Fall semester at UC Berkeley kicks off Monday, Aug. 16, with Welcome Week

By Public Affairs

BERKELEY-- Another drop in annual fees, three new deans, a late-night snack bar, a seminar on stress in the classroom, and a new center for transfer students will greet students arriving at the University of California, Berkeley, for the fall 1999 semester.

Welcome Week kicks off Sunday (8/15) with the annual Move-in Day, when thousands of students lugging suitcases, computers and other belongings move into the campus residence halls. The entire week is devoted to orientation sessions, campus tours and student receptions.

The largest gathering is the New Student Convocation, to be held this year in the historic Hearst Greek Theater on Monday, Aug. 16, at 3 p.m. Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl and student body president Patrick Campbell will be among those addressing incoming students. The convocation will be followed by a picnic dinner for students at nearby Kleeberger Field.

Classes begin on Monday, Aug. 23, for everyone but students at UC Berkeley's law school, Boalt Hall, who begin on the 16th.

The total number of students expected to enroll at UC Berkeley for fall '99 is 31,130, with 22,600 undergraduate and 8,530 graduate students.

For the second year in a row, fees at UC Berkeley, and throughout the UC system, have gone down. With an increased state subsidy for California students approved by the state Legislature, fees have fallen by nearly 8 percent in two years. At UC Berkeley, fees for all but graduate students in the professional schools are $4,046, including student health insurance, for the 1999-2000 academic year. 

Increased housing costs, however, have boosted the estimated total cost of a year at UC Berkeley for California residents from $14,598 last year to $15,044 this year. That amount includes fees, housing, books, transportation and personal expenses.

Richard Black, UC Berkeley's director of financial aid, said his office is monitoring the cost of housing and, as needed, will add increased loan and work-study financial assistance for qualified students.

Tuition for out-of-state students has risen from $9,574 last year to $10,174, reflecting the growing cost of a UC Berkeley education. For non-California students, the tuition is added to educational fees and is not subsidized by the state.

Students fearing the annual fall housing crunch are finding fewer than anticipated problems this season, according to campus housing officials. As Move-in Day approached, limited spaces still were available in the residence halls. The campus's Community Living Office, which provides rental listings and advice, is helping about 150 students a day - about 350 fewer than usual.

In anticipation of a housing scarcity, UC Berkeley recently converted some double-occupancy rooms to triple occupancy, bringing the total number of beds to 5,100 - the most ever. Community Living also offered special Saturday hours, counseling on hunting for housing, and e-mail updates.

While incoming freshmen typically have four years to master campus life, students who transfer from California's community colleges as juniors can find themselves with little time to adjust and feel connected to the campus.

To help them out, UC Berkeley has opened a new center especially dedicated to serving the campus's 4,000 some transfer students, who represent nearly one in five undergraduate students. The center, in the Chavez Student Center, will offer specialized advising, tutors and workshops.

Students aren't the only ones on campus with new tasks ahead. Three new deans have been announced:

o Soviet scholar George W. Breslauer, professor of political science, will fill a five-year term as dean of social sciences in the College of Letters & Science. He replaces interim dean Jan de Vries, a UC Berkeley professor of history.

o David Leonard, a political science professor, is the new dean of International & Area Studies. He replaces Professor Richard Buxbaum, who returned to teaching and research at the law

school. Leonard has lived in Africa for more than a dozen years and served as advisor to the United Nations Development Program, the Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Bank.

o Clayton H. Heathcock is the College of Chemistry's new dean. A prominent organic chemist, he succeeds Alex T. Bell. A Berkeley faculty member since 1964, Heathcock says his immediate agenda is to "lead the college through the seismic repair era in such a way that our teaching mission and ongoing research activities are not disrupted."

The start of the school year finds several areas of campus under construction as buildings are seismically upgraded, renovated or modernized.

The new, 12,000-seat Haas Pavilion, with twice as many seats as the old Harmon Gymnasium, will open in September. A new 200-seat theater to house the Pacific Film Archive has been constructed at the new Hearst Field Annex, just west of Hearst Gymnasium. The theater will remain there until the fate of the seismically poor Berkeley Art Museum is decided. The new annex buildings will also be home to some of the faculty, staff and students in the College of Environmental Design. Wurster Hall, the college's home, is under seismic repair.

For hard-at-work students looking for a late night meal, one of the residence halls - Unit III - is offering, for the first time, a late night snack bar. Called the Bear Market, it will offer nachos, espresso, hot baked cookies, minipizzas and, for those too tired to decide between a hamburger and a hot dog, a "burger dog," a rolled hamburger on a hot dog bun.

And for students worried about the legendary 15 pounds that freshmen gain during their first year of college, nutrition expert George Chang will teach Nutritional Sciences 24: The Freshman Experience. "We tackle questions freshmen will be wrestling with until the end of time," said Chang. (Professor Chang can be reached at (510) 642-0603).

For students who'd rather get health advice from peers, an undergraduate public health class called "Health Promotion in a College Setting" trains students to counsel each other on topics including problem roommates, sexual assault and drug abuse. Teacher Abby Rincon then hires these students to

counsel peers in the dorms, co-ops and Greek houses. (Rincon can be reached at (510) 642-7202).



Capitalizing on the popularity of the campus's annual informal summer reading list - this year's list included "Winnie the Pooh," "Into Thin Air," "Einstein's Dreams" and the Bible - two campus departments have teamed up to create book circles for freshmen living in the residence halls.

The "Reading Connections" book groups will allow students to talk with faculty members - including Ron Lowinsohn, Bruce Birkett, Pedro Noguera, Joanne Ikeda, Alexei Filippenko, Jane Mauldon, Fred Wilt and Robert Berring - who recommended books on the list.

The groups will begin meeting the week of August 23 and continue through late October. The students have been encouraged to think about how the books might relate to their first year of college.

There currently are more than 200 first year students signed up for the program. Organizers expect interest to increase during Welcome Week.

"We thought that this might provide a great opportunity to help build the relationship between faculty members and students in an academic yet informal setting," said Michael Malone, resident director of Bowles and Stern halls.

Contact: Michael Malone, (510) 642-1726,


Could the resurgence of the Green movement explain the wild success of UC Berkeley's new environmental science major in the College of Natural Resources? Could be, says co-director Brian Wright, a professor in Agricultural & Resource Economics. Student enrollment in the major has jumped 500 percent, from 14 students at the close of last semester to 72 this fall, one year into the program, he said. Based on the research these students are interested in, "green" has a whole new meaning, from how plants affect our psyches to stocking creeks with frogs, from the impact of roads to bioengineering soybeans. Said Wright, "Our students want to make a difference in the real world."

Contact: Professor Brian Wright, (510) 642-9213.


Perhaps no one knows more about burnout among high school students than college freshmen, which is why psychology professor Christina Maslach is teaching a class called "Stress and Burnout in Schools." The goal of the seminar is to understand what happens when teachers and students experience stress in school settings. Students will learn to conduct research on human behavior by visiting high schools, interviewing teachers and collecting data. Maslach, who is the author of the book, "The Truth About Burnout," said she is "trying to relate their experiences to the kind of research I do on stress in high school settings, focusing on their experience as former high school students."

Contact: Professor Christina Maslach, (510) 642-7140.


UC Berkeley has been called upon by the state legislature to prepare hundreds of new teachers and principals for California's urban schools.

Recruitment will begin this fall at the Graduate School of Education to attract up to 70 new students who will constitute the first wave of teachers and principals prepared specifically for service in schools with large numbers of low-income and non-English speaking students.

The students will be awarded scholarships to cover all fees in return for four years of service in urban schools. UC Berkeley and UCLA were named in legislation signed in April to lead the two programs, called the Governor's Teacher Scholars Program and the Governor's Principal Leadership Institute.

The governor and Legislature are concerned about a growing shortfall of teachers and principals in light of population growth and reduced class sizes, as well as educators unprepared for the rigors of improving academic achievement in challenging urban schools. They expect the University of California to take a leadership role in helping the state meet these challenges.

UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Education is responding. The new and expanded programs slated to begin in the summer of 2000 will result in a major expansion of the school's master's degree and teacher credential programs.

"This challenge to make an intellectual and professional contribution to the field of education is directly in line with the mission of the Graduate School of Education," said Professor Eugene Garcia, dean of the school.

Contact: Dean Eugene Garcia, (510) 643-6644.


The sciences at UC Berkeley have traditionally been male-dominated. Only about 20 percent of the campus's science students are women.

While the academic departments work to boost female enrollment, the campus's Housing and Dining Services division is taking steps to make science-loving women feel more at home.

This week, 37 female science majors will move into the "Women in Sciences and Engineering" (WiSE) theme program located in the Foothill Residence Halls.

"One of the reasons I wanted to start this dorm was listening to the complaints of women students in the sciences and engineering," said Fary Koh, assistant director for academic services, residential and family living, housing and dining services.

According to Koh, many female science majors complained that they felt isolated in fields dominated by men. Now, they'll have a place to call their own.

The WiSE theme program will give these women a living and learning environment that supports their interests in mathematics, science and engineering. They'll be able to study with other female science majors without having to leave the comfort of their residence hall. In addition they'll have access to peer mentors and a faculty advisor.

Other theme dorms include the Asian Pacific American theme program, Casa Magdalena Mora theme program, African American theme program and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender theme program.

Contact: Fary Koh, (510) 643-9843


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