Detail Discussion for Progression

By Destiny Johnson 

This week, Charles Wilcots, the Associate Director of UCLA Dining, joined our usual meeting with Emma Sorrell, to discuss ideas we plan to put into action. Since the main project we aim to tackle first is the surveys, we discussed details such as whether Charles was able to give the final approval, any specific factors he wanted us to look into, and when the best days and meal hours to go to perform the surveys would be. In addition to clarification about elements we were unsure about, Charles gave us a recommendation for the surveys to be no more than 3 to 4 minutes to fill out. If this were the case, we lose the attention span of our audience, thus leading to less surveys being filled out. He also informed us that he has access to graphical data that plots 15 minute traffic patterns within dining halls that we will be able to use to help us determine peak times within dining halls.

In addition to discussing surveys, we also conferred about another one of our potential ideas – a simulation that visualizes the amount of food students are wasting in a dining hall. One of the obstacles with this idea was improving the level of accuracy of the data that is presented. In addition to accuracy, we needed to solve the problem of how to not use real food due to sanitation issues, the smell, and various other reasons. One feasible solution that was thought of during the meeting was for us to record students wasting food and have it on display in visible locations within the dining halls. Not only will we be able to grab the attention of diners, but we will also be able to underscore the fact that the day-to-day action of wasting food is being performed by students and does build up to create a negative impact in many aspects. Further planning regarding this idea is needed as it is still a work in progress, but we were informed by Emma and Charles, that we have access to media teams, such as Res Life’s, to help us push this project forward if we choose to do so.