Thank you for choosing SAO!

The Student Advocate’s Office (SAO) is a free and confidential student service that can provide you with assistance in your current matter. We are an official volunteer service of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), and are fully independent of the University administrators and faculty. Our office is designed to make sure that students have the information and support necessary to fully explore their options when resolving disputes through university processes and procedures. Our staff is trained to address academic, conduct, financial aid, and grievance-related issues, and your caseworker(s) will do all they can to help you reach a favorable outcome.

Confidentiality:

Your caseworker(s) has signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with SAO. This agreement requires that all caseworkers recognize and respect the confidential nature of their work with clients such as you. Your confidential information is not shared outside the office without your consent*, and your caseworker will only discuss your case with other members of SAO when seeking advice from fellow caseworkers who have handled similar cases. You have the right to read your caseworker’s NDA; if you would like to do so, please email your caseworker and the Student Advocate (contact information below).

*Your caseworker should have you sign a Confidentiality Waiver. This form is your way of allowing your caseworker to discuss your case with relevant administrative bodies. Depending on your case, you may need to sign other forms of records release. Contact your caseworker with any questions.

Please note: The only situation in which your caseworker or SAO may disclose confidential information would be pursuant to any governmental, judicial, or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request, regulatory request or similar method. Such a situation is not likely, but nevertheless, we would like you to be aware of its possibility. Should such a request or order occur, SAO and your caseworker will comply with the request and exercise reasonable efforts to advise and promptly notify you of any such demand for disclosure by a third party.

No unauthorized disclosure of confidential information related to your matter shall give rise to any legal cause of action against your caseworker or SAO under any circumstances, and by using our services, you waive your rights any such potential claim or cause of action.

Advising:

While SAO strives to provide excellent service, we do not offer legal or representative assistance. Our caseworkers seek to help you better understand procedures and possible outcomes, but all decisions are yours to make. If you ever need clarification, your caseworker will be happy to help; however, your caseworker will not be able to make decisions for you.

In order for your caseworker to provide the best service possible, we ask that you be honest with your caseworker and comply with their requests for information relevant to your case.

SAO cannot guarantee that you will achieve the result that you seek in your case. Given that SAO is a resource for clarification and advice, rather than serving as your representative, by using our services, you understand that you cannot hold us responsible for any insufficient, undesired, or negative outcomes.

Should you have concerns about your caseworker’s efforts or performance in your case, please reach out to the relevant Division Director and the Chief of Staff or Student Advocate. Our contact information is below.

Please feel free to browse our website for more information and resources.

 

SAO Directorship Contact Information:

Student Advocate: advocate@berkeleysao.org

Internal Chief of Staff: chief@berkeleysao.org

External Chief of Staff: saochief@asuc.org

Academic Division Director: academic@berkeleysao.org

Conduct Division Director: conduct@berkeleysao.org

Financial Aid Division Director: finaid@berkeleysao.org

Grievance Division Director: grievance@berkeleysao.org

 

Useful Resources:

Counseling and Psychological Services at the Tang Center: UHS Tang Center, (510) 642-9494

Gender Equity and Resource Center: 202 Cesar Chavez Student Center, (510) 642-4786

UC Berkeley Food Pantry: MLK Student Union, Room 68, foodpantry@berkeley.edu

Bear Pantry (for student parents): University Village in Albany, thebearpantry@berkeley.edu

Sexual Harassment and Violence Survivor Support Information and Resources

Respondent Services

Cal Student Central: 120 Sproul Hall, (510) 664-9181

Ombuds Office: 102 Sproul Hall, (510) 642-5754

Student Legal Services: 102 Sproul Hall, (510) 664-7487