On November 4, the BHS community concluded spirit week with its celebration of Rally Day. Earlier that week, BHS Vice Principal Tammy Rose sent out an email to all BHS staff and students, describing her hopes for the event.
“We are super excited … It is our plan that the week is a joyful and safe event that builds community and is fun for all. Go Jackets!” Rose wrote.
Lola Djavaherian, a junior in Communication Arts and Sciences, agreed, saying that she thought that the administration did the best they could to keep the day safe. Though, she added that Rally Day became more chaotic during lunch and when school ended. She also outlined expectations for Unity Week, stating that students should be respectful and safe, not yelling, forming crowds, or running around campus, Students were also expected to “respect personal space of others and avoid all non-consensual touching, such as brushing against, or grabbing.” The potential consequences of disobeying norms include suspension and further disciplinary action.
She added that students should not play any amplified, loud music, as the sounds could disrupt classes, and doing so would result in phone confiscation until the following Monday.
According to Ian Segall, a senior in Berkeley International High School, Rally Day was a “big success.”
“Throughout the week leading up to it, there was widespread participation in the daily themes and activities during lunch that included students and teachers,” Segall said. “This was all due to the efforts of the coalition of students and teachers organizing and planning rally day to ensure that all groups felt safe on campus.”
Djavaherian agreed, saying that she thought that the administration did the best they could to keep the day safe. Though, she added that Rally Day became more chaotic during lunch and when school ended.
More on Rally Day
- Concern from Teachers: While the objective of Unity Week is to give students an opportunity to participate, have fun, and to unite, many teachers and students think the week has deviated from it’s intended purpose.
- History of Rally Day: The day that closes off spirit week was not always full of the bottle-throwing and partying it’s now known for.
“I think the admin had the right idea for some things like blocking the breezeway to prevent injury,” Djavaherian said. “But then again, the seniors just went into another hallway and the same stuff happened.”
Segall attributed the success in part to the closed-off breezeway during passing periods, as well as the encouragement for students to leave campus once the school day finished.
In terms of traditions like egg-throwing, Segall explained that these will always exist to a certain extent. The egg throwing was, however, significantly decreased this year due to admin presence on campus.
“Rally Day has a history of having bad outcomes, especially with sexual assault, so I understand why admin was worried about safety,” said Djavaherian, adding onto Segall.
Still, Djavaherian said that she thought that admin went a little too far trying to catch students partaking in activities that could be judged as bullying, just to suspend students, object to writing their letters of recommendation, and prevent them from getting into colleges.
Segall added that BHS would benefit from even more collaboration between students and staff members, which would allow them to foster increased participation.
“The perfect Rally Day would be no injuries or people getting sexually assaulted, yet people still have fun,” Djavaherian said.