Town vs. gown

After a year in the EWMBA program, my knowledge of Berkeley remains pretty minimal. I live in San Francisco, I work in San Francisco, and I happen to be a graduate student at UC Berkeley. I spend very little time in Berkeley outside of classes and other school related functions.

Despite the fact that carry a backpack emblazoned with “The Berkeley MBA,” I’m fairly unhelpful with giving directions around the campus. Last year, I said that I knew three things about Berkeley:

  1. Where my classes are
  2. Where the BART station is
  3. Where the bar is

Now that I’m in my second year of business school, I know of at least three bars or places to get a beer.

When I tell people that I’m getting MBA at UC Berkeley, many of them assume that I know all about the City of Berkeley. I know very little about the campus and I have even less knowledge about the city. What I have learned is that UC Berkeley is not the City of Berkeley. The campus is an ivory tower and Haas is a particular turret on that tower. Berkeley may conjure up images of tie-dyed shirts and hippies, but that’s not really how the university is today. Unlike the People’s Republic of Berkeley, the university is fairly moderate. There’s even a Berkeley Republicans student club.

Yes, there are hippies around campus, but I don’t think that they are Cal students. Even though Cal students have been involved with the “Save the Oaks” campaign, I would be surprised is many of the actual tree-sitters are Cal students. Moreover, I really doubt that any of them are Haas students.

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