Are The Golden Bears Roaring In The Right Direction?

Are The Golden Bears Roaring In The Right Direction?

Protesting at University of California, Berkeley is nothing new, but is the past incident of student demonstration showing an effective way of voicing concern?

The University of California, Berkeley is known as the number one public university in the world and is also seen by many as one of the most liberal universities in the nation. They have been in the spotlight for the student activism and protests for anti-war movements during the Vietnam war to women’s rights movements as well. In this past week, another protest was taking place on the Berkeley' campus.

According to an article published by The Washington Times, “students at the University of California, Berkeley held a day of protest on Friday to demand the creation of additional ‘safe spaces’ for transgender and nonwhite students”. The protesters made a human chain to surround and blockade one of the main campus walkways, not letting any white students pass through the blockade and only allowing students of color to go through. The group later moved and occupied the student store on campus where the protesters placed, “an ‘eviction notice’ on the store, which claims the university ‘wrongly allocated this two-story facility to third-party corporations, keeping in line with its intensifying legacy of prioritizing financial profit over student needs’”.

The group of students involved were calling for a bigger and more visible safe space area than the one they already have, which is in the basement of a university building. Wanting for a more visible and bigger safe space in general is something that is important and should be recognized. After the incident from the dean of students from the University of Chicago with his letter to freshmen about his belief against trigger warning and safe spaces, many colleges and universities, including my own (Go Cats!), have acknowledged how they are an important part of student life and need to be supported by students and faculty.

I believe though their actions are not showing their interests in the best light. The students that were involved in this protest were students of color and students who identified as either gay or transgender; they were only allowing students to pass through if they were of a minority identity and not white. In addition to that, they were disturbing the peace of students and people on campus. This form of protest is making the protesters and call for action stand out and will cause people to pay attention, but it does more harm than good. A student interviewed by the article from The Washington Times said he thought, “the demonstrators are ‘being quite childish. I agree with the right to protest, but disrupting the peace of others is not OK’”. I agree with this student: what the demonstrators were doing was in every right okay and justified, but the exclusiveness from the protestors and acts of disturbance is something people will take in as more of an act of defiance towards the school than a call to action. Singling out students who were white and blocking them from going through an area on campus goes away from forming a more cohesive community that would support safe spaces. Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged all people to participate in the Civil Rights Movements and many people from all different nationalities and ethnicities joined the cause. How can you expect people to respect your concerns when you believe not everyone can be included in your fight? Other students that are white could be wanting to support this cause, but the actions showed by the demonstrators could turn them against the cause now.

I do understand their issue and reason as to why they are protesting, but the demonstrations from a week ago are being taken in by the public in a wrong way. Hopefully they do achieve a better area for having a safe space, but I also hope they go about a better way of achieving awareness for future issues they want to bring to light by being more open and peacefully in their demonstrations and protests.

Cover Image Credit: The Federalist

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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A Day In Immigration Court

"America is a nation founded by immigrants" could not be more true in this space.


This past month, I started my summer internship with a local immigration attorney. Throughout the summer, I will be observing the day-to-day responsibilities of an immigration law office, which includes observing client appointments, compiling evidence and legal research for cases, and attending hearings at the federal immigration court in New York City. Immigration court is vastly different than anything I had ever experienced, and the harsh reality of the American immigration system manifests itself in the immigration courts themselves. Yet after only a couple of days witnessing various hearings in court, I want to look beyond the inefficiencies ingrained in our current immigration system and instead paint a picture so that you can understand the underlying effects of the American dream taking place.

There are two floors designated for the immigration courts in the federal building. After exiting the elevator, there is an overwhelming presence of individuals and family units awaiting their presence in court. One time I saw a woman holding a baby that was days old outside of the courtroom. Courtrooms are numbered and labeled with the last name of the immigration judge on the door, and individuals are expected to wait outside with either an attorney, accredited representation, or any other people accompanying the respondent before his or her trial.

Aside from the large conglomerate of immigrants on this floor, there are multiple signs taped to the walls contain directions in languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, etc. While on these floors, you cannot help but be surrounded by different people, languages, and cultures. In its essence, this is the presence of the American "melting pot" at its finest. There is something inherently beautiful about intersecting cultures and ways of life, and being in the presence of such different people can allow yourself to open your eyes to such different perspectives. Is that not what America is about?

The popular saying, "America is a nation founded by immigrants" could not be more true in this space.

Since my first time at immigration court, I have witnessed individuals win and individuals lose their case. However, a loss does not have to be the end for some individuals. There is an option to appeal the decision from the immigration judge to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within thirty days. In cases where the individual receives legal status, it feels as though a large burden is placed off of the individual's shoulders. No longer do they have to struggle through the American immigration system after years of perseverance, and in some cases, individuals can move towards becoming an American citizen.

It is almost funny to think that my presence in a government building could spark an inspirational motivator. However, I think my experience in immigration court is more humbling than anything. It puts into perspective the lengths that individuals take to make their case in front of a judge. For them, America is worth fighting for. Although there are various inefficiencies within the current immigration system, I am not trying to romanticize the reality of immigration court. Most of the time, the lines are long, interpreters are unavailable, and cases are more difficult than ever to win. However, instead of focusing on these points, I think it is important to re-focus on the bigger picture behind the immigration courts, realizing the positives amidst all of the negatives.

Although this is only the beginning of my internship, I am excited to see where this opportunity will lead me. I am excited to hear the stories of others, which showcase their determination against hardship and persecution. And I am determined to not only witness but also initiate change first-hand, one case at a time.

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