Grade A or rancid?

    Every freshman orientation at every UC school begins the same way:

    “”Congratulations! You’re attending the best public university in California, if not the world. The campus is located near a historic and diverse city. It is home to Nobel Prize-winning faculty, nationally recognized departments and a library housing millions of volumes. Our graduates are successful individuals who have made great contributions to society. You made the right decision, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it here.””

    At orientations, the deans try to propagandize their freshmen with speeches about all the terrific things that the particular school has to offer. The similarities to other colleges end after orientation, though, and the students at other universities soon realize their orientation leaders were lying to them; they should’ve gone to UCSD.

    It’s difficult to list the various University of California campuses and objectively decide which one is the best, because most people are biased in favor of their own school. Depending on your individual taste, you might determine that the University of California at Riverside is better than the University of California at Davis, perhaps because you prefer UC Riverside’s smog to UC Davis’s cows. It’s hard to quantify something like the smell of a campus.

    Of course, there are certain attributes that can be quantified. Since any discussion of the UC campuses inevitably involves UC Berkeley, the alleged “”flagship”” of the University of California, Berkeley will be addressed first.

    The UC Berkeley campus resides within the town of Berkeley, which is what San Francisco would be if it were geographically smaller and further from the ocean, had more crime and a greater homeless-to-homeowner ratio, overcrowded housing next to dirty parks, regular riots, and drug addicts roaming the streets. Berkeley is like a tiny San Francisco on crack.

    In the town of Berkeley, police statistics indicate there is a one-in-10 chance of being robbed, raped or beaten, compared to La Jolla’s three percent chance of the same. The entire city of San Diego also has a lower crime rate than Berkeley, with only a one in 25 chance of being assaulted or robbed, proving that it’s safer here. And it smells better, too.

    Plus, the phrase “”Berkeley sucks”” nets 43 results in a Google search, while “”UCSD sucks”” returns only two. There’s even a Berkeleysucks.com. As everyone knows, the Internet never lies. That should put to rest any claim that UCSD is inferior to UCB. Incidentally, we should all refrain from using UC Berkeley’s arrogant abbreviation “”Cal,”” which is short for California, not Berkeley — it only adds to its insufferable superiority complex.

    Besides having Google’s blessing and a more accurate abbreviation, UCSD also possesses many other redeeming qualities that make it the best public California university.

    Our mascot can kill everyone else’s mascot.

    The UCSD Triton is, simply put, a god. He’s an invincible being. He cannot be killed by mere mortals, and certainly not by the likes of the University of California at Santa Cruz’s banana slug, the University of California at Irvine’s anteater or the twin grizzly bears shared by UCLA and UCB. Don’t even mention the University of California at Davis’s “”Aggie,”” which is either a mustang or some sort of farmer; no one’s really sure. In either case, it can’t stand up to the Triton.

    The only mascot that poses the slightest threat to our Triton is the other immortal: UC Riverside’s Highlander. The Highlander, as seen on television, lives forever unless it is killed by another Highlander in a choreographed swordfight. However, as a god, the Triton may still be able to smite the Highlander, since the Triton possesses a magical pitchfork (the phonetically confounding “”trident””) useful in close combat. The battle would be close, but it would’ve been a lot closer if I didn’t do further research on Riverside’s mascot and discover that their insidious “”Highlander”” is, in fact, just another bear. Naming their bear “”Highlander”” was a clever ploy to challenge the Triton’s supremacy, but not clever enough.

    Next, UCSD has better housing than comparable California universities.

    Starting this year, entering freshmen will again have a two-year on-campus housing guarantee, something that has not existed for years at UCB or UCLA. This two-year guarantee comes without the sacrifices made at other schools to accommodate the incoming class, such as UC Santa Cruz’s decision to rent out a local hotel for its students or UCLA’s complete lack of single-occupancy rooms on campus. Even Berkeley’s supposedly “”on-campus”” housing leaves much to be desired. At Berkeley, the grungy high-rise structures used to house first-year students are actually located off campus, a few city blocks from the university.

    Looking for parties? Look no further than UCSD. Okay, look a little bit further — look off campus. UCSD’s Greeks throw parties all the time. So does every other organization, from Student Run Television to the College Republicans to the MQ. Sign up for the clubs, get on 20 e-mail lists, and you’ll be up to date on everything.

    UCSD is the only UC campus within easy reach of another country. You can satisfy your cultural yearnings by visiting Ensenada, about 70 miles across the Mexican border. Or you can visit a twisted parody of Mexico via the bus that leaves the Sun God every Wednesday night for Tijuana.

    Finally, UCSD’s sports teams are the best. In sports with which I’m familiar, we do phenomenally well. Sports like soccer: After recently moving to Division II, we’ve won the women’s soccer championships every year.

    Clearly, it is folly to argue against UCSD’s greatness. Leaving nothing to chance, we’ve decided to become the best in everything. Our mighty Triton smites all our enemies, simultaneously building more on-campus housing and keeping our crime rate low while the soccer players bring home nice, shiny trophies.

    Our orientation leaders don’t lie; UCSD really is the best UC campus.

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