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.”
In May, new UC Berkeley Athletic Director Jim Knowlton took over a tough job, spearheading a department in upheaval.
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.
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.
Posted on December 3, 2018 - 9:36am
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.
Posted on November 30, 2018 - 9:56am
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.
Posted on November 15, 2018 - 3:24pm
This weekend, the NCAA’s newest “Emerging Sport for Women,” varsity triathlon, will be holding the Women’s Collegiate National Championships in Tempe, Arizona. But the 75 women racing the sprint triathlon aren’t NCAA athletes. And triathlon isn’t an NCAA sport—at least not yet.
Posted on November 2, 2018 - 1:46pm
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.
An Ignoble Truth
This week, UC Berkeley picked up two new Nobel Prizes—or did they?
Posted on October 5, 2018 - 1:19pm
The following chapter “Biography” has been excerpted from I WILL BE COMPLETE: A MEMOIR (2018) by Glen David Gold. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
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.
Posted on October 2, 2018 - 11:22am
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.
Posted on September 28, 2018 - 4:50pm
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.
Posted on September 28, 2018 - 2:00pm
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!
Posted on September 26, 2018 - 5:32pm
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.