For those of you nestled snugly in your spacious dormitory rooms with nary another person within three feet of you, food practically dropped on your doorstep, and plentiful free contraceptives and dirty sex talk from your Health Worker, the prospect of being sent out into the wilds of Berkeley to live next year–literally thrust out onto the streets like MC Hammer’s posse–has probably not yet entered your peaceful little dorm-enshrouded head. If you’re not careful you’ll soon have to cook your own food, cram eight people into a studio apartment, and pay $5.95 a minute for any and all social interaction with the opposite sex. But fear not! We here at the Squelch have sent many people out in the trenches to learn about your future housing options in Berkeley and have commissioned the creation of this guide.
Returning to the Dorms
University Students’ Co-Operative Association:
When it comes to price, access to food, and ready availability of people to get drunk, stoned, and [s]hit on, you cannot beat the Co-Ops. Now, upon visiting a house, you may say, “Dave, you’re kidding me. I’ve seen crack houses that were cleaner, honest-to-God crack houses.” But that’s plainly ridiculous; crack houses actually throw out their dead bodies occasionally. Don’t let the smell of hepatitis on the walls fool you, though–co-ops put a premium on keeping their facilities in tip-top shape. For example, the purely symbolic allocation of 3-5 hours of chores a week distinguishes the USCA from crack houses, where little labor is required. Also, room-to-rooms at crack houses seldom offer themed rooms. Tragically, only lambskin condoms are available in the co-ops.
The fraternity is a truly unique American tradition, along with big-block V-8’s and big-breasted pin-ups. In many ways, a fraternity brings together the best parts of pin-ups and car engines and distills them into a tasty Greek demi-glace. Although you will end up paying more than you would in the co-ops, most fraternities enjoy the services of a professional cook, as well as numerous quality social events ranging from keggers to wife-swapping (also known as “sorority exchanges”). With a little elbow grease and Vaseline your fraternity house can be a wonderful place to live out your college days. Just remember not to clench.
Sororities have gotten a bad rap in movies and television as being full of stuck-up, bi-curious, promiscuous young women. This simply isn’t true. Only 37% of all sororities are, in fact, stuck-up. Sororities enjoy all the advantages of fraternities minus the colorful splooge stains on the bathroom floor. In addition, a live-in manager or “house mother” can provide valuable advice for you; including what to do when your breasts start sagging and the many uses for duct tape and tissue paper. Finally, social events with fraternities will provide you with a respite from slow motion showering and French-kissing practice, as well as offering all the male companionship and coitus interruptus you’ll need.
Most of you reading this will eventually end up living in one of many private, off-campus housing options. While these can range from boarding houses to private residences, only apartments will be discussed here because, well, you know. Although they are the most common form of housing, apartments typically offer the least in social and culinary opportunities. Since you are left to obtain your own food and human interaction, apartment life is much like the life of Cro-Magnon man, only with bad carpeting and a urine-stained front door. The key to getting the apartment you want is starting early, which means if you’re reading this and haven’t already started, you’re going to become very well acquainted with a place Berkeley students call “Sacramento Street.” Once you’ve started living in an apartment, you will no longer see any Berkeley students outside of campus other than your roommates. In addition, you will not have sex with anybody but your roommates either.
Now you’re going to ask “Dave, you don’t seem to be flexible enough for a co-op or virile enough for a fraternity. Where do you live, and how can I get in?” I will admit that I do have a pretty sweet living arrangement: right on campus, with all the free food and fancy clothes I want. Unfortunately for those of you who want to join me, I can only regretfully say that besides the Chancellor, his wife, and myself, there really isn’t room for anybody else in their Jacuzzi tub. Plus, my vinyl chaps aren’t one-size-fits-all, if you know what I mean. Best of luck!