October 13, 2016
Chicken strips at GBC were a way of life
We all know change is the only constant, but there some things that just feel so classic and essential to the UC Berkeley experience we think they’ll always be there (like hating the janky, first floor bathrooms in Wheeler Hall but waiting in line for them anyway).
Sadly, so many things generations of Cal Bears have taken for granted have disappeared this past year. New buildings and renovations are sweeping across campus and the surrounding city. Many of these facelifts are well overdue, but there are some things the class of 2020 will never realize they missed.
Wheeler Hall’s first floor bathrooms
Thanks to the Wheeler Hall renovation plans during fall 2016, the class of 2020 will never understand the agony of having to go to bathroom in Wheeler. Those ten minutes between class cause lines to form at any bathroom across campus, but the first floor bathrooms in Wheeler Hall are their own beast.
Neither the men’s nor the women’s are in good condition (read: They’re sometimes broken and always smell bad), but every single student still somehow chooses to stand in these restroom queues that continue out the door. We’re not sure if it’s desperation or laziness.
$2 ice cream sandwiches from CREAM
Back in the good ole’ days, you could get a full ice cream sandwich — yes, two cookies and one scoop of ice cream of your choosing — for $2 in cash. After a while, they bumped the price to $2.50 with card, but for many years, Berkeley’s most famous ice cream sandwich was just $2.
Now (perhaps because CREAM is expanding into a franchise across the Bay Area), those same ice cream sandwiches are a whopping $4. The price hasn’t been too big of a deterrent for tourists and visiting family members, but for us poor college students looking for a late-night dessert run, $4 ice cream sandwiches just don’t feel worthwhile anymore.
Major construction on Sproul
It’s true — not every graduating class from Berkeley has had to suffer construction happening on campus, but recent years have endured the noise and disruption from the destruction of the old Eshleman Hall, as well as the construction of MLK and the new Eshleman.
Not only has this construction forced us to scream at each other while walking to class or tabling, but it’s also made certain areas of Sproul un-inhabitable at certain points in time due to wind blowing dust into our eyes, mouths, and food.
Crepes A-GoGo on Telegraph
At the end of spring 2016, the red-and-white-striped storefront with jars on jars of Nutella in their windows shut its doors for good. The store offered a wide variety of made-to-order crepes, both sweet and savory. If you needed a quick lunch or missed breakfast, Crepes A-Go Go was the perfect place to go. It was quick and the food was fresh. The location has since been filled by Eatsa, a restaurant that exclusively serves quinoa bowls and salads, which is great and all — but you really can’t beat a fresh crepe.
Professor John Arnold in the Chemistry department
Any student who’s taken Chem 1A will have heard of the wonders of Professor Arnold. Just look on RateMyProfessor if you’re not convinced. Professor Arnold didn’t just have a crisp, clean British accent that kept people engaged, but he was also organized and thorough in his lectures. He explained things precisely and accurately, so although his midterms and finals were killer, everyone still loved him anyway.
Unfortunately, Professor Arnold retired after spring 2016, so none of Berkeley’s future chemists will be able to experience taking a class with this renowned professor.
Soft unit cap
This change in class registration did only happen in fall 2016, so while the class of 2020 is experiencing this change, they won’t understand exactly why this is so frustrating. In previous semesters, students only had a soft cap of 20.5 units. To put it in more concrete terms: If you were already signed up for 17.5 units, you could still add a 4-unit class to have a total of 21 units.
Now, you cannot exceed 20.5 units, ever. It doesn’t matter if you just wanted to check a class out or debate between two 4-unit classes. You’ll have to petition with the Dean in Evans Hall in order for this to happen. And when you realize you might end up dropping the class anyway, the incentive to file a petition becomes nonexistent.
Food trucks by Boalt Hall
No one wanted the food trucks to go. Even students from UC Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law held a rally to protest Berkeley city’s refusal to renew the food trucks’ permits, in hopes of having some of their favorite lunch fixes remain nearby.
In spite of these valiant efforts, Healthy Heavenly Foods, Dojo Dog, and Kettle Corn Star have all had to vacate their tire-worn spots on the street. Dojo Dog can now be found on Fourth Street, down in West Berkeley, but we’ll always think longingly of Heavenly’s huge portions and delicious garlic noodles long past graduation.
Like many of the buildings on campus, Cal Central went through an upgrade recently. Unfortunately, most students seem to think this change is more of a downgrade than an upgrade. Now, you put your classes into your shopping cart instead of just adding them.
ScheduleBuilder, every Berkeley student before fall 2016’s best friend, originally allowed us to arrange x number of possible schedules to determine which discussion sections best fit our
sleeping schedule. In its place is, sadly, no replacement. It’s incredibly difficult to change discussion sections now, and there isn’t even an interface on which you can see all your potential schedules.
Chicken strips at GBC
When a change in the Berkeley food scene makes Daily Cal headlines, you know it’s a big deal. For years, students have passed by GBC on Sproul and salivated from the smell of fried chicken strips (paired with a side of French fries or tater tots). It didn’t matter if you didn’t have a meal plan. You went to get those chicken strips because they were just that good.
In an effort to promote nutritious food choices on campus, Cal Dining redid its entire menu and is still in the process of upgrading many of its on-campus dining locations to better fit its new mission of healthy living and supporting local food growers. The deep fried chicken strips didn’t stand a chance. Although you can still get chicken strips at True Blue Burger in MLK or at late night at the dining commons, anyone older than the class of 2020 knows there’s just no comparison.
There used to be a time where Berkeley students would gripe over the fact that the stack of bus stickers on their ID card wasn’t aligned. Now, beginning with the class of 2020, Berkeley students will no longer have to worry about carrying around three different types of public transportation tickets.
Cal students can now ride the bus and Bart with just one universal Clipper Card, funded by the university. They’ll never know the struggles of accidentally whipping out our bright blue Clipper Card when trying to flash our ID and bus pass to the AC Transit drivers.
It might be true that Berkeley’s current freshmen will be healthier and have cleaner cafes available on campus, but since when has anyone ever gone to Berkeley for the on-campus dining scene?
If there is one thing the class of 2020 will miss but won’t experience extreme FOMO over, it’s the janky bathroom problems in Wheeler Hall. We’re not sure if the current renovation plans for Wheeler include bathroom upgrades, but if they do, freshmen, you have no idea how lucky you are.
Photo credits to Jocelyn Hsu