Newsom restores UC Berkeley’s prior admission levels


Ariel Wang

California Governor Gavin Newsom reverses UC Berkeley’s admissions freeze law.

Ariel Wang and Megan Dhillon

On Monday, March 14, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed bill SB118 which reverses University of California Berkeley’s court-ordered enrollment and admission cuts, allowing the university to continue its plans to enroll in typical admission levels. 

Previously, under a court order, UC Berkeley’s admissions were forced to reduce its incoming Fall 2022 class by approximately 5,100 students. A court ruling back in August 2021 by Alameda County Superior judge Brad Seligman ordered the university to engage in a temporary “enrollment freeze” for the fall admissions after complaints made by a local group “Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods”. 

“Berkeley the university is putting Berkeley the city at risk,” declared Phil Bokovoy, President of “Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods. The organization says that they simply seek a “legally enforceable agreement that [UC Berkeley] will build housing before increasing enrollment.” 

On March 3, 2022, the state Supreme Court had instructed UC Berkeley to reduce its enrollment levels, siding with the previously mentioned neighborhood group that had sued the school and the original court decision. 

However, on March 14, California Gov. Newsom signed a California Legislature bill to reverse the enrollment freeze law. Specifically, bill SB118 will remove public college enrollment as a separate portion under the California Environmental Quality Act. The new bill now gives schools a longer period of time to create solutions before a judge can instruct them to reduce enrollment levels. UC Berkeley will now be able to provide a similar amount of admission offers as previous years. 

In a statement sent out by UC Berkeley’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, they highlight that they are “extremely grateful to our California leaders for making this a priority and ensuring that we can admit as many students to Berkeley as possible”.