Gov. Newsom Signs Legislation Reversing UC Berkeley’s Enrollment Freeze

The news concerning the University of California, Berkeley’s enrollment introduced many seniors to the impact colleges can have on their immediate communities, according to senior Madeleine Young. “I think that the situation with Berkeley really opened a lot of our eyes about the issues of not just housing but environmental impacts, impacts on homeless people, as well as the neighborhoods around college towns,” Young said.
(Photo Courtesy of Kate Hayashi )

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Bill 118 on March 14 which will allow the University of California, Berkeley to admit the previously intended number of students in response to the court-ordered enrollment freeze to reduce Berkeley residential overgrowth, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s very relieving that the court decision was overturned,” senior Madeleine Young said. “I hope that the overturning of this isn’t going to sweep under the rug the actual issues that were brought up by the initial freeze.”

Bill 118 gives California universities 18 months to comply with any court-ordered environmental review before judges can order a mandatory reduction in admissions. In turn, UC Berkeley can now admit 5,000 first-year students for the 2022-2023 school year, according to Fox News.

“I want to thank California’s legislators for their quick and effective response,” UC Berkeley chancellor Carol Christ said in an interview with The Daily Californian. “We are, and will remain, committed to continuing our efforts to address a student housing crisis.”

The increase in enrollment may not change the campus environment, but it has the potential to impact student life, according to UC Berkeley freshman and alumna Kate Hayashi.

“With any increase in enrollment, the competition to get into clubs increases, the competition to find suitable housing increases, the competition to enroll in classes increases and, overall, it just seems like small, barely perceptible details that you wouldn’t notice unless you had been here for a few years and been paying attention to it,” Hayashi said.