Term project

Term project: Local projects (some possibilities)

Description: Students will work on one of a few possible projects: Below are some examples of projects you could work on or consider.

Haven from Hunger

This is a project that has been active since 2003. Haven has done a wide variety of projects, but they all fall under the general umbrella of the goals for a student-run, community development initiative:

Long-term project goals:

  1. Increase community and household food security and alleviate hunger. La Grande’s poverty and food insecurity rates (insecurity implies uncertainty of supply) are high, some estimates are near 20% of the population.
  2. Build social capital. HfH seeks to work with those already working on the problem, to strengthen community food networks and campus/community collaboration on hunger-related and food-producing activities.
  3. Build a student-run organization to coordinate and manage the project.

Project objectives:

  • Work with community partners, providers of food assistance and food production/provision (e.g., gleaning).
  • Raise awareness of the local problem and reduce the stigma of receiving/ seeking food assistance;
  • Integrate student participation (using curricular/extracurricular means);
  • Conduct research that illuminates local hunger issues and identifies opportunities for community engagement and public participation.

Haven from Hunger has in recent years focused most efforts on its emergency food pantry. Students have worked on food and non-food drives to ensure an adequate supply of food for clients (in 2017 the pantry has provided more than 900 lbs of food to community members).

Students choosing to work on this project need to specify what they intend to do. You may want to work with our food pantry coordinator, Bridget, in identifying the most pressing needs. Food drive projects should incorporate the following:

  • Identify and justify the project, and how it reflects the goals and objectives of Haven from Hunger.
  • Background–your papers should each provide some context. For instance, an understanding of the problem of hunger and food insecurity, what kinds of services/agencies address those problems, etc.
  • Division of labor–each student should have a section that highlights what each member of your group did. But your own paper will expand on your own activities, and provide the detail necessary to show your level of participation and commitment to the project.
  • Description of project–What did your group set out to do? Identify each component of the project, and detail and justify decisions and choices your group made (e.g., about what kind of food drive to do, how to go about publicizing it (specifics needed here–did you use media? Print? Radio? Web? Campus? Social media? Etc.), where to conduct, how to describe it to participants, any interactions in seeking equipment or donations needed to carry out the food drive, individuals whose approval you needed, etc.
  • Results of your project–Describe how it went, where it may have gone differently than you had expected, if you did a food drive how many pounds collected, what kind of food, observations about the drive itself (people you talked to, for instance if you went door-to-door, or challenges of holding a food drive at an existing event), any follow-up required (cleaning up, rotating inventory in the food pantry, working with Bridget, etc.).
  • Discussion of project–This is where you make observations about how the project went, what could have gone better, what went well, what you learned about the project or working in a small group, etc. Detail in this section as with the others is important in demonstrating your engagement with the project.

Here are some documents related to the project: Brief description, pantry brochure

Housing and homelessness

La Grande has had a seasonal ‘warming station‘ for two years, this will be the third. Timing doesn’t necessarily work out great for participation in that (as a volunteer component for the reflection paper, but you have to do the training before you can volunteer, so it’s somewhat more than a 2-4 hour investment of time).

That does not mean there aren’t multiple issues related to housing. There is also a group, Housing Matters, made up of interested citizens and professionals, that meets regularly (which would also present good professional networking opportunities for some of you).

Campus Sexual Assault

We have on campus a “Privileged Campus Advocate,” who can receive victims of sexual assault and provide services and information without a mandatory reporting function triggered by Title IX. The idea is to increase reporting of rape and assault incidents, to more effectively investigate and address those investigations that move forward, and to create an environment where ‘affirmative consent’ is a household term. There are three potential projects:

  • Take back the night
  • A new awareness-raising event to occur during April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month)
  • Data analysis and reporting from two previously conducted campus climate surveys (as well as potentially assisting on the re-design of the survey, where needed).

We will discuss in class.

Free events calendar

What can people with no money in the household entertainment budget do for fun outside the home? We have in the past tried to compile a list of free activities, and make it into a monthly calendar for posting online, in social media, physically in strategic locations (past example). More complicated than you might think, in terms of making contacts, collecting relevant information, and doing this in a sustainable, ongoing way rather than a one-time project. The idea is for it to be useful for people, not to fulfill an assignment, so it does require some reflection on what that all entails, what the target audience is, and how to reach it.

Group work, individual papers

Each person should turn in a paper of 5-8 pages in length (the usual specs, 1″ margins, 11-12 pt font). Follow the guidelines above for your chosen project. There should be a ‘background’ section, which discusses more generally the area in which you’ve chosen to work (e.g., homelessness, campus sexual assault, food insecurity). I’ll put resources I receive or discover on this page. There should be an ‘action’ section, where you actively participate and plan for activities related to the project. You will each need to document your participation–I expect at least 20 hours of work, from getting organized to writing up your individual papers. And third, you should have a section in which you examine your learning, the impacts on the project of your group’s undertakings, and any insights or suggestions you have, grounded in your research and experiences, as the project(s) moves forward.

100 pts possible (Due Dec 10 by midnight)

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