Thursday, April 27, 2017

#switchtoswipe Common Campaign Portfolio

Jack Rhodes, Evan Cox, Claire Clifford, Mark Weiers 
Project Propossal  
The meal plan at UNL is a great thing. It helps first time college students not have to worry about cooking and shopping and eat whenever they can at convenient times that should fit their schedule. But what if you have a 7am class and like to sleep in so you never eat breakfast? What if you are an upperclassmen who lives off campus and only want to eat lunch on campus when you are already on campus for class? What about students in fraternities who only want a meal plan for the weekends for when the house they live in aren’t serving food for the rest of the week? These are the students who need a meal plan, and with the current setup at UNL these students will unforchantly not be purchasing one.   
Most of the students at UNL espcailly upperclassmen would consider getting the meal plan, but will not with the current setup of the UNL meal plan. So the exigence of our campaign is that UNL needs to consider making a new UNL meal plan that is more flexible for students. The current UNL meal plan has two options to choose from, a 5 day a week plan where you can use your card as many times as you want a day at the UNL dining halls, other than Saturday and Sunday, or a 7 day meal plan where it can be used everyday. While this plan is required and mostly beneficial for freshman living in the dorms, it completely shuns away potential upperclassmen who would like to go to the dining halls but not as frequently as 5 times a week for every meal 
With a new flexible meal plan students of all types at UNL will be able to save money but not having to spend a certain amount on a set plan, and instead be able to pick when or how many times the card can be used so freshman can still use there card all year and upperclassmen can use the dining halls when it is convenient to their schedule.  
Obviously there are many restraints in our plan. The first being that while we want the plan to be more flexible for the people we don't know the best way to do so to make everyone happy. So in order to do that we will have to start our paper by getting data on what people would or wouldn't change but if everyone wants something different we will have no real plan. Another constraint is even if we show our idea to officials at UNL they most likely would think that by changing the meal plan and giving freshman the option to not have one that the school will lose money and will not even hear out our findings and solution. Finally, while our group finds the issue topical to us we don't know if another reason people don't have a meal plan anymore after freshman year isn't just convenience and price but other reasons. For example variety and quality of food, while that is a topical issue it is not the initial issue we are trying to change.  
Our proposal is a fitting response to the issue because our idea is completely changing the problem itself. If we get enough people to not only agree with our argument but agree that there should be change we can show our research and findings to higher officials at school and actually get something acomplished. With that said we hope to achieve enough data to support our initial argument, acquire more data to find out the way most students want the plan changed to be most beneficial to them, and turn in our findings to the head of housing to consider our proposal. This idea is creative because it require us to constantly be acquiring data and changing our approach throughout the year to find the best possible solution before showing our findings to the public.  
We will structure our projects by conducting interviews with a variety of students of all kinds. Then we will use that data to make another survey in which people can list complaints and issues with the meal plan and pick a new meal plan idea which would fit their needs. Then we will make a online campaign through social media to show our findings and make a petition to change the meal plan to the most popular option the people wanted in our survey. What will make our project memorable will be the intense data we get to show evidence that the ideas we come up with are actually from the students at UNL. We will deliver our interviews in person, the survey online, and the campaign and spreading awareness through social media.  
We started our project by conducting interviews with first close friends and acquaintances to see basic likes and dislikes about the dining hall meal plan. We all did this in the first w=few weeks of the campaign, in which we got a variety of answers. Most of our friends we interviewed did not have the meal plan and were juniors and seniors, when we asked why they didn't have the meal plan most gave answers that we expected. The most common response was too much money for not enough use, while the reasoning behind why it wouldn't be in much use varied from living to far away from campus to only wanting to go during certain days based on the meal offered.   
We decided we had enough info to make our questionnaires to ask people based on what we had learned from our simple dialogue interviews. Claire administered the first questionnaire to which she only asked people in a dining hall the questions so she knew they had a meal plan. The questionnaire asked 1. Do you have a 5 or 7 day meal plan? 2. On a scale of 1-5 how happy are you w your meal plan? 3. Do you think you paid a fair price for how often you eat at the dining centers? 4. If there were an option to either load money into your card for meals or to have a specific number of swipes you're able to use per week what would you choose? and 5. What year are you?  What we learned was a majority of the people interviewed had a 7 day meal plan with only 3 out of 75 people with a 5 day. Over 50 percent of people said a 3 on the 1 to 5 scale, making it the most picked choice, it was torn almost 50/50 but more students said no to paying a fair price. More people chose money over swipes with another close number. And just as we suspected over 75 percent of people in the dining hall were freshman. 
The rest of us asked people who we did not know If they did or did not have a meal plan and our data for this was harder to calculate. Mark, Jack, and Evan all administered this survey to people.   
1. What year in school are you?  
 2. Where do you currently live, either on or off campus?  
 3. Do you have a Meal Plan at UNL? If so which one, a five day or seven day?  
 4. Are you in a Greek System?  If yes, does that effect the reason you do or do not have a meal plan? Explain.   
 5. Do you enjoy the dining halls on campus if you have eaten their? Why or why not? Would you change anything about the dining halls themselves? (Example: The designs of them, meal options, more space, ect.) Side Note: this is about the dining hall itself not in relation to price or convenience of the meal plan, just if you enjoy the dining halls.  
6. If you have a meal plan, or currently had a meal plan, could you give me a one out of five rating as to your satisfaction and experience with it. Explain your reasoning behind your number.  
 7. If you do not have a meal plan, or had one and did not get another one, could you please explain why? (Examples: Didn’t want to spend the money, wanted to be more productive and start cooking, the change off campus made it seem like the better choice, ect.)  
 8. If you do or do not have a meal plan, would you possibly consider getting one if certain policy changed? If so please give some ideas you may have?  
 9. This next question applies to all people, whether you have a dining hall meal plan or not, say if these changes to the plan would make you enjoy the meal plan better, or would consider making you change your mind on getting a meal plan.   
  • Picking how many days a week you can use your  N Card at the dining halls instead of having to pick a 5 or 7 day.  
  • Being able to have a suggestion box that would allow the university to see what meals and food you would like in the dining halls.  
  • Having a UNL interactive dining hall app that tells the menu, how busy dining halls are, and would even on rare occasions get you to reserve certain tables during a rush hour.  
  • Being able to put as much money on a card as you want to dictate how many times you can use the dining hall a year, and if there is money left over, be able to transfer it to other UNL bills, or have the money be refunded.  
  • Having the system be how many swipes you can use the card instead of days of the week.   
  • After hearing these ideas, did this give you anymore you would like to suggest?   
  1.  If any of these things came into effect in the UNL dining hall program would you use the meal plan?   
 10.  Would you recommend the meal plan to someone before these changes? What about after one or all of them were made? Why and why not?   
 11. Finally last question, do you feel your voice is heard on campus when it comes to student issues like this? Yes, no, or you never thought about it? Give an example if no, or explain your anwser. 
The results were all over the board on this questionnaire because it is more of an open to conversation survey so the data is not in percentages but based on the knowledge we had gotten is most of the people we interviewed were upperclassmen with the hopes that they would give us more in depth ideas to why they did not use the meal plan. Mostly all of the complaints were about money and not using the meal plan enough to purchase the five day meal plan as the smallest option. When it came to what people would change, some suggested a way to use your card a certain number of times more than anything, and when we showed them that that was a suggestion we wrote down most agreed that was the best option. Most people even said that if some of the changes they want were made they would put money of the flexible meal plan.  
With this all accomplished we went to work on the last few steps of our project, together we all put together an online survey on google forms and sent it to a variety of people we all know using our connects. Jack sent them through classes, Evan and Mark sent them through sororities and fraternities they were apart of and Claire through friends and social media. In a weeks time we had gotten over 200 people to take our survey and the responses were great. I will send a link of the survey so you can see the survey itself and show you the results by sharing the link with you and giving you permission to edit so you can see the results. Yet the results showed that not only did a variety of people want to change the meal plan but over 40 percent of people wanted to change the meal plan to swipes. That means that you can load money onto the account at any time and that will tell how many times you can go to the dining hall.  
With all of this done due to Claire and Evan calculating data from surveys and the online survey, Mark made three posters that showed our findings with a clever hashtag #switchtoswipe to show in a social media campaign all of us spread around social medias such as Facebook and Twitter. From there Jack had set up an online petition to change the UNL meal plan to a swipe plan so when the petition reaches over a few hundred signatures we can sent it to higher officials at UNL.  
  1. (this is a link to our online survey) (I added your unl email as a contributor to share so you can see the results and stats if you go to google drive)  
  1. (Here is my Facebook page where you can see the shout outs we did on social media to see one example) (Also you can view the posters we made in the post) 

During this project a few things went great and there were a few things we would definitely change. First off the things that went well were all of the surveys and interviews we did. All of the people we interviewed were extremely nice and helped us out with as much information as they can. We can a variety of info and resources from others that helped us figure out exactly what we wanted the meal plan to be changed too and what to say in our petition. Things we would change would be our timing in how we did our project. We waited until last minute to get all of our data so we could know what we wanted to say for the percentages on our posters and so we would have the best possible plan people would change their meal plan too. But due to this we only had over 50 signatures thus far because we only made the petition days before the portfolio was due. I would change time management skills to get the petition done earlier and do so by cutting down on some of our interviews. 

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