It’s been weeks since the election, so hopefully by now we’ve all scrubbed the blue and red eyeshadow from drooping eyelids and peeled the ‘I Voted’ stickers off our jacket lapels. Our neighbors finally have muted Baracka Flacka Flame. Some of us are elated, others disappointed; but one thing is clear for all of us – it was a wild ride, and everyone’s first instinct is to simply exhale.
But a long-awaited conclusion to this race should be no cue to abandon political momentum, wherever it carries our respective lives. You’ve probably heard – if not repeated – that now-famous quote by activist Mohandas Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Considering the leader’s lifelong commitment to pacifist social reform, Gandhi’s rhetoric was perhaps more literal than popular Western reiteration might suggest. No, we’re not suggesting our readers drop out tomorrow morning to join the Peace Corps. However, we do note that armchair academia and box-checking will only get us so far. We are often divided in opinion over the President’s fulfillment of his first-term campaign platform of “Change” and “Hope,” but regardless of our feelings on any issue, we as citizens must also remember to look to ourselves as sources for progress, no matter what our leaders are up to. Real people create real ideas, and the often-seemingly small but deliberate efforts we make is what alters the course of society.
Remember John F. Kennedy’s famous inaugural address? “Ask not what you can do for your country,” he implored us, “but what your country can do for you.” And the man was right. Those ballot measures don’t write themselves, you know.
Posted by Erum Khan on Friday, November 16, 2012 08:00 am
Amidst all the election excitement (or disappointment for any elephant lovers), this may seem a wholly irrelevant topic to bring up. But we’ll choose to think of it as a healthy break from all the politics. If you don’t agree, you can make it democratic and vote amongst yourselves.
Alongside thinking about the country’s future, we as students have to consider our own. What sort of classes are we going to take next semester? How many? Do we have any requirements left to fulfill? Counselors are there to help, but there are still a lot of decisions we have to make on our own. It comes down to choice, and sometimes the ones left just plain suck.
Take for example a student ahead of the game. By the end of the middle of their sophomore year, they’ve finished all their college requirements as well as their breadth courses. They wouldn’t be in Berkeley if they weren’t forward-thinking and academically-minded (we hope), so it makes sense that they’d have these done with in a timely manner. But what happens in these cases is that there’s technically nothing left to take but major and possible minor requirements. The student’s become so far ahead of the game that they’ve put themselves out of it. They probably won’t get priority for some of the upper division classes they’re interested in, and they’ve done everything else they need to. Should they just take classes for fun now? That’s too novel a concept to wrap your head around. Besides, Berkeley isn’t supposed to be an academic vacation, if there is such a thing.
Posted by Erum Khan on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 05:00 am
Elections are over, so there’s no new campaigning to throw at you… for now. But being in Berkeley, there’s always going to be another issue or movement to be aware of. Whether it’s CALPIRG or another independent student group, you can’t enter Sproul without exiting at least somewhat better informed about their cause. It would take real skillz (yes, with a z) to graduate without a general understanding of local happenings, and to some degree of national and global ones as well.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying this is a bad thing. You should by all means stay as informed as possible. What we are saying is if for some reason you wanted to live in your own little bubble, this was the wrong place to come to school. There’s simply no excuse for obliviousness. Look at how much effort people put into advertising simple things like club events. They have posters all over campus, flyers, chalking, emails, Facebook, you name it. Take something on a larger scale like Prop 30 and state budget cuts and it goes even further, with all sorts of students and groups advocating their positions and making announcements. Everyone’s eager to inform everyone else and get them participating. If blissful ignorance was your thing, it sure isn’t anymore. Berkeley will force you into being in the know, thereby making you a willful rejectionist if you persist in a lack of interest.
With signs like this, you'll at least know there's some proposition about taxes and education, whether you want to or not.
This atmosphere can definitely be a good thing. Horrible as it might sound, for those not willing to go out and actively seek information it still provides a constant source of information. They can stay in the loop with minimal effort. For people already in the read more »
Can more invasive social contact by others indicate shrinking boundaries around our privacy?
It’s nearly 10 p.m., and you’re at home, brushing your teeth. Your iPhone starts screaming. You snap to attention, no thanks to that inherent anxiety that accompanies living as a young single woman in an urban environment. You grudgingly answer the phone, hoping to be greeted by an automated pharmacy reminder’s monotone, and not a friend needing a ride at this time of night. Instead, it’s some dude asking if you’ve heard about Prop Something for the third time and if you have a few minutes to talk. You grit your teeth and try muster up some manners.
Sound like last night? Join the club.
As you all know elections are today, November 6th. While we’re excited to be casting our ballots, we believe we can speak for nearly all in lamenting over the amount of recent “encouragement” we’ve received to cast those votes. Just this week alone, we’ve received half a dozen calls from local campaigns encouraging either a vote for a particular candidate, or a yea or nay on a particular measure (We’re looking at you, “Yes on Prop 32″-ers.) It’s a given that building support through direct contact methods like telephone calls is far from new, but we’d like to make a case for some boundaries around the use of those methods. Call us old-fashioned, but we fondly regard that old (and apparently outdated) custom of refraining from calling a lady after dark.
Admit it – you have, at one point or another in your career as a Cal student, had to run for the 51B before, been apathetic about the ASUC candidate platforms (even when they try to tell you all about it), and almost certainly have stealthily avoided flyers on Sproul. This and other classic Berkeley sentiments are captured in yet another GIF-tastic Tumblr site, yougotocal.tumblr.com.
The move is a little perplexing, given that the party currently holds two of the five executive positions. And while they’ve had a rough two years following it, they swept all four of the partisan executive positions for the 2008-2009 school year.
They are also, it should be noted, one of the two major parties in the campus’s esteemed political system read more »
Posted by Jill Cowan on Monday, March 15, 2010 09:57 pm
SQUELCH! announces its executive slate, which is full of familiar, self-proclaimedly intoxicated (Cough, Sarah Jeong at the elections forum last year, cough) faces. [Daily Cal]
We might also have forgotten to post Student Action’s slate. Sorry about that. The only really exciting thing you missed is that the EAVP candidate’s name is Bundit Kertbundit. “Bundit like Beckham,” anyone? How about “Bundit the pundit”? [Daily Cal]
Yes, Berkeley’s takeover of Washington, department by department, is going perfectly according to plan. Muahaha. Uh … we mean, congrats Haas professor emeritus, Janet Yellen! [NY Times]
Berkeley allows mixed-gender dorm rooms? Hm. News to us. Although, if it’s allowed at any schools, we’re somehow unsurprised that ours is one of them. [LA Times], via Jezebel
Posted by Jill Cowan on Monday, February 22, 2010 11:20 pm
OMG, guys we’re so excited! Know why? Know why? Guess! Oh man, it’s so exciting. Give up? OK, we’ll tell you. We’ve just received the first tasty morsel of information about this year’s upcoming ASUC elections–the CalSERVE party’s executive slate!
Those of you who are new to the campus may not be familiar with the endless parade of pointlessness associated with Berkeley’s student government elections campaigning, so be forewarned: After spring break, you will be ambushed and it will be unpleasant and confusing. But that’s all we’ll say about that for now.
And back to the matter at hand. Here are the lucky(-ish) winners of whatever mysterious game is in charge of deciding these things: read more »