Co-oper Honored with UCB University Medal

This year's University Medal goes to Co-oper Eric Olliff.  The Medal is Berkeley's highest honor for graduating seniors and honors academic excellence.  As a student, Eric did research on forests and marine ecosystems in China and Polynesia.  As a Co-oper, he lived at Loth and at Cloyne, where he was the Food Service Manager.  As Food Service Manager, Eric planned meals for 150 students, ordered $22,500 of food a month, and oversaw food safety.  His interest in affordable housing also extended to working with the city of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board.  Even with all this going on, Eric maintained a 3.99 out of 4.0 GPA, double majoring in Chinese and Conservation & Resource Studies.

At a luncheon for the Board of Trustees of the UC Berkeley Foundation, Eric extensively praised Cloyne Court and the Berkeley Student Cooperative:
"The Berkeley Student Cooperative defined a large part of my social experience here at Cal, and I feel that they set Berkeley apart from a lot of other schools…. While Cloyne has a reputation for being a bit crazy, I found it to be the perfect environment for my development as a student. In no other housing situation can you be exposed to so many different types of people with such a diversity of interests, both personal and academic. At any given moment at Cloyne, there are people practicing martial arts in the courtyard, cooking gourmet meals in the industrial sized kitchen, debating philosophy in the dining room, or preparing for a weekend trip to Lake Tahoe. I met many of my best friends in this house, and we continue to live together to this very day….
Another great thing about the Co-ops is that they provide students with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. All of the houses are completely student run, with a few democratically elected, paid managers taking responsibility for the more arduous tasks, such as ordering food for the entire house or assigning everybody their weekly 5 hours of chores. The Berkeley Student Cooperative is essential to student life here at Berkeley because few other housing situations can provide such a stimulating social environment with such a diversity resources as well as give you the opportunity to take on leadership roles in your community."

Read more on Eric's accomplishments on the UC Berkeley website.