An open letter to Blackwell: You’re really not all that

Karen Chow/Senior Staff

Dear Blackwell,

You opened your doors in August 2018, but not before assaulting students with the sound of you being built for an entire year. Students who had the pleasure of living in Unit Third World (ahem, Unit 3) last year had the pleasure of waking up every morning to the sound of your construction. You’ve been causing students pain for over a year!

Walking by you is like walking by an unrequited love. As we walk by we catch ourselves hitting play on our crying playlists and staring longingly into your large windows that expose the freshman year experience we all wish we had had. Before this, we only had the Clark Kerr experience to envy.

We most often pass you on our trek to the RSF. As we walk down Bancroft to expose ourselves to the hot and sweaty air of the Regular Student Facility (another name we like to give the RSF), we can’t help but gaze directly into the nicest gym on campus, situated right inside your very own hallowed halls. Why is this the case, considering you’re the closest residence hall to the RSF? We sorely wish we knew.

We were once even given the opportunity to go inside. Our jaws dropped — you were nicer than anything we could have ever dreamed of for a UC Berkeley dorm. You have the vibe of the headquarters for an up-and-coming tech company (we’re talking Facebook or Google level success not a failed startup) or an elite apartment building where only the hippest of people reside. Your dorm rooms don’t even resemble dorm rooms, let alone the ones we toiled away in our freshmen year. They’re modern, spacious and most shocking: uncarpeted! Your rooms even contain not one, but TWO ceiling fans. Plain wasteful, if you ask us. On top of that, you only have singles and doubles, which we find to be a poor use of space. Do better, Blackwell.

Maybe we’re just bitter, but we at the Clog worry that you’re creating much too unrealistic expectations for residents. Their future years at Cal will be spent in shabby apartments and, after Berkeley, it will be a long time (if ever) before they’ll be able to afford a room as nice as the ones you have with seemingly endless amenities. Rumor has it there are four laundry machines and dryers on each floor, pingpong or pool tables on alternating floors, a movie theater in the basement and closets leading to Narnia. No matter where those select few current Blackwell residents live next year, it won’t be as nice as their current double and that just makes us sad! Meanwhile, those who live in Unit 3 can live anywhere and appreciate its beauty and cleanliness.

Furthermore, we hate to say it, but you lack the charm of the units. Without the wear and tear of thousands of nasty, irresponsible freshmen leaving their marks on your halls, the building lacks character and familiarity.

Oh, Blackwell, you are the life we wish we had. You are the wind beneath our wings. You are the building we walk by just to get a peep inside. Most importantly, though, you’re an inefficient use of resources.


The Clog

Contact Elena Cavender at [email protected].