Beginning this fall, 17 UC Berkeley students moved into some of the Mills College dorms after being denied campus housing from their own university.
After the UC Berkeley campus added 750 new students this fall, which led to a shortage of campus housing, Mills and Holy Names University agreed to house up to 50 students each. The UC Berkeley students are living in the doubles wing in Mary Morse with a Resident Assistant from Mills and a Residential Education Liaison from UC Berkeley.
As reported by The Daily Californian, a UC Berkeley Residential Education Liaison has to live in Mary Morse with the students. There are no UC Berkeley freshmen living in Mary Morse, as the Mills College’s Dean of Students Chicora Martin hopes that the UC Berkeley students living at Mills will already have a strong connection to their campus.
“We’ll do everything we can to be good hosts and to make them feel welcome,” Martin told the Daily Californian. “There are benefits to being in an academic setting, even if it’s not your home campus.”
Upon learning that UC Berkeley students would be living with them, many Mills students in Mary Morse had mixed feelings about the situation. Sophomore Maia Zaiee was worried that UC Berkeley students living with her in Mary Morse might change the atmosphere of the campus.
“My main concern was that they might be cisgender males,” Zaiee said. “But now that I know that they could all be admitted to Mills, it doesn’t make a difference to me having them live on campus.”
Like many other students, Zaiee is now excited to have the new students living nearby. She thinks that the connection of UC Berkeley and Mills students will be beneficial.
“It makes me feel like Berkeley is more accessible,” Zaiee said. “Especially with the new shuttle schedule.”
UC Berkeley junior Hailey Johnson was assigned housing at Mills, and doesn’t find the shuttle to be as accessible.
“I used the shuttle once but it was really late, and the shuttle times aren’t that convenient,” Johnson said. “I have my car here, so I just drive to Berkeley.”
Despite the commute, Johnson appreciates the abundance of parking and Mills’ quiet ambience after spending the day on UC Berkeley’s campus.
“It’s very quiet here,” Johnson said. “It’s weird being on campus at Cal all day and then coming back here and having it be so mellow.”
Johnson doesn’t mind living on a historically women’s college campus, but isn’t interested in cross registering at Mills.
UC Berkeley is working to solve the long-term issue of the housing shortage, and announced plans to build more freshman housing in the place of Stiles Hall by Fall 2018. In the mean time, Martin believes that the housing of UC Berkeley students on Mills’ campus will be beneficial to both colleges’ students.