We struggled for a while to come up with a topic for our final story in JOUR 462, but Sam found out about the petition to improve lighting in neighborhoods in SLO from her ethics class. We all thought it was a good idea and started to research and talk to people about it. The project was a bit different from the rest of our projects which was a good challenge for us. Sam was responsible for the audio/video portion and said, “This project was very cool to be a part of. It seemed more newsworthy than our previous topics, so working on it was a lot different. It was crazy to go around at night and see the differences between photos we took during the day and at night to truly show how dark slo is.”
I reached out to my friends and people in my classes and casually asked them what they thought about the issue and the responses I received were all in support of the petition. Emily talked to Jessica Gallagher, the Cal Poly student who started the petition, and learned that it started out as a project in one of her classes here at Cal Poly. For an assignment, she had to address an issue in the community and at first her partner Emily Gardner and her struggled to find a topic. However, they landed on this idea when they were walking home one night and noticed how dark it is in the neighborhoods around SLO. Gallagher presented to city council and was told that their are simply not enough funds right now. However, she is a junior and plans to keep working on this issue next year.
We reached out to tons of students in this process on social media and in person and the responses were nearly unanimous in support of a change. The petition on change.org reflects these opinions and has nearly 1,300 signatures. Elliot Pyon, a construction management senior at Cal Poly, walks home regularly from class that ends at 8:00 PM and said, “I signed the petition. I always hate walking home late at night because Kentucky street is always so dark. I saw the petition on facebook and thought it was a good idea because it is impossible to see students walking at night on most of the streets around Cal Poly.”
Emily Hulsman worked on the video part of our project and said, “This project was definitely rewarding to work on because we were able to get students opinions on a very important and relevant issue. I really enjoyed working with my group on the final project.”
The final project was good for us as a group because I think all of us were in our least comfortable positions. We had to lean on each others strengths throughout the reporting process and it turned out well. It was also a more serious topic and it is an issue that is being addressed at universities around the nation. It also is something that was addressed not only recently by Mustang News, but years ago. JB Garcia wrote the story for the project and said, “I enjoyed this project because I got to learn a lot about the city public works and what it takes to initiate change in the city. I also got to work on my writing which is good because I haven’t in quite some time.”