The School Newspaper for California High School, San Ramon CA

The Californian

Soda crusade switches up Cal campus

Illustration by John Ty

Shirin Afrakhteh, Staff Writer

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A handful of students decided to gather and end an injustice that they believe has plagued Cal High for years: the quality of school lunches.

Students have taken matters into their own hands by collecting Switch sparkling juice that come with the school lunch and storing them in lockers as a form of rebellion. 

With the three lockers filled and the fourth almost halfway full, these lockers have come to be known simply as the Switch Lockers. 

The movement started when junior Alex Suehiro needed soda cans to use as props for a film. When the filming was over, Suehiro stored all the Switch cans in his locker.

It didn’t take long before a few other of Suehiro’s friends started to add their cans. Then, other students began adding their own cans as well. The amount of students started to grow exponentially. 

Before long, this small handful of students grew into a pseudo-cult with around 60 to 70 active contributors, Suehiro and a few other leaders said. 

The group calls themselves many names, including the Switchers, Switchinators, and the Switchies. But the most common name used for the group is The Crusade. 

The original locker filled up quickly with dozens of Switch cans. Since nearly four lockers are filled with these cans, it’s estimated that students have stored up nearly 800 cans.

Only the heads of the Switch council know of the lock combinations for these lockers, which are located on the east wing of the second floor.

On top of lockers, there are also small stashes of the drink stored all around campus for safekeeping.

Members of The Crusade also have a deity – a shark fetus named Gene who is kept in a jar to watch over the Switch. 

Recently, a group of students lead by junior Luke Henchal raided the Switch Lockers, stealing a large sum of the cans as well as Gene himself. 

This marked the beginning of the Switch Wars.  

After several back and forths between the two opposing forces, the Switch was recovered.

The location of Gene, however,  is unknown to The Crusade, a heavy blow to the movement. 

“It’s very tragic,” said senior Reagan Kennedy, one of the high cardinals of the group. “I cry about it every day. We’re still on the lookout.”

While the Switch Lockers and the wars surrounding them have gotten lots of attention over the last month, administrators have raised a few eyebrows at the situation.

Students have been questioned by teachers about the lockers and their location. The committed members of the cult have not explicitly disclosed the location of the lockers as of now.

The main point students say administrators have brought up regarding the lockers is that it may be attracting flies and cockroaches to the vicinity.

But many students see these claims as baseless. 

Photo by Liam Siu
One of the four Switch Lockers located in the main building.

“The soda is in sealed can, inside of a metal locker,” said junior Max Fallejo, “They’re more concerned about a sparkling juice than when people break locks on lockers or when someone’s property is stolen.”

Another complaint that has been brought up by the students is that the school is paying more attention to Switch cans being stored in lockers instead of the  students who actually vandalize lockers.

There are many cases of students bringing bolt cutters on campus to cut locks off of Switch Lockers. But this has received little attention, some students say.

Some students who are suspected of smuggling Switch said they have even been pulled aside in the hallways and questioned.

Several administrators contacted by email for this story did not reply or declined to comment.

Wherever the road may take this group of valiantly fighting students, there is only one goal that fills their minds, one drive that keeps them going. 

In the words of Kennedy himself: “The goal of the Crusade is to Switch it up.”

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The School Newspaper for California High School, San Ramon CA
Soda crusade switches up Cal campus