In my last blog post, I described my idea for the MESA project. I want to use this project as an opportunity to engage students and encourage them to take control of their role in the university, and open up communication between students and administration. Now, I want to discuss and reflect on this process, and what may and may not work about my idea.
What I have heard from fellow students, and what I myself agree with, is that this is a problem best solved by something physical and public, and that this particular issue is not one best solved by technology. This was an interesting conclusion to come to because we live in a world where most modern solutions revolve around technology, but it was clear from what I heard from students that this is not a problem solved by an app. This brought up some questions for me about the role of technology in our lives and the dependency we have on it.
While there are upsides to having a physical artifact for this project, there are cons to not coming up with a more technical solution. One of the perks of technology is that it spreads a message quickly and can bring so many people together with its wide outreach.
My choice to have something physical rather than something technology based was in an effort to have something accessible and public. I also wanted something public that was student controlled because St. Edwards is obviously a stakeholder and the party in power in this situation, and having something physical and accessible was a way that the students can have some of that power back.
I also was inspired by an incident on campus a few weeks ago to bring in the art element and provide an opportunity for people to express themselves in a safe space. A few weeks ago a banner was hung on campus that said “Feed students or lower tuition” and it was promptly taken down by the University. Students deserve a place to express themselves and use their art to say something important without fear.
Overall, this project has offered me a lot of insight and given me so many ideas. While my final idea is still taking shape, I feel like I have so much more insight into my fellow students and the community of St. Edwards, and I am excited to see what the final product looks like and how the community receives it.