Saturday, April 10, 2010

Berkeley: Always A Protest, Rarely A Point.

One of the reasons I chose to attend UC Berkeley was because of the university's role in the Free Speech Movement. I thought it would be amazing to go to college on a progressive campus with like-minded individuals. I was wrong.

I am very liberal, but there must be something in the organic granola, because it seems like all Berkeley students do is protest about every single cause under the sun. I'm all for civil rights, fair labor laws, pro-choice ideals, and several other important political issues. But this doesn't mean I want to hear about them constantly, like when I'm innocently eating lunch on campus and trying to take a break from the chaos.

This is why I try to avoid Sproul Plaza at all costs. Sproul is the main site of the Free Speech Movement, where Mario Savio boldly led teach-ins and civil rights protestors tried to speak out for change. Today it is the main stomping ground for myriad daily protests concerning bullshit causes, and student groups trying to recruit you/sell you stuff.

I wish the Berkeley I attend was more like Berkeley in the 1960s, but it is anything but. It is much more of an excuse for people to shout about anything they are angry about instead of organizing around a valid cause. I mean, is it really necessary to vandalize our chancellor's on-campus mansion because you're pissed about budget cuts? That lovely protest will cost nearly $14,00 in damages, even though the University of California clearly lacks a rainy day fund. It's frustrating, but it's Berkeley.

This is why Go Back to Berkeley is so hilarious. Apologies to militant vegans, Birkenstock-wearing hippies, and slow food enthusiasts, but this website knows what's up.


A more serene view of campus.

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