Thursday, February 5, 2015

Our UNCSA Community

Here at UNCSA, our campus has been set up rather strategically to increase the sense of community. There are many different aspects and details that affect this...

  • The Pickle Jar allows for people to eat food, socialize, watch TV or do homework together
  • The cafeteria also allows for students to gather and spend time together
  • Outside there are lots of benches and tables for people to sit at rather than being alone in their rooms
  • The connector has the gallery with sofas, tables, games, a kitchen, a TV and lots of games so that students can constantly be there interacting with each other
  • Each floor in the dorms has a room with chairs and sofas where students can spend time together
  • Outside there is only a few main sidewalks so in general, people take the same paths while walking 

So yes there are many different aspects on our campus that allow for socialization. However, I think there are a few things that could be changed to allow for even more community. 

1) The buildings where students study their arts are rather secluded. The dance, music, visual arts and acting wings are all on different levels and even buildings. It seems that they are completely secluded. I think these should be combined so that all the different art forms can spend more time together. 
2)Another thing that could help increase a sense of community is a room on third floor gray where students could meet and do homework. There is always a bunch of students scattered about the hallways doing homework and socializing before classes because they have no where else to go. If we had a room on this floor, all of the students could spend time together there.
3)Finally, I would make the gym closer to the dorms. I feel that gyms are places where a lot of people come together but because the gym is so far away, many people avoid going there. If it was more accessible, more people would go and therefore it would strengthen our community. 

These are a few of the changes that could be made to make UNCSA more connected. However, this school really does have an amazing community. 

A Day In The Life Of Mr. Milner

We interviewed Mr. Milner asking him about his daily activities and how much time he usually spends doing them. This is what he told us...

          Activity:                    Average Time Spent:               
   1)Working                         1) 9 hours
   2)Sleeping                        2) 7 hours

   3)Eating                          3) 1 hour 15 minutes

   4)Leisure                         4) 1 hour

   5)Caring for children/pets        5) 1 hour

   6)Cooking/cleaning                6) 45 minutes

   7)Grooming                        7) 45 minutes

   8)Education                       8) 30 minutes

   9)Shopping                        9) 15 minutes

   10) Volunteering                  10) 15 minutes

   11)Phone                          11) 5 minutes

   12)Other                          12) 1 hour

Then we created a new schedule to allow for more time spent connecting with his family and community. The highlight shows where we made changes...

          Activity:                   Average Time Spent:
   1)Working                          1) 8 hours 35 minutes(-25 min)

   2)Sleeping                         2) 7 hours

   3)Eating                           3) 1 hour 30 minutes(+15 min)

4)Leisure                          4) 50 minutes(-10 min)
   5)Caring for children/pets         5) 1 hour 20 minutes(+20 min)

   6)Cooking/cleaning                 6) 45 minutes

   7)Grooming                         7) 45 minutes

   8)Education                        8) 25 minutes(-5 min)

   9)Shopping                         9) 15 minutes

   10)Volunteering                    10) 20 minutes(+5 min)

   11)Phone                           11) 5 minutes

   12)Other                           12) 1 hour

 In general, Mr. Milner already did spend a decent amount of time with his community so we did not need to make any drastic changes to his schedule. Essentially what we did is we took small increments of time away from activities such as work or education and then added them to things such as caring for children and eating. We did this because when he is working, Mr. Milner isn't really connecting with his community. By taking some of this time away, we can give him more opportunities to spend time with his family and friends. Even though we did not add a large portion of time, the increments add up and really do make a large difference. We were able to add time to community building activities while not significantly reducing his time to work.

Voting Activity In America

Recently, Daniel and I took a survey to see how much Americans valued their right to vote. Basically what we did is we went around and asked ten people if they would give up their right to vote for money and if so, how much they would be willing to sell for. Although I did expect some people to sell, I was surprised to find that the majority of the people we surveyed were in fact willing to give up this very important right.

The first person we interviewed was Mitchell who clearly chose to sell...
It seems that he chose to make as much money as possible in this situation. However, when we asked Mitchell to explain his decision, he replied by saying " one vote can't do as much as 100 million dollars can." This certainly is a different perspective on the subject. 

Next we asked Kaylin...
Like Mitchell, Kaylin also decided to sell her vote for 100 million dollars. Her explanation however was that her "one vote wouldn't really make much of a difference." 

Catherine also chose to sell her vote...
She however did not require as much money to give up her right. Catherine said that she "knows her vote won't make a difference and besides she can pay people to vote for her." Although she was willing to accept $1,000 to give up her right to vote, Catherine explicitly stated that she would want more money for it (simply because it's money).

The fourth person we interviewed was Marcus...

Like the others, Marcus decided he would be willing to sell his vote. He decided 25 thousand dollars would be sufficient for him. When we asked why, his answer was that his "right to vote wouldn't change anything."

Minto was willing to sell his right to vote as well...

He decided his vote was worth ten thousand dollars. He explained his decision by stating that he "could use the money to buy a car with." Clearly he has some different priorities.

After Minto we asked Seoyoung...
She chose to sell her vote for ten million dollars. Her reasoning? She feels she "can do more by donating to a charity that will make a change that [she] wants and agrees with rather than voting for a politician who only promises change." I found this response to be rather interesting.

Daniel (who I was working with) had input on the subject as well...
Daniel is willing to sell his right to vote for five million dollars because he "could just buy a politician or someone to vote for [him]." 

After Daniel we asked Riley who was actually the first person to say no to selling her vote. She said that "people died and sacrificed so much for [her] right to vote and [she] wouldn't give that up." I thought this point was very interesting as well as valid.

Another person who refused was Zoe. Zoe said that she "want[s] [her] opinion to be voiced and [she] wants to be the one to voice it."

Finally we asked Taylor who also decided to keep her right to vote. She gave no reason other than the fact that it was "[her] vote and [she] wants to keep and value it."

In general, I found all of these responses to be rather surprising as well as interesting. As mentioned before, there was more people that were willing to sell their right to vote than what I had expected. Even more interesting than this however was the reasoning why. I found that a trend within the responses was that people believed their one vote really wouldn't make a difference. Out of the ten people that we interviewed, four people said this. 40%... that is a lot of people. Imagine all the people who don't vote simply because they feel they can't make a difference by doing so. What if all these people did vote? This could drastically increase the number of people that are voting in America. Perhaps one vote individually will not make that much of a difference, but when thousands upon thousands of people have this mentality, it really can have an affect.