Friday, December 12, 2014

UNL Water Fountains Final Portfolio

Commons Campaign Final Portfolio
Group Water Fountain: Brady Caverzagie, Zach McClintock, Jake Kingsley, Bryce Byman

1.Commons Campaign Proposal
Group Members: Brady Caverzagie, Zach McClintock, Bryce Byman, Jacob Kingsley
Exigence: There is a vast number of water fountains on campus and the quality of these water fountains are on both ends of the spectrum - from perfect to absolutely horrific.
Rhetorical Audience: The audience will consist of all students that spend time on UNL City Campus. Staff members can also be mediators of change in this case as well.
Constraints: 1. There are a TON of water fountains on campus.
2. There are many factors that make water fountains good/bad.
Affordances: 1. The testing resources are easily attained which will help the project go    
2. The water fountains are very accessible and will allow for grading to be the
   main focus.
3. Having four members to cover ground will make the grading process faster.
-We plan on testing the water fountains of two different categories of buildings on City Campus based on a prepared grading system. The two categories are the Residence Halls and other buildings on campus. The other buildings include: lecture halls, the library, the union, and the rec center.
-Residence Halls to be tested: Harper, Schramm, Smith, Village, Abel, Sandoz, Knoll, East-side Suites, University Suites, Neihardt, Cather, Pound, and Selleck.
-Other buildings to be tested: CBA, Beadle Center, Morrill Hall, Avery, Hamilton, Burnett, Teacher’s College, Henzlik, Brace Lab, Westbrook Music Building, Othmer, Nebraska Hall, Union, Love Library, Rec Center, Architecture Hall
-Goal: To test ten water fountains per building spread throughout the structure.
-Materials: cups, four thermometers, camera (iPhone), water bottles, distance measuring tool
-Grading Criteria: Five Star Water Fountain Rating
  1. Temperature: Temperature will be based on a set temperature range with the coldest being a five.
  2. Stream Quality (for drinking): The grading will consist of Height, Strength, Number of Streams, and whether the fountain splashes or not.
  3. Height of Fountain from Ground: The height of the fountain, whether a person would have to bend way down or whether it is at a comfortable drinking level, will be one criteria.
  4. Modernness/Cleanliness: The grading will consist of seeing how clean the fountain is, whether it looks new, and whether there is any mold.
  5. Ease of Water Bottle Filling: The ease to fill a water bottle will affect the grading. A separate water bottle specific filler will be a five.
Approach: The project is not creative in the way that an art project is creative, the project just doesn’t lend itself to that type of creativity. The creativity of the project comes from the interesting grading criteria and from the project being presented as a competition between fountains, halls, and buildings. An added creative touch for the audience will be pictures of the water fountains, so the audience can see exactly what was considered a five, a four, and so on. The project will be organized for ease of access for the audience. The most general information on building averages and best/ worst building will be the first and most accessible information on the blog and any other place the information is placed. For the more interested students, faculty, and hopefully the maintenance crew, the rest of the information about specific fountains and pictures of those fountains will be available. This is a fitting response to our exigence, as it will raise awareness for the situation and, hopefully, influence change.
Memorability and Style: The project will be memorable for multiple reasons; people like competitions, people are generally very picky about what they put into their bodies, and the hopeful effects of the project will can be seen for years. The project will be presented as a competition, in which people have the opportunity to be involved.Also, any project that has to do with something people ingest will always get a good amount of attention. Lastly, a hope for the project is that the maintenance crew will do something about the terrible fountains, which will be remembered in the fact that the fountains will not be quite as terrible any more.
The style of the project will be very clean and crisp. There will not be a huge amount of frills associated with the project, but all information will be accessible and easy to sort through.
Method of Delivery: We plan on making a blog with all our compiled results on an Excel spreadsheet and/or graph as the posts. In addition to that, we plan on having an alphabetized list of all the buildings with links to a google doc with all the water fountains documented with location as well as their rating within each specific building. This link list will eliminate clutter on the main blog page and make it appear more attractive for users. To spread the word not only about our results but our blog page, we intend to make flyers to hang up around campus to raise awareness on where to go to fill up your bottle and get a drink and where to avoid at all costs. The word and links to the information will be given to the UNL maintenance crew to see if they will fix the worst fountains.
Timeline: Our goal is to have the grading done by November so that we can begin compiling the results as well as spreading the word ASAP.  This is also good so that we are not pushed for time as the semester comes to a close.
Division of Labor: As of now Zach and Brady will cover the testing of the Residence Halls and Jacob and Bryce will take the other buildings.  Other than that we will have to see.  Brady will most likely design the blog, since he has the most experience with blogger. The rest of the group will also have input into the blog as well. Everyone will have to take a few of the google docs for the different halls in order to get that done.  We plan on meeting on an as needed basis to accomplish this project. We will meet in pairs to get the data collected and will meet a few times as the entire group to compile the data and upload it to our different methods of delivery.

  1. Explanation of What We Did
Research: Our group went around to a majority of the buildings on campus in order to research the quality of water fountains based on certain characteristics.  We tested up to ten water fountains on campus based on the following five categories: water temp., stream quality, ease of water bottle filling, height of the fountain, and overall fountain quality in terms of modernness and cleanliness.  
Analysis: We took our compiled data and entered it into an excel spreadsheet.  From this data we created top 3,5, and 10 lists for different categories such as best/worst lists for water fountains, dorm buildings, lecture halls, and buildings overall.  We also created average stats for the five categories.
Media Outlet: To get our data out into the world we created a blog.  This blog was organized in a specific way so as not to overload the viewer.  We put links to various google docs on the right hand side of the blog to streamline the process and clean up the blog.  The google docs contain the ratings of each water fountain we rated in addition to a picture of the fountain and its location.  The main posts on the blog are the different top lists as well as other pertinent information to the blog and our project.  There is also a link to a map of campus so that anyone whether they are a student or a visitor, they can find the location of any water fountain on our blog.
-In addition to the blog, we created a line of posters and flyers that you may have seen around campus.  These posters can be found at the top ten and worst ten water fountains around campus and in other highly trafficked locations around campus such as the union and the library.  All of these flyers have the link to our blog posted on them to entice people to visit our sight and increase awareness.
  1. Evidence of What We Did
Here is the email that Zach sent to the Daily Nebraskan. A message was also sent to the maintenance staff and to ASUN.
Dear Daily Nebraskan,
     I am a part of a group of students from a communications class at UNL. We were given a class project to do something that would improve the commons of UNL or Lincoln as a whole. Commons is defined by Google as "land or resources belonging to or affecting the whole of a community." Our group thought of ideas that would fall under this category and that we would actually be able to affect. We quickly came up with the idea of the water fountains around campus. Water fountains that look inviting for students, faculty, and visitors to drink from is very important. Students, faculty, and visitors making sure that they drink throughout their days on campus makes sure that they do not become dehydrated and helps keep them healthier.
     Some of the fountains are of high quality, while others are severely lacking. As a group, we traveled around campus and rated water fountains from most of the major residence halls, academic halls, and The Union. We set up a five star grading criteria for five different categories for each fountain. All of the data that was collected was processed and compiled to give a list of all the buildings and individual water fountains. More information and all of the compiled data can be found at the project's blog. We were hoping that the maintenance staff of UNL campus would be able to help improve some of the lowest rated fountains. Some of the fountains need some serious work for them to be easy or desirable to drink from. We wanted to thank you in advance for all of the help you can give.
      We know that your organization is highly publicized and read, so we were hoping that our blog link and goals could be mentioned in an article from you. The higher the publicity and the more people that see the blog will help put pressure on the maintenance staff to actually work on the fountains that need help. Thank you for your help.
     Sincerely, The Water Fountain Organization
We have finally hit the 2000 pageview milestone and counting!!!
  1. Reflection on How the Project Went
Overall the project went fairly smoothly.  I think we would change the fact that we took so long to get all of our research done.  We didn’t have as much time to get our info out before the semester end as I would have liked.  I’m sure the posters won’t stay up forever and many of them have probably been taken down already.  It would have been nice to have more time to come up with other ideas to spread the word about our research, blog, and results.

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