A Primer For Those Curious About Today's U.C. Berkeley Protests

Anyone glancing at a television or computer is likely well-aware by now that students have barricaded themselves within a building on the U.C. Berkeley campus. It's a wise move; by this time next year they'll be unable to afford the bike locks, placards, or ASCAP royalties for “What do we want?”-chants.

Glancing at the KTVU Channel 2 news moments ago, an anchorman pulled up the school's campus map, explained where Wheeler Hall is in relation to other campus buildings. That's nice, but it doesn't really tell the whole story.

Well, it's always a pleasure to use the benefits of your college education to further your chosen career — so let me add quite a bit more. And let me also add a warning. Back when I went to U.C. Berkeley — not so long ago, but tuition and fees were around 38 percent what yesterday's massive hike stands to make them — people used to make a point of gathering at Wheeler Hall on moist, rainy days like this. Since the building is located on a small incline, the schadenfreude crowd would wait for someone to, inevitably, slip and fall on the deceptively slick storm drain in front of Wheeler. This kind of thing could certainly ruin some cop or protester's day (but entertain everyone else).

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