct. 7 in Zellerbach Auditorium. She will be joined in conversation by Orville Schell, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism.

Former Vice President Al Gore, will speak in Wheeler Hall on Oct. 26 about "Global Climate Change: What are the Facts?" After his talk, he will have an onstage conversation with Dean Schell.