Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Commons Campaign - City Campus Lighting

Commons Campaign Project Proposal
by: Taylor H., Catherine B., Morgan D., Justin W., & Alyssa M.

  1. Rhetorical Situation
    1. Exigence: The safety of students is a big concern on all college campuses, as it should be.  Proper outdoor lighting on campuses could greatly affect the perceived level of safety that students encounter during the night.  In addition, while the safety of all students, staff, and faculty is important, there has always been an extra concern for young women, particularly walking on campus alone.  Keeping up to date with proper lighting throughout campuses, University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s in particular, is extremely important.
    2. Audience: Our main focus is on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln students, specifically young women.  However, we are planning on interviewing members of the UNL campus police station in order to draw up opinions about the overlaying issue and even possible ideas as to what, if anything that could be done in order to improve the issue at hand.
    3. Constraints: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s city campus is a very large area to cover.  That being said, some people may be unaware as to how much of a concern this can/could be for our campus. It is imperative to recognize areas that need improvement and push forward with putting these changes into action.
    4. Opportunities: We have the chance to improve safety on campus by making note of areas that are not properly lit at night.  If presented to the right people (UNL campus police or maintenance) there could be possible improvements made to the lighting on campus due to our research.
    5. Fitting response:  The issue of dim lit areas on campus may be an issue that has been noticed by many students on campus, but seems like a task too big to address. This campaign is a fitting response to the issue of lighting and safety because we are going to not only identify the exact problem, but address the needs that need to be met in order to resolve the issue.
    6. Hope to Achieve: Our goal is to not only improve the overall safety of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s city campus, but to get an insight from other people of authority throughout campus (e.g., campus police, staff, etc.) and provide more information on how they personally feel about this subject and if they have the same concerns or even ideas as to what could be changed or added in order to improve students overall safety.
  2. Rhetorical Canons
    1. How is it Inventive/Creative:  This is a very big undertaking that may not have otherwise received attention. Our campaign will execute an inventive strategy by creating a rating system for the overall feeling of safety that different locations on campus provide based off of the lighting.
    2. Arrangement: In order to guarantee maximum persuasion we will introduce our project in a way that highlights its pertinence to all students as well as confirms our credibility. We will practice narratio through providing factual information gathered through research. In order to effectively capture the audience we will clearly outline the process of our campaign through use of rating scales and visual charts. With the audience aware of our campaign’s division, we will then communicate the findings and results, refute the potential weaknesses and areas that could be improved, and finally close with explaining how the conclusions of our campaign can directly influence them.  
    3. Stylistic Elements: We will utilize the element of anaphora. As campus lighting affects all students’ perception of safety, we must confirm all students are aware. Emphasizing the idea that every student on campus is affected will raise awareness much quicker than targeting a micro-level group of students. Using hypophora will be a technique in raising eyebrows and instant attention. We can ask a question such as, “Are you aware that a lack of lighting on campus increases the likelihood of theft and kidnapping for college students?” We could then answer that question within our awareness campaign.
    4. How Will it be Memorable: We hope this campaign will make a memorable impact by bringing improvement to the lighting across campus. Students, especially those who have felt unsafe or threatened, would certainly recognize and appreciate this change.
    5. Medium of Delivery:  Each area that we plan to look at will receive ratings about the level of lighting the light pole gives off.  Furthermore, we plan to create a map of city campus and color code it according to the “most effectively/safe lit areas”, the “decently lit/semi safe lit areas”, and the “most dim/most dangerously dark” areas on campus.
  1. Timeline
    1. Tasks:  
      1. We will first have to create a rating system for the outdoor lighting on campus which we will use to determine which areas need the most improvement. (Deadline: March 1)
      2. Next we will have to divide the city campus into different categories or sections (i.e. sidewalks, parking lots, commons area). (Deadline: March: 8)
      3. Once we have determined the sections, we will take on our biggest task of walking through each area, assessing the lighting, and assigning the ratings.  (Deadline: April 1)
      4. When the ratings have been given we will then have the task of incorporating information gathered from crime data as well as insight from students and campus police. (Deadline: April 17)
      5. With all of our information put together, we will then format our research into a visual presentation that clearly communicates our findings to both the students of UNL and the campus police. (Deadline: April 28)
    2. Division of labor:
      1. Taylor, Morgan, Catie: Together we will all create a rating scale for lighting, categorize the designated areas of campus, and walk through campus to analyze the lighting.
      2. Justin: Gather data on crime rates that occur near areas of campus as well as compare crime that happens in the light versus the dark.
      3. Alyssa: Contact campus police.
*Our parameters are within Salt Creek Roadway, North Antelope Valley Parkway, Q Street, and 10th Street.

Commons Campaign
Explanation of project:
When discussing different areas on campus that we as a group felt could be improved, one area in particular that has in the past and is still currently an issue around campus is the quality of outdoor lighting.  This not only is important for the UNL students safety and peace of mind when traveling through campus, but is an issue that the UNL campus police deals with everyday.  Due to the purpose of our project focusing on gathering statistics and data on crime rates around campus areas, as well as contacting campus police to get insight and information on the issue, we thought it would be beneficial to provide statistics and data reports. 
As reported by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police Campus Security & Fire Safety Statistics, there have been many crimes committed in the time frame 01/01/2016 - 04/07/2016. Of these crimes, there have been 3 counts of rape, 3 counts of fondling, 3 counts of aggravated assault, 5 counts of burglary, 3 counts of dating violence, and 3 counts of stalking. All counts of rape were reported to have occurred on campus and 1 count from both burglary and stalking occurred on campus as well. 
As stated in the 2015 edition of the Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report, “Campus safety walks are conducted each semester to identify areas of campus which could use additional safety or security attention. These “walks” are coordinated by the UNLPD, and are open to any campus member or city officials to attend.” As the UNL Police Department’s primary concern is the safety of students and faculty, the University must continue to invest in better lighting to provide a safe environment at all times. 
While there may be many issues and/or concerns that people on campus find important, our group felt as though this specific issue is very well known and is an everyday concern for all UNL students in general, but more specifically, females.  According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, otherwise known as the FBI, males are the primary offenders of both violent and property crimes. Violent crimes are offenses of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. In regards to violent crimes alone, as of 2011 the male population hosted 278,050 offenses whereas the female population committed over 200,000 crimes less -- 67,327 offenses. Females are more susceptible to falling victim to these offenses and crimes. Because females are more likely to be targeted, they are also likely to feel unsafe especially in areas that are dimly lit or not monitored. 
In order to manage the length of city campus, we chose to split the area into nine different sections, plus city streets.  Due to each of the nine sections containing many sidewalks, we ranked the section as a whole and made note of specific “dark areas” that we encountered.

The color coded boxes shown above, indicate the nine different sections of city campus that we evaluated. (Red: 1; Pink: 2; Orange: 3; Gold: 4; Dark Green: 5; Purple: 6; Royal Blue: 7; Aqua Blue: 8; Lime Green: 9)
The red marks located on the map above depict the sidewalks that had to poorest quality of lighting. It should be noted that these areas either had no lighting or if lights were provided, they were yellow and dim, as opposed to more bright/blue toned lighting.
A scale system was created in order to rank the outdoor lighting on campus.  There were three components to our system that played into the ranking scale starting from 1 to 10.  The categories included: the perimeter of illumination that a light creates on the pavement, the brightness of the a light, and the distance to the next nearest light source.  This scale allowed us to have a clear evaluation of the lighting on campus, as well as educating ourselves and others on the overall issue.

Rating Scale for Lighting - Rated on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best
The perimeter of illumination:
POOR = 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10 = EXCELLENT
Brightness of lights:
POOR = 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10 = EXCELLENT
Distance from next nearest light source:
POOR = 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10 = EXCELLENT

Overall, the approach we took on this campaign went smoothly. Walking across campus and evaluating every light was tedious, but in the end was very beneficial.  This ranking system allowed us to provide information in regards to the lightning around the entire campus.  However, reflecting back on this approach it would have been more beneficial if we would have been provided with direct incite and quotes from UNL police. After multiple attempts of contacting them, they failed to respond to our requests. In addition, if we were to conduct this commons campaign again, we would examine the lighting on multiple nights in order to evaluate the consistency of the quality of lighting. By doing this, it would ensure a better assessment of the overall quality of campus lighting.

University invests into buying and installing newer, brighter and higher quality lights (like the lights around the union) throughout the rest of campus. This would be a simple solution to promote student safety during dark hours and will ensure an overall brighter environment.

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