Archive for Thursday, December 18, 2008

Students ‘mix it up’ with lunch buddies

December 18, 2008

The sound of laughter and the smell of hot lunch lingered in the hallways surrounding the cafeteria Thursday at Basehor-Linwood High School.

Outside the lunch room, it seemed like an ordinary afternoon chowtime. But inside, students were participating in Mix it Up, a nationwide campaign to promote tolerance and cross social boundaries.

As part of Mix it Up, students, faculty and staff were asked to sit at a different table each day of the week during lunch, and members of the Basehor-Linwood community were invited to eat with the high school students. Student council organized the event to encourage everyone to talk to someone they didn’t already know.

Stephanie Harris, student council representative, said that the goal for the week was for every student and every member of the staff and faculty to meet one new person. Student council put different signs on the lunch tables each day to mix the students and staff into groups. They sat according birthday month, T-shirt color, favorite subject and favorite beverage.

Students like senior Jay Clayton saw Mix it Up as an opportunity to make friends.

“It’s a new way to talk to people and become friends with people you wouldn’t usually know,” Clayton said.

Senior Kaelyn Morris said she enjoyed the activity because she was able to chat with a member of her community.

“I met someone from a youth organization around here, and it was good talking to him,” she said.

Morris took advantage of the chance to visit with a new person during lunch, but she said she didn’t think everyone made the same effort.

“I’m pretty sure a lot of kids just sat with the same group of kids they usually sit with, and that wasn’t really the point of all this,” Morris said.

Despite the possibility of inconsistent student participation, Harris said she was pleased with the response she and student council had received, and she deemed Mix it Up as an overall success.

“The majority of students and staff were able to meet someone new,” she said. “Some students did not necessarily meet a new person, but they stepped out of their comfort zones and sat at a different table than they normally do.”

Harris also said that she expected Basehor-Linwood to plan a Mix it Up sequel sometime in the future.

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