Berkeley is often called the quintessential ‘college town’, and for good reason. Besides being at the cross-roads between Oakland and San Francisco, the Berkeley campus and its surrounding area offer a nearly endless number of activities for students. I remember seeing other ‘college towns’ back when I was doing college tours, but other universities’ college towns were essentially comprised of maybe one or two streets of restaurants and cafes. But here at Berkeley’s college town, the world truly feels like your oyster! Whether you’re looking to get outdoors, peruse some art, or explore quirky parts of campus, here’s a list of some of my personal favorite places around the Cal campus.
On Wednesdays some may wear pink but last Wednesday, my roommates and I decided to switch it up and spend an evening with Lemony Snicket, Cecile Richards, and some other fascinating figures at Zellerbach Hall.
The event was part of a unique event series called ‘Front Row’ hosted by Cal Performances. ‘Front Row’ was designed to be a performance series that represented three traits of the Cal student community: “innovation, freedom of expression, and diversity”. With these three core themes in mind, Cal Performances wanted to invite a local and culturally significant person to help curate the show – enter Daniel Handler, otherwise known as Lemony Snicket, the author of the beloved children’s books ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ and other novels. Together, Daniel and the crew of Cal Performances put together a whimsical and insightful evening with guests that Daniel invited he believed to represent passion, activism, and social justice.
I hope that everyone had a lovely winter break and holiday season! We are about one month into the spring semester which means that classes are in full swing and believe it or not, midterms are nearly upon us. During the precious month we had off, I split my time between the rain (and even snow!) in my hometown of Seattle and the desert sun of Palm Springs, where I was able to get in some hiking and yoga. While winter break was relaxing, it is definitely good to be back and it’s surreal to be marking this as my last semester at Cal. My hopes for the next couple of months are to enjoy my classes and the opportunity to learn before I start work. Luckily I was able to take some classes that I’ve been wanting to take since freshman year, such as French and Development Studies C100: the History of Development and Underdevelopment.
I walked into the room and was greeted by colorful furniture, clean white walls, and an eager group of my fellow Bears with laptops and notebooks out. It was my first meeting for the Financial Inclusion Collider at the newly opened Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (SCET). A representative from the social impact venture capital firm Omidyar gave a presentation about the issues surrounding global financial inclusion; we were then assembled into small teams in which we discussed potential solutions, whether it be expanding access to obtaining credit cards in rural regions of South America or creating mobile financial literacy curriculums. At the end of the meeting, we left the Sutardja Center excited and full of ideas and questions to tackle in the weeks ahead.