Monologues and dialogues fill online radio hour
Chancellor Berdahl hosts first all-student edition of ‘Bear in Mind,’ his monthly Internet broadcast

By Bonnie Azab Powell, Public Affairs


Chancellor Berdahl (seated, left) interviews student Regent-designate Matt Murray at the taping late last week of ‘Bear in Mind,’ the chancellor’s web-based radio show. This marked the first time an audience was present for the taping.
Bonnie Azab Powell photo

29 January 2003 | In an effort to entice student listeners to “Bear in Mind,” Chancellor Robert Berdahl’s monthly online radio show, the chancellor became “D.J. Bobby B.” for a morning.

The cheeky moniker was bestowed by budding comedienne Sumana Harihareswara, a Berkeley alum who was Berdahl’s second guest on the all-student edition of “Bear in Mind” that taped Friday, Jan. 24, in front of the show’s first live audience. About a dozen undergraduate and graduate students crowded into Dwinelle Hall’s tiny broadcast-TV studio to watch the chancellor interview Harihareswara and Student Regent-designate Matt Murray. He also moderated an intense debate on the Israeli-Palestinian issue between David Singer, co-chair of Berkeley’s Israel Action Committee, and Sid Patel, a member of Students for Justice in Palestine and an anti-war activist.

Dressed in a colorful sari, Harihareswara — who competes Jan. 31 in Apollo Theater Amateur Night on Tour semifinals at Zellerbach Hall — snorted every time Berdahl mangled her name, to the delight of the student audience. She brought down the house with her three-minute performance of UC Berkeley jokes, one of which proposed that the north and south sides could meet at the Campanile for a pitched battle, “the L&S students waving their Norton Anthologies versus the engineers with their lasers.”

All smiles evaporated when it came time for the featured debate. Berdahl first turned his forensic skills — he was a high-school-debate champion — on Patel after the sophomore called on the university to stop investing in Israel because of its record of human-rights violations. “So we should divest from any country that practices oppression?” the chancellor asked quietly. “Even Middle Eastern countries?” Nor did Singer’s side get off lightly, as Berdahl asked how the Israeli military’s bulldozing of suicide bombers’ houses differs from terrorism.

The taping concluded with Berdahl fielding questions from the students in the audience, ranging from the easy — “What’s your dream job?” — to hot-potato, when Molly Cundiff, a senior and a resident assistant, asked whether the administration was aware of the disruption and chaos visited on Unit 2 by ongoing construction.

The fifth edition of “Bear in Mind” will be online the first week of February at


Home | Search | Archive | About | Contact | More News

Copyright 2002, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.

Comments? E-mail