Unity at Berkeley High By Adrian Feinberg

Unity at Berkeley High
By Adrian Feinberg
Berkeley High School is a big place. The institution has 3,200 students to be exact, not to mention the hundreds of staff members found on campus. Such a big place is bound to be diverse, hosting people whose origins span every corner of the earth. While swimming through the oceans of people in the hallways, the humm of many languages can be heard. However, the citizens of Berkeley High are not just divided by race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, grade, and sexuality. Berkeley High is also divided into six small learning communities: BIHS, AC, AHA, AMPS, CAS, and Independent Studies. Thus, in almost every way besides a shared educational institution, Berkeley High School students are seperated.
The goal of the leadership team is to serve all of the students of Berkeley High, and engage them in activities that unite them as one school. Berkeley High is so divided and vast, it can often feel like millions of different moving parts, not one school. Leadership members work hard to remind all students that Berkeley High is one community, all unified in Jacket Pride. This is done by organizing events like Unity Week, which provide events and theme days to feel as one in our school spirit.
But, in order to do this the leadership team needs to reflect the whole student population, so that all voices at Berkeley High in completing the goal of unifying the Berkeley High community. So, the leadership team reflects such a community in order to better help the school accomplish its goals. By having such a diverse team, people are also unified in bettering our school. People of all origins are unified themselves on the leadership team, despite their many differences. Thus, in more ways than one, Berkeley High leadership unifies the many people of BHS.

Ranked Choice Voting by Robert Ezra Stern

This year, Berkeley High will be using Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), a system of voting a that allows you, the voter, to, well, rank candidates in various elections. Here’s everything you need to know about this new system in order to vote come March.


How do I vote?

For each race, you will be given the opportunity to select multiple candidates for office. Just fill out your ballot as you usually would, but now you can choose second-choice and third-choice candidates in races with lots of candidates. Learn more.


If I use my second- and third-choice votes, will that hurt my favorite candidate?

Absolutely not. We will only use your lower-choice votes if every candidate you ranked higher is out of the running. By not marking lower-choice votes, you not only don’t hurt your favorite candidate, you lose your voice if that candidate is eliminated. Learn more.


Why are we using RCV?

Simple! RCV is the system of choice of the cities of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. Leadership elections are designed to prepare you to vote in real elections, so why shouldn’t they be conducted the same way? Learn more.


What are other benefits of RCV?

RCV has been called “the antidote to negative campaigning”. It consistently produces winners that a vast majority of voters are satisfied with, and always produces a winner backed by a majority of voters. This allows voters to more accurately convey their preferences, instead of voting strategically. Learn more.


How does RCV work?

Slightly less simple! All of the first-choice votes are tallied first. Then the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated. Normally, their voters would not influence the outcome of the election. However, in RCV, voters whose candidate is eliminated have their vote for their next-favorite candidate counted. This process is repeated until a clear winner emerges. Learn more.

February Calendar of Activities


In addition to Vagina Monologues, the Berkeley Rep Teen One Acts, home Basketball and Soccer games, we also have the following events to look forward to:

Feb 8: *Spring Club Fair *students attend w/ teacher

Feb 15: Blood Drive #3 in BCT Lobby

Feb 15: Elected Candidate Leadership Applications are due

Feb 12-23: Talent Show Auditions

Feb 23: Winter-ish Dance details TBD

Feb 27: Senior Mandatory Meeting in BCT @ 6th period

Mar 7: Election Convention in FSLT

Mar 15: Academic Achievement Awards

Mar 16: Talent Show in FSLT @ 7pm

Mar 20-22: ASB Elections in 2nd Period

Mar 19: Prom ticket sales begin


For more information, please view the full calendar and then contact a leadership student and/or Mr. V.


Go Jackets!!!


ASB Berkeley High Leadership Activity Calendar – FEB


Final Exams are quickly approaching! Yet, you may be asking yourself about what lies beyond those testing dates and wondering what you could do differently in the spring semester. Volunteer more? Play a sport? Find a job, join leadership or a club??? Or maybe you want to focus more on your academics? Whatever it is, develop a few goals (SMART goals rule!) and get involved in Berkeley High! Your active involvement is what makes Berkeley High such a special place.
Get involved today to see positive change tomorrow.
Berkeley High is ushering in a new era of culture and you could be the perfect candidate to help shape it. We, Yellow Jackets want to attend a school that is welcoming, fun, spirited, and overall, be an exciting place to attend for 180+ days out of the year. ASB Leadership is one way where you can help create the events and policies that will build up the culture of this great school.
Applications for elected positions such as President, Vice President, School Site Council, BSEP, Chief


of Service,, Chief of Publicity, among others are available now on the leadership website and in the Leadership office in the cafeteria. Candidates for elected positions should submit their application by February 15 before being beginning their campaign, making a speech at the Election Convention, and vying for votes in late March during ASB Elections. Feel free to ask Mr. V or current leaders for more info.

Info and application are available on the BHS Leadership website:


 Additional Notes:​

  • ​Elected Candidate applications are due February 15.
  • ​Appointed Candidate applications are due April 23.
  • Link Leader applications are due April 30.

What is the school wide Berkeley High ASB Student Leadership Team?

  • The team is made up of three groups:
    • The executive team: This group will get really tight with many of its members going to retreats, leadership camps, and conferences. This is the core team of the school that makes things happen – the team that executes!! Homecoming Week, Relief Campaigns, Month of Service, Holiday Meal, Graduation, big-money fundraisers, blood drives, concerts, carnivals, fairs, holiday activities, guest speakers, panel discussions – the sky is the limit for what this group can bring to the school if they work well together.
    • The student senate: The School Board, School Site Council (SSC), the Berkeley Schools Excellence Project (BSEP), and the Development Group are the four most important decision-making groups on campus. Want a say on school design, the bell schedule, teacher evaluations, major school policies or where millions of dollars are distributed every year? Then run to be on one of these groups.
    • The class leadership teams: Each class (9th-12th grade) has a leadership group that plans one major event such as Prom, homecoming week activities, and fundraisers throughout the year. The members of these groups also serve as the volunteer core of most major events like Holiday Meal and can take on other exciting roles and activities if they are well organized.

Finding Unity and Plurality by Rohini C.

This is the first in a series of articles written by student leaders on issues to raise awareness and share a fresh perspective.


Rohini C.

6 Jan 2018


Finding Unity and Plurality


All school leadership at Berkeley High aims to build community and foster a sense of unity among all Berkeley High students. For a school of 3200 students, and five learning communities, this is no small task.

We recognize that, in such a large student body, and in such an open and diverse campus as Berkeley High, that many perspectives will flourish. We as individuals are encouraged to bring forth our voices and our ideas into the classroom and our communities. We have a plurality.

In a plurality, and in a campus that is organized by smaller learning communities, the challenge of unity and community becomes complex. Individuals from different backgrounds will naturally gravitate toward those with whom they share common interests or heritage. Students of South Asian descent, like me, might find others of South Asian descent to form a club or group. We share common music, common food, and a common background. We naturally will share an identity separate from those of other classmates. Building unity is a challenge that we face with a diverse and large student body.

We, in leadership, have approached this from the perspective of unity through the exploration of our individual identities: a mosaic of students. We think of ourselves as capable of several identities, just as an individual tile can have many colors. We may consider ourselves South Asian, female, an IB-student, or a musician, and also a Berkeley High student. That is the basis of all of our activities in ASB: being a Berkeley High student is common to all of us, and we accept this identity along with other aspects of ourselves. We are pushing toward a shared sense of identity, a shared unity.

With the basis of a mosaic, we have decided to organize all school events to help build community and a sense of a shared unity. We are putting a lot of thought into designing activities that would pursue these goals above all else. One activity that we, as freshman, are organizing is class to class presentations among freshmen to enhance the community of the Class of 2021. We are brainstorming several options, including playing a game of Jeopardy in each class with categories based on the identities of the members of that class.

It is our goal that, ultimately, these activities will help bring forth a collective: that by sharing our identities with each other, together we can push beyond the natural tendencies of separation and find a common language and shared destiny as students at Berkeley High.


Holiday Meal 2017 Recap & Gratitude

 Thank you to the many volunteers and donors who supported the 2017 Holiday Meal. It is still a really amazing thing that a public school opens its doors to host this community gathering. We look forward to supporting the community in future events. If you are interested in serving the community through meal service or in related ways, please scroll to the bottom of the leadership post for a list of organizations.

***If you took any photos or videos of the event, please send them to Nishat, so we can compile a video for next year. Thanks!

2017 Berkeley High School Holiday Meal

Over 225 guests were served a freshly prepared meal and heartwarming entertainment. The weather was perfect for event day.Nishat Sheikh, Chief of Service, and some members of the Holiday Meal planning committee met for a months to organize a successful service event.The 2017-18 BHS Cheer Squad led by Coach Tiffany Williams represented some of the over 350 volunteers at the event. The Donation Station featured contributions of warm clothing and toiletries among other items from staff, students, and local businesses like Mt. Hardwear.The Dorothy Day House also provided items for the guests.Milton & The Innovators bring their feel good vibe in the form of great music to the BHS Holiday Meal. The meal is comprised of contributions of pre-cooked turkeys, hams, side dishes, salads from community members and staff members. Thank you!!!We also featured volunteers from the Parents of Children of African Descent (PCAD).

The BHS Band & Orchestra, fresh off of their winter concert, welcomed and entertained guests.  Any leftover items are brought to the University Avenue Goodwill.  Any leftover canned goods are picked up by the Alameda County Food Bank.

We baked over 400 chocolate cookies for the event.

Rayene is seen here writing the thank you letters to our financial donors. Thank you to everyone who helped us surpass our fundraising goal of $4,000.

Tashi, BUSD Chef, seen here preparing a pasta dish helped tremendously in meal prep.  There were also many parent and student cooks that put a great deal of effort into preparing the meal. V, BHS Chef, served tremendously in the behind the scenes preparation of the meal.

Much gratitude to Mark Coplan, retired BUSD Info Officer, who always takes these great photos. Felicia Phillips, Academic Choice VP, also plays a vital role in event support. Check out his Flickr account for

Berkeley High’s Holiday Dinner 2017 Photos:   https://www.flickr.com/photos/53901376@N04/albums/72157661443688937

We were able to serve all guests with a great meal. We were able to send any guests home with to go boxes of food, while all leftover food (turkey, pasta, bean salad) was provided to the local shelter.

  The Coat Check volunteers are usually the first set of faces that greet our guests. Thanks again to all of our volunteers and food contributors who brought in delicious dishes like this ready-to-mix salad. Students spend Friday night and Saturday morning decorating the cafeteria.

Tom Watts is a regular volunteer who takes a lead role in the kitchen. We are appreciative of his service as well as Sydney Kennedy, who helps each year to organize the menu. This year, he also help mix the dough for the 400 cookies at home.

Appreciation for Sara, Steve, Stacy and Juan for providing safety and event support, as well as good cheer. (Sara and Steve seen here)

all photos taken by Mark Coplan

List of Organizations

Organization Description Phone Website
Alameda Family Services
DreamCatcher Youth Services
2325 Clement Avenue
Suite A
Alameda, CA 94501
DreamCatcher Youth Services has been the only safe landing for homeless and disconnected at risk youth in Alameda County who are between the ages of 13-18. 800.379.1114 http://www.alamedafs.org/dreamcatcher/
All Souls Episcopal Church 510.848.1755 http://www.allsoulsparish.org/
All Souls Episcopal Church
2220 Cedar (@Spruce)
Berkeley, CA
Meal Service 510.848.1755 2nd Sunday @ 4:00 pm 510.848.1755 http://www.allsoulsparish.org/
Berkeley Food and Housing Project
1901 Fairview Street
Berkeley, CA
Berkeley Food & Housing Project works with people who are homeless to move them into affordable permanent housing as quickly as possible – and to help them remain housed. To facilitate this, we provide an extensive range of food, housing, and social support services at 6 sites over 3 counties – Alameda, Solano and Contra Costa.
Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri* 3:30–4:45pm*A free spaghetti meal is provided by the Lutheran Church of the Cross on Wednesdays
from 4:00–6:00pm.
510.649.4976 https://bfhp.org/
BOSS Multi-Agency Service Center
1931 Center Street
Berkeley, CA
The mission of BOSS is to help homeless, poor, and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency, and to fight against the root causes of poverty and homelessness. 510.843.3700 https://self-sufficiency.org/
Dorothy Day House Community Meal
2138 Cedar St
Berkeley, CA 94709
Our community breakfast is provided 6 days a week, year-round, at Christ Church of Berkeley, located at 2138 Cedar Street (at Walnut) in north Berkeley. Anyone in need of a hot breakfast can join us between 7 and 8 am. 925.519.9881 www.dorothydayhouse.org
Dorothy Day House
P.O. Box 12701
Berkeley, CA 94712
P.O. Box 12701
Berkeley, CA 94712
925.519.9881 www.dorothydayhouse.org
First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley
2407 Dana Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
Come be a part of God’s work in the world! Twice a month, the Street
Meal serves nutritious hot meals to people in need in the Berkeley
community. Volunteers are needed to help in the kitchen and greet the
guests; contact Don Louie to sign up (information below). We are
especially looking for people who can serve on a regular basis as
assistant and lead cooks; to find out more about leading in the kitchen,
contact Fran Sheppard at (510) 524-8003 or franshep@juno.com.
Dates: 2nd & last Saturday of each month
Street Meal
Location: Gym (John Knox A), Westminster Hall
Time: Volunteer between 2:00 & 7:00 pm: Set-up at 2:00 pm; Kitchen Crew Leads at 2:30 pm; Greeters and Hosts at 2:45 pm; Kitchen Crews at 3:00 pm. Dinner begins at 5:00 pm
510.848.6242 http://www.fpcberkeley.org/streetmeal.asp
Harrison House
711 Harrison St. (at 4th.) Berkeley, CA
You must be referred through the Berkeley Shelter Hotline at (866)-960-2132.
Shelter is closed from 9am-5pm every day, open 24 hours for families. There is a separate wing for women and children.
866.960.2132 none
Night on the Streets
Catholic Worker
In addition to weekly meals, NOSCW serves the neediest residents in the East Bay with an overnight storm shelter in winter (at the Dorothy Day House), pantry operation, soup nights, and a variety of other mail, legal, tax, and health services and other outreach that ranges from hospital and prison visits to advocacy for healthcare for the homeless. N/A https://sites.google.com/site/berkeleycatholicworker/
Online Homeless Resource webpage none http://homelessresource.net/berkeley
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
2300 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Hot Meals for the Hungry
On the third Saturday of each month, volunteers from St. Mark’s
and the wider community cook for 120 guests. The volunteers work in two
shifts. From 1:30-4 p.m. volunteers set tables, prepare and cook the
meal, and prepare box lunches. From 4:30-6:30 p.m., volunteers serve the meal and clean up.
All volunteers are welcome, including one-time or walk-in
volunteers. Call (510) 848-5107 for further details or just show up and
introduce yourself.
510.848.5107 https://stmarksberkeley.org/event/hot-meals-hungry/
United for Health – Suitcase Clinic (18-25 years old)
2300 Bancroft – St. Marks Church
The Suitcase Clinic is a humanitarian student organization and volunteer community offering free health and social services to underserved populations since 1989. Structured around the principles of public health, social welfare, community activism and empathy, the Suitcase Clinic currently operates three weekly multi-service drop-in centers in the city Berkeley: the General Clinic, the Women’s Clinic and the Youth Clinic. 510.643.6786 http://www.suitcaseclinic.org/partners/united_for_health-2/
Women’s Daytime Drop In Center
2218 Acton Street
Berkeley, CA
The Women’s Daytime Drop-in Center offers free services to any homeless woman and her children. Mon – Fri 8 am – 4 pm 510.548.6933 womensdropin.org
Youth Emergency Assistance and Housing (YEAH!)
1744 University Avenue
Lutheran Church of the Cross
Our mission is to support young adults (18-24) in Berkeley who are currently homeless. We provide basic necessities, offer case management and counseling, linkages to education, employment and housing, and opportunities for meaningful community involvement. Monday-Sunday 8 pm – 8 am. Hot meals, Showers, Pets Allowed 510.704.9867 http://www.yeah-berkeley.org/

World Culture Show video and Free Dance Classes

Just in time for the holiday break, the video of the 2017 World Culture show is available to be shared with family and friends. Enjoy!
Thank you to Solomon Chang for organizing, Valerie Pope for theater and tech support, David Verdin for hosting, and the Entire Newcomer Program for being so supportive of each other and their community for this event. THANK YOU!!!
If you are inspired by this event to share your talent with the world (sing, dance, comedy, circus, juggling, bands, etc…), BHS Talent Show auditions are in February!!!
And if you are motivated to learn some new dance moves, all students and staff are invited to attend upcoming dance classes in the Afro Haitian Dance Room (above PE Lockers) hosted by UC Berkeley AFX Dance. Classes take place:
Tuesday, 12/5 from 3:30pm-5pm
Thursday, 12/7 from 3:30pm-5pm
Bio: AFX Outreach is a branch of UC Berkeley’s largest dance organization, AFX. Outreach‘s mission is to bring dance to local high schools in the hopes of fostering a passion in students who may not have previously exposed to dancing. Outreach aims to make workshops convenient and comfortable for the high schools by covering choreographers, choreography, flyers, and logistics.
Here are some of the students you may see in the video:
  • ELD welcome
  • Marielle
  • Ms. Chen’s Mandarin class
  • Muslim Student Association
  • Khalil ​art Video
  • Daniel
  • ELD Banda/Bachata dancers
  • Leandro
  • Sanai & Kendra
  • Yesenia
  • Juan
  • AFX UC Berkeley promotion
  • Sumaiyah & Kendra

BHS Stop Harassing 11/8 Presentation, Assembly Video & Resources

Please access any and all of these resources at your leisure. There was a lot of good information that was shared and the awareness can be furthered by continually discussing these items in an open way. This presentation took place on November 8.


  • ​Eleanor Davis, ​Coaching Boys into Men. Learn more about this organization.
  • Joyce Dorado Co- Founder and Director of UCSF Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in School (HEARTS)
  • Discussion Panel- Kiernan ​Rok (BHS Dean of Students), Emily L, Daniela V, Justice P, ​Eleanor Davis
BHSstopharassing.com information about the student group who are “dedicated to changing the culture of sexual harassment at Berkeley High, throughout the BUSD (Berkeley Unified School District), and beyond.”
“What Our Country Gets Wrong about Masculinity” Marie Folreo discussion with Lewis Howes, author of the Mask in Masculinity. Good for talking points, maybe not a direct viewing by students…
thatsnotcool.com Features an interactive game, resource toolkit (scenario scripts!!!), and other useful things.  “national public education initiative that partners with young people to help raise awareness and bring educational and organizing tools to communities to address dating violence, unhealthy relationships, and digital abuse.”
Futureswithoutviolence.org The parent organization for many organizations on this topic. “FUTURES has been providing groundbreaking programs, policies, and campaigns that empower individuals and organizations working to end violence against women and children around the world.”
Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in School (HEARTS) Background info on the collaborative program with SFUSD “to promote school success by decreasing trauma-related difficulties and increasing healthy functioning in students…”
Seven Ways to Stand Up to Sexual Harassment & other engaging articles at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley