What Caused the Decline in Jacket Pride?

Red and Gold Day is the most rambunctious day of the year at Berkeley High School (BHS). Hordes of students in red and gold clothing compete for the raunchiest outfit as their speakers blast music. The tradition serves almost as an initiation ceremony for freshmen, where they can see what the school is all about. Every senior class competes to be defined as the most hyphy year, judged on how cool their Red and Gold Day video and senior anthem are, and how loudly they can scream, “Seniors!”

These traditions place pressure on seniors. They encourage them to screech at the top of their lungs every Friday to prove their reign over the school’s underclassmen and to act recklessly on Red and Gold Day.  In arguably the hardest year of high school, most seniors just want to get into their top colleges and reach graduation already.

The storm of chaos that is the fall of senior year is stressful enough, so losing their voice just isn’t worth it.

While some students believe that efforts to be as boisterous as possible should be heightened, there is a fine line. With so many other commitments, such as applying for college, many seniors lack the motivation to yell out their grade or to put down the underclassmen. Not to mention, it feels somewhat silly. Students who believe in these actions as a way to cement their grade’s status as legendary should concentrate their efforts elsewhere. They could work towards having an amazing prom, supporting the BHS Yellow Jackets at sports games, or finding the perfect venue for Red and Gold Day’s after party. If every voice screaming their grade on Red and Gold Day was instead a speaker with a great playlist, the day would be more fun.

Additionally, events like the Welcome Assembly are not the place to express hyphy-ness. That time comes on Red and Gold Day. Therefore, judging how impressive a class is based off how loud they can scream during an assembly is inaccurate. Many fail to realize that the size of BHS plays into how festive the school is. Having such a large student body means that there are competing interests for students’ attention.

To have more school spirit and the most fun Red and Gold Day, students should attend more sports games. Rallying around a winning team can be more invigorating than class competition — just look at Cal Men’s Football and their 4-0 winning streak.

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