UC Berkeley Point of View
Point of view: What's the most important thing UC Berkeley could do differently?
BERKELEY – 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.
[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.
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
-Shauna Sweeney, third-year English major. Hometown: San Rafael, CA.
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.
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
-Keith Loo, fourth-year biology/political science major. Hometown: Milpitas, CA.
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.
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.
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.
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
-John Schulte, third-year economics major. Hometown: Orange County, CA.