A whole new world: Lower Sproul Plaza

Michelle Kim/Staff

It’s your first day of class and as you walk through Lower Sproul Plaza you notice a shining beacon of student solidarity. It’s the home to the MLK Jr. Student Union and houses the Cal Student Store, a coffee shop and will soon include other food places, another coffee shop and the Bear’s Lair Bar and Kitchen. Yes, not one, but two coffee shops. There is also an aptly named “living room” where you can sit with your friends, read, eat and study. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted from our campus and more. We at the Daily Clog would like to remind you young’uns what it was like going to UC Berkeley just four months ago and how things have changed and will continue to change as renovations to Lower Sproul Plaza are completed. 

  1. Main Stacks was the only place on campus that was reliable for late night studying.
  2. Food was not a centralized concept. Before, if you wanted food on campus, you’d have to trek for a while to find the restaurant of your choice. Now, you’ll find several options in one place. 
  3. There were two “student stores” both on Bancroft and they offered nothing but confusion.
  4. Air conditioning has never been this great on campus — let’s be real. 
  5. There was never a sensible place to meet on Sproul that didn’t leave you with 30 flyers for clubs you didn’t care about. 
  6. Everything on campus that wasn’t in an engineering building was 1,000 years old and falling apart.
  7. The coffee shops didn’t offer cold brew or nitro.
  8. Did we mention that the Student Learning Center was the only place opened 24/7 on campus? 
  9. Studying in the library often meant you went without light or an open atmosphere for hours at a time.
  10. You had to pay for coffee on campus in order to sit in the coffee shops, unless you were fine with moral ambiguity — “What’s good, FSM?”
  11. Waiting for food often meant a ridiculously long line — or, just give up. 
  12. There’s finally a place to study and talk at the same time.
  13. If you coughed too loudly in the library, someone would shush you or give you a death glare. 
  14. There was never a clean bathroom on campus. Although, this probably won’t last long. 
  15. We used an old student union building that was seismically unsafe.

Contact Sophia Zepeda at [email protected].