Apparently, student groups on campus “aren’t allowed and weren’t supposed to use the name of the university (University of California, Berkeley) or official derivations of the university’s name (Cal, California, Berkeley) in their student groups names.

This has come up when a student, Yaman Salahi, tried to register for a new club on campus. His club was rejected because it had one of the officially derivations trademarked by the university.

Under current regulations, a registered group’s name cannot include The University of California, Berkeley, UC Berkeley, Cal or any other variation of the university’s name that is trademarked and owned by the UC Regents, said Maria Rubinshteyn, director of UC Berkeley’s Office of Marketing and Business Outreach.

Of course this is all ridiculous. And you ask, why is the university doing this? It’s trying to protect itself.

“If a student group’s name includes the campus’ name, the public will often make the mistaken assumption that the group, its interests, activities and opinions, represents the interests of or is somehow endorsed by the University when this is not the case,” Rubinshteyn said in an e-mail.

Yes, just because a group is called the “Cal Something-or-Rathers” or the “Berkeley Whatevers” any action taken by those groups is officially sponsored by the campus.

Actually, no. We think people are smart enough that they can tell when the university sponsors someone (OK, maybe not, but it’s nice to think that).

We understand that if some entity outside the university is trying to use any of its names or registered trademarks—like the Cal script—then yeah, it should answer to the university. And the university should wave its magic wand and hold the perpetrators responsible.

But shouldn’t student groups be able to tell the public where they come from?

This only makes Cal fit the stereotype that it’s created for itself—a huge bureaucracy that has a lot of red tape, that doesn’t give a shit about its students.

UC Blocks Use of Its Names [Daily Cal]
What’s the Difference? [Daily Cal]
“Berkeley” for sale [ yamansalahi.com ]