Cal Culture

Chancellor’s Letter: In the Zone

 When I heard that the theme for this edition of California magazine was play, my thoughts turned to music and sports. Both are forms of self-expression, closely linked in ways that are at once intuitive and surprising. We have many campus programs in each—another way we seek to embrace the fullest possible range of human endeavors and do justice to the essential meaning of “University.”

From the Winter 2018 Play issue of California.

Necessary Roughness

It was a sunny November Saturday at California Field and the stands brimmed with 20,000 boisterous fans. Banners waved, blue-and-gold streamers unfurled, and the usual cheers of “Oski Wow Wow! Whiskey Wee Wee!” went up as players took the field.

From the Winter 2018 Play issue of California.

Locker Room Talk with the Boys of the Berkeley Gazette

Once upon a time, Berkeley had its own daily newspaper, the Berkeley Gazette, and for a brief, semi-glorious moment, it had two sports-reporting brothers. The paper was small enough that the brothers weren’t exclusively sports-reporters, but being born and bred in Berkeley, with Bear-blood in their veins, they wasted as much ink and newsprint on Cal’s sports program as they could possibly get away with.

Anchor’s Aweigh: Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto Sets Sail, for Good

Say goodbye to another bit of old Berkeley: Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto, the oldest restaurant in town, shut its doors on October 24, joining two other landmarks: Brennan’s, which closed in September, and H’s Lordships, which shuttered in June.

How Did the Axe Cross the Bay? A Ferry Tale

For those who know, the Stanford Axe is more than just a trophy. Awarded to the annual winner of the Stanford­–Cal “Big Game” (full disclosure: I’m a Stanford grad), the Axe represents one of the oldest college rivalries in the country, dating back to 1892. The origins of the Stanford Axe have been told again and again, including the infamous heist of the Axe by Cal students in 1899, and subsequent repossession by Stanford 30 years later.

Yet, some mysteries remain.

Chancellor’s Letter: Listening to Women’s Voices

In the fall of 2017, the #MeToo movement drew national headlines that focused the country’s attention on the issue of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. The poignant narratives courageously shared as part of #MeToo make sexual harassment feel viscerally real, even to people who may think they have largely been spared from its effects. Such stories powerfully illustrate the depth and lasting nature of sexual harassment’s impact in our society.

From the Fall 2018 Culture Shift issue of California.

Red Eyes On the Prize: How Berkeley Breaks the Nobel News

Picture this: It’s past 2 a.m. on October 1, and Berkeley is finally asleep. The night owls have started to nod off at their desks, and the early risers won’t be up for a few more hours. At first glance, not a creature seems to be stirring—not even a Kiwibot.

Berkeley Brief: Stuffed Birds, Banned Books, and More

A dose of housing reality

It’s confirmed: Low-income people of color are bearing the brunt of the housing crisis.

According to new reports from UC Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project and the California Housing Partnership, rising housing costs are pushing already disadvantaged communities out—into neighborhoods high in poverty and low in resources.

Always a Maverick: Cynthia Marshall Made Her Mark Before Dallas

In February, Cynthia Marshall took over as CEO of the Dallas Mavericks—becoming the first African-American female CEO in the NBA. She also inherited an organization in crisis, after a Sports Illustrated story revealed rampant sexual harassment, incidents of domestic abuse, and a toxic culture.

His, Hers, and Theirs: UC Berkeley’s Universal Locker Room

Today, UC Berkeley’s first “universal” locker room, for people of any gender-ID and body type, opened to the public. At 4,500 square feet, it’s believed to be the largest universal locker room in California. Yesterday some lucky humans and I went on an exclusive tour of the inclusive space before its grand opening, and let me tell ya, I felt so A-list. Nothing says high-class like a bunch of people rubbing their chins and pursing their lips while looking at a toilet. I know because I watch people do it in the SFMOMA all the time!

Trick or Tracksuit: An Expat’s Halloween Faux Pas

I knew my experience at Cambridge University would be far different from my four years at Berkeley when the suggested list of items to bring overseas inquired: Do you have enough formal wear?

My suitcase overflowed with ripped denim and shabby sweaters, so the answer, definitively, was no.

From the Fall 2018 Culture Shift issue of California.

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