A look back on the past decade at UC Berkeley

Sunny Shen/Staff

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As the end of the decade fast approaches and every single publication known to man is releasing their “best of the decade” lists, we thought we would take it upon ourselves to put together an eclectic list of the most interesting, exciting and cool things that have happened each year of the past decade here at UC Berkeley. From a vertical dance group dancing on the Campanile to winning back the Axe, this has been quite the decade on campus. This is by no means a comprehensive list because a lot happens here at the No. 1 public university in the world, but we hope it gives you some insight into the past 10 years at UC Berkeley. 

2010: Dead week renamed as Reading, Review, and Recitation Week

Long before our time, dead week wasn’t what the cool kids called RRR week. But that changed with the landmark decision in 2010 to finally put the name “Dead Week” to rest. RIP “Dead Week.”

2011: “Novacane” by Frank Ocean released

On July 31, 2011, everything changed for UC Berkeley students when Frank Ocean released his debut single, “Novacane.” This release is a cultural landmark in itself, but more importantly, it has the iconic lyric: “Brain like Berkeley.” Our street cred went through the roof! UC Berkeley students and their Instagram bios and captions were never the same. 

2012: The Bears won 17 medals at the 2012 Olympics!

Of the 17 medals, there were 11 gold, one silver and five bronze. There were 46 Golden Bears participating in the 2012 Olympics in various sports, including crew, track and field, soccer and swimming. UC Berkeley athletes have won a grand total of 207 Olympic medals. Go Bears!

2013: “At Berkeley” documentary released

In 2013, institutional documentarian Frederick Wiseman released the critically acclaimed “At Berkeley,” an exploration of how a major public university functions. The documentary was filmed in 2010 and focuses on the decrease in government funding, as well as liberal politics on campus. 

2014: Nancy Pelosi gave the commencement speech

It’s always exciting when a notable figure gives the commencement speech at our school. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged graduating seniors to take inspiration from the Free Speech Movement and to continue to challenge the status quo after graduation. 

2015: BANDALOOP performed on the walls of the Campanile.

BANDALOOP, a Bay Area-based vertical dance group, danced on the walls of the Campanile on Cal Day in 2015 to celebrate the centennial of UC Berkeley. The UC Berkeley website brags that viewing the performance was a “once in a lifetime” opportunity, and we can’t help but agree. We understand that people dancing on the walls of the Campanile is hard to visualize, so check out this YouTube video to see the madness.

2016: UC Berkeley Memes for Edgy Teens was founded

Former Daily Californian sports editor Chris Tril founded the meme page in 2016, and it has grown to have almost 195,000 members. It inspired the creation of meme pages at universities across the country, including UCLA, Northwestern and Harvard. UCBMFET remains the largest and most popular meme page, however. This page has given us, “As a member of the Greek community,” “Daddy Dirks” and, most recently, “Hey when we started …” It just wouldn’t be the UC Berkeley we know and love without the meme page!

2017: Kiwibot brought to UC Berkeley 

Speaking of memes … in 2017, Kiwibots made their debut at UC Berkeley. Kiwibots have become a staple of campus life despite it being unclear who actually uses them. May the 2020s bring with it lots of heart eyes from Kiwibots.

2018: First annual(?) smoke-induced campus cancellation of the decade 

In 2018, we had our first smoke caused campus debacle, resulting in Big Game being rescheduled, as well as an extra-long Thanksgiving break. The year 2018 was particularly hard, and anyone who was there remembers waiting for classes to be canceled when the air quality index was far above 200.

2019: We finally got the Axe back!

The most exciting accomplishment of the decade was the Golden Bears winning the Big Game in the last 42 seconds. GOOOO Bears! Hopefully, we keep up this winning streak in 2020.

Wow! What a decade. We at the Clog can’t wait to see what wacky and exciting things the next decade at UC Berkeley brings!

Contact Elena Cavender at [email protected].