Freshman leadership lottery encourages diversity and equity

Every year, Berkeley High School holds a lottery to determine the upcoming year’s freshman leadership team. Any ninth grader is able to enter the lottery and it is completely random in order to give everybody a fair shot. This allows students who have less experience in leadership or who otherwise would have been too scared to campaign an opportunity to get involved with the school. BHS can then represent people of all races, genders, and be overall more inclusive, which is vital to forming a school that benefits every student. In order to create an environment where every student feels seen and supported, all students must feel able to contribute and lead. 

One problematic part of school leadership elections is the aspect of popularity. Sometimes, students vote based solely on who they are friends with or who is most well-known. These students aren’t necessarily always the best or most qualified option, but there is no way for faculty to distinguish if a student truly earned all their votes. Having a random lottery eliminates this problem for freshmen in leadership. Since it is their first year at the school, students have not had a chance to learn that much about which freshman would make good leaders, which is why a random lottery is a great solution. 

Freshmen all come from different middle schools. Every middle school has a different approach to leadership, so some students did not have the same opportunities as others to gain experience. These students now have a fair shot to get involved, even if they know nothing about leadership. They can learn all they need to know in order to be prepared for running for leadership in the future. If there hadn’t been a random lottery, these students would have been stuck in a situation where they are interested in leadership, but have no way to learn how to campaign and win votes. 

While some may say that the random lottery gives jobs to students who have not earned them, this is not necessarily true. Though it may give jobs to students with less experience, this is only the case for one year. Every other year at BHS, leadership is chosen through votes or interviews. That gives students plenty of chances to win their spot in leadership based on their abilities. Even if the freshman leadership was chosen through votes, the students who win won’t necessarily be the ones who “deserve” it the most. Every student should have at least one fair opportunity to get involved with BHS leadership before it starts getting selected through votes. Having a random lottery in the first year of high school levels the playing field for future years of leadership. 

Having a randomized lottery not only promotes inclusivity but allows all students to feel that they have an equal opportunity to help BHS be the best place it can be. By leveling the playing field freshman year, all students have an even chance at future BHS leadership elections. BHS should strive to create a diverse leadership team that anyone can be a part of, no matter their social status or prior experience. In order to achieve this in all future BHS school elections, having a lottery for the freshman class’ leadership team is a complete and absolute necessity.