We invited students participating in Berkeley Connect in Spring 2019 to enter our Student Voice Contest and share with us a memorable experience they had in Berkeley Connect. The winning entry below was written by Madelyn Ahr, a senior majoring in Media Studies who participated in Berkeley Connect in History. 

Madelyn won cupcakes for everyone in her Berkeley Connect group!

During the week that our topic was about Free Speech on the Berkeley campus, I shared about my views as a conservative women at Cal and how difficult and lonely it can feel. I shared how I feel that I have to hide what I believe because Berkeley is a very liberal school. However, the class responded so kindly and warmly to my opening up and another student also shared her similar experiences and feelings. It was a wonderful, powerful moment as we discussed the “freedom” of speech on this defining campus. It felt like for a moment, most of our class understood one another, despite different political views. We were all on the same level for that moment. It was special.