Benjamin Hannani, staff writer
To the current and future members of Beverly Hills High School’s Associated Student Body (ASB):
I know that the past couple weeks have been emotionally trying for you all. I know that many of the same people who have been saying disparaging remarks about ASB – both in front of you and behind your back – may very well have behaved the same way themselves had they been in your position. Obviously, this is one of those times where it would be awfully convenient to go back in time and alter the course of events.
However, there is no use trying to rationalize or downplay what happened in the past. Nobody feels sorry for the leaders who were punished for arrogantly posting pictures of themselves drinking and smoking while representing Beverly Hills High School on a school trip. Even a somewhat partial student like me, who is close friends with some ASB members who attended the trip, realizes that extreme consequences were necessary in such a supercilious display of debauchery.
Instead, the wisest path to take at this point is onward. As venture capitalist Paul Romer once said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” Instead of bottling up all your feelings of anger and frustration, use them to your advantage. Interestingly enough, I was in ASB my freshman year and a major event that has fueled me throughout high school was that year’s ASB trip to New Orleans. As a timid freshman on that trip, I got picked on a great deal, partially for abstaining from the bacchanalia that surrounded me. Perhaps I was morally righteous. Or maybe I was just a scared, confused freshman.
Regardless, after that trip, I realized I had to turn things around. I needed to make a concerted effort to work on myself, specifically in commanding respect. Whenever I am in need of motivation, I try to harness the emotions I felt from that trip. The tormenting memories from that trip incited an unprecedented drive in me to become the greatest student who ever attended Beverly and triumph over those who hurt me. In all my classes and extracurricular activities, I have relentlessly pursued excellence so as to eliminate any opportunity for mockery. By channeling my rage into progress, my tribulations actually helped me grow physically and mentally.
If you feel upset right now, that is great! Let your fury fuel you! Whether you still have your entire high school career ahead of you or you’re a senior awaiting college, let this incident mold you positively. Instead of only having to deal with a few irritating peers though, you have the entire student body to keep you driven. Ultimately, you can embrace the consequences of your actions and find a new role on campus or let your high school career crumble away.
Those with the biggest burden are actually the ASB members who were not reprimanded and are allowed to remain in student government. You all have the power to shape a new image. After years of being the butt of the student body’s jokes, next year’s ASB can welcome a new aura. Although losing 30 members of an organization is never easy, perhaps this is exactly the kind of revamp ASB has needed. You, future members, can let the San Diego incident mark the end of an old, forgettable era.
Benjamin Hannani, a fellow student
More coverage of the ASB trip to San Diego in the print edition on April 26.