Looking at Impacts From a Distance

By Jennifer Truong

As ART on ART prepares to dive into the main part of its research — interviewing past stakeholders — each member of the team will conduct a different mini-project. These mini-projects are designed as observational studies around campus, looking for remaining evidence of what past ART teams have implemented and whether or not teams' recommendations are being put into place. An example of a mini-project we are currently doing includes searching for energy or water-saving signage in the dorms, based on past ART projects on the Hill. So far, we have looked into places such as Dykstra Hall and found a few signs there.

Locations on campus that past ART teams have addressed.

Locations on campus that past ART teams have addressed.

These mini-projects will allow us to gauge the impacts of past ART teams and get a better sense of their efforts and accomplishments. Additionally, the information we garner will help us in interviewing past stakeholders.  During the interviews, we will ask stakeholders about what changes have stayed in place or why some recommendations have not been put in place, among other things. Along with the survey we are finalizing right now, the responses we receive from past stakeholders will help us determine what the ART program in general has done well in terms of helping other departments on campus and what still needs to be improved.

One of the biggest challenges we are facing as a team is remaining at an observational level and not starting any completely new projects. To perform new waste audits or start a new composting program in our case could mean stepping on the toes of current action research teams. Instead, the focus of our team is on a broader scale, looking into the past, present, and future status of the ART program and the people involved in it.