Berkeley Forum president Daniel Ahrens had this to say on the decision: “The Berkeley Forum is incredibly proud of all of the work that we’ve done here at UC Berkeley in the past 4 years.
However, while we like to stay grounded and close to our roots, upon careful consideration we realized that there is a massive opportunity for impact at UC Broccoli, the number one public vegetable institution in the world. We’re thrilled to be able to serve and engage the vegetable community by providing a non-partisan platform for free expression, especially given the recent feud between root and leafy vegetables.”
When asked about the move, Vice President of Communications Sergey Mann added: “this is really a cause for celery-bration! We’ve been discussing this move internally for months and felt like now was the perfect time, given the spring season and surge in civil engagement at UC Broccoli.”
Given that the Berkeley Forum is no stranger to controversy, Mann was likely referring to the recent protests over the use of plant-based dyes at the Holi Celebration at UC Broccoli. It remains to be seen if the organization encounters any protests at its events at UC Broccoli.
With the move, the Forum also announced a change in name to “The Broccoli Farm” and complete branding overhaul to match.
“We felt like it was important to refresh our organization’s look, while keeping parts of the iconic Berkeley Forum brand,” said Marketing Manager Jess Liu. “Our team spent months zeroing in on what makes our brand so iconic. We feel confident that the new logo, with its familiar typeface and spacing, and new warm, fresh green color will position us well to continue growing aggressively. There’s just so mush-room for growth!”
According to the organization’s Vice President of Events Grace O’Toole, the Broccoli Farm’s first event at UC Broccoli will be a debate “Tomato: Fruit or Vegetable?” on Thursday, April 6, National Fresh Tomato Day, at 6 pm. Ticketing information will be available on the official event page in the near future.
Head Moderator Haley Keglovits was also quick to praise the move: “we’re always looking for new challenges and moving to UC Broccoli will give us the unique opportunity to interview both humans and vegetables. I think for both the speakers and the attendees the events will be a good thyme.”
Similarly, Vice President of Programming Soham Kudtarkar expressed excitement over the Broccoli Farm’s Fall 2017 lineup: “we’ve always prided ourselves on the diversity of our lineups. Such a healthy mix of vegetables and humans will be unprecedented and we expect a record number of attendees to turnip.”
Given UC Broccoli’s recent budget cuts, there are a number of challenges ahead for the Forum. The organization’s Vice President of Finance Ayushi Gupta remained calm though: “we experienced great success last fall with our crowdfunding campaign. We feel confident that the UC Broccoli community will be just as generous and so we will be debuting a seed-funding campaign shortly.”
It remains to be seen how successful the Broccoli Farm will be at UC Broccoli but so far the response to the move has generally been up-beet, with most members of the community praising the decision.