First-year Tate Archibald: ‘You never know the full story of anything’

Tate Archibald poses for a portrait on Memorial Glade

Tate Archibald, 18, is from Santa Clara, California. (UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)

“Not in a million years did I think that I would get into Berkeley or want to go to Berkeley. I had never visited, nor had I even thought about it. Then, I went to Cal Day, and I saw just how in love with the school every single person was. They were so excited to be here and to see all the people come. And I just knew that it was the kind of place I wanted to be.

I plan on double majoring in history and linguistics. I just really love history — learning about how we got from where we were to here, and about different cultures and how different regions grow. Linguistics is a part of it, too. Just realizing how the smallest changes in something like geography or climate can impact how we speak and interact with people.

Ideally, I’d like to be a professor or go to law school and work in restorative justice. I think a lot about how marginalized people and low-income people can be incarcerated over incidences that aren’t really serious, and because they don’t have access to strong lawyers, their entire lives are basically thrown away. My father was incarcerated, and he was from a very low-income family that couldn’t pay bail and couldn’t afford a lawyer, so it’s a part of my life.

I took a social justice class in high school, and a big part of it was learning about the prison system and gang rehabilitation. And I think what really struck me was hearing about juvenile detention centers — you know, 16- or 17-year-old kids who are spending 20 years in prison just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

You never know the full story of anything and, a lot of times, people just aren’t given a fair chance.”