University of California-Berkeley Top Questions

What are the most popular student activities/groups?


Usually people find one or two niches that comprise most of their social network and take up most of their time. For me, it's been very straightforward: I'm a co-op girl, through and through, from the house level to the central policy level to recruitment. Other people get similarly obsessed with things like the Daily Cal, or Rally Com (ugh), or the ASUC (student government. double ugh.) or the Asian American Association, etc. Greeks are minimal, if you really don't want to see their bleached blonde heads at all, just live on Northside. Co-ops for living, or even just for parties, are my personal ideal, but if "Pimps and Hos" is more your style than quirkier shit, maybe you should stick with the Greek. Don't come to our Civil War Re-enactment or Band Night or Disco Party trying to make it a frat party. It ISN'T. Berkeley has never bored me. If it gets boring, you can always go to San Francisco or the oh-so-hipster Oakland. It's always been about choosing what of the many things I have in front of me to do, not desperately trying to find something. The dating scene is good for "exploration", bad for commitment. Or maybe that's just the co-op dating scene. The Hillel here has offered really good things while being kind of cliquish. Do me a favor, go get involved and make it un-cliquish.


Groups of friends seem to emerge like a snowball. New people seem to roll in and out of social scenes. If you can't roll with the punches, its eary to get left behind. A lot of the strongest bonds tend to be formed by who you live with. Choosing a group of friends who has your back, and finding your ideal living situation with them is one of the most exciting aspects of Berkeley life, and one of the most unique things it has to offer. Whether its an apartment, a house, a frat, a co-op, there is ample opportunity to have meaningful living situations with people you care about. The popularity of different types of events, like concerts, football games, parties, is huge in every category. Berkeley is large enough to accomodate every scene. It truly is your choice. I'm not a football fan, but people who are fans tend to presume I am -- and I have no ambition to correct them. If they knew me we wouldn't have problems with each other. I have never been accused of lacking "golden bear spirit" except as a joke from close friends.


The most popular student groups are probably the Cal Berkeley Democrats and the Berkeley College Republicans. Also, ethnically based groups like the Asian Business Association are pretty significant. Many people get involved in dance troupes like Movement, or theater productions like the yearly production of The Vagina Monolugues. Football games reign supreme, although I have personally never attended one. It may be a personal resolution, but I really don't see the point of getting drunk at 11 am at a frat house that is blaring music that wasn't good when it was made in the 1990s. I probably could not care less about football, but a lot of students look forward to home games all year. To each his own, I say, and Berkeley agrees. The dating scene is unlike most other large colleges. I believe many people in Berkeley prefer serious relationships to casual dating. It is not in the Berkeley personality to be a serial dater, but it is still done by some. Most Berkeley students were too busy in high school to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. As a result, I think many Cal students seek that out in the time at Berkeley. Parties are a good time to meet people. Friends bring friends, random people show up, and sometimes, a couple of people will hit it off. The best parties are at the co-ops. When Cloyne hosted bar night last year, it was the best time I ever had at a party. The best tradition at Berkeley is known as "the Naked Run." Every year, on Tuesday night of Finals Week, a large group of students run through the Main Stacks of the library naked. It's really fun, though I can only say I have watched this event.