Students’ film features campus diversity

Students pair up to interview each other during an ice breaker activity. Ten minutes later, they write an obituary for the person they just interviewed.

This advanced interviewing class activity prompted Alexis Thomas, a senior communications major, to start a project on self-worth.

She was fascinated by how quickly she got to know a person in just a few minutes, Thomas said.

Now she is on a quest to spread the message that “we all matter.”

She began the project at the end of April by interviewing strangers and friends. The interviews take place whenever students want to be interviewed. There’s no set schedule.

“We go to school every day. We see the same people, and there’s just that shallow relationship,” Thomas said. “We know their names, we know where they’re from, but we don’t know the things that actually matter.”

The project consists of a series of videos thatfeature people from different backgrounds. Interviewees answer questions such as, “If death is inevitable, why are we so afraid of it?” and, “Is there a difference between love and infatuation?”

The interviews will be used as a way to capture those differences and show students that their voices matter.

“My hope is to bring Chico State students together in the community and to challenge them; to ask those questions in their everyday friendships,” Thomas said.

Dalton Cox, a senior communication studies major, is one of the first students to be interviewed for the project and wasn’t prepared for the questions he’d have to answer.

“It was a little intimidating for me,” Cox said. “I thought it was really cool. It was a good self-reflection and a good reminder that I need to think about stuff.”

After going through the interview, he felt the need to have the same type of conversation with a friend.

Vincent de la Torre, a junior communication design major and the videographer for the project, is also passionate about this type of communication.

“I think it can get people to open up more and to see, ‘Hey, maybe we’re not all that different. Maybe we can relate to people we didn’t expect to relate to,'” de la Torre said. “I think that’s a beautiful thing.”

De la Torre is one of many students that walk to class with headphones in, only focused on his destination and not those around him.

“It’s really a loss when you think about it,” he said. “You never know who they might be, how they might help you or how you might help them.”

These videos can help people change their own ways.

“Just from the first five videos that we’ve done, I’ve already seen how incredible it can be when you get someone to open up and have these conversations,” de la Torre said.

He has already implemented this type of communication in his own life.

“I want to show people that I want to get to know them,” he said. “I want to show them that I care and that it’s important to know people.”

They’ve interviewed people with different experiences ranging from addiction to depression.

“This is a movement of ‘Let’s all get to know each other,'” de la Torre said. “We all matter.”

The “We All Matter” videos can be viewed on their Facebook, Tumblr and Youtube pages. People who want to be a part of the project can also contact it through the Facebook page.

Dominique Diaz can be reached at [email protected] or @dominiqueldiaz on Twitter.