Reasons why UC Berkeley is still the No. 1 university

Jessica Gleason /File

Depending on who you ask, UC Berkeley is now either tied for first or just behind UCLA as the United States’s No. 1 public university. These rankings rely on factors like research, teaching and industry income. Sure, those are important qualities in a university, but we think that if national college evaluators would just get to know us a little better, they would realize we have unique attributes their algorithm simply can’t account for. These are the reasons UC Berkeley is still the best public university in the United States.

The meme page

At the time this is being written, UC Berkeley Memes for Edgy Teens sits at over 113,000 members. UCLA Memes for Sick AF Tweens is barely over 41,000. They aren’t even creative enough to come up with a name that isn’t a blatant rip-off of ours. Memes are one of the most prevalent forms of new media in the world today, and UC Berkeley easily tops UCLA in that department.


The No. 1 team in the fastest-growing sport in the industry? Don’t sleep on our eSports team, or the sport itself. Tyler Rosen, head of college eSports efforts at Blizzard Entertainment, indicated that in three to five years, eSports will be as popular as present-day mainstream sports. Our outlook is pretty good for what could soon become a booming sport. That’s pretty forward thinking.

Fruit cocktails

Sometimes we must dare to dream, and that’s exactly what UC Berkeley professor William Cruess did when he decided to put diced fruit in a can in the 1930s. It’s a perfect example of how balanced our qualifications are—we can discover CRISPR gene editing, but we can also have good ideas about fruit and stuff.

Proximity to Artichoke Basille’s Pizza

UCLA students have to travel about 367 miles to grab a slice of artichoke pizza. For us, it’s easily within walking distance of the UC Berkeley campus. Clearly, the rankings officials either forgot to account for this or have never had a slice of Artichoke Basille’s. Either way, they’re in the wrong.

CBS’s “Survivor” contestants

Your dad’s favorite reality show that the rest of the world has forgotten about has only had two contestants from UCLA. On the other hand, Berkeley has produced five contestants. It’s fair to say we can outwit, outplay and outlast them.

It’s the small things that really make up the character of a university, and we feel like these aspects of Berkeley got overlooked in the latest rankings. Next year, perhaps a more appropriate rubric will be created that can properly capture all the factors that make UC Berkeley the No. 1 public university.

Contact Ryan Melvin at [email protected].