If you hear any piece of advice from your UC Berkeley elders or the wise memes of a certain local Facebook page, it’s that FLYERS MUST BE AVOIDED AT ALL COST. The people who hand them out are zombies hungry for brains, vampires hungry for blood or those really annoying unavoidable Pokémon trainers in narrow hallways hungry for … well, that one isn’t explained in-game.
That’s how people are taught to view the passionate denizens of Sproul Plaza: in the heat of their cultish devotion to a club no one’s ever heard of, they’ll detain you for 15 uncomfortable minutes as they try to get you to join UC Berkeley’s millionth Bible study group. So you plug in your headphones, look away or use the stairs to Lower Sproul to avoid the human contact.
But there’s a good chance you received this special edition of The Daily Californian through a stranger pushing it on you. Here’s why you should keep listening to the people on Sproul.
Because of the swag: Always take whatever Bank of the West is hustling to get your hands on: the yo-yos, for example. Other things you can score includes candies, potted plants and old magazines. You can always get some good stuff out of pretending to be interested.
Because it makes good wall décor: Berkeley’s unholy variety of posters, schedules and pamphlets can make a pretty interesting collage on your dorm’s tackboard. Through the year, you can look at them and wonder why you didn’t bother signing up.
Because it keeps you woke: Activist clubs often announce their protests through flyer, for example. And honestly, what’s a better way to get involved than being aware of these happenings?
Because of the memes: How are you going to understand the AFX/frat/CalPIRG/Kink Club memes if you never meet a member in the flesh? Better scope them out right now on the pretext of grabbing a flyer.
Because it reinforces information: You wrote things down on your phone’s notes app, but will you ever bother to check? The same goes if you gave them your email address, because no one’s checking that. Better take the flyer so you actually remember that due date/first meeting or whatever.
Because of the drama: When ASUC election season comes up, talk to every single volunteer because you need to be caught up on who’s who when the drama bombs start falling.
Because it’s fun: Flyérmon! Gotta catch ‘em all! I heard if you collect every intramural team’s poster, you can summon Blue Eyes White Water Rafting.
Because you actually find out cool things: It’s hard to find out about clubs on campus. If you think you can just Google the club website or maybe hunt them down on Facebook, you’d be surprised how dead the internet presence of several active clubs is. UC Berkeley’s an old-school kind of place, and flyers are still the most dependable way to find out about the more niche activities on campus.
Because of the generosity of your heart: See the poor, sweaty person steeling themselves to venture out into the tides of people buffeting the shores of Sproul Plaza? See how they struggle valiantly against the currents of public opinion as they try to get you to take the latest issue of To an Unknown God, or, God forbid, the Heuristic Squelch. Look at the innocent volunteer in the eyes, and see their desire to get their hours on the spreadsheet so the club president will lay off. And then help make this young Sisyphus’ burden a little lighter and take the flyer from them. (Plus, if you join the club later, you’d already have a sympathetic upperclassman on your side!)