Story by Heidi Wetmore
Students from Spencerville Adventist Academy's Broadcast Journalism Television News Production class recently conducted a social experiment during the lunch hour at school. They created a documentary titled LunchMeet, investigating the reasons why high school students are uncomfortable sitting with a stranger during lunch. Evelyn (Jialu) Bao (’19), a Chinese foreign exchange student, and Sabrina Iannella Oliveira (’21), a transfer student from France, agreed to be a part of the project. Director Olivia Brown (’20) asked random high school students if they would be willing to have lunch with Bao or Oliveira. Richard Machado (’19) and Zoe Jenkins (’20) agreed to it.
After the encounters, the students reflected on their interactions. “I met Evelyn last year, but I did not get to talk to her much,” Machado reminisces. It is “easier to talk to her now than before.”
Referring to her meal with Oliveira, Jenkins admits, “I have seen her walking through the halls. ... I feel like I know a lot more about her now.”
Robert Martinez, broadcast teacher, states, “It was great seeing my students feel passionate about this issue. This project opens up a broader conversation about inclusiveness. ... We hope to continue the project twice a month, [anticipating a full-length] documentary."
The LunchMeet pilot premiered during this year’s high school spiritual retreat. To watch the first episode, visit spaac.net.