You’re at your friend’s apartment, having a blast playing Mafia and pigging out on cookies. You look at the clock. Oh no, it’s 2:30 a.m. and you’re in a shady part of Berkeley! Who you gonna call? BearWALK!

There are those of us too cool to call the campus security escorts, perhaps not wanting to be seen walking near a uniform and walkie talkie clad student, even if it is absurdly late at night. But for those of us without a buddy to latch onto when things go bump in the night — or without someone to push in front of us and bolt — BearWALK’s not a bad choice. What do you do when your hired human shield shows up, though?

An Oski Shuttle

Two interesting categories of students seem to arise from this ‘please-walk-me-home’ and ‘I’m-paid-to-be-here’ relationship. First you have your typical, awkward freshman (or upperclassman?), staring at the ground and trying to reach home as fast as they can to avoid conversation. Then there’s your Chatty Kathy, talking the night away and supposedly easing tension. Hey, they’re just being friendly, right?

It’s a tough balance to try and strike, treating your walking buddy as someone who doesn’t bite while also letting them do their own thing. We advise you to try and make enough conversation to relieve the bubble of tense silence that can form during your 15 minute walk, but know that a bit of quiet here and there isn’t a read more »

We said it ourselves: Words can’t do justice to the hurt of such a horrific tragedy. A vigil was held last night in memory of the victims in the Virginia Tech shooting rampage.

Virginia Tech freshman Brandon Carroll said:

“I put on my Facebook a little thing saying I was okay because everyone was calling and no one could get through,” he said. “Everyone was IM-ing me. It was a crazy, hectic time in my dorm room.”

UC Berkeley students soon began blogging and creating Facebook groups, extending their support for those affected by the shootings.

“All the support from other schools—you can’t describe that kind of feeling you get when other schools are telling you, ‘We’re all Hokies today,’” Carroll said. “It heals the wounds.”

It’s difficult not to wonder what changes may be ahead. UC Davis is already discussing the possibility of improving emergency notification systems. So what’s in store for Cal?

The university and UCPD have some interesting systems and developments, including more high-tech procedures than one might expect:

* The siren and voice message campus warning systems are the quickest way to inform the campus community of an emergency.
* The latest technology developed is the People Locator System, an online bulletin board that allows people to report their whereabouts if they cannot access a phone.
* The campus is evaluating the use of a text messaging system that would send messages to students and staff in an emergency.

UC Berkeley To Revisit Emergency Procedures [Daily Cal]
Despite the Distance, Campus Shares in Loss [Daily Cal]