Quality of life changes UC Berkeley could make if it had more money

Michael Drummond/File

For all the jokes going around about being a public school, some little things about UC Berkeley are a bit of a shock to students. These are abundantly apparent when you visit your private school friends and find out that their universities splurged on student spending and now have cupcake ATMs for some reason. While there are larger systemic issues that would and should be prioritized if UC Berkeley had more money, here are some of the small day-to-day frustrations of student life that could be dealt with if we had colder, hard cash.

Pay for exam booklets

Somehow, all the money we’re putting into higher education doesn’t include the actual papers we write our exams on. While it’s a relatively small task, it’s nonetheless ridiculously frustrating to have to buy our own scantrons, green books and blue books. While the system allows for some business savvy students to resell extra exam booklets to the desperate, needy or forgetful, it really isn’t anything but an additional chore before a big test.

Why do some universities have free laundry?

Somehow there’s free laundry for students living in on-campus housing at certain universities. These schools include Columbia University, Northwestern and a certain monstrosity with a plant as a mascot that shall not be named. While this would primarily apply to freshmen, given the larger housing crisis, the huge student population would gladly accept the random privilege of free laundry. If nothing else, collecting quarters is a bloody pain.

Fix up that tech

Especially for those involved in student organizations with access to Eshleman Hall, it’s a bit awkward to realize that the televisions in the meeting rooms are functionally tributes to modern art. That is to say, almost none of them actually work. They might as well be paintings. In the wider campus scope, this applies to the random classroom projectors that only project blue screens. Not to mention the indifferent god that is AirBears2, to which we all pray to. While AirBears has been reasonably consistent the last few months, we all remember that couple of seconds of lag that just randomly happens every once in a while. Those additional three seconds are ridiculous! Please send help as soon as possible. 

Then again, if the school had the additional budget, it’s undetermined if the student body would want the convenience of some quality of life improvements or the novelty of a cupcake ATM?

Contact Jonathan Lai at [email protected].