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UC Berkeley Point of View

Point of view: What's the most important thing UC Berkeley could do differently?

– The university-student relationship is traditionally one-way: the university dispenses learning, gives out grades, and identifies areas for improvement. At the suggestion of a NewsCenter reader, we decided to reverse that direction and ask students what UC Berkeley could improve upon.

The NewsCenter welcomes suggestions for stories, interviews, and Point of View questions via e-mail.

Eyad LatifBoalt [Law School] could be more diverse, and so could the lower campus, where I did my undergraduate studies. I know they're working on it, but who knows what that really means. Also, I don't think Berkeley values free speech as much as it used to. When you're talking about certain political issues, like the Middle East and Israel-Palestine, you're not as free to speak. Berkeley is a lot more conservative than people think. '
-Eyad Latif, first-year Boalt Hall law student. Hometown: Berkeley, CA.
 Shauna Sweeney'There could be more emphasis on helping freshmen to get to know each other right away, to make Berkeley more of a community than an institution. There are a lot of great things on this campus that you only find out about through word of mouth. Like the Career Center — I had no idea they had such great tips for writing résumés and cover letter. I just think there should be some sort of manual that helps students get oriented fast.
-Shauna Sweeney, third-year English major. Hometown: San Rafael, CA.

Lily Xu'I like Berkeley a lot. It's clean, and it's hard to think of anything to complain about. Well, you can never find a parking space. Sometimes even when I leave 15 minutes early I still can't find a place and I'll end up being late to class.'
-Lily Xu, fourth-year PEIS major. Hometown: Savannah, GA.
 Keith Loo'I'd like to see class size shrink. Berkeley is a huge university, and a lot of the lecture classes for prerequisites are just too large. You don't get any personal attention compared to discussion classes, where the GSI knows your name and calls on you. The intimacy factor is missing.
-Keith Loo, fourth-year biology/political science major. Hometown: Milpitas, CA.

 Alex Dougherty'Lower tuition. Right now I am paying out-of-state tuition that's equivalent to any top private school's, which betrays the priniciple of a public university. Boalt has a tradition of sending lawyers out to do public-interest and nonprofit work: requiring students to pay $35,000 a year is going to reduce the number who choose those paths.'
-Alex Dougherty, first-year Boalt Hall law student. Hometown: Herrington Park, NJ.
 Ashley Walker'You always hear how UC Berkeley is really diverse, but when you get here, you find out it's really not. I think the university needs to make a real effort to admit more minority students — aside from just athletes.'
-Ashley Walker, first-year undeclared. Hometown: Modesto, CA.

 Karen Gutierrez'Offering more classes at different times. I have three classes this semester that were only offered at one time each, which makes it very hard to build your schedule.'
-Karen Gutierrez, first-year pre-med student. Hometown: Monterey, CA.
 John Schulte'Honestly, right now — in my fourth week as a transfer student from DeAnza College — it all seems really, really great to me. I'm sure I'll have some complaints at some point, but not right now. I even got a great financial-aid package.'
-John Schulte, third-year economics major. Hometown: Orange County, CA.