BERKELEY, Calif. – After plans for an in-person Fall 2021 semester were announced, acapella groups across UC Berkeley rejoiced at the prospect of once again being able to perform for, and be overlooked by, the masses on Sproul Plaza.

“It’ll be so nice to finally go back to playing live,” said a smiling Julia Trombone, member of the UC Women’s A Cappella Group. “It’s just not the same over Zoom! Now, is it a shame that the beauty of the genre goes unrecognized? Yes!” Her laughter tinkled through the air. “Is it disgraceful that no one appreciates our performances the way that we deserve?” Her smile hardened. “Yes.” A pause. “But I’m just so excited to finally be back!” 

Berkeley’s acapella groups aren’t the only ones delighted by an in-person Fall 2021. Lucifer Diablo, event coordinator of Sproul Plaza, also shared his enthusiasm.

“Sproul has been so empty and lonely compared to the vibrant spot it used to be, and Hell, I’ve missed it! But don’t worry,” he assured. “Soon enough, the plaza will be filled, with tables staffed by overworked students lining its contours, little flyers for events that no one will ever go to being constantly passed around, various protests happening here and there to remind students just how fucked up the world is and just how helpless they are to truly do anything about it, even the occasional presence of a Christian guitarist to add in some level of irony to the whole thing.” 

Mr. Diablo took off his hat, grinning darkly as the tips of what looked like horns peeked through his hair.

“The large population of Berkeley students that suffer from social anxiety will finally have to go back to their daily struggles trying to avoid Sproul. Or,” he grew breathless, shadows dancing around him, “Better yet. They’ll finally realize they simply can’t avoid it, and will have no choice but to walk through the messy crowd and overthink their every move, screaming inwardly as they desperately avert the eyes of their flyering peers and the swarm around them. Oh, yes.” The air felt hot. “Sproul will once again be the anarchistic, overcrowded, cacophonous mess it used to be!” Behind him, a recycling bin caught on fire. He didn’t turn to look.

Thrilled by the social implications of an in-person semester are the Cal fraternities, as none of them have been permitted to hold any social gatherings due to Covid-19. 

“What? Oh- oh. Yeah. Uh. It’ll be super cool to have in-person parties again,” said KA junior Brock Vanderson. “I sure have missed them. Yep. No one’s been coming over all semester. It totally sucksss.” 

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