Candidates share campaigns during weeks before BHS election


On Monday, March 25, Berkeley High School students will begin voting for Associated Student Body (ASB) leadership. In preparation for the election, many candidates attended the ASB candidate meet and greet on Friday, March 8 at lunch to publicize their agendas and interact with voters. 

“If I’m elected, I hope to make the student voice more heard,” ASB presidential candidate Angel Rivera said. Rivera described his plans to provide students with opportunities to express their ideas and concerns to him, which will be implemented through creating office hours, attending student clubs, and opening surveys for student input. Rivera explained that if he is elected, he hopes to disrupt a cycle of lack of follow through from ASB leadership.

 “We’ve passed through multiple generations of leadership candidates who say they’re going to create change but never do,” Rivera said. 

Rivera explained that a significant factor in deciding to run for ASB president was his experience working on the City of Berkeley’s Youth Equity Partnership review panel. “I realized that students can actually create change if they put their minds to it, and after that I got inspired to continue pushing forward, creating change in my community,” Rivera said.

 Junior class president and candidate for ASB president Zariyah King explained that an important edge she has is her experience being in ASB leadership. “I’m the candidate with the most experience, honestly. I’ve done the most in my time as president, seeing the other candidates, I’ve made the most change in the school, promoted student mental health, wellness resources, and study parties, therapy dogs, stuff like that,” King said. She explained that being elected ASB president would mean that she would be able to continue the work she has done this year on a larger scale. “I’d say I pretty much successfully did that specifically for the junior class, but if I was ASB president, I feel like I would have the resources and tools to outreach to other classes and encourage them to do the same,” King said. 

Chief of Service candidate Amani Meleis explained that if elected, they plan to organize a variety of community service events that can appeal to people with different preferences, ranging from more social events, to tree planting, or preparing food to donate to the unhoused community. 

“A lot of different events that reflect diversity and I want to plan events that our community will enjoy,” Meleis explained. They noted that an important priority for them is serving the unhoused community in Berkeley. “There is a big unhoused population in Berkeley, and they’re not really receiving that many resources, so as chief of service, I’m going to make sure that there are a lot of resources available to them,”  Meleis said.

BHS junior Jessica Hipona explained that an important change she hopes to make if elected as ASB president is that the student body feel much more connected to ASB leaders, and feel that their voices are being heard. “I want to break that barrier between ASB and the student body, because the more our community knows what goes on in ASB and what is being done for them, the better quality feedback and progress we can make,” Hipona said. 

She expressed that when representing the student body, she wants to uplift voices of those in marginalized groups. “Helping give my fellow minorities a voice has always been something I’m passionate about, not just as a leader, but also as a part of the community,” Hipona  said.