Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Laney College Baseball held a naming ceremony April 26 for its stadium, now called the Tom Pearse Diamond. The name change was approved by the Peralta Board of Trustees at its April 23 meeting. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
Laney names baseball stadium, FabLab to relocate and more at 4/23 meeting for PCCD trustees
Eliot Faine, Staff Writer • May 15, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
The search for a permanent president of the College of Alameda is down to three candidates. William “Terry” Brown (left), Melanie Dixon (middle), and Rebecca “Becky” Opsata will respond to community questions at public forums on Thursday. (Photo courtesy: PCCD)
Finalists for CoA President unveiled
Community questions accepted until midnight tonight
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • May 13, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024

BCC student president applies his computer skills to ‘hack’ student government challenges

Described as an ‘extraordinary student leader’ by BCC administration official

Harry Mapodile, a sophomore computer science student at Berkeley City College (BCC), relaxes by listening to movie soundtracks and sea shanties while refining his C++ and Python coding skills. Unfortunately, his hectic schedule as President of the Associated Students of Berkeley Community College (ASBCC), in addition to taking 19 academic units this quarter, allows little time for such diversions. 

Mapodile’s LinkedIn profile lists no fewer than 10 activities and societies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee and the Berkeley Blockchain Club.  He also has volunteered as a chaperone for Compassion in Oakland, a non-profit organization that helps protect residents of Oakland’s Chinatown district from Asian hate crimes. 

Twice a month, Mapodile presents updates on ASBCC to the Peralta Board of Trustees. He also participates in Roundtable meetings with BCC officials including President Angelica Garcia.  

The Citizen caught up with Mapodile recently between classes to learn how the 20-year-old manages to successfully juggle so many responsibilities. 

Mapodile says he applies organizational skills gained through participation in hackathons, where programmers are given a business or technical challenge which must be solved within 48 hours. 

He also finds tips from reading management books and biographies from leaders such as Barack and Michelle Obama. 

Harry Mapodile finds the time to serve as ASBCC President in addition to taking 19 units and participating in multiple other activities and societies. (Source: Harry Mapodile)

Mapodile admits his busy schedule sometimes comes at the expense of a full night’s sleep, although he generally manages to get six hours a night. 

Mapodile is an international student from Johannesburg, South Africa.  He decided to apply to Berkeley City College two years ago based on its location near the world’s leading technology companies and its tradition of political activism. He was also attracted by BCC’s Cross Enrollment Program which allows students to also take classes at UC Berkeley. 

He plans to transfer full-time to UC Berkeley starting this Fall where he will continue to study computer science. 

Mapodile was elected ASBCC president in April 2021 by a margin of just 27 votes. This represented 54% of the 123 votes that were cast, however.  Mapodile had considered running for Vice President of Finance but decided to go for the top office instead. 

John Nguyen, Director of Student Activities & Campus Life at BCC, describes Mapodile as “an extraordinary student leader who has been dedicated and committed to student success at Berkeley City College. He has done an amazing job at representing students, organizing events, and making reports on behalf of the ASBCC. He truly takes the time to listen to students so that he can effectively represent them. I have no doubt that he will make it very far in life and I am so honored to be part of his journey.”

About the Contributor
David Rowe
David Rowe, Associate Editor
After a 40 year career in advertising, David is considering journalism as his “second act” and preparing himself for that new profession by taking classes at Laney. During his days in advertising, Rowe headed up the media departments for a number of leading ad agencies in San Francisco and Salt Lake City. In this capacity, he was responsible for the planning and placement of tens of millions of dollars of paid media. A high point of his career was placing Intel’s first Super Bowl TV ad in 1997. Rowe has a lifelong interest in journalism dating back to high school in San Jose where he started an underground newspaper called, appropriately enough, The Del Mar Free Press. The school administration threatened to suspend him, so Rowe, with the help of his attorney father, sued the school district in Federal Court and won and injunction. Ultimately, the case was decided in his favor and California state law regarding the rights of high school students was re-written as a result. Rowe is a political junkie who enjoys watching all the Sunday morning news programs and is actively involved in the Joe Biden presidential campaign this year.
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