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What's the stereotype of Berkeley, and is it accurate?

Jeff Hughes
'The obvious stereotype that everyone has is the "Berzerkeley" one — that there's a lot of political stuff going on, political action on campus all the time. Berkeley is pretty left wing, I'd have to agree, but not as much as people think. I've met some aggressive conservatives on campus, too. I think people here just like to get involved in something.
—Jeff Hughes, third-year double major in Spanish/Portuguese and Political Economy of Industrial Societies

'People think there's a lot of Asians here. And it's true, there are, but it's more diverse than that. They also think we're all hippies, doing pot — but it's not any more than at other schools. The stereotype comes from back when Berkeley really was a hippie school, with lots of protests all the time and the Free Speech Movement. Now people think of it more for its academic reputation.'
—Yu Wei, fourth-year Legal Studies major
Yu Wei

Ameet Salvi
'I'm not sure what the local stereotype is. I'm from Illinois, and when I said I was going to Berkeley, my friends and family said, "Don't turn into a hippie!" It's not accurate: there are hippies here but most people aren't. However, it is definitely more politically active than other schools. Everyone here has an opinion about everything, and they seem to be very well-informed.'
—Ameet Salvi, second-year Industrial Engineering and Operations Research major

'Outsiders say all the time that Berkeley is full of really smart people because it's such a prestigious university. And it is prestigious, but you realize once you come here that Berkeley's full of people of all sorts — smart and not as smart.'
—Olivia Or, fourth-year Engineering Math major
Olivia Or

John Lujan
'When people say "UC Berkeley" they think of a bunch of weirdos and super-smart people. And when they think of the city of Berkeley, it's as a really liberal place where you come to do things you couldn't do at home. Is it accurate? Well, the students here are good students; they're smart and there aren't really that many hippies or weirdos. And the city is more liberal — you can dress however you want, have tattoos or piercings, and people won't trip on it. People here are just more tolerant.'
—John Lujan, third-year math major