It’s Friday. The final bell of the day rings, followed by a crowd of students exiting the C building. Any current student or alumni of Berkeley High School (BHS) is familiar with the term “Freshman Friday.” The infamous “tradition” of terrorizing Freshman students every Friday until spirit week has been going on for years at BHS. It is not uncommon for popular bus lines such as the 67, 65, and 18 to be followed by seniors who egg passengers as they get off on their stops.
Fortunately for students, egging culture has gradually become less prevalent and popularized. In the past couple of years, there have been fewer incidents of students getting egged off-campus.
This may have happened for a number of reasons. Darius Wekwerth, a senior in BIHS, said that “with college applications, seniors have more important things on their mind.” Other reasons may include the numerous parent complaints. The Berkeley Parent Network is full of protest of egging and unfortunate stories from disconcerted parents of current and future BHS students. Berkeley High School administration has taken a stand against “eggers.” BHS administration has threatened to further punish students for egging if they are caught by the Berkeley Police Department (BPD).
Punishments include potential suspension, which can lead to seniors getting rescinded from the college they were recently accepted too.
It is also not uncommon for teachers to refuse to write letters of recommendation for upperclassmen who participated in the unpopular tradition. Mr. Meyer, a BIHS Economics teacher, said “I would not write a letter of recommendation for a student that I knew was actively taking part in harassing other students. That is not who I want to recommend to college. That is not who colleges want on their campus.” Mr. Meyer makes a strong argument. The last thing a college wants is a student who wants to disrupt a learning environment that other students pay to be a part of.
Egging is looked upon as an ongoing tradition within Berkeley High School. Stories of students being followed on popular bus lines or being egged at lunch are thrown around during the first couple weeks of school. After discussing the extended history and culture of egging freshman with students and staff at BHS I have come to the conclusion that it is not an integral part of our school. It is, however, an ongoing cycle. Being egged as a freshman makes one much more likely to egg as a senior. Mr. Meyer refers to this cycle of egging as “hypocritical.” This cycle may explain egging’s recent decline. Most students who come to Berkeley High School as freshman have heard the rumors and are scared to go out on Fridays. According to the Berkeley Parent Network, one student had to wait until 6 PM before he could safely board the bus to get home. Darius Wekwerth admitted to “staying in the cafeteria … the first couple of Fridays.” Just last Friday, a couple of my senior friends were approached by a car and threatened by eggs. This further enforces the idea that egging has become an unproductive community-destroying past time. Personally, I think that the administration has done everything it can to deter the . The once popular tradition of egging has become a much more rare occurrence. Seniors may have stopped egging because they don’t support the hazing culture. However, I believe that the main reason why egging has decreased is that seniors can’t afford to risk all of the hours they’ve put in to get where they now are. At this point, the absolute last thing seniors want to do is risk getting rescinded from their dream schools. My personal reasons for not taking part in the popularized egging tradition, are that I have unfortunately seen students get egged as I used to be a frequent commuter on the 67 bus line. Overwhelmingly, I don’t want to jeopardize all of the work I have done over the course of four years at BHS. By the looks of it, egging will eventually become reduced to rumors and stories for the future generations. The real concern is, will some other form of hazing become popularized? Throughout BHS history the freshman class has always received some type of disapproval from all other classes.
Whether it be rally day chants or dirty looks in the hallway, it is hard to tell whether that will soon change. It takes time to get rid of schoolwide traditions. Although forms of hazing, like egging, have uniformly decreased, other forms such as verbal hazing of the freshman class, sadly, remain.