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Convincing your conservative parents that Berkeley is wholesome

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MARCH 23, 2017

You’re walking down Telegraph Avenue with your parents just as a puff of smoke (that smells somewhat similar to a skunk) rises around the corner. Immediately, and quite frantically, you try to distract your parents, who are confused as to why someone’s having a barbecue at the corner of two of the busiest streets in Berkeley. Instead of explaining the reasoning behind the smoke — which is quite obvious to us students — you direct their attention to the “Hell Yeah” guy sitting on the ground. “Heck yeah,” you yell over his “Hell yeah!”

We’ve all seen some pretty edgy things with our parents while walking around campus with them. Yet we at the Clog know that you’ve decided UC Berkeley is the school you’re destined to attend, so we’d like to graciously provide a list of ways to convince your wholesome parents that Cal is as PG as it gets.

Go on a stroll with them

Take your parents on a stroll through one of the busier libraries on campus. We suggest going on a walk through Doe Library, because you’re guaranteed to find nerds studying in there at all times of day. Show them how studious we are at UC Berkeley, but make sure to take them in the middle of the day, preferably when it’s sunny outside. This way, you can also show them the students playing frisbee on Memorial Glade. How much more wholesome can you get? UC Berkeley students study hard, but we also play hard (play hard meaning we relax outside and play with frisbees and read books for leisure).

Show them Chancellor Nicholas Dirks’ House

Sure, Dirks’ house isn’t particularly modest, but it does have a gate. And you know what a gate implies — safety. Your parents don’t need to know that our public funds might be hiding somewhere in there; they just need to see that everyone will be, or is, protected here, even the chancellor.

Take them to Crossroads

Have your parents eat lunch with you at Crossroads on the day that volunteers are doing a demonstration about compost. While the volunteers collect your trash in even more bins than normal, your parents will see how much the students care for the environment, even in the dining commons.

Walk around Sproul Plaza on a Friday afternoon

Do not, we repeat, do not walk through Sproul Plaza with your parents, for they’ll be harassed by people fliering. And, some of said fliers may not seem to be the most G-rated at first glance. Instead, stop right under Sather Gate and have them admire the students advertising clubs and upcoming events while the weekly choir group sings. Birds will be chirping, squirrels will be scurrying around (rather than climbing up people’s legs, we hope) and all will be right and just in the world.

Sure, Berkeley is a quirky place, but if your parents are conservative, don’t fret. Show them some of the unique things we have to offer here to ease any qualms they might have. As long as you don’t bring them to campus the day of the Naked Run, show them Memorial Glade on April 20 or go on a late-night walk through Frat Row on a Saturday, you’ll likely convince your parents that UC Berkeley is the No. 1 public university in the world.

Contact Avanti Mehrotra at [email protected].

MARCH 23, 2017