Complex Problem- Phase III

Lauren Shinske

Framed Question: How can Michigan State University change or eliminate transitional housing so freshmen are placed in permanent housing by the time they arrive on campus?

Solution: Spartans: Your Room. Your Choice.

            First, the initial deposit will be increased in order to eliminate students who are uncertain if MSU is where they will be attending school in the fall. Second, MSU will set a specific number of students they can accept at the beginning of the year and then that number of rooms will be reserved. Upperclassman then will be allowed to sign up for the remaining on-campus spaces starting in November and ending in March. Pushing back the starting date for housing will allow current students to compare their options and select future roommate(s) before feeling pressured to make a decision. Once all the remaining spaces that were not for freshman have been filled, on-campus housing will then be unavailable for upperclassman. Michigan State will allow incoming freshman to sign up for housing based on three things, paying the initial deposit, choosing an orientation date, and signing a housing contract. Once those three things are submitted and cleared freshman will have access to the liveon.msu.edu website in order to choose their room assignment. The third item that will change for on-campus housing is single rooms will no longer be available. This will allow MSU to accept the max amount of students for the amount of space they have.

S.W.O.T.:

Strengths:

  • MSU would not have to build new dorms.
  • MSU would not have to reconfigure or remodel current dorms.
  • Each resident would have a permanent space, no relocating.
  • The livon.msu.edu website already exists and already allows upperclassman to choose housing allowing freshman access should come at no cost.
  • Students who are not freshman have a lot of options for housing, moving back the sign up date will allow those students to evaluate all their options and make the best decision that works for them.

Weaknesses:

  • It is unknown how many rooms are available on campus.
  • MSU received $697,000,000 in revenue for tuition and fees for the 2012 through 2013 school year; having fewer students live on campus would hurt their revenue.
  • The amount of students MSU has admitted since 2004 has increased from 17,343 to 21,610 in 2013.
  • It is unknown how many upperclassman return to live on-campus, so it is unclear if the problem is because of the increase in the amount of freshman or if there are more upperclassman living on campus then in the past.
  • Not allowing students the option of a single room is unpractical.

Opportunities:

  • By having freshman sign up for their own housing it eliminates a mass amount of work and time the current housing staff would have to do, can work on fixing other issues.
  • Having freshman choose where they get to live will give MSU an edge over other universities who use transitional housing and assign freshmen rooms.
  • MSU could eliminate the option students currently have to choose their roommate.
  • MSU could make all halls have co-ed floors so that no rooms would be wasted due to the fact that the wings of the halls were currently separated by genders.
  • Not every room in every hall is being used. Some rooms are unusable do to different circumstances.

Threats:

  • Reports range that anywhere from 14,940 to 15,700 students lived on campus last year, no exact number can be found.
  • Dorms are closed for remodeling, causing a lack of space to be available.
  • Since 2004 the amount of applications MSU has received for undergraduate freshman has increased from 21,834 to 31,479 in 2013.
  • MSU has increased enrollment since 2010, when 7,174 students enrolled to 2012 when 8,154 students enrolled.
  • MSU is unable to predict how many students they admit will enroll in the fall.

Revised Idea:

            In order for Michigan State University to eliminate transitional housing and guarantee students a permanent room by the time they arrive on campus a new process must be implemented. First, MSU must figure out how many rooms will be available for students that year who choose to live on campus. Once that number is found, the number of freshman who lived on campus the current year will be reserved only for freshman. The remaining rooms will be available to upperclassman beginning on November 1st until March 1st. Once all the reserved upperclassman rooms are filled housing will close for that group of students. Michigan State will allow incoming freshman to sign up for housing based on three things, paying the initial deposit, choosing an orientation date, and signing a housing contract. Once those three things are submitted and cleared freshman will have access to the liveon.msu.edu website in order to choose their room assignment. Next, the initial deposit will be increased in order to eliminate students who are uncertain if MSU is where they will be attending school in the fall. The initial application fee will also be increased for students so that applications can be reviewed faster and students can receive earlier response dates. Since students will be receiving an earlier decision the initial deadline for the first deposit will also be changed from May 1st to March 1st. If more students opt to enroll than MSU has room to house, those students will be placed on a waiting list based on first come first serve. When students unroll from their housing assignments the student will be notified and will have to option to choose that space. The move in date for freshman will be made earlier to see who will actually show up to the university. Once the move in day has occurred the students who do not show up spots will be given to those left on the waiting list.

Explanation:

By having the solution have multiple steps, such as changing the cost of applications and deposits, giving freshman the freedom to choose where they will be living, and changing the deadlines so students are given more time makes this solution unique. Many universities around the country “solve” the problem of having too many freshmen to house by cramming them in rooms with others or by creating temporary housing in study lounges. This solution frees up labor for other projects, gives future college freshman responsibility and control of their future housing, and puts use of current technology.

Advertisement Evaluation

Play-Doh

This advertisement is for the Hasbro product Play-Doh. The simplicity of the advertisement makes it very easy to understand what the ad is trying to get across. In the red badge is a list of the multiple creations kids or adults can use Play-Doh for. This list has items on it like a tea set, a rocket, a car, a light saver, and more. This list truly describes the versatility and the mass imagination Play-Doh gives children. The size of the product itself is also good. It’s not overly large, and appears to be the actual size of Play-Doh consumers would receive. The white background also gives the ad a lot of impact by drawing the viewer’s eyes straight to the product itself. The color of the badge being red, the color of the Play-Doh being blue, and the background being white also give the advertisement a red, white, and blue theme. This depicts the products origin of America and how it has become a classic American toy throughout the years.

The description of what could be made with the Play-Doh though could be sized better. The creators of the advertisement probably made the print the size it is in order to make the list seem longer, as if it goes on forever, showing the product has an infinite list of possibilities to be crafted out of. However, this makes it hard for the viewers to read what awesome creations can be made out of Play-Doh and it does take away from the cleverness of the ad. The advertisement also lacks a call to action. There is no place in the advertisement that says where consumers can buy the product or how much it costs.

Lastly, this advertisement appeals to a wide audience. By having the color of the Play-Doh be blue and having the descriptions of what can be created with it, the ad is able to appear gender neutral. Because of the advertisements simplicity, it is also easy for people of all age ranges to understand.

Complex Problem- Phase II

Lauren Shinske

Framed Question: How can Michigan State University change or eliminate transitional housing so that all freshmen are placed in permanent housing by the time they arrive on campus?

Divergent Thinking:

  1. Michigan State University should increase the initial deposit potential students pay to hold their spot.
  2. Students should be given rooms based on when they signed their housing contract, on a first come first served basis.
  3. A waiting list should be created after all rooms are filled, instead of placing students in transitional rooms.
  4. The time span upper classman are given to sign up for on campus housing should be decreased. Currently they are given from October to April.
  5. Freshman should not be allowed to choose their roommate.
  6. Transitional housing should only occur in the bigger rooms on campus, such as Akers where there is an extra space for the student to be placed.
  7. Freshman should be able to sign up for housing online just like upperclassman. Once spots are full they would be put on a waiting list.
  8. MSU should use their University apartments to house extra students.
  9. MSU should limit the amount of upperclassman that can live on campus.
  10. The number of single rooms should be decreased or eliminated.
  11. Freshmen who are put in transitional housing should have the option to move off campus.
  12. Students who do not register for classes should not be given a room.
  13. MSU should only accept the amount of students they have room to house.
  14. Students who have paid their deposit, signed up for housing, and signed up for orientation will get priority for receiving housing first.
  15. Move in day should be made earlier to see which students actually show up.
  16. As students cancel their enrollment, students on the waiting list will be assigned housing.
  17. Study lounges in halls with communal bathrooms can be used to house students.
  18. Build brand new dorms for students.
  19. Offer promotions or discounts to students who sign their housing contract first.
  20. MSU should add a deposit to the housing contract that is non-refundable but is put towards the student’s tuition.

Convergent Thinking:

Title: Spartans: Your Room. Your Choice.

In order for Michigan State University to eliminate transitional housing and guarantee students a permanent room by the time they arrive on campus a new process must be implemented. First, the initial deposit will be increased in order to eliminate students who are uncertain if MSU is where they will be attending school in the fall. Second, Michigan State will set a specific number of students they can accept at the beginning of the year and then that number of rooms will be reserved. Upperclassman then will be allowed to sign up for the remaining on-campus spaces starting in November and ending in March. Pushing back the starting date for housing will allow current students to compare their options and select future roommate(s) before feeling pressured to make a decision. Once all the remaining spaces that were not for freshman have been filled, on-campus housing will then be unavailable for upperclassman. Michigan State will allow incoming freshman to sign up for housing based on three things, paying the initial deposit, choosing an orientation date, and signing a housing contract. Once those three things are submitted and cleared freshman will have access to the new and improved liveon.msu.edu website in order to choose their room assignment. The third and last item that will change for on-campus housing is single rooms will no longer be available to students. This will allow Michigan State to accept the max amount of students for the amount of space they have.

Interview

Lauren Shinske 

           Kevin Beals is an established Creative Director for Novitex Enterprise Solutions. He attended Ferris State University and graduated with a bachelors degree in Visual Communication. He was always a creative kid, finding enjoyment in classes where he was able to design and create things. Mr. Beals shared a lot of knowledge that he has learned throughout his time in the industry. There are three rules that he followed throughout his life that guided him to where he is today. First having the drive and passion to do something, then doing that by giving it as much effort as you possibly can, and then continuing to challenge everything you do in order to make it the best you can.

            Being the Creative Director for Novitex Enterprise Solutions consists of overseeing a team of creative developers as they develop supporting materials for Novitex internal and external clients and providing additional support to other Novitex departments who support their client base. Mr. Beals creates visual marketing designs, slogans, and ideas for Novitex clients. In order to come up with these creative ideas Mr. Beals has to find inspiration, which he finds, through the environment, his experience, people he meets, what people are wearing, signage, trends, what his children are doing, and music. Once he has become inspired he then looks at what the clients’ objective is. By understanding his clients’ audience and what they are trying to convey with their brand, he is then able to take his ideas and create pieces of marketing. He views his work as solving a problem, which to him is far greater than color or font image, having the power to blend advertising and creative together makes for one impactful message, and happy client.

            Don McClain, an illustrator designer, mentored Mr. Beals during his sophomore and junior year of high school. He taught Mr. Beals different parts of the business, creative techniques, strategy thinking, and the in’s and out’s of it all. The mentor also greatly influenced him to join the creative industry as an adult. He also enjoyed the creative portion of school, liked to solve problem, and had fun doing it. He is motivated creativity by the ultimate goal to have a happy client and a happy team. When he knows he is onto something he will stick with it, continue to brainstorm because in the end something will come out of it. Ideas tend to run themselves and will only continue to grow and flow. He is most creative in the fall, which is his seasonal state of mind. When he experiences his creative blocks he shuts it off and goes to bed.

            My interview with Mr. Beals was very inspirational. Even though he was not the greatest kid in math and science he was still able to use his creative side to have a successful career and life for himself and his family. He also had opportunities to leave Michigan and go to New York or Chicago. However being rooted in his hometown he decided to stay and find organizations where he could put to use his graphic and creative skills. Kevin currently resides in Farmington Hills with his wife and two kids.

Complex Problem- Phase I

Lauren Shinske

My Topic: Transitional Housing

Explanation of the Problem: How can we eliminate transitional housing for incoming freshman and create more space so that students who want to live on campus are guaranteed a permanent space immediately? One problem that I personally and many other MSU students experience as freshman is transitional housing. This is a problem that ensues when the university has too many students requesting or signing up for housing on campus. Therefore in order to fit all the students they are forced to squeeze three people into a room designed for two, or five people into a room designed for four.

Research:

Facts:

  1. Transitional housing can last throughout the summer and throughout the first couple weeks of the school year. If all three students agree, they can also choose to live in transitional housing the entire year. Students mutually agree on who will move and who will stay, if they cant decide on their own LiveOn will look at who has the most recent housing application date and that person will be moved. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  2. Students are moved when openings occur. This occurs when the housing office receives cancel reports, students choose not to return, or students decide to leave the university. They then decide where students are placed based on which neighborhood they currently reside in, if they requested a roommate, and if they are in a residential college. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  3. Transitional housing occurs because MSU is currently remodeling dorms each year, residential colleges attract upperclassman to want to continue to live on campus, and students sign a housing contract but decide not to come to MSU. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  4. Students who live in transitional housing receive a discount, which comes out to around $606.00 if they lived in a double with three people or $303.00 if they lived in a quad with five people for the entire semester. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  5. Students are moved out of transitional housing first based on the factors of if they had a roommate request, if they are enrolled in a living learning program/residential college, if they are in need of winter break housing, and out of state students. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  6. Michigan State continues to accept student when they are unable to immediately accommodate them because they know not all students who sign up for housing will show up and some students who move in will leave the university within the first few weeks. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  7. Transitional housing is disruptive. Students have to move twice and have to get to know two sets of roommates. LiveOn offers their staff to help students move. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  8. In 2013, 439 rooms were assigned as transitional rooms in the beginning of the summer, by the time school began that number had dropped to 181 rooms affecting a total of 545 students. (McGuire)
  9. Transitional Housing occurs in all five MSU neighborhoods. All rooms come equipped with additional furnishings in order to accommodate for the extra person. (Transitional Housing Assignments at Michigan State University)
  10. Michigan State University has transitional housing because MSU considers itself a residential campus and thinks it is important for all students to have the on-campus experience. Therefore they guarantee housing for new students and allow for upperclassman to continue living on throughout their education. (Transitional Housing Assignments at Michigan State University)

Opinions:

1. Transitional housing is stressful for students.
2. Michigan State University should only accept students who they have enough room for.
3. Michigan State University should evaluate the amount of students who pay their tuition bill and the number of students who signed up for housing to better identify students who will be living on campus for the year.
4. Students can feel like the third wheel when they know they will be the one moving out but are still waiting to find out where they will be moved.
5. Freshman students if put in transitional have no way out of this situation, they are forced to live in tight areas for an unknown period of time.

Guesses:

1. Michigan State University has continued to increase the number of students in transitional housing throughout the years.
2. Transitional housing is not a new thing at Michigan State University.
3. Michigan State University is working hard to find a solution or alternative to transitional housing.
4. Transitional housing occurs at all colleges across the United States.
5. Some students enjoy living in transitional housing and choose to continue to live in transitional throughout the year.
Question:
How can Michigan State University change or eliminate transitional housing so that all freshmen are placed in permanent housing by the time they arrive on campus?

Works Cited

McGuire, Justine. “Transitional Housing Down from Start of School Year.” The State News [East Lansing] 26 Sept. 2013: n. pag. Print.

“Transitional Housing Assignments at Michigan State University.” Live On. Michigan State University, n.d. Web. <http://liveon.msu.edu/newsandevents/transitional-housing-assignments-michigan-state-university&gt;.

Transitional Housing Q&A. Perf. Ray Gasser. Michigan State University, 22 July 2014. Web. 25 July 2014. <http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/36992613&gt;.

Forced Association- Advertisement

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Slide2

 

 

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