University of California, Berkeley student housing

University of California, Berkeley student housing

The University of California, Berkeley has various student housing facilities, some run by the office of Residential and Student Service Programs, and others by off-campus entities.

UCB Housing and Dining facilities

When first built in the 1950s and 1960s, the "highrise" buildings of Units 1, 2, and 3 consisted of four buildings surrounding a common ground-level dining area above a mail room, recreation room, and office structure.

Each nine-story building is named after alumni or faculty and were originally designed for single-sex occupancy and configured with a ground floor lobby and recreation room. Each of the eight floors have approximately 15 14x14 ft. rooms, plus a single large bathroom with lockers, sinks, toilet stalls, and shower stalls. Each room on the floor was a double, except for the rooms at the buildings' corners, which were triples. Even numbered floors had laundry rooms, and odd numbered floors had floor lounges(essentially two adjoining rooms with the wall removed).

Units 1, 2, and 3 have since become co-ed, and all of the bathrooms have had their stalls renovated to improve privacy. Other changes from the original 1950's configuration of Units 1 and 2 include:
*4th floor lacks a laundry room (converted instead into a double)
*Most courtyard-facing rooms are double-occupancy, outward-facing rooms are generally triples
**except rooms for hall staff (housed on even-numbered floors) and those modified for potential disabled persons use (found on the first floor of certain buildings)
*The individual dining commons for Units 1 and 2 were replaced by a new larger one called Crossroads located on the block separating the two Units
*As a result of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, additional cross bracing was added to the exteriors of the highrise Unit 1 and 2 buildings.

All units usually have an unannounced fire drill some time during the first few weeks. While the administration has stated that the drill is intentionally unannounced in order to test the readiness of students, it has been criticized that the unannounced fire drills can disrupt student activities.Fact|date=February 2007

The residential dining commons are operated by Cal Dining.

Unit 1

The main buildings of Unit 1 are located at 2650 Durant Avenue, but the facility includes a few satellite locations as well (denoted in italics).
* "Channing-Bowditch Apartments"
* Cheney Hall
* Christian Hall (opened 2005)
* Deutsch Hall
* [ Freeborn Hall]
* "Ida L. Jackson House" (formerly known as College-Durant Apartments)
* Putnam Hall
* "Shorb House, 2547 Channing Way"
* Slottman Hall (opened 2005)

Crossroads is the dining facility serving Units 1 and 2.

Unit 2

[ Unit 2] is located at 2650 Haste Street.
* Cunningham Hall
* Davidson Hall
* Ehrman Hall
* Griffiths Hall
* Towle Hall (opened 2005)
* Wada Hall (opened 2005)

Crossroads is the dining facility serving Units 1 and 2.

Unit 3

The main buildings of Unit 3 are located at 2400 Durant Avenue.
* "Beverly Cleary Hall" (opened early 1990s, formerly Haste-Channing)
* Ida Sproul Hall
* Norton Hall
* "Manville Apartments"
* Priestley Hall
* [ Spens-Black Hall]

Until 1994, "Manville Hall" was a part of Unit 4 and was the only residence hall directly on the main Berkeley campus. It primarily housed law, graduate, and upper division students and, as such, was known for being relatively quiet, the occupants of the 1992-1993 academic year being a notable exception. It has since been renamed Simon Hall and converted to office use for Boalt Law School. A new "Manville Apartments" building was built near the corner of Channing Way and Shattuck Avenue. Like its predecessor, housing priority for this facility is given to law students.

Café 3 is the dining facility serving Unit 3, and recently received major renovations.

Bowles/Stern/Foothill/La Loma (Unit 4)

*Bowles Hall is the first UC Berkeley residence hall on campus; established in 1928. It is the only all-male residence hall currently in existence (Deutsch Hall being a former one). Bowles Hall is infamous for its location directly above the Hayward Fault Zone. The opinions of many non-Bowlesmen are that Bowles is the 'worst place to live' due to its all-male status and its aged and worn architectureFact|date=November 2007. Bowlesmen's opinion of Bowles tend to significantly more positive, than non-Bowlemen's second hand hearsay about Bowles. The University claims that living there was a great experience for students, filled with tradition and fellowship [ [ Living at Cal - Bowles ] ] . In recent years, Bowles Hall was heavily considered by Haas School of Business as a potential site for housing members of its executive education program, but was in 2007 denounced [ [ BERKELEY / UC backs down on plan to convert dorm ] ] .
*Stern Hall is the all-female residence hall on campus [ [ BERKELEY / UC backs down on plan to convert dorm ] ] .
*Foothill was completed in 1990, and consists of the Hillside and La Loma complexes.

Due to its variety of accommodations, Foothill residence halls are the most expensive to live in. Unit 4 is the only unit to not be certified ADA accessible.Fact|date=February 2007. Recently, in an effort to forward the ADA notion, the Foothill Bridge was installed. The bridge extends from Foothill-La Loma over the road to Foothill-Hillside [ [ Welcome to RSSP Housing Projects, UC Berkeley ] ] . There was been controversy [ [ The Daily Californian - City Grants Foothill Bridge Permit ] ] surrounding the installation of the bridge, issues that it does involve include helping to alleviates any potential risk for students and students with disabilities when they cross the busy intersection that their residence hall borders [ [ Donald MacDonald FAIA Bridge Architects] ] .

Unit 4's dining facility is named after Foothill.

Clark Kerr Campus (Unit 5)

Clark Kerr Campus is a Spanish mission style residential complex located 5 blocks southeast of the main UC Berkeley campus.


Clark Kerr Campus was constructed in 1869 as the State Asylum for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind. It was used by the California Schools for the Deaf and Blind until 1980, when it was forced to relocate after the complex was declared seismically unsafe. Another issue which involving the closing of the Clark Kerr Campus as the Asylum for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind was the death of a mentally ill boy who wandered into the tunnels which run under the campus buildings. After the boy was missing for several weeks, many believed he was kidnapped until one cold winter day a campus nurse turned on the heating system in building 2 of the campus. She reported smelling a propane-like smell leading campus maintenance workers to believe there was a leak in the heating system of that building. When a maintenance worker went into the tunnel, he found the boy, hung from the ceiling of the tunnel. Officials believe the cause of death was strangulation. Following the school's relocation, a large debate occurred between the City of Berkeley and UC Berkeley. The city wanted to continue the tradition of using the site as a location for affordable housing for the needy, while the university wanted to expand its residential housing. A court decided on the issue, giving the majority of the site to the university, and granting convert|3|acre|m2 to the city for nonprofit use. UC Berkeley opened the site as a residential complex in 1986 and named it Clark Kerr Campus, after the first chancellor of the university, Clark Kerr. In the same year, the city of Berkeley founded Redwood Gardens, a home for financially needy elderly people. On September 21, 1981, Clark Kerr Campus was designated a Berkeley Landmark (#42) and in 1982, Clark Kerr Campus was placed on the National Register of Historic Places (#82000962).

Clark Kerr Campus today

Clark Kerr Campus commonly houses over 700 UC students during school months. It features several residential buildings that contain dormitory style rooms and suites. Along with the residence halls, the campus also has a pool, a sand volleyball area, tennis/basketball courts, a track and a dining commons. There is also a skate park which the students are not allowed to use. The Claremont Hills overlook the campus and are a great place to hike. From the top of the hill, one can see a beautiful outline of the city of San Francisco. Clark Kerr campus is commonly regarded as one of the most popular residence hall complexes at UC Berkeley, because of its large rooms and homey atmosphere.


Channing-Bowditch is a resident hall only open to upper-division and transfer students. The building houses 226 students in 57 apartment units spanned across 4 floors. The benefits of living in 'Cha-Bo', as students refer to it, is its close proximity to campus (2 blocks) and offering residence hall living without the 'dorm' feel and the otherwise obligatory meal plan. The complex boasts a laundry room, 4 study rooms, a student lounge, bike racks, and more. Construction for the building was completed in 2003.

Family housing

University Village

University Village is a housing community for married students. It is located within the city limits of Albany about two miles (3 km) northwest of the main Berkeley campus. The demolition of older buildings and their subsequent replacement with new, more expensive apartment units has prompted student protests. The Village Residents Association, a funding and advocacy group in University Village, filmed a video documentary regarding the lack of affordable student family housing in June, 2007. Smyth-Fernwald is scheduled for demolition in 2010.

Theme housing

Theme housing provides an academic residential environment for students who share an interest in a particular cultural theme. Students who are a part of these theme programs take a class that explores the histories, language, and literature of the respective groups and work closely with their sponsoring academic department. Students must apply for theme housing. There are currently six theme programs at Cal and there locations, denoted in italics, are listed below.
* African American (AATP) - "Unit 1, Christian Hall"
* Asian Pacific American (APATH) - "Unit 2, Towle Hall"
* Casa Magdalena Mora - "Unit 3, Beverly Cleary Hall"
* Global Environment Theme House (GETH) - "Foothill"
* Unity House - "Foothill, La Loma"
* Women in Science & Engineering - "Foothill"

International House

The International House (or I-House) is located along Piedmont Avenue, right where Bancroft Way ends. It is home to many of the University of California Berkeley's international students, with half international and half American residents. The International House is an independent, self-supporting non-profit organization that has close associations with the university. International House Berkeley officially opened on August 18, 1930. It was the largest student housing complex in the Bay Area and the first coeducational residence west of the Mississippi.

Fraternities and Sororities

The surrounding city has many private fraternities and sororities.

USCA Co-ops

The University Students' Cooperative Association is a private, independently-run student housing cooperative with 20 houses and apartment buildings housing over 1300 students. Some of the USCA's houses are leased from the University. Housing costs are kept low by requiring workshifts (usually 5 hours a week) from residents. The houses and the system are run by the students, and, as of 2007, rent cost is less than half of the cost of most forms of University-controlled housing.

External links

* [ Cal Housing official website]
* [ UC Berkeley's Residence Hall Assembly Website]
* [ History of the Residence Halls] , on
* [ Unit 1 Website]
* [ Unit 2 Website]
* [ Theme Program official webpage @ Cal Housing]
* [ International House Website]
* [ Student Family Housing - Problem & Solution] (video documentary)


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