As any student at Cal will tell you, navigating Sproul Plaza takes a lot of skill (especially during the first couple weeks of every semester). For one thing, it is a major entrance to campus, where in the 10 minutes between classes thousands of students will pass through the narrow plaza. Simply walking through hordes of students can be a challenge. But what truly makes Sproul Plaza tricky is attempting to avoid being “flyered”, or given flyers by individuals advocating for an event, some political movement, or to join their club. Today, I was one of those flyering on Sproul, attempting to engage people in conversations about Cal Band.
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.
This is the line I have been repeating over and over again while campaigning on Sproul Plaza this past week. The Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) is Berkeley’s school-wide student government organization: one of the largest autonomous student bodies in the nation! Every year, elections are held where students have the opportunity to vote for five Executive positions as well as twenty Senate positions. Senators run on campaign platforms that they hope to fulfill throughout their year-long position. UC Berkeley even has political parties for candidates in the election. Each year, the ASUC election is super competitive, and that is why I was out campaigning on Sproul. This past week, many candidates and their campaign teams have been working tirelessly in the hopes of garnering votes in order to be elected to make the changes their constituents want to see!
It’s that time of the year again. The weather is nice, school is almost done for summer break, baseball has started again. Oh, and thousands of high school seniors are deciding where to attend college in the fall. How could I forget that? It’s amazing to me to think that almost exactly two years ago to the date (April 8th), I made the decision to attend UC Berkeley. Time really does fly by when you are busy and having fun. Hopefully, I can shed some light as to why I chose Cal and why I could never imagine making a better decision now that I am almost halfway done with college (side note – it’s a sad thought that I am halfway done, I don’t want to ever leave Berkeley).
Last month I turned the big one-nine! I spent my birthday with my friend who also has the same birthday as me as well as a few of our closest friends. As it is spring break and almost the end of my first year here at Berkeley, it got me thinking… I have always wanted to have a YouTube channel and I really enjoy the videos that reflect on (insert age number here) things I learned by (insert same age number here), so here goes:
Monday, March 13th will live on in the memories of Cal Women’s Basketball fans forever. It was on this day, when all hopes of an NCAA March Madness bid seemed lost, that Cal earned a 9 seed. The team jumped for joy as they learned they were going back to the Big Dance. I was ecstatic and immediately began composing emails to all my professors letting them know I would be in Waco, Texas. As a member of Cal Band, I had the unique opportunity to travel with the basketball team to the NCAA Tournament and cheer them on. Fortunately for me, my professors were all very accommodating and allowed me to miss class on Friday and Monday, provided I stayed on top of all the material and assignments I missed.
Right now, I’m sitting just off campus in our newly minted Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA), the renowned art collection open free to all incoming students, in the bright Babette Cafe. Through a peek-a-boo window, Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia reads like a billboard for a recent gallery collection. The collection is a perfect allusion to Berkeley’s aesthetic: trendy ripped jeans, trusty Birkenstocks, a thrifted flannel tied around our waist. In every discipline, these same students are working to apply course content towards a better version of the future. It’s difficult, and we face setbacks, but Berkeley students are lucky enough to be surrounded by 36,000 other students – and 1,500 innovative, supportive faculty – seeking the realization of similar visions.
As an out-of-state student from Maryland, choosing to fly across the country to attend UC Berkeley was a scary, nerve-wrecking experience. Coming to a school with almost 28,000 undergraduate students, knowing nobody, I was anxious to take such a big leap from my home, family, and friends in Maryland. After completing my first semester at Berkeley, I can truly say that UC Berkeley is my home.
In high school, I was really involved in student government, and wanted to continue my passion of representing the student voice at Cal. Thus, I applied for the Residence Hall Assembly (RHA) Representative position in my residence hall’s Hall Association, which is the student government of the residence halls. I was elected RHA Rep and began to attend weekly meetings where Reps from every residence hall across campus come together and have the opportunity to vote on different sponsorship and legislation bills. At one of the meetings last semester, the RHA Executive Team announced a unique opportunity for us to attend a three day leadership conference at the University of Southern California (USC) where students from across the west coast would come together and learn about leadership.
Office Hours. Those two words are repeated over and over as a student. From my parents telling me to go to them, professors reminding about their office hours, and even friends talking about questions they would ask, I hear about office hours on a daily basis. But in all my time here I have yet to attend a professor’s office hours. I have always been scared about going because I usually can get my questions asked in class, so I never had any questions I could ask and I didn’t want to go and be awkward without any questions. But this all changed when last week I mustered the courage to go to my professor’s office hours.
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.