What you get when 11 people draw a campus map from memory

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When we first arrived at UC Berkeley, an official campus map was placed in our excited freshman hands to help us navigate the golden bear turf. This map is quickly abandoned as our experiences begin to shape our perspective of the campus — a vision of UC Berkeley that is unique to each of us. The Daily Clog approached 11 students, handed them a blank sheet of paper and a pen and asked them to draw a campus map of Cal from memory in two minutes. We discovered what parts of our campus students best remember and consider most important (or not important at all), along with a quote about their favorite thing about campus. The results are listed below, separated by the artists’ majors.

 1. Political Economy major

“My favorite thing about campus is how nothing seems to match. If you look for it, you can see the transformation of the school.”

Collage 1

This map captures a variety of buildings, including buildings on North Side (North Gate, Evans), West Side (Tolman, Haas Pavilion) and South Side (Wheeler Hall, Sproul Plaza), giving a rather comprehensive representation of our campus. Its unique mention of the Chancellor’s House was appreciated, as was the inclusion of the Eucalyptus Grove.

 2. Molecular Cell Biology major

“I love the Campanile as the focal point of UC Berkeley. From far away, it seems insignificant, but while you’re on campus, you can see it from almost everywhere (and hear it toll every hour!)”

Collage 2

This map kills it in the labeling department. The intricate attention to detail is pretty clear in the more than 29 labels. And leave it to IB majors to use roads to organize the campus into one giant box. It may or may not be a little scary how to scale everything is. She also gets credit for being the only map that included Memorial Stadium (maybe everyone else is trying to suppress our history of defeat) and to label the RSF — it seems working out might not be one of our favorite activities.

 3. Integrative Biology Major

“I love Memorial Glade, the gentle slope of the hill is a perfect place to take a quick nap while getting some vitamin D.”

Collage 3

Again — how do they make our mismatched messy campus fit into such a neat box? This might be the cleanest representation of our campus. She managed to capture some of the highlights, including the Campanile and Sproul Plaza, but we’re missing some of the grassier patches such as Memorial Glade. She does, however, get points for an awesome signature.

4. Linguistics Major

“My favorite thing about campus are all the outdoor study spots.”

Collage 4

If we ever needed a road map to the Linguistic classes on campus, this would be it. Follow the yellow brick road down Bancroft Ave, traverse Sproul, grab some grub at the GBC before slipping beneath Sather Gate and heading for one of the three buildings linguistics majors might have classes in: Dwinelle, Wheeler, and Evans. We also noted that North Side and East Side of campus don’t make the cut on her map.

5. English major

“My favorite thing about campus is that there’s food in almost every building.”

Collage 5

The most intriguing aspects of this map are its scope and scale. While detailed, the scope covers only a part of South Side, and if scale is an indicator of importance, Bancroft Avenue is apparently dominating these days. Not only does Bancroft appear to be as wide as Sproul Plaza, but it’s also half the campus map. However, given how important Bancroft Ave is (think of all that great food), we think this is a fair representation.

6. Sociology Major

“My favorite thing about campus is how green it is.”

Collage 6

This map almost looks like a little town! Outlined by North Side and Bancroft, it captures some of the most famous parts of the campus, including the Campanile, Doe Library, Sproul Plaza, Bolt School of Law, and Wurster. The map gives little indication of where sociology majors tend to have their classes (or perhaps it suggests that Sociology majors are a little all over the place) but we can pretty confidently assume that they don’t hang out much on North Side or by the Mining Circle. The map does include the Music Library, which we thought was a unique addition. It also includes Evans, which reveals a trend: the only North Side building L&S students tend to remember is the big ugly one in which they go to contend their grades.

7. Architecture Major

“Walking through campus at 4 a.m. when nothing looks the same.”

Collage 7

The most unique take on our campus we’ve ever seen. Clearly Architecture majors receive a different kind of artistic training than the rest of us. Our favorite is the right hand side of the map — with the little angle and the dot. He does get credit for being the only student to label the Genetic Plant Biology Building and Moses Hall.

8. English Major

“I like the study lounges that I sneak into.”

Collage 8

This map’s most intriguing aspects are its labels. While covering basic landmarks, it also includes the RSF, Edwards Stadium, the East Asian Library and Telegraph Avenue. When the students asked us about the scope of the map, we told them there were no boundaries, and to draw whatever was a good representation of the Berkeley campus to them. Logically, many chose to focus on actual campus buildings, but it is fascinating to consider that only this map has the historic and iconic Telegraph Ave.

9. Campus Visitor

“My favorite thing about campus is all the different trees”

Collage 8

This map is rather effective in communicating that some visitors might know our campus a little better than we do.  Bonus points for actually including trees in her drawing — what’s a Berkeley campus map without trees?

10. Neurobiology & Chicano Studies major

“The squirrels, definitely.”

Collage 10

While we’re still having a tough time understanding what the elongated blob in the bottom of the map might represent, this map covers a lot of the important parts of campus. Our favorite labels are the Eucalyptus Grove, the “Ugly Library” (Moffitt), Strawberry creek, and Grizzly Peak.

11. Psychology Major

“My favorite thing about campus is the grass lawn outside Barker.”

Collage 11

This is probably one of the most well-rounded maps, including a diversity of buildings from North (Stanley), South (Dwinelle) and West Side (Tolman). It is also interesting to notice how those who quoted that they liked trees or spaces of green were also consistent in marking these areas on their maps. We also fully agree with his quote — there’s no better nap than one on Barker.

Contact Tala Katarina Ram at [email protected].