Over the past week the temperature in the UK has dropped considerably and wishing the Summer would arrive sooner rather than later. Especially in my home town in Surrey where around 3 to 4 inches of snow fell last weekend.
Temperatures are dropping to below 0 degrees, and in some places are reaching -10. You’re probably thinking, what has this weather post got to do with anything? Well, last week during my news and journalism workshop we were sent out in pairs to find a story around campus. A story about how Bournemouth University is dealing with the cold. My first thoughts were, where do I even start looking?
I decided it would be a good idea to ask the staff, especially the ones in reception in Poole house seeing as they see everyone who comes and goes from the University. Sadly, she had no information for my story. However, the parking attendants outside, who are embracing the weather all the time, were more open about how they felt. Although, it was difficult to think of something to ask them, other than ‘how are you dealing with the cold?’, I found that the topic we’d been given was the only thing I could think about. Until my partner and I thought, what about attendance at the University, would the cold weather stop students from coming in or would it change how they came to Uni?
We were told the best people to ask were the parking attendants seeing as they have to embrace the cold everyday. I thought it would be best to ask both of the parking attendants as one covers the large car park at the back of the university, whereas the other has the small car park next to Poole house. Both gave us different views and different facts, but it may have been when we asked the first attendant, we didn’t know what we should be asking or how to go about it. Whereas the second attendant had a conversation with us so the conversation flowed more fluently and we stopped writing stuff down as that disrupted the flow.
My partner and I did feel like we couldn’t talk to people, as we know what it’s like when people come up to us asking questions about things when you’re in a rush to go to lectures. I had to step up and begin the conversations, although at times I didn’t manage to get to someone in time without it seeming like I was stalking them just to ask them about the weather.
In the end, we came up with a story about how ‘Students are risking a £90 fine to attend lectures’, as more students are driving and parking in the university car parks instead of parking down the side roads as they want a shorter walk in the cold. We realised after doing this task, we should have asked for names as we don’t have any references. Furthermore, we could have asked the clampers who fine the students to see how many students had been chancing being fined.
Next time, I think I should record the conversations I have as writing things down during a conversation can seem rude and put off the person I’m interviewing and make them more aware of what they’re saying, therefore they won’t be as open. Especially with students if we’re asking them about their attendance.