School meeting recap 1/13/2020: Eagle Update, new semester electives, and a Night of Nostalgia


Irina Malyugina

Head of Upper School Butch Keller delivers a talk at school meeting about recent incidents of students using disrespectful language and racial slur. Keller presented an initiative called Challenge Day that aims to encourage diversity of perspective and break down barriers between students and faculty.

by Lucy Ge, Asst. News Editor

Avi Gulati (12) started off yesterday’s school meeting by welcoming everyone. On behalf of ASB, he announced that students should submit slides through the form instead of email. On behalf of upper school security, he urged students to limit their use of Doordash, especially during school hours.

Following Avi’s announcement, Giovanni Rofa (12), Meona Khetrapal (11) and Rohan Varma (11) gave the Eagle Update. The interest meeting for boys tennis was yesterday at 1:00 p.m. in the team room, for baseball is at 3:15 p.m. today in the team room, for boys golf is at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday in the Main Hall conference room, for girls lacrosse is 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday in the Multipurpose room in the Athletics Center.

Girls soccer defeated Eastside College Preparatory (ECP) last week 8-0 and tied with a Notre Dame team 2-2 during Kicks Against Cancer night last Friday. Their record is now 4-0-3, with 4 wins, 0 losses and 3 ties. They will host Mercy SF on Friday on Davis Field. Boys soccer tied Leland 2-2 and defeated Priory 6-1 during their Kicks Against Cancer game. Their record improved to 6-1 overall, and they will be hosting ECP on Saturday. Girls basketball defeated Burlingame and Crystal Springs before falling to Kings Academy on Saturday. They are currently 6-7 overall. Boys basketball went 0-3 last week, and they travel to Priory tomorrow. The junior varsity boys basketball team went 2-3 last week.

Alice Feng (10) announced a speaker event on behalf of Research Club. Ge Wang, Stanford professor of both computer science and music, will be coming to speak in Nichols auditorium during long lunch on Wednesday. Details will be posted on Schoology.

Multimedia club played a video, made by Matthew Jiang (12), on Zara Vakath (12)’s Shah art gallery installation. The gallery opened yesterday and the reception will be held on Wednesday during lunch.

Upper school history teacher Donna Gilbert announced the five new history semester electives offered the next school year: Ethnic Studies, Social Justice, Social Psychology, Civics and Modern International Topics. The electives will be offered in a every other year rotation. The classes will be taught by upper school history teachers Mark Janda, Carol Green, Julie Turchin and Damon Halback.

Arushi Saxena (11) and Michelle Si (11) played a video about the National Economics Challenge and announced the National Economics Challenge, the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Economics Competition and the Harvard Economics Competition. The deadline to sign for National Economics Challenge is Feb. 21, and the deadline for the other two competitions is Jan. 31. All three competitions will take place during early April, and students can sign up with teams of 1-4 people. To sign up, students should go to

They also announced an alumni speaker event during long lunch yesterday at 12:45 p.m. in upper school economics teacher Samuel Lepler’s room, where alumni Angela Ma came to speak. 

The senior student council performed a skit to announce the Winter Ball. This year’s theme will be a Night of Nostalgia. 

Academic Dean Kelly Horan presented a video, made by Multimedia Club, about asking teachers for recommendation letters for summer programs. She urged students to inform their teachers about needing a letter at least two weeks in advance. Students seeking recommendation letters should first ask their teacher in person, then fill out a summer recommendation request form on Schoology. 

Lastly, head of upper school Butch Keller addressed recent incidents of a racial slur being used on campus and other disrespectful remarks being made by students.

“[Disrespectful remarks] aren’t funny, and after a while they just stack up. People are getting tired of it, and it’s not the kind of community we want to live in.” Keller said. “We are a wonderful place, but right now we’re being undermined by your lack of sensitivity, respect, kindness [and] understanding. Every single one of you sitting there, every one of the teachers standing around, we can all do something about [the disrespectful remarks].”

Keller announced that Challenge Day, an event that addresses diversity, would be taking place on Feb. 6. Students interested in participating should let their advisor know. 80 spots are available for the event. 

“This is just day one, and then we’re going to build from that. We’re going to rebuild our foundation [as a community],” Keller said.