Food and friends at BHS


Derek Viator, Author

S.A.L.C., or Student Activities Leadership Course at Battlefield, has a large amount of projects in mind to work on throughout the school year. Most, if not all, of these projects directly impact the school. One major change that S.A.L.C. is working to complete is N.O.E.L.A., or “No One Eats Lunch Alone.” This project is designed to fix an issue that plagues schools all across the world, kids sitting alone at lunch.

Students may sit alone for various reasons: they are new to the school, do not have a lot of friends, or just do not have any friends in that specific lunch block. No one should have to sit alone during lunch. S.A.L.C. has taken the initiative to tackle this problem; they have not only challenged their students to sit with someone new at lunch who are sitting alone, but are also starting to test a new app designed for this issue.

The app is called Sit With Us and was designed by a student who “was a victim of severe bullying,” according to the bio of the app in the Apple App Store. This app was made with the intention of giving people an opportunity to meet new faces and make new friends in a scenario where that possibility was otherwise difficult or unlikely. As the description in the app store puts it, “Her goal was to create an app to make sure that no kids felt like they had nowhere to go.” Within the app someone can create a profile which includes their interests and then can add friends found on the app within their school. After adding friends people can then invite them to join each other at lunch.

Senior James Doppee, a member of S.A.L.C., is skeptical saying, “I think it might help but I think it could very easily turn into a bullying or teasing tool and needs to be closely monitored.” This is a concern being addressed by those hoping to implement the program. Teachers and the Battlefield Administration are on the app as well as students, checking for any discrepancies or negativity within it, shutting down anything if issues like that appear.

Sit With Us also has a feature to become a school’s “Ambassador,” where the Ambassador can organize a lunch where anyone can join, not just friends that have been directly added on the app. This open invitation is done in hopes to encourage people who might shy away from a direct confrontation but still want the opportunity to make new friends or interact with others during lunch.

This is just being tested by students and might not be implemented if problems arise, or just does not seem effective. Many students are still going outside of their comfort zone, sitting with new people and learning new things everyday. Battlefield’s motto is “Building bridges and breaking barriers” and that is exactly what kids around the school are trying to do.