Thursday, April 28, 2016

UNL Get Lit

UNL Get Lit:  Commons Campaign
The exigence of this project proposal was to increase campus safety and to ensure that all UNL students can feel secure at all times and at any location on campus. This project targeted two different audiences; we directed this project towards UNL students and towards the Building Systems Maintenance staff within the Facilities Maintenance and Operations Services. The problem that most people will have, especially facilities maintenance, is where the money will be coming from to generate new lights within dark zones on campus.  A tremendous opportunity that we hoped to arise from this project was a better mindset for students. Not only did we hope that the safety will be increased, but the students will feel better walking through campus after dark, which will contribute to an improved atmosphere encompassing campus 24/7. Our invention of the project was the creativity of the footprints to capture attention. It was very unique and we heard many people talking about it after we painted them on the sidewalks. The arrangement of our proposal was strategized in an organized manner by our timeline. We purposefully painted the footprints before the sunlight came up and hung the signs up at the same time so it would all impact the students at once. The style was mainly emphasized by our visual aids. We didn’t have to do many things by memory because we didn’t give a speech, but we used it when we interviewed our peers so we knew what we were talking about. Our delivery, we believe, was very appropriate because we were articulate throughout our interviews, creative throughout our flyers and brochures, and timely with our footprints. Our proposal was a fitting response to the issue of having dark zones on campus because was is practical and an efficient way to address a problem in order to prevent future incidents in these particular dark areas.  We will further the advancement in the steps it will take to get the dark zones at UNL properly lit. The main drive behind this project was to insure the feeling of always being safe anywhere and everywhere on the UNL campus.  This idea worked towards the betterment of the students and faculty who attend or are employed here, which supports it being a fitting response.  In addition we made it clear to the students and faculty why it is a must to take care of these ill lit areas of campus. Our goal was to create curiosity from the students and faculty at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. In hopes of doing that we have came up with few ideas of how we hope to make this happen and create a difference on our campus. We have visual techniques, written documents, audio pieces, and emotional persuasion.
The UNL get lit project was an idea that as a team we decided would be a beneficial campaign to pursue.  We heard of the idea through an article the was written in the Daily Nebraskan.  When talking about it as a group we came to the conclusion that it was a problem that we had all experience with first hand, whether personally, or through a friend.  
We started the project off by meeting at a coffee house to brainstorm what we were going to do, figure out what our approach was to be, and lastly make a tentative plan.  By the the end of the first meeting, we had come up with what we thought would be a successful operating procedure.  The first thing that we had on the schedule was to think of a catchy title and slogan for the project, when browsing multiple ideas, we found a stone and killed two birds with it.  We chose UNL Get Lit, which we used as our team name, and our social media hashtag.  Our next step was to create support pages on both Facebook and Twitter.  We then used these support pages to post pictures of what we were doing.  After we got the social media taken care of we moved on the trying to reach the students of UNL, while they were carrying on with their lives on campus.  
Members of the team got together to design flyers, pamphlets, and table top brochures to create an outreach to the student population. On the flyers was the explanation of the dark zones and how the students could help our cause. The members spent several hours designing the papers, printing them, hanging signs, folding the pamphlets and brochures and placing them on tables around campus. We posted the flyers in multiple buildings on entrance and exit doors, in bathrooms, and on bulletin boards.  We also made table tents to put on tables in the library, and the dining halls.  
The biggest step in the project was painting the footprints on the sidewalks of two particularly bad dark zones on campus. One being in the northeast corner of Oldfather Hall on the sidewalk in between Oldfather and Bessy.  We also painted them on the sidewalk that runs east and west in between Hamilton Hall and Avery Hall. A couple members from our team purchased washable sidewalk paint, brushes, and flip-flops to achieve this objective. To paint the footsteps on the sidewalks, we painted the bottom of each flip-flop and transferred it to the sidewalk in that fashion. It worked better than we actually thought it ever would.  In order for this to be effective and actually have students see the footprints, we all woke up at 4:30a.m. on a Monday morning so we could meet by 5a.m. in front of the union and have the footprints finished by 6a.m.  The reason behind doing it so early was so the students who have early classes, or the students that walk to the Recreational Center early in the morning could see the footprints.  
The last thing we did for our UNL Get Lit project was conduct interviews with a few students that we asked to talk to as they were walking through one of the dark zones.  We had series of questions we asked them that pertained to the level of safety they felt while walking through these particular area at night.  We also asked them what they thought about the idea of getting more lights on campus and if they thought that it would be beneficial.  Another group of students we sought out to interview was  a few of the members of the UNL ROTC.  We thought this would be a good idea because they walk in the dark to physical training three, sometimes five times a week.  We also got in contact with the author of the article “Dark Zones on Campus Endanger Students” that was published in the Daily Nebraskan.  We asked him a series of questions including, where did he get the idea from, what evidence or research did he use, if any, and what was the easiest and hardest part of writing the article.  We wrapped the process up with another meeting to finalize every part of the project.
While doing this project, we decided the way we would show our evidence of what we accomplished was by creating a video. In the video, we included evidence of us making the black footprints at 5:00 A.M. and what tools we used to complete this activity. We showed this with videos, text, and pictures. The next thing we did was create posters and table tents. In the same day of doing the footprints, we made sure the posters and signs were up before people were going to class. We took a picture of the signs in the grass next to the footprints. We took a picture of table tents in the library where people were studying. We took screenshots of what we posted on our social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Another activity that we did was sending a letter to the maintenance, which we have a picture of.
         Communication was a key success in our commons campaign. Our group had a group text message which everyone was very active in and we also used Google documents to keep all of our records so we were all on the same page. Everyone participated equally within our group, which was very helpful. Having everyone participate was crucial to the outcome because we had a lot of tasks and deadlines to meet for our campaign to be successful.
Another thing that we were very proud of was how easy the idea came to us. After laying out a few other options we all quickly decided this was the best option for us. The idea had come from an article that had previously been published in the Daily Nebraskan. It was fairly simple for us to discuss what our aim was and all we wanted to accomplish. We decided on ideas and outlined the project fairly quickly. We were proud of the topic we had chosen and felt as though our ideas were very creative. We were not fairly concerned if other groups in the course were doing relatively the same thing as us, as our project seemed quite unique.  We were also proud of our ideas to raise awareness and promote the issue on our campus. We knew we wanted something visual and by using the footprints, flyers, and video, we think we accomplished that well. The footprints created a visual for the rest of our peers and caused them to peak their curiosity and seek out more information regarding the footprints. We wanted to catch people's attention and we thought this was an appropriate way.
We didn’t have everything perfect though, after the initial meeting we could have worked harder on our time management. We put things off for a while until right up to a couple weeks before spring break and seemed to do things all at once after that. We asked for permission to place the footprints almost right before we actually did it and neglected posting on the social media sites for a couple weeks. We wish we could have been more prepared for a lot of the milestones in the project, although we finished with plenty of time to put everything together. With these things in minds, if we were to do this project again we would correct these actions. Overall, we think our commons campaign was a success and we look forward to seeing what kind of impact it will make to our future campus.

Our letter to the maintenance staff

Team Members: Allison Carr, Hailey Storer, Bethany Vinton, Maggie Grosshans, Devon Thompson

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