No, that Panda Express thing will never be over. After the ASUC Store Operations Board voted against approving a lease contract

for the Chinese fast food chain, the food co-op movement wiggled itself into a competitor position. Who will dominate? Who will take over the STA Travel spot? This town ain’t big enough for the both of ‘em.

Tonight, the board will revisit the Panda contract. Tonight is fight night. As Megan Coontz, vice president of external affairs for the Berkeley Student Cooperative, puts it:

read more »

Shot down by a vote, five to four
It would seem that the Panda’s no more

But not all is lost
The talks aren’t yet tossed
If they bring student concerns to the fore.

Image Source: Toronja Azul under Creative Commons
ASUC Store Operations Board Votes Down Deal With Panda Express [Daily Cal]
Earlier: One Last Chance to Rub Panda Express Out

This Tuesday is the new D-Day. To panda or not to panda, that is the question; whether ’tis nobler in the tummy to suffer the orange chicken and BBQ pork of outrageous sodium, or to take arms against a sea of plastic utensils and by opposing, end them.

In other words, your presence is requested at the contract vote for Panda Express on Lower Sproul. Will protesters prevent this momentous decision? Probably not, but we’d never say no to another appearance of a panda suit.


Tuesday, April 14
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Eshleman Hall

Image Source: Anna Hiatt, Daily Cal

The Panda Express Contract is Voted On. [Facebook]
Earlier: ‘You Can Try to Stop the Panda, but Eventually …’

Berkeley, Berkeley, Berkeley!Sunday Shout-Out picks out the week’s stories that simply slipped our minds.

*The Daily Cal has finally jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. Incidentally, it’s the same bandwagon on which the Clog has been chillin’ for, like, ages.  No biggie. [Twitter]

*ASUC Lesson of the Week: You are, in fact, responsible for e-mails that you send. Whodathunkit? [Daily Cal]

*One more fairly infuriating/mildly hilarious thing about the ASUC.  But that’s it, we swear. [Notes from the Field]

*Students cook up food co-op plan as an alternative to the Panda. Maybe they should have a wok-off.  Or maybe we’ll just have to wait and see how things pan out. (Eh? Ehh?) [Daily Cal]

Image Source: Eddie Rosenbaum, Daily Cal
Earlier: End of the Week Closes on a Sad Note

"Amanda? Come on, that's probably not even her real name."

Earlier this week, the Store Operations Board and representatives from Panda Express met in the ASUC Senate Chambers during a dark and stormy night.

The storm was, of course, a protest of around 40 students who “yelled and banged on the windows of the senate chambers.” Wow, that’s serious business.

Let’s just hope that we don’t end up killing the thing we love most in the world. (If you know what we mean by that, you’re smarter than us.)

Image Source: Kaptain Kobold under Creative Commons
Student Protest Against Panda Express Gathers Outside Eshleman Hall [Daily Cal]
Berkeley students decry proposed Panda Express [SFGate]

Grin and BEAR it.
This time it’s not about the controversial Panda said to be migrating into Lower Sproul sometime in the imminent future, although it does have to do with  sacrificing Berkeley’s small business bent for more commercial, money-generating chains.

This time, the bear in question is the Bear’s Lair, currently home to a host of small businesses like Healthy Heavenly Foods, Taqueria El Tacontento and The Coffee Spot, which operate on month-to-month agreements with the ASUC Store Operations Board and have been there for over two decades.

The board, which manages the food court, decided in December that they’re now going to open up the Lair for bidding by other restaurants with the goals of  ”meeting green business requirements, renovating the food court and employing students. ” Sounds like the same argument used to introduce a certain other foreign species to Lower Sproul. read more »

Not every bear at Berkeley is a good bear, especially when this deceptively chubby and innocent panda (yeah, bamboo our ass) represents a commercial chain boasting scanty vegetarian entrees, not particularly environmentally friendly practices and downright shitty inauthentic Chinese food. Hey, at least they don’t have MSG right? That’s like one step away from going organic …

Last we checked, commercial fast food chains, especially ones offering food with copious amounts of grease and harrowing nutritional facts, not to mention styrofoam takeout boxes kind of defy Berkeley’s tradition of supporting small businesses, diversity, environmentally sustainable practices and somewhat healthy, kind of organic food (it is a college town after all). read more »

Let’s not talk about Panda Express because, hey, coffee! Students like coffee, right?

The Store Operations Board for campus is talking with Tully’s Coffee to open (potentially) a kiosk in the student union. You know, because that space is just a major dearth of coffee, what with the GBC and the Coffee Spot a bajillion miles away.

OK, so it’s better than Starbucks and organic, but really? Don’t we also have Yali’s in VLSB and Stanley Hall? FSM ring a bell? That hidden place in Dwinelle Hall? And let’s not forget the student favorites that line the edge of south campus.

It’s about time, you know. Thank goodness someone is coming to fill this void in our lives.

Image Source: Emma Lantos, Daily Cal
Tully’s Coffee May Open Branch in Student Union [Daily Cal]
Earlier: Panda Express on Campus: Ugh, Are You Serious?

Sunday Shout-Out picks out the week’s stories that simply slipped our minds.

Oh yeah, rock that vote

* Remember that emerging Berkeley blog we warned you about? Well, it’s here, and it’s reporting, like, last year’s news.

* We weren’t the only ones who upchucked a little in our mouths over Panda Express, and now one blog wants you to nag the Man about it.

* Even AC Transit insists you register to vote with its giant bus o’ vote. The California deadline is Oct. 20.

* The Arts blog has got your back … and your October concert line-up.

Image Source: Fayzan Gowana, Daily Cal
Earlier: More Politics More Than Usual

DO NOT WANTThe Bay Area–and Berkeley in particular with its Chez Panisse family–is food Mecca, so why is Panda Express about to move into a new Lower Sproul spot?

Apparently, you wanted this, students. (We do not remember voting for such a beast.) According to a survey from spring 2007, 60 percent of students polled were in favor of greasy chain Chinese fast food. Woo, yeah, go (panda) bears?

ASUC Senator Christina Oatfield recently authored a bill in opposition to Panda Express opening an on-campus location, but that’s a shot in the dark. You see, it’s about the money. About $500,000 of it, steered toward renovating the student union.

So much for Brazil Cafe. That sassy shack certainly couldn’t dish out the type of dough Panda Express is offering. We guess we’ll just have to cry in our bowl of chow mein. Meanwhile, let’s see if the powers-that-be can actually do anything about the Lower Sproul/student union conundrum of doldrums that has plagued the campus for so long.

Image Source: celikins under Creative Commons
Panda Express Moves Forward with Proposed Lower Sproul Branch [Daily Cal]
Earlier: Brazil Cafe May Open New Location on Lower Sproul