Co-Curriculars and Affinity Groups
Berkeley Carroll students are distinguished not only by their commitment to excellence in academics, but also by their eagerness to explore new interests and expand their talents in the arts, athletics and service to the community. Some of the extracurricular activities we offer include:
Affinity / Alliance Groups
The Asian American Alliance - AAA
The Asian American Students Association is a club that meets several times a year to discuss issues of concern to Asian American students and to celebrate the various cultures of the student members. We are planning to enjoy food, music and dance from different Asian countries. We will also discuss political and social concerns in the US as well as throughout the world. This affinity group is intended for students who identify as Asian or Asian-American. In 2018-19, we planned a movie event, a Dim Sum outing, a BC Talks, and other Holiday festivities. We hope to plan these, as well as new events in the upcoming year.
Activating White Anti-Racist Engagement: AWARE
The goal of AWARE is to deepen our understanding of white racial identity, white privilege, and white cultural dominance in our institutions. We strive together to develop skills as activists/organizers for more equitable schools. We aim to work in solidarity with and accountability to, People of Color in creating anti-racist communities. In this group students are invited to engage with white-identifying faculty, as they work together to understand how they as white people are contributing to systems of racial oppression. In small groups, faculty and students will leverage their understanding of how white privilege upholds systems of racial oppression in order to identify ways of intervening in, and of working to dismantle, these systems.
Black Human Girl - BHG
BHG is a sacred space that centers the experiences and needs of Black girls, women and femmes. We will include current events surrounding those who identify as Black and female, and we would like to highlight and celebrate the positivity that comes with the intersectionality of black girlhood. All faculty, staff, and US students who self identify as black girls/women, are encouraged to join us.
Girls to Women - G2W
Girls 2 Women is an affinity group striving to create a safe space for self-identified girls and women. Those who attend will have the chance to discuss serious (and not so serious) topics with female peers and faculty at our school. We will learn about what it means to be a girl at Berkeley Carroll and in the greater world. We will have a combination of structured meetings that include predetermined discussions and scheduled speakers, and less structured meetings, where students will have the opportunity to share personal experiences, thoughts on being a woman in society as a whole, and anything in-between. As leaders, we believe that intersectional feminism is the only feminism. In years past, G2W has hosted fundraisers (including a pad/tampon drive) to support women locally and globally. We are hoping to do similar events this year, whether they be virtual or in-person.
Jewish Culture Club - JCC
JCC is a group for students and faculty who identify as Jewish to discuss and take part in Jewish culture. We will be watching movies, discussing shared experiences and current events pertaining to the religious and ethnic group, and eating Jewish foods. We will have some meetings and school-wide activities open to all students and faculty to attend.
Joint Alliance for Diversity Awareness - JADA
JADA provides a secure space for all members of our community who respect, honor and celebrate the wide range of differences in ourselves (aka intersectionality). Our purpose is to discuss important, controversial, tough, and uncomfortable issues that affect all individuals who identify with any race, culture, socioeconomic class, gender spectrum, sexual preference, religion, ability and the like. Our goal is to strive to help raise awareness for diversity in our school’s community, and to hopefully spread this beneficial knowledge to others. For our community to thrive, we must be aware of the experience of each and every individual.
The LatinX affinity group provides a safe space for anyone who identifies as Latinx, both students, and staff of BC, to safely and honestly express themselves. In our group, we spend time discussing many diverse aspects of our identities, such as race, language, religion, media representation, current events, etc. We will be addressing topics concerning latinidad worldwide, nationwide, and locally. Through food, dance, media, and other various activities, we’ll further explore our Latin roots. LatinX will embrace all members and their culture(s) in a positive environment.
Multiracial Affinity Group
The multiracial affinity group is a place of unity for all students who feel that in the past they have not really 'fit in' with just one particular race or ethnicity due to a multiracial background. The aim of this space is to provide a place where people who are often found 'caught between two worlds' embrace differences and find strength in shared experience.
People of Color - P.O.C.
P.O.C. provides an embracing environment where all students of color can support and promote their differences. P.O.C. allows students to be honest without feeling inhibited by the presence of people who don’t share the same identities and experiences. It offers a platform to help students develop a deeper sense of belonging and community with one another. We hope to highlight the unique diversity in our experiences, cultures and ethnicities.
Spectrum is a space for and by students: we wish to create a safe space for students of all genders and sexualities. Spectrum is also about confidentiality, open dialogue, advocacy, and snacks. Open to both members and allies of the community, our goal is to create a safe space, and to work towards making the entire school a safer space for LGBTQ+ people.
Young Men of Color - YMC
Young Men of Color is an affinity group for those members of the BC community who would like to explore and question the intersectionality of their race/ethnicity and gender. We will deeply listen to each other, challenge preconceived notions of race, class, and gender, and build connections with each other and other affinity groups. Please join us for music, life-changing discussions
Ever been around a bonfire, singing tunes, overlapping notes, and relishing in some gorgeous vibrations? Do you ever harmonize to songs under your breath? If so, the a capella club could be the place for you. This co-curricular provides people who already sing a chance to come together and create lush harmonies in an intimate setting. Musical arrangements can vary from 50’s pop to modern tunes, though the options are pretty unlimited (though we may draw the line at Gregorian chants…). Having the intuition for sight-reading is not a prerequisite for joining, but it is recommended. Members should be willing to dedicate a small portion of time outside of club sessions to practice/record their parts, and this is doable with guiding track technology! Last year, the club performed for the BC Upper School on three occasions: once for the Junior Variety Show and twice for One BC, a “remote” variety show for the Upper School. If you’d be interested in participating in a project like this and want to create some beautiful music, join the a capella club!
Do you like Anime? Do you think your taste in Anime is better than everyone else's? Then prove it. Genshiken is a club for the lovers of 2D, from Jojo to Naruto. No matter your experience with shows, beginner or full fledged weeb, we welcome you. When and if we reopen, I can guarantee only the best Japanese snacks for attendees. So whether you want a place to chill and refresh yourself, or engage in a fun, electric environment, this is the place for you.
Art squad is open to all students, regardless of experience level, who want a chance to try out different kinds of art. We work on both projects and free work, and provide our students with a variety of mediums. In the past, we have had a photo collage in the cafeteria, created custom t-shirts, and painted a mural.
BCast is a Student-led podcast in an attempt to bring members of the Berkeley Carroll community together, and hopefully foster a fun and engaging environment. For team members, BCast seeks to promote student ownership, strength, and creativity.
Bill Gates said that if he were a teenager today, he would be hacking biology: “If you want to change the world in some big way, that’s where you should start-biological molecules.” In this club, we explore the exciting field of DIY biology and biohacking as well as a range of related topics including biochemistry, medical science, and biotech. While we focus on hands-on activities and experimentation, we also have guest speakers.
The Blotter has been the student voice of our school for decades. Now an online student-run newspaper, The Blotter highlights arts, sports, and events in both the world and the Berkeley Carroll community. Through articles, photojournalism, and videos, The Blotter finds new and innovative ways to speak for the Berkeley Carroll student body. Visit The Blotter at www.bcblotter.com.
Fame. Wealth. Power. Success.
If you want these things in life then the chess club is for you. The chess co-curricular is a fun, easygoing, and enlightening environment to learn and improve your chess. Players of all skill levels are welcome, and optional chess lessons are available during the curricular to help you sharpen your chess skills.
The Conspiracy Society
Our goal with the conspiracy club is to apply our discussion and research skills to non academic topics like the questions Is Bigfoot real? Is Bigfoot my soulmate? and What’s up with the Denver airport? We are also trying to publish a zine (pretentious edgy magazine) featuring blurbs on topics we’ve covered, art, and cryptid themed quizzes.
Creative Writing Club
Creative Writing Club will be a relaxed space to express ourselves through fiction and creative non-fiction. We’ll talk about our own writing and spend time using prompts or simply writing what we’d like to write. By the end of the year, each student will have a portfolio of writing samples which they can choose to submit to literary journals, writing contests or keep for themselves.
Environmental Action Team
A club that focuses on spreading awareness of environmental issues and participating in environmental activism. The purpose of the club is also to bring awareness to environmental issues that we as members of the BC community encounter on day to day life. This club will help make Berkeley Carroll identify areas where we can be more sustainable in the school community and in the other areas of your life. In the past we have designed and sold recycled cotton and plastic water bottle sweatshirts, organized clothing swaps and upcycling workshops, participated in environmental community action, and much more. We would like to plan more events this year like community action/service, activism events, educational workshops, and more! We hope you to see you this year in Environmental Club!
The Fed Challenge
We would be participating in the Federal Reserve Challenge. The Fed challenge is an academic challenge for high school students in which students learn about the federal reserve and monetary policy. In the challenge students are given a theme - this year’s is economic inequality - and have the goal to create monetary policy to improve whatever issue the theme is about.
Felix Pilkington Experiment
The Felix Pilkington Experience is for students who wish to explore small group jazz at a high level. It is open to anyone interested in further study.
Girls Who Code
This co-curricular is for girls who have some interest in coding and want to further their knowledge. You do not need to have any coding experience, just a little interest. This club would be almost fully funded by the Girls Who Code program, complete with a "success specialist" who would ensure that we got everything we needed and all of the coding support we could get. This is a great opportunity to explore the realm of coding--- whether it be learning how to design a website, creating an app, or even learning how to create good UI. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn a little bit more about coding and technology and how women/girls can make an impact in this field.
In the Investing Club, we will be competing in an in-house investment simulation. Each group member will start with $100,000 and invest in any stocks, index funds, ETFs, materials (gold), that they choose. At the end of each semester, the student with the best ROI (Return On Investment) will receive a financial prize. Students will be competing with several teachers as well. During meetings, we will discuss investment related concepts and finance related current events. This group is open to all students, and requires no prerequisite knowledge of banking or finance.
Math Team (The Parallel Lions)
Do you want to learn 5 different ways to prove the Cauchy-Schwartz inequality? Are you intrigued by the thought that there is a world in parallel lines must intersect? If so, the Math Team is for you! In Math Team, we will go into depth learning about some weird and wacky topics ranging anywhere from modular congruence, where 1 + 1 + 1 isn’t really 3, to the rearrangement inequality, the ultimate inequality guaranteed to solve any other inequality you choose. We will also participate in a variety of competitions such as the American Mathematics Competition (AMC 10/12), the NYC Interscholastic Math League (NYCIML), Interstellar, the Mandelbrot Competition, the Brearley Math Bowl, and the Brooklyn Math Bowl (originally a one-on-one against Packer but now extended to several other schools!). The Math Team is open to all high school students. There’s a 99.9999... % chance it’ll be fun!
Inspired by book club (and fight club) our movie club will assign movies to watch outside of school and discuss them during the following community time. Given the limited 50 minute period we will dedicate that time to discussion, snacks, and future movie hw nominations.
We will start every session with one general topic written out on the whiteboard. The topic will be either generated from members or from a topic suggestion box that will always be open for ideas. Club members will have discussions about the original topic that will eventually branch out and relate to other ideas which will be discussed. Topics range from science to society to fictional works of any kind. Other activities include watching videos, reading articles, and member presentations. The main goal of this club is to take normal conversations to a more advanced and detailed level. This club is meant for people who are willing to voice their opinions and also for students who wish to listen and learn new items about philosophy.
The Political Discourse Club
For the past several years, the "Politiclub" was the leading co-curricular for discussions on current events. Pioneered and founded by Luca Broder, it became a hub for open and honest political discourse. All ideas were welcomed, if you were ready to argue their case. Since his -- and other leader Zach Cahmi's -- graduation, the club has been under the leadership of Caleb Dunn and Will Carey. While the core idea of the club remains, new changes and improvements are being made. The conversation in the club will cover current events, reminiscing about Bernie Sanders, and political ideologies and their role in both global and domestic politics. On top of this, we will be closely examining capitalism and its relation to racism. With the guidance of Mr. Stein -- and occasional visits from Dr. Waller -- this club is sure to be impactful and memorable. So if you are interested in social change or becoming aware of what makes up the world around you, then The Political Discourse Club is for you.
This co-curricular will explore programming in various languages. Programming ideas are student driven and based upon technologies that the group would like to explore collectively. This co-curricular will explore programming for multiple platforms and operating systems.
The Psychology Club is made up of students who are interested in human behavior, their own and others', as well as students who may want to study psychology in college or possibly become psychologists in the future. We have guest speakers on a variety of topics, watch movies and TV shows about OCD, therapy, hypnosis, etc., go on virtual field trips, have spirited discussions and laugh a lot.
Do you like correcting other people’s grammar? Do you love to create and critique art? Well, if you join Reflections, you can do both! REFLECTIONS is the literary and arts magazine of The Berkeley Carroll Upper School. We meet weekly to discuss the soliciting of submissions, our own writing in progress, and, in pre-Covid times, we like to play NYT word games and snack on pink Himilayan salt popcorn. In February, the editors chair small groups who read and critique anonymous submissions. After the preliminary critiques, the editors choose and edit the final selections and lay out the magazine. The striking artwork and writing in every magazine is crafted by Berkeley Carroll Upper School students, occasionally to fulfill class assignments but always from the engines of their own creativity.
The Self Love Club
In this co curricular we will host group discussions focusing on body image and how it affects our mental health as teenagers. During the Zoom era that we live in now it can be difficult to escape our own reflection. For many of us staring at ourselves for prolonged amounts of time can accentuate many of our insecurities. Being stuck at home, it can sometimes feel like we are alone in those insecurities. However, we are never alone, and the Self-Love Club hopes to emphasize that and create a safe and open space for members of our community to share and learn from one another. We will read articles; watch videos, t.v. and movies; and examine other sources surrounding the idea of self-love in addition to doing activities to help us care for and love ourselves. We are truly focused on helping ourselves and others take self-love from an occasional practice to a consistent habit. This is a space for everyone, and we encourage anyone and everyone to join. We want our meetings to feel relaxed and easy for those who wish to join.
Strength in Numbers
“Strength in Numbers” is a co-curricular that organizes fundraising events along with volunteer opportunities to partner with and support organizations working towards a more equitable future. Many students are interested in community activism and have a strong passion to help. Strength in Numbers brings students' collective power together to make an impactful difference.
Science of Baseball
In the science of baseball co-curricular we will take a deep dive into the game of baseball trying to understand the scientific and mechanical aspects behind it. We will breakdown video, analyze data, and hopefully better our own development and knowledge of the game we all love.
Yearbook creatively captures the experiences of the Senior Class. While the yearbook will primarily focus on the Class of 2021, all grades will be represented and there's plenty of opportunity for everyone to contribute their creativity to this special keepsake. If you are interested in photography or graphic design, please join Yearbook! 9th graders who regularly attend and complete page assignments will receive community service credit for their efforts. There are future leadership opportunities for anyone who joins!