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Housing 2023: Knock knock. Who's Bear?

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MARCH 05, 2023

What makes a house a home? What makes the space you live in yours? Moving to a new city as a student can be as terrifying as it is exciting. And in a city such as Berkeley, housing is a hot topic of conversation — whether it’s the dialogue surrounding accessible living spaces or discourse around finding housemates who you can establish boundaries with. 

As daunting of a task as it is to make Berkeley feel like home, we hope that by sharing some of our stories on finding, furnishing and fostering a sense of home, you will be comforted to know that you are not alone.

We must not forget that while we call Berkeley home — perhaps for only four years — there are countless Berkeley residents whose families have lived here for generations and whose lives we impact every day. Although we may spend our formative years in this city, we must remain cognizant of the rich history and culture that precedes and surrounds us.

‘A roof over my head’: Berkeley students, community face challenges with increasing rents


Berkeley houses side-by-side.

With enrollment increasing every year, the question and debates around housing are only growing, and with them, the conversations around the problems students face living in Berkeley.

— Ananya Rupanagunta

‘Move aside, Blackwell’: UC Berkeley builds even smaller, modernized dorms


Illustration of fancy dorm room interior with batmobile parked outside window, by Angela Bi

Out-of-state students on campus are protesting the price of these dorms for being too cheap, as they come nowhere near the price of out-of-state tuition. For campus freshman Bigmon Eypile from New York, these prices are “unjust” and do not treat out-of-state students fairly.

— Christopher Ying

The spatula drawer


Photo of Luke Stiles

“I know that the next time I open the door to a place that will be mine but isn’t yet, I will map this place onto the next one and see what sticks. I’ll choose which drawer will hold the spatula and which cabinet will house the spices.”

— Luke Stiles

 A slippery slope up Channing Way


Photo of Emma Solomon

Securing a physical house to settle down is one thing, but turning that space into a home involves developing a camaraderie with all those who reside under the same roof.

— Emma Solomon

CEQA Explained: How one statute is at the center of the battle over People’s Park


People's Park.

The California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, has become embroiled in controversy recently, with its latest application wielded to block UC Berkeley’s housing plans for People’s Park.

— Anna Armstrong

Calling Berkeley home as a transfer student


Sophie Ward mug.

I spent nights falling asleep wondering how I would be able to successfully live on my own and be able to call Berkeley home. It wasn’t until I found meaningful relationships that I was able to make Berkeley my new home.

— Sophie Ward

Bored at home? What to do


Writing and self care supplies.

When boredom hits, it hits hard. Here are some ideas to help you stay productive when it feels like there’s just nothing to do.

— Clarissa Arceo

Home in two places

Mug of Lucia Umeki-Martinez

I didn’t always love Watsonville. When I was younger and my family would visit San Francisco for a Giant’s game or a weekend trip, I would think “this is where I want to be.”

— Lucía Umeki-Martínez

Recipe for an impeccable dinner party


Illustration of a dinner table spread with candles, plates, and seated guests with funky clothes, by Martha Tibballs

To help you throw the best dinner party your friends have ever attended, here are some secret ingredients you’ll need to make sure your recipe is flawless.

— Defne Karabatur

A girl and her love of indoor plants


Mug of Madison Creekbaum.

Some may say 21 plants may be too many, some might say it’s not enough. I think it’s just right.

— Madison Creekbaum

Why Blackwell is the best residence hall


Mug of Caitlin Wang

From its modern architecture to its fancy amenities, Blackwell Hall was designed so perfectly. I was extremely lucky to have been able to live in Blackwell during my freshman year, and it was the best dorm experience I could have ever asked for. Here are some reasons why Blackwell is the best residence hall!

— Caitlin Wang

To park or not to park, the impossible question


Signs for Nobel Laureate parking spots.

Students can purchase four types of permits: daily, weekly, monthly, and semester-long permits, according to campus’s Parking and Transportation website.

— Aditya Katewa

Where I feel most at home


Aimee Han mug.

 “Although, I’ve come to realize that home is not a place, a feeling of comfort or safety or simply a person. Home is an abstract concept that lives, breathes and loves in our brain — almost as if it’s its own entity.”

— Aimee Han

How to apartment search in Berkeley


Daisy Friedman mug.

The housing search in Berkeley may seem daunting — and I won’t lie, it certainly is — but tips like these can make it seem a whole lot easier. Set reasonable expectations, manage your time accordingly and I’m sure you’ll be moving into your new apartment in no time.

— Daisy Friedman

A PSA on ESAs at college


Photo of Dina Katgara

The complications of securing my right to an ESA in a sorority were difficult, but I know I helped set up a process for people in the future to follow and get the accommodations they need.

— Dina Katgara

Overrated versus underrated spots in Southside, Northside and Downtown Berkeley


Housing units throughout Berkeley.

As a Berkeley resident of two years, I feel I have the credentials to present to you — the most overrated and underrated spots in Southside, Northside and Downtown Berkeley.

— Ani Petrossian


 My Therapeutic Yellow Wallpaper


Elise Cline mug

If your personal environment reflects your mental state — mine is a messy, garish smorgasbord of junk. My rainbow wallpaper is uniquely made in my image, evolving with me and integrating memories as they are made.

— Elise Cline

Tales from far away


Photo of Nicholas Clark

For the two months, I was trying to come to terms with moving back to the Central Valley and being back in my hometown for my senior year. I had called Berkeley home for over a year and the sudden transition to suburbia was jarring to say the least.

— Nicholas Clark

Seeing Berkeley in everything


While the physical locality of Berkeley will no longer be my home, I’ve come to see Berkeley everywhere and in everything.

— Amrita Bhasin

Darrell Owens: Housing activist


Darrell Owens in front of Bay Area skyline.

26-year-old Darrell Owens didn’t plan on becoming a housing activist. But growing up in Berkeley, he couldn’t watch idly while the city’s homelessness crisis worsened.

— Ratul Mangal

The Builder’s Remedy: California crackdown on housing explained


Construction in Berkeley.

The 2021 creation of a Housing Accountability Unit in the HCD by Gov. Gavin Newsom has led to stricter judgment from the HCD — and harsher consequences for a noncompliant element.

— Kavya Gupta 

Contact Maria Khan at 


MARCH 12, 2023