Author Archives: Michelle McMaster

Thank You For Smoking

The most prominent rhetorical techniques in the movie, Thank You For Smoking, were hyperbole, disinterest, and re-framing. Re-framing was the technique Nick Naylor used most often. When Naylor encountered opposition to tobacco usage, he would turn the argument into something else that was critical of his opponent. For example, in a conversation with the Vermont Senator, Naylor turned the discussion of the health side effects of tobacco into a conversation against the health side effects of Vermont cheddar.  He did this again by criticizing the hypocrisy of the senator demanding the end of the tobacco farmer on the same day as criticizing the end of the American farmer. Although the original conversation was not about the senator’s campaign, Naylor used this to show the inconsistency of the senator’s platform. Re-framing is a means of distracting the audience from the real issue at hand, which is Naylor’s case, is the health defects of cigarettes. In order to re-frame the issue, Naylor also utilized the technique of kairos, which relies on seizing the moment at which people are most easily persuaded.  He uses kairos simultaneously as re-framing because he understood when and how to distract to then push his own agenda.

Disinterest was also used as a persuasive technique. As a job obligation, Naylor had to persuade the aging Marblo front man to take a suitcase full of money as a bribe to stop public criticism of the cigarette company and he did this using disinterest. Naylor acted like he was on the Marblo man’s side. He said all the possible things the man could do with the money, but Nick claimed he knew the man would do the right thing and not take the money, even though he knew the Marblo man would. Naylor distanced himself from any interest in the man’s choice because he claimed that it would be good for him to donate the money because if he took it, then the Marblo man would have to stop publically trashing the cigarette company. Naylor acted like he did not want the man to stop speaking out against the company and then “accidently” dropped the suitcase so the man would see how much money was at stake. Naylor knew the Marblo man would take the money, but by acting like he wouldn’t, he was even more persuasive to the Marblo man because he realized how much he could benefit from the money, even if that mean keeping quiet.

Hyperbole was also used in the movie. Naylor overly exaggerated his own talents in persuasion. Such quotes such as, “You know that guy who can get any girl? I’m him, on crack” or “Michael Jordan plays ball. I talk”. Naylor’s confidence had a real effect on how many people he was able to persuade and distract against the effects of cigarettes. Hyperbole and confidence affected how he talked to his audience. He even told his son, “you never need to be right if you know how to argue”. Hyperbole, as well as disinterest and re-framing, allowed Naylor to argue successfully in order to distract his audience from the damaging effects of smoking.

Looking for the Haters (#8)

The creation of a direct campus line to Longwood Village seems like the perfect solution to student’s justified complaints. Village residents will greatly benefit from the proposed, new route because it will be less crowded and cut pickup and drop-off times in half. The current schedule is 35 minutes in between each bus to go the route around campus, Lancer Park, campus again, and then back to the Village. While 35 minutes does not seem very long, it is difficult to manage around Longwood’s class times. The new bus will greatly benefit the students living in Longwood Village because it will allow students to get to campus efficiently.  Unfortunately, as with any solution, this will likely meet resistance from several different groups.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

8:00-8:50

9:00-9:50

10:00-10:50

11:00-11:50

12:00-12:50

1:00-1:50

2:00-2:50

3:00-3:50  : (Last class on Fridays)

4:00-5:15

6:00-8:45

Tuesday/Thursday

8:00-9:15

9:30-10:45

11:00-12:15

12:30-1:45

2:00-3:15

6:00-8:45

(Courtesy of Longwood University; This is an image of the FAB’s campus line schedule and a general list of Longwood’s class times for comparison. Upon comparison, the FAB schedule is inconsistent with class schedules that make getting to class on time difficult).

Many Lancer Park residents could resent this new campus line. In my proposal, I will likely plan to take away one of the buses to Lancer Park to give to the Village. Currently, Lancer Park has 3.5 buses to their disposal, while the Village only has the shared bus. Ideally, I would give the shared bus to the new campus line, leaving Lancer Park with three buses. The current system only has direct lines to Lancer Park until 1:45, and with the elimination of the shared line, at least one direct line to Lancer Park would have to be extended to midnight. I think there could be some resistance initially from Park residents that do not understand the benefits the Park is receiving indirectly. By taking away the shared bus, Park residents would also no longer have to deal with the overcrowding after 1:45 and these residents would also have consistently short intervals between buses because they too would only have a direct line all day.

Additionally, there may be a small resistance by Longwood Village and Lancer Park residents because there would be no shared bus. In the current system, Lancer Park residents could take a FAB all the way to Longwood Village, and vise versa. This allows students to visit friends easily and without using cars. In my dimensions of my proposal, I cannot properly address their concerns because I am proposing the elimination of that shared line. However, I would argue that the benefits of short intervals between buses, consistent times, and spaciousness outweigh this resistance. Moreover, students wishing to visit the different apartment communities would still have access. These students would take their direct line to campus and then take the direct line from campus to the applicable community.

The main concern is institutional resistance to the costs of a direct line to Longwood Village. I can likely see resistance mainly from the Budget Office and the university’s president. These two parties have a stronghold of control of what and how Longwood University spends their money. The cost to maintain two direct lines to each apartment community is relatively inexpensive in the bigger picture of running a university (each bus costs about 165,000 annually for gas and maintenance). Longwood University has this amount tenfold in their annual budget but the big resistance will come from convincing the Budget Office and President Reveley of how this is essential to the student body. These groups will likely resist because the university is currently undergoing a major construction project entitled, Vision 2020, and their attention and money is concentrated there. This is why it will be essential to prove how the university’s plans cannot go on without improving the FAB system. The plan calls for eliminating parking and additions to the aforementioned apartment communities and their goal will crash and burn without giving student’s a way to and from campus. If these parties are convinced of the need for a direct line to Longwood Village, in relation to their undergoing construction plans, then they will be more likely to appropriate the funds for improving the FAB.

The final resistance I anticipate is from the Farmville Area Bus management. I think their resistance comes from a reputation basis. The management and the university just redid the FAB’s campus route. Due to the new additions at Lancer Park, the FAB management and the university came up with the current “solution” of three direct lines to the Park and one shared bus between the Park and the Village. The additions to Lancer Park were just completed the summer of 2013 and with the time constraints, the FAB management made a solid effort to give students a workable transportation system. Their effort will not go unappreciated because its ridership almost doubled in a matter of months. This unprecedented change would have been hard to come up with a solution for, but the current solution the FAB management came up with should be considered more of a trial run. It is now clear what quirks occurred with their plan and how to solve them. In my proposal, I will attempt to take an appropriate tone to limit blame for the FAB management. Their plan was a good start, but my proposal will eliminate the kinks. They certainly earned some credit for giving my proposal a structural basis to work with.

Inexpensive Solution (#7)

The old cliché, “the customer is always right” can be a serious headache for those who work in the customer service industry. In food service, employees are taught to put the customer first and to work to meet their needs. Regardless of the situation, employees must cater to the needs of the customer, even if it is slightly inconvenient. Shouldn’t the Farmville Area Bus use the same ideology? Students pay for the service, and it should be exactly what students need, just as the customer at Chickfila should receive the exact order they paid for.

The Farmville Area Bus’ campus line is not adequately meeting the needs of its customers. The campus line to Longwood Village is often late, overcrowded, and has a schedule that is incompatible with Longwood’s class schedule.

There are two possible solutions:

  1. Return the campus line bus to the schedule it had before the fall of 2013.
  2. Create a separate campus line that goes directly to and from Longwood Village.

Of course, both of these solutions have inherent problems. If the first solution were enacted, it would not cost the university any additional funds, which is a plus. In doing this, the FAB would arrive to Longwood Village and Lancer Park every half-hour to pick up and drop off students which would solve the issues with the bus schedule. However, this solution would not solve the overcrowding and would likely result in the FAB being late more often because of the additional traffic and bus stops at Lancer Park take more time than in previous years. This is the reason that FAB management and Longwood University changed the schedule in the first place.

The creation of a separate campus line also has baggage. This solution would solve all three of student’s complaints: late, overcrowding, and fixing the random schedule. However, this solution would have financial ramifications for the university.

In order to make this solution a reality, Longwood University will need to allocate its already existing funds to the FAB. Students have continually made $2,500 contributions each semester to the university for services such as the FAB. In the 2013-2014 school year, Longwood estimated having $1,685,325 for services such as the FAB intercollegiate athletics, recreation and intramural programs, the student union, student health and wellness services, and debt service in the budget.[i] To make the new campus line a reality, the university would have to spend $56,000 for a new bus and $167, 400 a year for maintenance.[ii] While this sounds like a lot of money, the cost will still leave the university with approximately $1,517, 925 for the remaining services.

The university may not even have to spend $56,000 on a brand new bus. Currently, the university employs four campus buses, one shared and three direct buses to Lancer Park. The Park could keep their three direct buses (and extend the hours from 1:45 to midnight on one or two buses) and the shared campus line could be reallocated to be the Longwood Village’s bus.

The Budget Office would need to become involved at this point to see how the university can reallocate its finances for maintenance. The athletics department seemingly uses the most of the expenditure budget of $1,685,325. A closer look into how this money is being spent would need to be done and some of its current funds to be reallocated to the new campus line. For example, in 2012, Longwood University purchased a new Setra coach bus for its athletics department. This bus contains five 19-inch video monitors, a refrigerator and WiFi. It was even described by a Longwood student as “a hotel on wheels” in the article about its unveiling.[iii] I could not access the cost of new coach buses, but pre-owned coach buses can cost upwards of $400,000, not including its maintenance.[iv] If the athletics department (that affects a small amount of students) can have a “hotel on wheels” with the mutual funds, why can’t the 252 Village residents have a bus that can get them to class efficiently?

(Courtesy of Longwood University; this is an image of the university’s new coach bus. A pre-owned coach bus costs upwards of $400,000 but Longwood’s bus was new and personalized so the price was likely much higher.  This proves that the creation of the campus line to Longwood Village is within reach).

There is certainly room in the budget to get the annual $167,400 for a new campus line to Longwood Village. The necessity of this solution cannot be overstated. Longwood’s plans to eliminate parking will make Village residents particularly reliant on public transportation. Students are paying so much money to go to class, why not make it a little bit easier for them to get there?

 

 

 


[i] “Operating Budget and Plan FY 2013-2014,” Longwood University, September 25, 2013, http://www.longwood.edu/assets/budget/Operating_Plan_2013-2014.pdf

[ii] ”Farmville Area Bus Transit Development Plan: Fiscal Years 2010-2015,” Virginia Rail and Public Transportation, October 2009, http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/activities/files/Farmville %20Area%20Transit.pdf

[iii] “Longwood University unveils new bus,” Longwood University, October 8, 2012, http://www.longwood.edu/2012releases_44996.htm.

[iv] “MCI Pre-Owned Select,” Motor Coach Industries, October 31, 2013, http://sales.mcicoach.com/preowned/pcoach.nsf/SelectMake?openform.

Works Cited: 

“Operating Budget and Plan FY 2013-2014.” Longwood University. September 25, 2013. http://www.longwood.edu/assets/budget/Operating_Plan_2013-2014.pdf.

“Farmville Area Bus Transit Development Plan: Fiscal Years 2010-2015.” Virginia Rail and Public Transportation. October 2009. http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/activities/files/Farmville %20Area%20Transit.pdf.”

“Longwood University unveils new bus.” Longwood University. October 8, 2012. http://www.longwood.edu/2012releases_44996.htm.

“MCI Pre-Owned Select.” Motor Coach Industries. October 31, 2013. http://sales.mcicoach.com/preowned/pcoach.nsf/SelectMake?openform.

 

Steps Toward Improving the FAB (#6)

The Farmville Area Bus has a definite problem: the bus is not meeting students’ needs. The reasons behind this dissatisfaction is equally simple, the bus schedule is disorganized and has inherent long wait times between buses. So that means that the solution should be equally simple, right?

The FAB schedule should be modified to accomodate students’ class times, perhaps back to the old schedule from spring 2013 of a campus bus arriving every half hour. However, this fails to take into account the new factors about the bus that began in fall of 2013. The new additions to Lancer Park has eliminated modification of the bus schedule as a viable option because the additional 452 residents caused more traffic at bus stops, longer wait times for loading and unloading, and crowding on the shared bus. The modification of the bus schedule is a less controversial solution because it has minimal cost and minimal disruption of students’ routine; however, this is an imperfect solution because it would fail to address the overcrowding and may just cause the bus to frequently be late by trying to force drivers into a half hour schedule. The rush may even cause more accidents. The bus schedule was changed to be inconsistent with student needs because of the new additions and cannot be switched back to the previous schedule.

The better solution for the FAB would be to create a separate bus line to Longwood Village. To achieve this solution, numerous steps need to be taken. Firstly, Longwood University must approve of the said solution. The office of Residential and Commuter Life (RCL), Parking Services, and Student Affairs would all be involved in the decision making process. The apartment managers of Longwood Village and Lancer Park, within the RCL department, would all have to be involved in the decision process because they would be the main contact for students with questions regarding the new campus line. Parking Services would also be involved because this office helps regulate the bus schedule and manages the need for campus parking spaces. Student Affairs would also be involved in the decision making process because this office would be the branch concerned with the effect a new bus would have on student routine, ease, and financing. If the measure is accepted by the Longwood University staff, the offices would have to approach the Farmville Area Bus manager, Julie Adams, for her input.

During this meeting, there would likely be heavy debate between the offices about the cost and initial inconvenience of creating a new campus line. The cost of the expansion is controversial and deciding how the expansion would work in Longwood’s budget is a topic that would take much time to address. The comprehensive fee is the source of the FAB’s finances currently. Students pay an estimated $2,500 each semester toward this fee. For the 2013-2014 school year, Longwood University estimates that it can spend about $1,685,325 for services such as the FAB intercollegiate athletics, recreation and intramural programs, the student union, student health and wellness services, and debt service.  The total expenditure budget for the 2013-2014 year is $106,493,994[1]. Seeing this massive amount of available money, it seems fairly reasonable that the university could improve the bus service although it is also an expense. The cost of buying a new bus is approximately $56,000 and the annual cost of maintenance and fuel for a new campus bus to Longwood Village is $167,400.[2] These costs are pettily to the amount of money Longwood University brings in per year, especially because the bus service is wasting student’s money now because it is infrequently used by Longwood Village residents.

Table 4‐11. Operating Cost of Proposed New Buses 
FY2012     FY2013       FY2014       FY2015
Improvement Option 1   $60,500       $61,700     $63,000      $64,200
Improvement Option 2   $164,200    $167,400  $170,800   $174,200

(Courtesy of the Farmville Area Bus Transit Development Plan; This table represents the amount of money that a separate campus line to Longwood Village would cost annually (represented as “Improvement Option 2) compared to the current service).

Table 4‐14. Annual Passenger Estimation for Farmville Area Bus 

                                                         FY2010  FY2011  FY2012  FY2013  FY2014  FY2015
Annual Passengers w/o
Improvement                         117,300 118,400 119,600 120,800 122,000  123,300

Annual Passengers w/
Improvement Option 1       117,300 118,400 129,980 131,280 132,580  134,000

Annual Passengers w/
Improvement Option 2        117,300 118,400 147,756 149,227 150,698  152,324

(Courtesy of the Farmville Area Bus Transit Development Plan; This table shows the estimated ridership levels on three levels: No improvements (meaning spring of 2013 plan), option 1 (the new plan of fall of 2013) and option 2 (separate line to Longwood Village). The table exemplifies that ridership would increase by 18,000 annually with a separate route to Longwood Village).

The major roadblock in improving the FAB service is the cost. The FAB management would not likely have any qualms with the improvement if the funding were provided because their operating plan from 2010 has proposed and collected data on this possible solution. For this solution, the only controversy is the money. Once the Longwood and FAB faculty approved the plan, the solution would be easy to accomplish. Therefore, if steps were taken by Longwood University to reallocate some funds or save, the solution could easily take effect and benefit students in the near future.

 Works Cited: 

“Farmville Area Bus Transit Development Plan: Fiscal Years 2010-2015.” Virginia Rail and Public Transportation. October 2009. http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/activities/files/Farmville%20Area%20Transit.pdf

“Operating Budget and Plan FY 2013-2014.” Longwood University. September 25, 2013. http://www.longwood.edu/assets/budget/Operating_Plan_2013-2014.pdf

 

 


[1]“Operating Budget and Plan FY 2013-2014,” Longwood University, September 25, 2013, http://www.longwood.edu/assets/budget/Operating_Plan_2013-2014.pdf

Position and Solution to the FAB (#5)

The FAB used to be an efficient public transportation mechanism before the new additions at Lancer Park. During the summer of 2013, Longwood University added 452 bed spaces to the existing apartment community, making Lancer Park now able to hold 712 students[i]. The FAB management and Longwood University attempted to rework their existing bus route and schedule to accommodate the new additions but as a result, the shared campus route is now delayed for Longwood Village. Starting in the fall of 2013, the schedule was delayed and pickup times are now completely random. The longer route time is a direct effect from the increased population of Lancer Park. With the additions, Longwood University added several bus stops, totaling in seven pickup locations, and a second loop around the Lancer Park community. The new populations to Lancer Park have also caused overcrowding and safety concerns on the shared bus in addition to frequent tardiness to class.

The Farmville Area Bus’s effect expands beyond its 994 apartment residents[ii]. The entire student body of Longwood University contributes financially to the FAB system. The FAB is paid for by the $2,512 comprehensive fee that is mandatory for all students to pay, each semester. Additionally, the new construction at Lancer Park included a new eating area that is open to all students. The P.O.D. serves food Lancer Park residents as well as the remaining student body; however, these students are unable to get their money’s worth if the FAB system is not efficient enough to take them to Lancer Park.

This transportation system has a real effect on Longwood University’s commuter students. With the disorganized, and often late, bus system, Longwood Village residents are frequently turning to driving. Their community is located 2.1 miles off of campus and these students receive commuter parking passes. The dissatisfaction with the bus schedule, Longwood Village students are creating serious competition for parking spots with commuters. Parking spots are already limited and the hazardous, crowded lots are easily susceptible to fender benders. Commuter students should also be worried about this issue in the future. Longwood University plans to eliminate a total of 1,058 parking spots by the year 2020 in accommodate various construction projects[iii]. With this dramatic reduction of parking, commuter students will be hurting for spots unless the majority of Longwood Village students utilize the FAB system.

This picture was taken at night at the parking lot of Longwood Village. This picture shows how many students own cars at this community.

This picture was taken during the day (approximately at noon) at Longwood Village and shows how empty the parking lot is during school hours. These pictures show how many students are driving and parking to campus instead of using the FAB.

Any solution would require costs, whether it is changing the schedule, buying a new bus, or creating a direct line to Longwood Village. The fact of the matter is that the FAB system needs to be rectified to meet student needs, despite objections. The most logical solution is to create two separate, campus lines. Each campus line would be a link to either Lancer Park or Longwood Village directly to and from campus. The direct lines would shorten pickup times and allow a bus to arrive every fifteen to twenty minutes. Students would be better able to get to and from class in a reasonable amount of time and satisfaction would greatly improve. Over crowded buses would cease to exist as well if there were two separate campus routes. Before the Lancer Park additions in September of 2012, the FAB serviced 7,926 students but with the new additions the FAB is serving far more clientele because in September of 2013 it serviced almost 10,000 students[iv]. Separate bus lines would decrease the crowds on the buses and reduce the amount of safety concerns because fewer students would be forced to stand. A direct line to and from Longwood Village would solve the majority of parking issues because residents would be more inclined to use public transportation that met their needs and not rely on driving, which takes limited spots away from commuter students. Separate campus lines are the most reasonable, permanent solution to the FAB.

 


[i] “Lancer Park,” Longwood University, September 18, 2013, http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12587.htm.

[ii] “Longwood Village,” Longwood University, September 18, 2013, http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12593.htm.

[iii] “Vision 2020,” Longwood University, September 2008, http://www.longwood.edu/assets/physicalplant/LongwoodVision2020.pdf

[iv] Julie Adams, e-mail message to author, September 26, 2013.

 

 

Bibliography

 Adams, Julie. E-mail message to author. September 26, 2013.

“Lancer Park.” Longwood University. September 18, 2013. http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12587.htm.

“Longwood Village.” Longwood University. September 18, 2013. http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12593.htm.

“Vision 2020.” Longwood University. September 2008. http://www.longwood.edu/assets/physicalplant/LongwoodVision2020.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Right Solution to the FAB (#4)

If you were to walk into Cookout tonight to order a cheeseburger and the cashier informed you that Cookout now only serves hotdogs, would you be satisfied? Sure, you could order a hotdog and this will satiate your hunger pains, but this isn’t the product you paid for. Simply, Cookout would no longer be suiting your needs. The Farmville Area Bus has recently become a similar headache. All Longwood students contribute financially toward the FAB system through the mandatory comprehensive fee. If you have no control over your tuition money, it should at least be put into a functional system.

Longwood University’s recent expansion has caused drastic changes in routes and times for the public transportation system. With an additional 452 residents in Lancer Park to accommodate, the FAB system has been updating their routes and schedules[1]. Unfortunately, their updates only caused more disruptions for residents of Lancer Park and Longwood Village. The new schedule causes significant problems. For example, the new bus schedule has the bus arrive at 8:07 and 8:42 to Longwood Village every morning. Noting that the Village is 2.1 miles away from campus, and an approximate 6-8 minute drive due to traffic lights, the 8:42 bus seems like a reasonable way to get to campus for a 9:00 class, right? Wrong. Due to the increased population at Lancer Park, and the ever-changing route around Lancer Park, the bus is frequently 5 or more minutes late, which makes a big difference for students to be late or on-time. Students are forced to choose to gamble with their class schedule or arrive to campus 40 minutes early to class. Luckily for Lancer Park residents, they do not have this issue because they have a shared campus line bus with the Village residents and three separate buses just for their apartment community.

There are two possible solutions to rectify the FAB system to meet student needs. The first solution is the most obvious: change the schedule to have times that work better with students’ class times. The FAB schedule for the 2012-2013 school year was less random and worked well with class schedules. The FAB arrived at :15 and :45 to Lancer Park, which is only a 5 minute ride to campus, and it arrived at :00 and :30 to Longwood Village. These times worked well with Longwood University’s class schedule because all classes start at either the :00 or :30 mark. Students arrived to campus on time and with minimal wait time. The easiest solution to the dysfunctional bus system would be to change back the times, right? Wrong. The addition of Lancer Park North and South tripled the apartment community’s population and that amount of traffic takes time to load and unload on the bus as well as require more bus stops around the apartment community itself. For this reason, the FAB management decided to create the new schedule.

The return to the old bus schedule simply will not work with Longwood’s additions. This position then could make a new bus schedule that could give drivers more time at Lancer Park while also making pickup times more convenient with class schedules. Certainly, this seems like a logical solution, to make the times more accommodating. In reality, this solution has a definitive expiration date. The FAB campus line is already running late to both communities because it has 6 stops within Lancer Park and a possible 712 residents to shuttle. However the schedule was reworked, it could not fix the problem with the FAB route and the consistent tardiness of the FAB cannot be tolerated by Longwood Village residents who are only given one option: the campus line. Lancer Park students utilize both the campus line and three direct line buses in order to get to campus. The solution of reworking the FAB schedule is only a temporary fix and it is doubtful this solution could accommodate both Park and Village residents.

The most logical solution is two separate campus lines. Obviously, a new bus to create new separate lines is not cheap-it is estimated to cost $56, 500 for a new bus that will be useable for approximately four years[2]. While this cost is high, to create two separate campus lines, Longwood University and the FAB management may not have to purchase a new bus, they could simply reallocate their resources. Lancer Park has three direct buses that run until 1:45 each day as well as the shared campus line bus. It would be cost effective to reallocate the shared campus line to create a direct line from Longwood Village to campus. The three direct lines of Lancer Park could be expanded for one or two buses to run all day instead. There would be additional operating costs but these costs could be weighed in several ways.  Firstly, one of Lancer Park’s buses could close earlier than 1:45, such as at 11:00am or 12:00pm. Early morning is the prime traffic time to use public transportation.

The annual operating cost is 21,000 per bus. Operating costs include gas and maintenance. While the operating cost is expensive, Longwood students pay $2,512 each semester for a comprehensive fee[3]. With 4,000 undergraduate students alone, the comprehensive fee brings in an estimated 10 million dollars each semester. This fee pays for athletics, student activities, and the bus system. The over 20 million dollars in comprehensive fee revenue will more than cover the operating cost of two separate bus lines. Students contribute so much of their savings, and even go into debt, to pay for the FAB system; it should at least meet their needs. A direct line to Longwood Village would give students faster travel times and the schedule would adequately meet their needs to get to class. Creating two separate campus lines would eliminate the problems with the schedule, overcrowding, and reduce need to park on campus.

 

 

LP FAB Stops2

(Longwood University; This link takes you to a word document with a map of the seven Lancer Park bus stops. The image shows that the FAB is slowed down by the several bus stops and second loop around the community. These stops often make the FAB late for its other pickup times).

 

Critical Source Summary:

Norton, Richard, Andrew Brix, Trevor Brydon, Elijah Davidian, Keely Dinse, and Sanjeev Vidyarthi.  “Transforming the University Campus into a Sustainable Community.” Planning for Higher Education 35, no. 4 (2007): 22-39. Accessed September 19, 2013. http://ehis.ebscohost.com.proxy.longwood.edu/eds/detail?vid=4&sid=29b109a3-2b4e-48a1-ac89-abcbea03fe69%40sessionmgr112&hid=8&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=eric&AN=EJ802567

 
Norton, Brix, Brydon, Davidian, Dinse, and Vidyarthi all contributed to the article, “Transforming the University Campus into a Sustainable Community.” This article presented a study of the University of Michigan’s campus expansion plans. The authors stress careful planning to avoid advancing one campus aspect above another. These writers advocate that a “sustainable campus will likely require tradeoffs, but we need not suffer from tradeoffs.” Their argument and case study about too rapid expansion is applicable to my research on Longwood University’s expansion. I will incorporate this essay to advocated FAB reform because Longwood’s construction is destroying needed parking without improving their public transportation. Their case study will prove that Longwood University needs to reform the FAB system or else suffer the consequences that the University of Michigan did.

 

 

Works Cited

“Lancer Park.” Longwood University. September 18, 2013. http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12587.htm

“Operating Budget and Plan FY 2013-2014.” Longwood University. September 25, 2013. http://www.longwood.edu/assets/budget/Operating_Plan_2013-2014.pdf

“Tuition and Fees.” Longwood University. October 3, 2013. http://www.longwood.edu/studentaccounts/tuitionfees.htm


[1] “Lancer Park,” Longwood University, September 18, 2013, http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12587.htm

[2] Farmville Area Bus Transit Development Plan: Fiscal Years 2010-2015,” Virginia Rail and Public Transportation, October 2009, http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/activities/files/Farmville%20Area%20Transit.pdf

[3] “Tuition and Fees,” Longwood University, October 3, 2013, http://www.longwood.edu/studentaccounts/tuitionfees.htm

Calling ALL Longwood Students (#3)

The Farmville Area Bus affects a huge number of students from Longwood University. My research focuses on the campus line specifically, and so this bus route is not utilized by Farmville residents and is specifically catered toward Longwood students. Longwood University and the Farmville Area Bus management worked together to create this route that circulates from Longwood Village to campus and then Lancer Park to campus. The campus line most directly effects Longwood Village and Lancer Park residents that total 994 students[1]. Longwood University has approximately 4,000 undergraduate students in attendance, which means that the Farmville Area Bus campus line is used by one fourth of all undergraduate students.

 

(Scanned image courtesy of Longwood University Parking Services; This image shows the amount and location of commuter spaces in red. The images shows the limited parking spaces that accommodate commuters and Longwood Village residents)

 

 

Even though the campus line only serves the 1,000 students in Lancer Park and Longwood Village, many other Longwood students are affected indirectly. Longwood is founded on the idea of being a residential campus, but the university still has numerous commuter students who deal with parking on a daily basis. The increased Lancer Park residents and odd FAB schedule has caused many Village residents to choose to drive. This decision affects commuter students across the board because the limited commuter spaces should be taken up by commuters with no choice but to drive, rather than students who decline the option of public transportation. Admittedly, changing the FAB system will not stop all the Longwood Village residents from driving, but it will change the minds of many students if the FAB could better serve their needs. Commuter students are stakeholders in reforming the FAB system because they need to be able to find a parking spot and have a sense of security in the cramped lots. I have experience in the frightening nature of these lots because I hit another vehicle in the Wheeler lot last year. If the FAB system catered to those 1,000 students, commuter students could have more security from fender-benders.

(Courtesy of carinsurance.com; Image depicts the damage and distress caused by a minor, parking lot fender-bender)

So, other Longwood students, does this matter to you? Do you have any interest in the Farmville Area Bus? If you said no, I would like to remind you of the tuition you pay Longwood each year. The comprehension fee that every student pays is the fund that Longwood uses to pay for the FAB system. Longwood plans to receive $1,685,325 during the 2013-2014 school year alone in just comprehensive fees[2]. The comprehensive fee does cover more than the FAB system, including athletics, the student union, and health and wellness center, but shouldn’t your money go to a well-functioning system? There is no way around paying exponential tuition costs, so it would help me feel better if my money was going to an effective transportation system. Even if you do live in Longwood Landings or a dorm building and never deal with parking or busing, this situation does have monetary costs that affect you.

Critical Source Summaries

Bamberg, Sebastian. “Choice of Travel Mode in the Theory of Planned Behavior: The Roles of Past Behavior, Habit, and Reasoned Action.” Basic & Applied Social Psychology 25, no. 3 (2003): 175-189. Accessed September 19, 2013. http://ehis.ebscohost.com.proxy.longwood.edu/eds/detail?vid=5&sid=fb06dd9e-4da5-4e3c-9e3e-51d03c1b7efa%40sessionmgr113&hid=107&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=bth&AN=10549487

Sebastian Bamberg wrote an interesting article entitled, “Choice of Travel Mode in the Theory of Planned Behavior: The Roles of Past Behavior, Habit, and Reasoned Action” in the academic journal, Basic & Applied Social Psychology. I liked this article because explains the mindset of students in their choice to take the public transportation. The article focuses on a study of how a pre-paid bus ticket affected student choice to take the college bus. While Longwood does already offer a transportation system that students do not have to pay a fare, I think this study shows student desire to ride the bus. I plan to use this article in my research to show that students have the desire and resource to utilize public transportation to prove that students will use the FAB system more if it can accommodate their other needs.

Millard-Ball, Adam, Patrick Siegman, and Jeffery Tumlin. “Solving Campus Parking Shortages: New Solutions for an Old Problem.” Planning for Higher Education 33, no. 1 (2004): 30-43. Accessed September 19, 2013. http://ehis.ebscohost.com.proxy.longwood.edu/eds/detail?vid=7&sid=fb06dd9e-4da5-4e3c-9e3e-51d03c1b7efa%40sessionmgr113&hid=107&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=eric&AN=EJ847964

Millard-Ball, Siegman, and Tumlin co-wrote an article published in Planning for Higher Education. The authors wrote “Solving Campus Parking Solutions: New Solutions for an Old Solution” that is very applicable to the case of the FAB system. I can relate to this article because it discusses the new trend in higher education to expand and this often results in fewer parking spaces. The authors introduce the idea of Transportation Demand Management which calls for a way “to accommodate the displacement of people who would not be able to park.” I can utilize this article because my proposed reforms of the FAB system are my own attempts to adapt to Longwood’s expansion by creating a better functioning transport system with less reliance on parking and their research will be beneficial to my argument.

Works Cited

“Lancer Park.” Longwood University. September 18, 2013. http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12587.htm

“Operating Budget and Plan FY 2013-2014.” Longwood University. September 25, 2013. http://www.longwood.edu/assets/budget/Operating_Plan_2013-2014.pdf


[1] “Lancer Park,” Longwood University, September 18, 2013, http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12587.htm

[2] “Operating Budget and Plan FY 2013-2014,” Longwood University, September 25, 2013, http://www.longwood.edu/assets/budget/Operating_Plan_2013-2014.pdf

Recent History of the Farmville Area Bus System (#2)

Longwood University needs to improve their public transportation system. With the major, upcoming construction projects for the campus, the public transportation system will need to be renovated to accommodate the decrease in parking spots and increase in student population. The university added 452 bed spaces in one of their off-campus apartment communities, Lancer Park, in the summer of 2013. Lancer Park now holds 712 students compared to the mere 260 students it held just one semester ago[1]. The massive increase in students has received minimal attention from the FAB system and has indirectly worsened transportation accommodations for another Longwood owned apartment community, Longwood Village. The desperate need to improve the FAB system is a recent issue, but Longwood’s Vision 2020 plan shows that the issue will only get worse in the upcoming years.

Courtesy of Longwood University; Photo of the newly constructed Lancer Park North building.

 

The Farmville Area Bus was created in 1990 by the town of Farmville and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transport. Longwood University supported the FAB system starting in 1990, and the number of students and faculty utilizing the FAB caused the creation of the campus line in 2004[2]. The campus line travels from Lancer Park to campus to the Longwood Village and back to campus in a half-hour cycle. Before the fall semester of 2013, there were approximately 260 students living in Lancer Park and 282 students at Longwood Village[3]. Many of these students use the supplied transportation system on a daily basis and ridership levels have steadily increased due to rising gas prices and high parking permit rates for students. The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation reported a two percent increase in FAB ridership in one year. In February 2009, 12,863 riders were reported and in February 2010, 13,150 riders were reported[4]. Based on the historical, increased levels, the Farmville Area Bus management has projected an annual rise from 114, 964 riders in 2008 to 123, 257 riders in 2015[5]. This is a huge increase of almost 10,000 riders in only seven years. The table below shows that FAB ridership is on the rise and this pattern will certainly continue with the Vision 2020 plan, as the school expects to import 1,600 more students on top of removing 1,058 parking spots[6].

Table 44.Operating Statistics of Farmville Area Bus, FY2008FY2015

Operating Statistics FY2008 FY2009 FY2010 FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015
Annual Passengers 114,964 116,114 117,275 118,448 119,632 120,828 122,037 123,257
Operating Costs $567,844 $579,201 $639,000 $651,780 $664,816 $678,112 $691,674 $705,508

(Based off the statistics from the Farmville Area Bus Transit Development Plan: Fiscal Years 2010-2015; Table shows the increase in ridership levels from 2008 to 2015. The continuous rise in ridership shows how great the need is to improve the transportation’s service).

Over the last forty years, other universities across North America have been engaged in similar, major construction projects, like Vision 2020, to make their own university more competitive. In Will Toor’s article, The Road Less Traveled: Sustainable Transportation for Campuses, he studied how various colleges dealt with the construction and sustainability. His study of the University of Colorado, found that colleges should shy away from the traditional addition of parking during expansion and instead push for sustainable, public transportation systems like the FAB. Toor found the average cost for constructing one single parking space is $2,723 and by reducing the University of Colorado’s parking structure by 350 spots, the university could save $560,000 annually[7]. The incentives for students to use public transportation already exist at Longwood University. High gas prices and high parking permit rates cause students to desire to use the FAB system, if the system would work to meet student needs.

Other Longwood students have noticed the problematic issues with the FAB system. With the recent additions to Lancer Park, 452 more students live in Longwood’s off-campus housing. Longwood and the FAB management created three direct lines to Lancer Park this semester in attempt to accommodate the increased need. This line solely goes from Lancer Park to campus and the line cycles every fifteen minutes between the hours of 7:30 am to 1:45 pm. This means that 712 Lancer Park students and 282 Longwood Village students are expected to share one, campus-line, bus every day after 1:45 pm until midnight when the service closes.  Obviously, many students turn to walking or driving to campus but parking space is already very limited to commuters.

Natalie Joseph wrote an article recently entitled, “Additions and Additional Problems in Lancer Park,” that was featured in the Longwood Rotunda this month. The article addresses new problems that have derived from the construction of North and South Lancer Park including the transportation problems.  Her article’s information is rooted from interviews with Longwood students and observations.  Her article does contain a factual error in that the Lancer Park Direct Line arrives to the community every fifteen minutes, not thirty, but the problems she identified in the article such as the odd schedule and frequent tardiness to class are applicable to the overcrowded campus line which does arrive every thirty minutes. Students interviewed in her article have already been complaining to officials and the Student Government Association to rectify the issue[8]. Even though this issue began in Longwood’s recent history, its sheer gravity demands immediate attention and solution.

Works Cited

“Farmville Area Bus Transit Development Plan: Fiscal Years 2010-2015.” Virginia Rail and Public Transportation. October 2009. http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/activities/files/Farmville%20Area%20Transit.pdf

Joseph, Natalie. “Additions and Additional Problems in Lancer Park.” Longwood Rotunda. September 5, 2013. http://www.therotundaonline.com/news/article_91859dc8-1650-11e3-a71b-0019bb30f31a.html

“Lancer Park.” Longwood University. September 18, 2013. http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12587.htm

“Longwood Village.” Longwood University. September 18, 2013. http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12593.htm

“Statewide Transit Ridership Report.” Virginia Rail and Public Transportation. April 14, 2010. http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/activities/files/February%202010%20Statewide%20Transit%20Ridership%20Report.pdf

Toor, Will. “The Road Less Traveled: Sustainable Transportation for Campuses.” Planning for Higher Education 31, no. 3 (2003): 131-141. Accessed September 18, 2013. http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?vid=2&sid=be3f61f6-e9fc-496fa10a9a902b683c0a%40sessionmgr14&hid=6&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=ofs&AN=507812149

“Vision 2020.” Longwood University. September 2008. http://www.longwood.edu/assets/physicalplant/LongwoodVision2020.pdf


[1] “Lancer Park,” Longwood University, September 18, 2013, http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12587.htm

[2] “Farmville Area Bus Transit Development Plan: Fiscal Years 2010-2015,” Virginia Rail and Public Transportation, October 2009, http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/activities/files/Farmville%20Area%20Transit.pdf

[3] “Longwood Village,” Longwood University, September 18, 2013, http://www.longwood.edu/rcl/12593.htm

[4] “Statewide Transit Ridership Report,” Virginia Rail and Public Transportation, April 14, 2010, http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/activities/files/February%202010%20Statewide%20Transit%20Ridership%20Report.pdf.

[5] “Farmville Area Bus Transit Development Plan: Fiscal Years 2010-2015,” Virginia Rail and Public Transportation, October 2009, http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/activities/files/Farmville%20Area%20Transit.pdf

[6] “Vision 2020,” Longwood University, September 2008, http://www.longwood.edu/assets/physicalplant/LongwoodVision2020.pdf

[7] Will Toor, “The Road Less Traveled: Sustainable Transportation for Campuses,” Planning for Higher Education 31, no. 3 (2003): 134, accessed September 18, 2013, http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?vid=2&sid=be3f61f6-e9fc-496fa10a9a902b683c0a%40sessionmgr14&hid=6&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=ofs&AN=507812149

[8] Natalie Joseph, “Additions and Additional Problems in Lancer Park,” September 5, 2013, http://www.therotundaonline.com/news/article_91859dc8-1650-11e3-a71b-0019bb30f31a.html

*Chicago citations used.

The Inconvenience of the Farmville Area Bus (#1)

Longwood University’s public transportation system is in dire need of improvement. The Farmville Area Bus is supposedly an available source for Longwood students living in Longwood-managed apartments, such as Longwood Village and Lancer Park. Unfortunately, this resource is no longer being managed properly to accommodate its clientele. The new construction at Lancer Park added hundreds of possible clients for the Farmville Area Bus (FAB) but their new schedule and overcrowded setting makes the usage of public transportation complicated. In past years, the FAB arrived at each apartment community every 30 minutes to pick up and take students to campus. The FAB also conveniently arrived at the: 15 and: 45 mark in Lancer Park and the: 00 and: 30 minute mark to Longwood Village. Currently, the FAB schedule has been updated to arrive every 35 minutes and at sporadic times. The new schedule complicates students traveling to and from class because the new times are inconsistent with class schedule, such as arriving at Lancer Park at 7:15 or 7:50 each morning, which makes arriving to an 8am class on time difficult.

The Farmville Area Bus management has attempted to solve the problems associated with the increased population of students at Lancer Park but have been unsuccessful thus far. Longwood University and the FAB worked together to design a system of one, original campus line bus that travels to and from Longwood Village, campus, and Lancer Park and three direct buses to Lancer Park that stop serving at 1:45pm. This system definitely denotes a serious design flaw. The majority of Longwood students have classes that end later than 1:45pm on one or more weekdays and therefore the only running campus bus is burdened with the demand of too many students.  This overpopulation of the afternoon bus causes students to be forced to stand in the aisles of the bus, which is unsafe when the bus makes frequent stops.

This also has the indirect, yet serious, consequence of an increased number of students driving to campus to avoid the issues with the FAB system. Longwood University has no available parking lots for Lancer Park students and so these students are forced to walk or use the problematical bus system. Longwood University allows Village students to park in commuter parking spots; however, no additional parking spots have been opened to either party as an alternate option to the bus. The complication with the FAB has increased the number of Longwood Village residents who drive to campus on a daily basis. This causes commuter students to have higher levels of competition for parking spots. This also affects every student who drives because the increased traffic causes a higher risk of accidents and parking tickets when forced to park outside designated zones.

The parking situation is only getting worse. Longwood University produced a Comprehensive Campus Master plan in 2008 and named the plan, “Vision 2020.” Vision 2020 details immense construction and renovation projects planned for the upcoming years. This source briefly addresses the issues with campus parking but ignores the campus transportation system of the FAB. Much of the construction that Vision 2020 entails is currently underway at Longwood University which makes the rest of the plan, particularly its ideas about parking, seem likely to be carried through. Longwood University’s plan claims to be comprehensive but there are several factors that this plan does not address. The plan identifies that many students and faculty want improved transportation and parking but the plan concentrates on housing and academic building construction.

According to Vision 2020, Longwood University plans to reduce its available parking spots to make the campus more residential-friendly. Longwood’s upcoming plans are set to eliminate approximately 1,058 parking spots from campus [1]. The construction will utilize currently reserved streets and parking lot space for new academic and residential buildings. Although groups such as, Longwood faculty, students, Board of Visitors, Farmville community members and campus police have expressed a desire for increased parking and possibly even a parking garage, Longwood University has decided to eliminate, rather than add, parking[2]. This new plan has serious implications for a variety of Longwood students. Longwood’s plan states, “these limits could involve prohibiting sophomore students from brining their cars to campus, and prohibiting students who live within walking distance to campus or Farmville Area Bus transit stops from obtaining a [parking] permit.”[3] The parking issues affect a vast number of Longwood students and faculty and this will cause an even greater reliance on the unsuccessful bus system.

The Longwood University bus system is failing to meet the needs of its students. While the FAB may appear to be free to Longwood students, the cost is really coming from the high tuition costs. Students are responsible for the financial burden of the bus and so the bus should at least be a reliable resource. The FAB system would be greatly improved if there were two separate, direct lines to each apartment community. A direct line from apartment to campus and back would decrease wait times, over crowdedness, and less need to park on campus.

 

Click here to view the embedded video.

(Longwood University; This video illustrates Longwood University’s plan for major construction and renovation across campus. The plan includes residential and recreational construction, which will take over much of the already limited parking spaces.)

http://www.longwood.edu/assets/sustainability/Fall_2013_FAB_Campus_Line_Schedule.pdf

(Longwood University; This link is the new FAB schedule that began in the Fall of 2013. The links shows the unorganized timing of the bus and the difficulties of students getting to class from these times.)

 

 

 


[1] “Vision 2020,” Longwood University, September 2008, http://www.longwood.edu/assets/physicalplant/LongwoodVision2020.pdf

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

*Chicago citations used.

Hey Longwood!

This is the first post of many! My blog will deal a lot with the transportation issues at Longwood, and hopefully come up with a solution to improve the FAB system, so read on if you’re interested (: