Roughly 25 students sit in the far edge of the cafeteria, talking about a variety of subjects from classes and teachers to pets and favorite foods. They tell stories and begin to get to know the people sitting across from and around them. The tables contain a random mix of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors eating their lunches and snacking on cinnamon rolls. Laying in the space between them are a selection of cards designed to start conversations. This is the setting of the Mix-It-Up Day social.
The Mix-It-Up Day social took place in the cafeteria on February 22, and all began with an idea by wellness counselors Marissa Rivera and Meagan Butler. From there, however, it grew into a structured event that the student council helped organize.
“We approached student council with the idea,” said Rivera. “They really liked it, too, and had some ideas to contribute to try to make it better, and so we [worked] with them to make that happen.” Student Council members dedicated some time at their meetings to assist in the planning of the event and to discuss with the counselors how they could help. They put up posters and encouraged students to sign up for the social.
“The counselors were largely responsible for the idea, planning, and organization for the social”, said freshman vice president, Rachel Pierron. “The student council just stepped in at the end to help advertise and get the word out to people.”
The original cause that inspired the counselors to take initiative with the social was a wellness survey taken this year. Survey results showed the majority of students felt excluded or left out in some way during the school year.
“LASA students are telling us that [cliques] are an issue, so we [were] trying to respond to that,” Rivera said.
The wellness counselors were not the only people who saw the value in what the social was trying to accomplish. Student Council members also recognized the need for the social and what it represented.
“I think events like these help with community spirit which is something that [Student
Council] officers are supposed to help with,” said junior vice president, Nirali Devgan.
When asked why they chose to sign up and take part in the social, student’s’ answers varied, but all seemed to contain the core idea that they wanted a chance to get to meet and learn about people that they previously hadn’t had the opportunity to talk to regularly.
“I was pretty interested to see how many new people I could meet and if it would actually help me make connections,” sophomore Ellis Prater-Burgess said. “Even though it was just a one-day event, it was nice to be able to talk to new people in a casual setting.”
When they were asked whether they thought these newfound connections would have a lasting effect, their response was more doubtful. However, they still maintained that the event was an overall positive experience.
“Although I had fun meeting new people, it was too quick of an event to create any lasting friendships for me,” Prater-Burgess said. “It was a cool idea, but I wish it was a continuing club or something that met more often.”
Student Council members also felt that the experience one that was rewarding to witness and take part in.
“One of my favorite things that I saw at the social was a group of students that didn’t really know each other, but at the end one of the students was extra sweet and friendly and made sure he remembered all of their names”, said Pierron. “I think examples like this are the reason we did this social… For people to know their classmates and peers just a little better, whether they just learn each other’s names or become best friends for life”.