The Clog’s ranking of 2019-20 academic year’s most iconic admin emails

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This past academic year at UC Berkeley has gone down like no other — this is something that we all can probably agree on. This year has been pretty volatile, intense and unexpected, from class-canceling fires in the fall to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid all the chaos we collectively faced, we were still blessed in having the guiding presence of the administrative team here at UC Berkeley to help us navigate these trying times. It did its due diligence to send us a plethora of emails to keep us up to date as this year unraveled. Without these emails, we may have been lost. Truly. The abundance of emails was overwhelming in particular moments, but they were always somewhat informational. So thanks, admin, for your emails telling the campus community what was up. We at the Clog are pretty touched by your efforts.

Fortunately, many of us still have these emails in our archives and can use them to review the major things that went down this past year. We at the Clog decided to comb through some of those emails and pick the top three emails from administration. We rated them based on how they changed the way we attended school and, in some cases, the humor they provided.

Classes canceled Friday, faculty and staff should stay away from campus (Oct. 10, 2019) – Vice Chancellor for Administration Marc Fisher

Throwback to when PG&E and the fires were the source of almost every meme in the UC Berkeley Memes For Edgy Teens Facebook group, and when classes ended up being canceled for nearly a week (even though this email just said it would end Friday). Thankfully, we had the grace and abundance of Marc Fisher’s emails telling us what was going on … for the most part, anyway.

URGENT COVID-19 Update: Moving toward greatly reduced operations (March 16, 2020) – Chancellor Carol Christ

This was the email that changed the course of all of our times at UC Berkeley this year. It is here where Carol Christ told us that all operations and classes would be in a remote setting for the rest of the semester. This caused campus to go into a bit of frenzy. Many of us were frantically figuring out a way to get home or resituate ourselves in light of a global pandemic that had reached levels of crisis in our community. Shoutout to you, Carol Christ, for the timely email telling us what was good with the rest of the semester.

Information about fall semester 2020 (April 23, 2020) – Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Honestly, this email is on this list not because it altered how our time would be spent at UC Berkeley (like the previous two emails did), but because of how widely meme’d it became. This email was a great source of humor for about a week. The lack of real information and abundance of typos in this email were of a golden standard. There were immediate memes after this email was sent to the campus community, which arguably did a better job of telling us what we needed to know. This email may have done us more justice to just be titled, “TBH at the moment, we don’t know what’s happening with fall semester 2020.” But you win some, and you lose some, and along the way, you find the humor in it all.

Now we all sit in the summer months with an immense amount of uncertainty moving forward into the next academic year. However, we can still count on the administration’s emails to keep us dutifully updated as a campus community! What would we do without these emails?

Contact Gina Wright [email protected].