Silver Chips Online

Flat screen T.V. installed in Student Activity Center

The T.V. is the first step in making the SAC a more enjoyable lunchtime environment

By Martha Morganstein, Online News Editor
November 20, 2013
Late October, Blair administration installed a flat screen TV in the Student Activity Center (SAC) in hopes that students will better appreciate eating lunch in the SAC. It is their first step in making the cafeteria more teenage friendly. The current plan is to show educational programs, such as CNN, four days a week and ending the week with "sport Fridays," showing programs like the Entertainment and Sports Network (ESPN).
At the beginning of the year, Principal Renay Johnson came across a technology fund established by former Blair principal Phil Gainous several years ago. "The intent of the fund was to improve technology in the school, so I thought I better find a way that I could use it to benefit the entire student body," Johnson said.

Blair administration installed a flat screen TV in the Student Activity Center (SAC) in hopes that students will better appreciate eating lunch in the SAC. Connor Smith
Blair administration installed a flat screen TV in the Student Activity Center (SAC) in hopes that students will better appreciate eating lunch in the SAC.
Johnson decided the best use of the fund was to install a T.V. since it would get students more engaged with current events. She asked several students questions about global and national affairs, such as "Who is the prime minister of France?" and she realized that many of them did not know the answer. "Through interviewing students, I realized that students really don't get an opportunity to see or understand the news," she said. Originally, she planned to show news programs such as CNN or the history channel during lunch periods, all week. However, upon request by Blair athletes, Johnson agreed to air sport stations such as ESPN on Fridays.
The T.V. will be muted with subtitles and therefore will not interrupt conversations. "If students choose to look up, they might see an important headline. If anything, it will promote conversation," Johnson said.

Additionally, Johnson hopes the T.V. will make students more inclined to be in the cafeteria. Johnson noticed that many students violate school policy and go across the street to Four Corners to buy lunch. "A challenge that I took on when I came to Blair is to keep students in the SAC, as opposed to across the street at lunch time," Johnson said. Adding a T.V. is only Johnson's first step in making students more enthusiastic about being within the school for lunch. "Ideally, I hope to put several flat screens in the SAC each showing a different channels and put booths along the wall, so kids could sit there like they do at restaurants," she said.
Some Blazers agree with Johnson that the T.V. being in the SAC creates a more thought-provoking lunch period. "It is absolutely great because you'll learn some pretty interesting things from the news," freshman, Daniel Jacobson, said.

On the other hand, certain students feel like it is a not a useful addition to the SAC. "It seems [like] kind of a waste. It doesn't seem like anyone is watching the T.V.," freshman, Lucas Craig, said. In response to similar criticism, Johnson said that it is up to the student whether they want to watch the TV. "They can look up if they choose to, and even a simple glance at a headline is better than nothing," Johnson said.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/12315