Thursday, April 28, 2016

Commons Campaign- Abrahamson, Leise

Commons Campaign: The Ups and Downs of Elevator Testing
By: Jacqueline Abrahamson & Eric Leise
For our commons campaign, we decided to test out the safety of the elevators all throughout the UNL campus and athletic facilities. Our goal is to make the employees, students and athletes aware of this campaign in hopes for a change. Foremost, we will be testing out the elevators around campus on multiple different levels of critique. It is an interesting topic to campaign about because our campus is so huge, that not everyone may notice the big difference in the quality and ride of one elevator to the next.  
I. The Rhetorical Situation
The exigence of this would be the lack of employee, student, and athlete knowledge about the quality of elevators. The audience is simply everyone. From high school tours, families during move-in weekend, employees, older event volunteers, students, and athletes, there is nothing wrong with being educated on the elevator system that is an often overlooked component of life on campus.  So, we believe that everyone can benefit from this. When paying tuition to attend a university, a faulty elevator is not something one should have to experience. This may seem like an issue UNL does not face on a regular basis, so we would like to compare the quality of elevators and draw attention to some of the best and worst. Some constraints that we may face are the lack of access to all facilities. UNL does a tremendous job promoting the safety of our students, so accessing dorms, business offices, or certain athletic buildings could be something that we have to overcome. We are certain that if the workers in the unauthorized buildings are aware that we are campaigning for education of elevators, they will let us proceed. If that is not the case, that is a constraint of a constraint that we will have to face. Not everyone is going to let us in, let alone take us seriously when we ask to use their elevator. We believe that this is a very creative and effective approach that we will enjoy pursuing on our very own campus.
II. Intervention
This is a creative approach to this idea, because it has never been mentioned before.  Someone always seems to comment about how scary, creepy, or smooth an elevator ride may be without anyone taking the time to rate every elevator on campus or take pressing issues into their own hands.  This project can then lead to improvements being made using a prioritized list.  We will also be organizing our list of elevators using a Google docs spreadsheet. A Google docs spreadsheet provides us with the best possible way to organize and then present the gathered information.
The best medium for delivery of this topic would be in presentation format to the University. Unfortunately, I do not think the best forum for this discourse involves any types of social media's, unless asking for personal opinions on specific elevators, so we will try to engage those with actual power to promote the change we desire. We think this will be a memorable campaign given the originality and potential for improving hundreds of students lives in a matter they would not be thinking about.
III. Timeline
Finally, we need to look at the timeline for the rest of the semester. We would like to have every single elevator tested before leaving for spring break. That will give us the appropriate amount of time to analyze the results and put together the portfolio. We understand the importance of getting accurate data, so we will both be agreeing on the ratings given to elevators to ensure the removal of biases.  After agreeing on data, we need to type out the paper.  Having two people in one group, we envision a 50/50 split in work.
Commons Campaign
We felt that one often overlooked aspect of campus life is the elevator system that students use daily. Elevators are crucial for transportation of all people, thus we think that the rankings of the elevators can bring awareness to the University officials on which elevators need the most improvement. We went to each elevator on campus, including residence halls and parking garages, to see what we can improve on to achieve citizen efficiency. Specifically, we tested out the ease of ride, speed, lighting, sounds and button display on a scale from one to ten, and then added those up for the overall grade for the elevator ride. We noted everything on a Google Sheets doc (as seen below):
This made it easier for us to write about, keep track of and see the end result of where each elevator stands with the overall rating. Looking back on each elevator and the results, we saw a drastic difference in the elevators in the buildings that are most highly funded, (i.e. the athletic facilities) versus the elevators in common places, such as Nebraska Hall and some older residence halls like Cather-Pound. Given the data, there seems to be a correlation between how high the elevator is rated with how prominent it is to student life. Elevators in the library, where all students have access, are nicer than the elevators in the residence halls, where access is limited.
The following diagram of the UNL City Campus shows exactly how we divided the work and which buildings we tested. As you can see below, we split the campus down the middle to divide the work be between us (Jacqueline the west side and Eric the East side). From there, we marked all of the buildings and the elevators that needed to be tested. The worst five elevators received a red dot (Nebraska Hall, Cather-Pound Hall, Bessey Hall, Andrews Hall, and the Scott Engineering Center), the best five received a green dot (Stadium Parking Garage, Oldfather Hall, Lied Center, Burnett Hall, and the Love Library), and the other 39 buildings we tested received a yellow dot.  

Finally, every building we tested went down on the Google doc. Below, is the copy of the Google doc, which can also be found at this link:
The 1-10 scale is used in five different categories that will provide enough differentiation to rank the elevators.  Out of a total of 50 possible points, our best elevator marked a 47 and our worst elevator marked a 16.   

As you can see, this is an extensive list for the two of us to complete. The total testing of the elevators took four hours. The most time consuming task was walking from one elevator to another and waiting to test them.
It is a fair assumption to say that residence hall elevators are more common to break down, get destructed, and go slower than your average elevator where all of our star athletes study nearby. Efficiency is key, and when you have a great deal of students with on-campus living, generally, electrical issues take longer to fix. The efficiency of the elevators corresponding with each category, not to mention the curb appeal of the opening doors, made for a good comparison with all the elevators tested throughout UNL. From students rushing to class who do not want to run down 12 flights of stairs in the residence dorms, to someone potentially in a wheelchair with needs to access above the first floor, elevator and citizen efficiency is what improves the commons of a college campus. Considering one of us got stuck in an elevator while doing these test, it is important for the improvement of these amenities. This goes for not only students, but staff, kids on college visits, and the rest of UNL.  There is a newfound respect for the power of elevators and the amount of work they can actually accomplish in one hour of transporting people, who in some cases may not even be able to use stairs.
We found a direct correlation to the age of the building and the overall score for the elevator grade. This poses a fundamental idea that funding of buildings directly affects the quality. The older buildings, Cather-Pound and Nebraska Hall, are often neglected and outdated, leaving their elevator systems in the same condition. These buildings should be brought to attention to the University in order to better impact the students or residents who frequently occupy the spaces.  It was surprising to us to find some outliers in our study.   As shown above on our Google doc, Andrews Hall was one of our worst elevators (also shown on the map with a red dot), but the main floor was just newly renovated. We noted this as an outlier to our original statement that the higher funded/newer buildings have better elevator systems. Another interesting discovery is that the elevators in the parking garages had some of the best lighting.  We assume it is for the safety of students, faculty, and guests who make use of these garages during late hours. This is a smart and effective move because the assurance of comfort on campus should never be an issue. 
           If we were to accomplish the same results again, we would change a couple of things. First and foremost, this was a lot of work for two students going around and testing every elevator.  We noticed that the elevator testing on top of the entirety of the commons campaign was, at times, a bit overwhelming. Our second thing we would change about the commons campaign would be how we broadcasted it to students or the University. While the main target is to attract action from the University in order to evoke change, students may be interested in what we are doing. I think that a website similar to the website would be interesting to students. Students should be able to navigate the website well due to the similarities, but also these could help influence which dorm/parking garage UNL students plan to spend their time involved with. One final change we would make to the commons campaign is to have both parties ride and test the elevators simultaneously.  We then could rate the elevator independently to ensure there is no bias.  After the rating, we would then average the two to get the most consistent overall score. This would ensure the consistency of our rating system and improve the accuracy of the tests.  

No comments:

Post a Comment