As UC Berkeley graduates, we may believe that we’re about to step into the spotlight as we adorn ourselves in robes, stoles, cords and caps. In reality, we’re about to step out of it.
Our soon-to-be alma mater has faced its fair share of hardship in recent memory, perhaps most noticeably this past year, when it became the epicenter of ideological divide. It’s no secret that UC Berkeley carries a lofty reputation around the world. But now, we are tasked with toting that reputation into the world with us when so many are prepared to discredit the values we learned here — education, empathy and equity — because of their insular perceptions of intricate events.
We are strong enough to stand up for ourselves, advocate for others and defend the principles of our so-called “ivory tower.” We can take all the criticism of a utopian “Berkeley bubble” and bring its ideals wherever we find ourselves next.
The wider world may be polarized, dark — but we can build lasting bonds, and we can be the light.
— Andrea Platten, 2016-2017 managing editor and Ritchie Lee, 2017 editor in chief and president