By SOPHIA HUO
Every year, UHS hosts Character Week, a week of lunchfests and activities that encourages students to exhibit morality and virtue. Each class council focused on a characteristic; Freshmen had Respect, Sophomores Integrity, Juniors Compassion and Seniors Responsibility.
On Monday, each class council’s members performed class raps and lip syncs about their assigned characteristic for a hugely entertaining start to Character Week. Tuesday was a bustle of activity with Service Club Showcase, featuring UHS’s service clubs sharing missions of positive change, and PB&J Day, during which students made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to donate to local homeless shelters. On Thursday, students walked around the quad to sign up for various community service organizations, helping students get involved outside of school. Lastly, Freshman Club Showcase on Friday offered freshmen the chance to explore the many clubs offered on campus.
Though many students participate in the lunchfests and activities, few are aware of what happens behind the scenes. The Character Week liaisons, Sharika Hegde (Sr.), Melina Gharibian (Sr.) and Kevin Cho (Sr.), worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this week. They started planning in the summer, contacting numerous organizations for Thursday’s Count Me In. Difficulties arose when many of the organizations didn’t respond and preparations for Spirit Week began.
“It was difficult because we couldn’t just pause things for Spirit Week because we had to respond professionally and in a timely manner to all those outside organizations,” said Hegde. Other preparations had to be made, including working with the Studio Design class to make the adorable character pins and asking local grocery stores for donations of peanut butter and jelly for PB&J Day. Cho worked ceaselessly the day before the PB&J lunchfest to obtain as many donations of peanut butter as possible, communicating with stores like Trader Joe’s.
With a tremendous amount of planning to be done, cooperation and collaboration amongst the liaisons were essential. Gharibian, Cho and Hegde made a great team, counting on each other for assistance and solutions to issues that came up. When one person made a mistake, the other two would immediately work on a solution.
“I definitely feel extremely blessed to have gotten to work with Melina and Kevin; they’re super hard working and fast thinkers, but most importantly, wonderful people.” Hegde notes of her team.
All the preparation served to seamlessly execute the events of Character Week, which meant more to the liaisons than just a simple week of fun lunchtime happenings. Hegde ultimately wants students to know and keep in mind that in a school environment as intense and competitive as UHS, “[students’] achievements don’t define who they are; rather, it is the strength of their character that defines who they are.”
With the close of Character Week, the liaisons are proud of what they’ve accomplished and have high hopes for the success of Walk The Talk Week next semester, their next big project.