Chancellor Carol Christ and Paul Alivisatos, executive vice chancellor and provost, send the following message to the campus community on Monday afternoon:
Tomorrow is #GivingTuesdayNow, a new global day of giving in response to the unprecedented needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As you know, many of our students are facing significant financial challenges: almost overnight, part-time jobs that many relied on to fund their education dried up, while layoffs and pay reductions began weakening the capacity of families to provide a foundation of support. For many UC Berkeley students, the disruptions in learning, housing and access to basic necessities were felt immediately and keenly, as described in this story, “The Student Emergency Fund: A Bridge to a Brighter Future.”
In addition, members of our staff are facing similar financial challenges. On top of the financial challenges are the very real health threats presented by COVID-19, which directly affect members of our community and their families.
The campus has responded by raising support for the Student Emergency Fund, which provides financial assistance to students. In response, our supporters have been incredibly generous – more than 800 of them have given to the fund. Many of you have asked us how you can help UC Berkeley students during these challenging times. If you have the means and the desire, please consider donating to the fund.
A generous UC Berkeley alumna has committed $1 million for student emergency needs. She has challenged us to build upon her generosity by also making a gift. We’re aiming to raise $1 million for the Student Emergency Fund to meet that challenge. Funds will be used to provide emergency grants to students needing assistance with food and rent, technology required for the shift to remote learning, and relocation costs.
Staff members are eligible for assistance through the Basic Needs Relief Fund. This fund is also to those students for whom some of the traditional financial aid sources are not available (e.g., graduate students, international students, undocumented students).
Thank you for your continued commitment to UC Berkeley. Thank you for your grace in adjusting your professional lives to meet the needs of our campus community while we deal with this pandemic. And finally, thank you for considering this request to support our neediest students and staff members.
We extend our best wishes for your health and wellness during these difficult times.