Monthly Archives: April 2014

Alice’s Guide to Berkeley Dining

Berkeley is famous for its food. As a foodie, I officially give Berkeley 5 stars for satisfying my taste buds for the past two years. I’ve been eating my way through this college town and I have still yet to reach a halfway point for all the amazing places I want to try. We’re also home to the Slow Food Movement started by UC Berkeley alum, Alice Waters (Chez Panisse anyone?). The great thing about UC Berkeley is that they even offer a class as to why Berkeley is famous for its food; taught by THE Michael Pollen, Journalism c101 describes sustainability and the food movement.  There is variety, quantity, and diversity in food choices around UC Berkeley.

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Debates and Drinks at Berkeley Law School

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In my three years here at Cal, I’ve learned that college students are drawn to events by three things: a lively conversation, free food, and free alcohol (assuming that you are over the age of 21, of course). So, when my Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) for my Wealth & Poverty class invited us to a debate concerning the contentious “Stand Your Ground” law where free food and beers would be provided, my friends and I knew we had to be counted in.

The debate was put on by a student organization, Blacks in Public Policy, or BIPP. Stemming out of Berkeley’s prestigious Goldman School of Public Policy, BIPP seeks to bring the community together in discussing issues specifically related to the Black community. In the aftermath of State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman, BIPP sought to start a conversation with the local community on the often contentious issue of whether or not Stand Your Ground is a “fundamentally sound policy that protects the innocent.”

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Finding a Family

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I never actually had the privilege of visiting UC Berkeley before I submitted my SIR. So when the time came to choose a dorm I was completely in the dark. I tried to do all the research the Internet allowed me to do but at the end of the day websites can’t really do justice when making a decision about which residence halls to choose. I thus made my decision randomly, letting the decision lie with the gods above. Then one fine day the housing algorithm spat out Unit 3- Triple as my dorm/room assignment. Immediately I was concerned. Live with two other people? That sounded daunting to say the least. Most of my summer was spent wondering whether my room situation would be overwhelming.

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That One Life changing Class

I always loved history. It was one of my favorite subjects in high school and out of the many AP classes I took, AP US history probably was my favorite (just because we got to learn about the free speech movement). One of the things I wished I knew as a freshman was that you can take certain upper division classes in your freshman year. I wished I had taken advantage of this knowledge and started earlier, but it’s never too late.

I signed up for my first history class this semester, History 162B taught by Professor Wetzel, and it changed my entire academic career. Berkeley students have many helpful websites that they use to help them shop for classes, and I personally use www.berkeleytime.com, www.ninjacourses.com, and schedulebuilder.berkeley.edu. History 162B was reviewed by many students, and everyone talked about how amazing it was. The class also fulfilled one of my Political Economy prerequisites, so I opted to sign up for it with some of my friends.

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Giant’s Night: Baseball by the Bay

Perhaps one of the things the City by the Bay is known best for is baseball. Between the A’s and the Giants, the bay area is never void of America’s favorite past time between the months of April and October. UC Berkeley students often take advantage of this. Whether you love the sport of baseball itself (as I do) or just like to spend an evening under the lights of the field with friends, a baseball game is a great and affordable way to get out of the Berkeley routine.

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Last night I attended the UC Berkeley Greek community’s “Giant’s Night.” About 200 fraternity men and sorority women piled into charter buses and set off for AT&T Park to watch the Dodgers take on the Giants. As a San Diego native, I was of course born and raised as a Padres fan, making whom to root for last night a bit of a “lesser of two evils” situation. But it was a good game, a warm evening, and I was honestly too distracted by talking with all of my friends to pay much attention to the score anyway. So much of the Berkeley community was in one place at one time that I got to catch up with friends from al different groups whom I had met through all different avenues.

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The Life of an ASUC Candidate

If any of you have been to campus the last two weeks, you may have noticed Sproul Plaza to be a little more active than usual (well, for us at least). Dance groups performing on the steps, a UAW strike, and of course, the ever-traditional two week period that is “hard campaigning” for ASUC elections.

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The ASUC (Associated Students of the University of California) truly is not like any other student government in the country. For one thing, the ASUC is completely separate from any administrative control, giving the elected officials complete autonomy on taking any stance they see fit on particular issues. Through the ASUC, momentous pieces of legislation have been passed that have truly impacted students’ lives throughout the decades: the divestment of UC funds from South African apartheid, the first 24/7 study space on campus, $10 gym memberships, textbook scholarship programs, and even our bus passes for the AC Transit system have all come out of the ASUC and the efforts of students.

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Everybody get down on Cal Day!

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When I got in to Berkeley and joined the Facebook group for the class of 2016, I remember hearing about ‘Cal Day’. Being international has its limitations and one of those was not having the faintest clue about what Cal Day really was. I saw some pictures, liked some enthusiastic Facebook posts and got the e-mails but I really could not grasp what Cal Day really was.
My freshman year at Berkeley I decided to express my love for this school by becoming a campus ambassador. Part of this job entailed organizing Cal Day. Once again I faced this mysterious day. Cal Day it turns out is a massive open house at UC Berkeley where the whole university comes alive and every student group takes part. A whole year later I was setting up for my first Cal Day.

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Bright Lights, Berkeley, and the Big City

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So you’re Berkeley’d out. Yes, we understand. Berkeley is fun, but you’re craving something new. You want to see something other than 35,000 students walking around campus and have a conversation that involves something other than midterms – You want to get out of Berkeley for the weekend. Conveniently, BART is located about 10 minutes from the far south side of campus. After a 20 minute BART ride, San Francisco is in your hands. Being a Bay Area native, you would think that I would be sick of the city. I learned more from exploring the beautiful city of San Francisco during my time at Berkeley with my best friends than the other thirteen years I lived in the Bay Area.

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Guest Abroad Post: The City is My Classroom: From India to Senegal to Argentina

Hey there! I’m Rosie, and I’m a third-year Berkeley student majoring in urban studies and minoring in sustainable design. I was born and raised in beautiful Los Angeles, California. This semester, I decided to get out of the traditional classroom setting and embark on a 4-month experiential learning study abroad program called Cities in the 21st Century. After spending two weeks in New York City for the program launch, I spent a month in Ahmedabad, India, and then five weeks in Dakar, Senegal. In a couple of days, I’ll be off to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the final leg of my trip.

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That Time I Got Tea with Total Strangers

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Living in the Bay Area has its perks. Endless concerts, museums, events, and sights are at Berkeley students’ disposal all year for their enjoyment. The tricky part, however, is that too often these places are enjoyed exclusively within the groups we have surrounded ourselves with. As a SoCal native, part of the reason why I came to Berkeley was to get out of my comfort zone: to hear new ideas and perspectives and learn from different backgrounds. What better way to do that than with people you have never met before?

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