Thursday, April 28, 2016

Commons Campaign Pinch not a Punch Documentary

Borana Gjoka

Jared Onnen

Rick Conway

Nick Rock

COMM 250

March 1, 2016

Project Proposal

       The exigence is that the parking ticket prices on campus are $40, and that price is too high and unjustified considering the primary recipients of most tickets are college students, most college students have little to no income due to the amount of time and effort successfully navigating a college course load requires. In creating the proposed documentary we seek to reach an audience of not only the UNL Parking Authorities (our primary rhetorical audience) but we also seek to educate students on specifically why we believe this is a problem in a way that is more informational than the commonplace gripe against receiving a violation. To try and create true, substantial change we have made an effort to directly reach out to the parking office ourselves attempting to create an environment in which both the university and it’s students can work together to create a positive environment in which parking policy is enforced without damaging a student's financial situation to the point of excess.

         One of the constraints for attempting to persuade the UNL parking office to reduce the parking ticket price is that we do not have access to the necessary financial data to support the claim that the price of $40 is in fact too high for the average college student. We have no information on the purpose of the high parking fine. Being that this project is coming first hand from a student perpsective and udnerstanding how parking fines affect the student body can be understood from a more personal point of view. We could conduct very short interviews with a specific number of students walking around campus to get statistics on the percentage of the number of students interviewed who support the claim that the ticket prices are too high and whose college life would be a lot easier with the price reduction. A short video included in the presentation will show the affect of getting a $40 ticket on an average college student’s life. We believe that by showing a unique visual representatioin of the problem directly portraying a student, we can fully communicate a realistic and empathetic campaign to lower the charge. We communicate message in the video through both verbal and nonverbal rhetoric.  Our goal is make it clear to the UNL parking office that the ticket price is a real issue for the UNL student body. Tickets are a result stemiing from the lack of affordable parking or parking spaces at all on campus, this ultimately affects the academic success of the student because no parking often results in students being late or missing class.    

We are taking a head-on approach to improving the substandard parking situation on our campus. We propose a series of new steps to issue fines. The first is lowering the cost of parking tickets to under the current mark of $40. Giving out extra warnings or free passes would be the second option. From a Biochemistry professor to a freshman in the dorms parking is a glaring issue that causes stress and cuts deep financially for numerous people on the University’s campus. We will be filming from the direct perspective of a full time student struggling to balance a rigorous course load, financial situation and daily responsibilities. We will show how the current fine for parking tickets creates an obstacle to achieving his goals opposed to fulfilling its duty of teaching the violator a lesson.

    Borana is currently working on the script for the short film and she will be filming and directing it as well any visual art that we will need to make our message clear. All members of the group will be working together in gathering data and statistics to support our claim that the ticket prices are too high. Ricky is in charge of finding out who is our intended audience, the specific individual who has the power to authorise the ticket price change. Jared and Nick are editors of the script and written work and assistant director for the film.

     Week 1 (Feb 29 - March 6) we will be working on writing and editing the script of the short film.

Week 2 (March 7 -March 13) we will rehearse and start filming, and conduct interviews around campus and shoot any visual art that we will need to use.

Week 3 (March 14-March 20) we will edit the film and visual art and organise the collected data in a form that can be easily presented and usable for our purposes.

Week 4 (March 21-March 28) we will put everything together as one and rehearse our presentation.

Post Project Portfolio

To recap the final result of the group project, we made an informational documentary with the main purpose being that of educating the parking authorities and the student body on our justification for a new lesser parking fine. We chose to challenge ourselves with the taking on of a 10 Point Project in creating a Short Form Documentary. This is not a decision I would change not only do we expect this to reflect well in our grade but it also forced us to take on a task drastically beyond our normal course workload. We used the image of an average college student going through his daily schedule. The purpose of this lies deeper than the common place griping against tickets being a hassle. We sought to come from a unique and creative medium of showing our message in communicating to the emotional appeal of the struggles of a student. We show Ricky who is struggling financially. Struggling to the point that he has less than 20 dollars in his bank account. When Ricky is shown receiving the ticket the initial reaction tends to be more judgmental than sympathetic but through an appeal to the audience's ethos we show how Ricky must put aside his pride, his sense of independence, and beg his mother to assist him to pay the ticket lest he will not have enough to pay for summer classes. We mention that this is another of multiple parking tickets. These can quickly add up to being the cost of one full three credit class. This applies more to logos in the idea that as a university the well being and academics of the student is placed first yet there is some hypocrisy present in that the parking fines can make the academics of that same student suffer. In regards to our Slogan of “Pinch Not a Punch” we took the slogan given to us from our professor Damien, and through Imitatio took his words and used them through a mild form of remixing. Surely the price for the ticket is being used for more than just teaching the student a lesson, it is to make a profit. And logically if the University cares first and foremost about the education of it’s students how can they justify using a population already so burdened with debt to additionally help make a profit for the university through parking mistakes.

I felt that as a team we experienced some initial cohesive problems. The group dynamic presented a challenge as we were faced with the reality of two 19 year old freshmen being paired with two non traditional students.  Together with both these perspectives although some minimal conflict was present at first eventually the cohesiveness formed into a successful collaboration. We faced some struggles with technology and had to overcome initial plans falling through and learn how to adjust on the fly. This wasn’t a result of a lack of preparation but rather often times there were external forces at work such as scheduling issues for locations, weather, reliability of technology, but through the ability to react and adjust these obstacles were overcome. Overall my only thoughts in regards  to what I would change lies in the initial stages. As a group we did a poor job of communicating effectively and efficiently. This created some delays in planning and production. Additionally this was our first time filming, if I could choose for one of us to have prior extensive film experience that would be very helpful in keeping the execution smooth and precise. To conclude I was rather pleased with the experience after a total of 24.5 hours of working to create the entire project we saw growth in our abilities for intergroup and interpersonal communication, the use of technology in communication, and communicating through age and culture.

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