BERKELEY, CA — The never-ending discourse around electrical engineering and computer science, or EECS, at Cal took a new turn this week, as transfer student Paul Sabin convinced his advisor to let him declare as an EECS major by writing off his disqualifying F in Computer Science 70 as “just a quality loss.”
Sabin, who attended the University of Alabama for his freshman year before transferring to UC Berkeley in time for the fall 2018 semester, successfully argued to department advisors that, since he completed four of the major’s six lower-division requirements at a Southeastern Conference-affiliated school, he had earned the right to fail one of the remaining courses, as he did with CS70 this spring, without it impeding his ability to declare EECS.
“Look, everybody knows that taking EECS classes is the academic version of playing SEC football,” Sabin said. “And CS70 is the EECS version of playing against LSU. Sure, I got whooped in that class, but let’s be honest, CS70 is a bunch of incomprehensible bullshit that barely resembles math or computer science. Failing that when I’ve gotten A’s and A+’s in every other class I’ve taken, including that upper-div I got into from off the waitlist, is nothing to be ashamed of.”
Sabin also cited his summer internships at Facebook and Google, which he completed in 2018 and 2019, respectively, as proof he deserved to declare EECS, despite completely bombing both of his CS70 midterms and the final exam.
“One F in a spirit-crushing nightmare disguised as a class doesn’t define me,” Sabin said. “I’m just thankful that the department recognized that and are allowing me to declare so that I can complete my degree in a timely manner.”
Piazza class pages all across the EECS department descended into immediate chaos as soon as word of Sabin’s declaration spread.
“The conference bias in this department is so blatant, it’s not even funny,” fourth-year student Kyle Cristobal said in a CS161 Piazza thread about Sabin. “If you’re from the SEC, they absolutely trip over themselves to give you want you want. If you’re from the favored schools in the other Power Five conferences—Clemson in the ACC, Oklahoma in the Big 12, Ohio State in the Big Ten—they do the same thing. But Pac-12 students like us? Forget it. We don’t get the upper-divs we need unless we play it perfect every step of the way, and even that doesn’t guarantee anything. The system here is absolutely broken.”
Cristobal also claimed in the thread that one of his friends, fellow fourth-year Somi Kim, knew a transfer student, identified only as “Billy,” from the University of Central Florida who was forced to switch from EECS to Cognitive Science because, despite Billy’s combined 4.0 across all UCF and Cal classes, the department felt that schools from Group of 5 conferences did not provide difficult enough class schedules.
One of our staff writers, freshman Peter O’Hanraha-hanrahan Jr., was able to track down Kim for an in-person interview this afternoon. Unfortunately, by the time he asked whether Cristobal’s story was true, Kim had been up for 80 hours straight working on a CS188 project, and her supply of coffee and energy drinks had long since run dry.
“He…uggggh, my head…” Kim said before passing out from exhaustion. As of press time, O’Hanraha-hanrahan Jr. is still trying to wake Kim up to complete the interview.
However, an EECS department employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of losing their job, confirmed that Sabin’s peers had good reason to be upset with the decision.
“To be honest, we knew [Sabin]’s whole ‘quality loss’ thing was a crock of shit,” the advisor said. “But he’s polite, he understands basic hygiene, and his parents have donated $100,000 to the department every semester since he transferred here. So even though he had no business declaring, at least not without undergoing elaborate psychological tortu—uhh, I mean, retaking CS70 first, we really couldn’t stop him from declaring.”
With his major officially declared, Sabin is currently on track to gradate in May 2021 as expected. However, sources close to Sabin have told us that he may drop out before the semester even ends, as the National Collegiate Athletic Association has apparently offered him a full-time job, complete with a six-figure salary, helping them bullshit their way out of paying licensing and merchandise royalties to student-athletes.