Ryan Hauserman, Christian Andres, Greg Walker, and Anton Gill
December 5, 2015
Rhetoric Media and Civic Life
Our project is going to focus on the exigence that exists due to the lack of personal sanitation that the people that eat at University dining halls practice. During the school year, many students and faculty members get some sort of sickness, whether it be a cold, a variation of the flu, or something else. Since all of these people have an obligation to attend class each day, and most live on or around campus, nearly all of these people frequently use the same facilities around campus. Perhaps one of the most concerning of these facilities are the University dining halls, as so many of the students and staff use them every day, whether they are sick or not. The dining halls currently have hand sanitizers near their entrances, however, they empty quickly and take a long time to be refilled by staff members. Students with dirty hands then go through the lines, using the same utensils to grab food, which frequently fall into the metal trays that store the cooked food for the remainder of the day. Our rhetorical audience includes all of the staff and students that use these dining halls, as well as the staff that are responsible for filling the hand sanitizers. We believe that the lack of awareness surrounding clean hands is unsatisfactory, and that the students who eat in the dining halls, as well as the staff members who work there, will all benefit from an increase in awareness regarding clean hands. We also believe that with this heightened awareness, hand sanitizers be used more frequently, and thus, be filled more efficiently to create a healthy and clean environment in the dining halls.
As we plan to attack this exigence, we must acknowledge the constraints and opportunities that exist. The main constraint surrounding our issue is effectively reaching as much of our audience in such a way that prompts them to act. There are so many different advertisements posted around campus that we must choose the most effective locations as well as locations to place our advertisements. We must place them in places that will be seen by our audience both easily and conveniently. This also presents an opportunity, as our audience members all use the same dining halls which allows us to advertise to them as they walk in. Our plan of action is to analyze the spread of sickness as a result of dirty hands, mobilize a hashtag, create posters, and develop a variety of factual advertisements that inform people of the importance of clean hands, especially before eating. The idea behind it is for us to build connections with the dining hall staff and students who eat there and informing them that the hand sanitizers need to be easily accessed in both entering and leaving the dining halls. We plan on using Facebook and Twitter as our platform for our social media outreach for the hashtag. It is a great way for our group to connect with the students on campus, and we want the hashtag (once decided upon) to take off; therefore, letting the students control the hashtag. On a face-to-face level, our bulletins and advertisements are aimed to actively promote a clean eating and working environment in the dining halls where sickness can fester and spread quickly.
The constraints of our project will be that the staff has a strict cleanliness policy already in place, but there is still the possibility of a student passing on sickness to the staff worker. Also, the staff would not be likely in participating in a hashtag movement on social media. Another constraint that may factor into the project is that there are thousands of students who eat in the dining halls everyday, so it would be nearly impossible hear every student’s opinion. The affordances of the project will be that it’s about the time of year where sickness flies around campus and attacking the majority of the students, thus this would be the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the dining halls being a cesspool of coughs, fevers, and the flu. Bouncing off the idea that there are many students to interact with that may hinder us could possibly be an affordance because interacting with so many students would be a positive if our group can effectively do it.
The Five Rhetorical Canons:
Invention: Our goal for the campaign is to create an environment that is inclusive to all staff members and students who desire to participate in our campaign whether it is by social media or interacting on a personal and face-to-face level with bulletins or reading the advertisements.
Memory: Students and staff members will remember our campaign because we are raising the issues of an unclean dining hall when the season for sickness is just around the corner. Memory is essential to our project as the main goal is to get our audience to remember to clean their hands before and after eating.
Style: We believe that for our project to go well, we have to be able to interact with students and faculty members in an informational way. We want to use a hashtag, posters, and informational advertisements to bring light to the issue of the hand sanitizer use in the dining halls.
Arrangement: We specifically chose advertisements and posters to inform and connect with the staff members and students because they could visually see the the information we have posted in the dining halls. In creating a hashtag, we are bringing our campaign into another realm of communication and social connections. Facebook and Twitter will be effective weapons in tackling the issue of having every student’s hands clean before and after eating a meal.
Delivery: Our project has the potential to reach all of the staff and students that use the dining facilities as most of the advertising will surround the dining halls. We assume that our message will spread quickly as our audience will see it multiple times a day. It is also very interactive as it provides our audience with a hashtag to use and challenges them to wash their hands before and after every meal.
Posters- Each group member will be responsible for creating and posting a unique and effective poster at each of the dining halls one time through our campaign. This will include posting a new advertisement every two weeks to keep our audience interested. The first posting will be done on Monday, October 12th.
Hashtags- Throughout our project, each group member will need to watch our hashtag and respond when necessary.
Surveying- For the research portion of our project, we will need audience opinions which will be obtained through a survey. Each member of our group will need to obtain a response from 20 students and 3 staff members by November 10th.
Analysis- Our analysis paper will be created by all group members throughout our project. A rough draft will be completed by November 21st.
Processes in the Project
In creating our project, it was essential that we understood our problem to a high degree to ensure our solution was useful and positive. This required us to research the problems that emerge from unclean hands.
At a university with over twenty-five thousand students pursuing an undergraduate degree, as well as a huge staff, the University dining halls are heavily relied on to feed more than half of these people. Whenever there are that many people using the same facilities, sanitary conditions become a concern. We decided that it would be extremely helpful to determine how much of our target population was actually aware of the issue at hand. As a group, we have all used the dining halls, and we’re pretty sure that our population does not always clean their hands. To prove this, we decided to conduct a survey to determine how many people actually wash their hands, if they use the hand sanitizers that are available to them, and if they are satisfied with the current sanitary conditions and university dining halls. Here are the results we received back from the students. We posed the question how often do you wash you hands before eating at University dining halls? Twenty-five percent said they do every time, another twenty-five percent said they do most of the time (two meals a day), and fifty percent said they sometimes do (one meal a day). We posed another question about whether id the students were satisfied with the hand sanitizers at the dining and we received interesting results. Twenty-five percent said they were happy with the way the sanitizers are now and an overwhelming seventy-five percent said that the hand hand sanitizers at the dining halls were not satisfactory in their eyes. Finally, we asked a responsive question stating, “what concerns you about dining hall sanitary conditions?” We received a lot of feedback, but there were three general answers we received. First, the hand sanitizers are always empty even though most people don’t use them. Second, The tables are dirty and usually covered in food. Third, the hand sanitizers take quite a bit of time to be refilled.
We approached the head individual’s in charge at both Selleck and Abel dining hall. We designed a simple picture of dirty hands on the table tents to hopefully draw individual’s attention in an easy and effective manner. We requested to put the informative table tents on every table in both dining halls. Abel was the only dining hall that cooperated with us, under strict guidelines. The tents couple be no bigger than a specific size and could only remain on the tables for a maximum of three days. The fact that they had to be removed in three days was detrimental to our goals of spreading a mass awareness among our fellow students. After hearing feedback from individuals, our visually simple yet effective images were able to draw quick awareness to the reality and threat of the amount of germs on individuals hands.
In our group’s efforts throughout this project, we did some things that worked well to our advantage, and we had some things that we would do differently now looking back. Our group did a good job of collecting data from students by using the surveys and the tents, which also allowed us to interact with students on a face-to-face basis. This was helpful because we truly were able to see their reaction to the hand sanitizer conditions. One thing that our group could have improved upon was that we should have used a meme to create an unique visual aid.