My first idea is to interview members of the Student Union. I think there are a lot of public-facing projects that many students hear about, but I also want to examine the tasks and work that the Student Union does that might be less apparent to the campus community. I want to find out what exactly they do, both on an ongoing basis and as far as one-time initiatives. I think it would be useful to ask why they wanted to be on the Student Union, and to then observe if there is any common pattern in the characteristics of people that are driven to join student government. I also want to interview students who are not on the Student Union to hear what they know about their student government and their impressions of the Student Union’s work on campus. I think this project can clarify public perceptions of the Student Union, and may in turn increase engagement or interest in student government and its projects. As a student body, we can also then observe if our interests are accurately reflected in the work of the Student Union.
- Members of the Student Union
- Non-Student Union Brandeis students
- Why did you join/run for the Student Union?
- What have you worked on as part of the Student Union? Is there an accomplishment of which you are most proud?
- What things does the Student Union do that you think students might not be aware of?
- What has been the greatest challenge or frustration you have experienced as part of the Student Union?
- What kind of image do you think the Student Union has on campus?
- Can you walk me through a typical week in your Student Union related activity?
- What kinds of events or projects are you working on right now?
- (for non Union students) What do you know about the Student Union? Do you vote in Student Union Elections? How would you evaluate their work at Brandeis?
For my second proposal, I am going to recycle my Waltham Recycling Department pitch (ha). Waltham is in the process of updating its recycling bins, and some residents have contacted the department in confusion or anger. I want to make use of this initial narrative to interview people in the Public Works Department (which oversees the recycling office) and report on their work, initiatives, and public responses. One of my friends is currently interning in the Recycling Department, and I think the view of a Brandeis student embedded in Waltham city government would make for a unique perspective. It might also be interesting to find out exactly how much Brandeis students know about local Waltham government and specifically the Public Works Department, and if this differs among students who live on or off campus. I think that Public Works might be interested in learning about how much Brandeis students know about its work, and if there anything they or the University can do to create stronger relationships to jointly benefit Waltham and Brandeis.
- Brandeis undergraduate interning at the Recycling Department
- Brandeis students who live off campus
- Brandeis students who live on campus
- Waltham residents not affiliated with Brandeis
- Eileen Zubrowski, Waltham Recycling Coordinator
- Michael Chiasson, Waltham Director of Consolidated Public Works
- Stewart LaCrosse, Waltham Assistant Director of Consolidated Public
- Can you explain the role of the Public Works Department and your position?
- What sorts of initiatives has the department undertaken recently and how have residents responded?
- Can you talk about the new recycling bin project and how that developed (if they don’t mention it in previous answer)? How have people reacted?
- Can you describe the relationship between the Waltham city government or Public Works Department and Brandeis?
- What do you want the Brandeis community to know about the Waltham Public Works Department or the city in general?