It’s that lovely time of year again when clubs start recruitment anew and spring admits try their best to fit in as if they were actually here during the fall to figure Berkeley out. If you’re one of these numbers, here are some ways to know you still obviously look like a newbie.

Campanile 1) You call the GBC the Golden Bear Cafe.
No one has time to call it by its full name except during campus tours and orientation.

2) You go to Crossroads for every meal.
People other than freshmen eat in our esteemed dining commons, but certainly not all the time! If you must stick to school dining, explore other places around campus!

3) You take every flier on Sproul.
Either you don’t know how to say no yet, or you’re eager to find out everything that’s happening on campus. We don’t think this will last long.

4) You say hi to people on the first day of class.
Being friendly is wonderful, but most students of any other year have grown old, boring and set in their ways. They probably won’t be initiating conversations during their 8 a.m. biology lectures any time soon.

5) You’re afraid to steal food from the DC.
Crossroads can’t actually expel you for walking out with a piece of pizza without a to-go box. Heck, we’ve known people who took whole Tupperware boxes with them to fulfill all their snacking needs for later.

6) You haven’t streamed any TV yet for fear of getting caught.
We don’t advocate illegal activities, but we promise no one will knock knowingly on your door the moment you search for a streaming website, and Hulu doesn’t instantly eat up all your allotted bandwidth.

7) You pay attention to the posters in the hall explaining each acronym.
We abbreviate everything, and the difference between the ASC and ASUC does need explaining. Just memorize them quickly, and don’t let anyone catch you looking.

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As the semester winds to a close, many students with meal point plans are finding themselves in one of two situations: either they have an abundance of extra points or no points left at all. Those with extra points face the looming deadline to spend all points over the 100 point rollover limit before the end of the semester. On the other hand, students who are out of points face the dilemma of spending cash to buy every meal until the end of the semester or begging their parents to buy them more meals points.

There are two problems here with one obvious solution. read more »

ImpossibleAs Cal students, we’ve all had to eat at the Dining Commons at one time or another. Even if we’re too “cool” to admit it, the warm — or perhaps cold, on purpose, but probably not — food has graced our bellies on a routine basis. This pattern usually ends after freshman year, but there are exceptions. Some sophomores or upperclassman have the distinct pleasure of living in the dorms for extra years. Whether you like it or not, that also usually comes synonymously with a meal plan. Out of habit and convenience, you might find that you’ll come wandering back to Crossroads — seemingly the most edible of all the dining commons — for a nice cooked meal.  As a seasoned returner, you may notice things that you would not as a freshman. You may notice how everyone has their own strategic method of acquiring and carrying their food back to their table. It’s not something we think about that often or even plan extensively, but we all do it! Through what turned into a Crossroads case study of sorts (double alliteration!), we found that these food-gathering habits fell into 3 broad categories, all with their own advantages and disadvantages: read more »


If you thought the “freshman fifteen” had something to do with stress, copious alcohol consumption and the ubiquitous all-you-can-eat buffets, think again. According to a new campaign by the Dining Halls, it’s all about the trays. You know, the more you can pile on, the more you tend to eat.

Or waste, as it may be. We all remember those famished excursions to Crossroads where getting one of everything seems like such a brilliant idea. Until you realize meatloaf, enchiladas, potato salad and Captain Crunch don’t exactly mix very well. As Sally Westcott, “a leader in the campaign to go trayless” put it: “If you have a tray, you have endless possibilities.” Well, about two plates’ worth, anyways.

Not that the 30 second or so walk from the table to the food bar is really that much of an incentive not to eat more, especially with other tray-like objects surrounding you (i.e. books) to act as a suitable substitute. Another obvious incentive is to cut down on food waste and the amount of water and energy used to wash the trays. We predict smaller plates and multi-purpose utensils will be soon to follow. We suggest you stuff some extra fruit in your pockets as a form of nonviolent protest.

Image Source: back garage under Creative Commons
Dining halls join the trayless trend [NewsCenter]