1 Avenue of the Arts,
Newport News, VA 23606
Date: May 29, 2015
To: Kevin Hughes, Dean of Students
From: Lindsey Brennan, CNU Student
Subject: Proposal for a 24-hour convenience store to be located on the CNU campus
The purpose of this study is to determine if CNU students and parents would agree or disagree that a convenience store, open 24/7 on campus, would provide better safety and more convenience for students.
Student safety is a priority at CNU. There are emergency buttons located outside all over campus and CNU police patrol the campus 24/7. With CNU’s reputation for campus safety, it is important that we continue to take every advantage to maintain student safety and prevent possible disruptions to that reputation. A convenience store located on campus grounds should be the next step to take in safeguarding CNU students.
With the closest 24/7 shops located across Warwick Avenue students living on main campus must cross the busy street if they decide to go out for a late night snack or to do a little grocery shopping. With Newport News ranked as the ninth most dangerous city in Virginia for violent crimes parents would be able to sleep better at night knowing their student were out of harms way (Movoto). Another problem that needs to be considered is the fact that student class schedules conflict with dining hours. Many students often find themselves needing to eat dinner, only to find dinning halls closed.
A convenience store similar to a mini mart and located on main campus would greatly benefit the student body, as well as faculty members. With easy access to a broad range of foods and goods students are more likely to improve their eating and their safety. I propose that the store be student run, thus, offering another on-campus employment opportunity to students. In the long run CNU would profit from the store’s income.
By using the ethnography method in surveying CNU students and parents, result outcomes for interest on the matter provides a multitude of positive feedback. The majority of students and parents provided feedback confirming that they would support a convenience store on campus for safety, convenience and employment reasons. According to Lexipedia feeling “safe” on campus is another way of saying that students see CNU as a harbor, a place of comfort and security. To keep students protected I recommend that CNU take action and provide their students with a convenience store on main campus.
I greatly appreciate you taking the time to consider my proposal and I look forward to working with you further on getting this project started. If you have questions or comments, please contact Lindsey Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 415-6386.
“Study on Student and Parents Thoughts About a 24/7 Convenience Store on Campus”
In May 2015, I conducted a study on whether or not a convenience store open 24/7 located on main campus would be seen as a positive addition to Christopher Newport University. Currently there are seven locations on campus where students can go to eat; however, none of these facilities are open later than 10 pm. From research that I have acquired I can affirm that many students are late night eaters and when they decide to eat, all dinning facilities on campus are closed. Furthermore, a 24/7 convenience store located on campus would provide additional safety for students who need to go out to buy food and other products at anytime of the day. The store would also bring new employment opportunities for students to apply as a cashier or stocker. I proceeded to research the crime rate in Newport News to get a better understanding of the violence that takes place in the area and found that Newport News is ranked the tenth most dangerous city for violent crime. Using the ethnography theory I conducted a survey asking CNU students and parents multiple questions regarding how they would feel about having a convenience store located on campus to shop and/or work in. In addition, I asked if it would it make them feel safer knowing they could stay on campus when shopping for a late night meal? Based on findings and positive remarks from the survey I recommend that Christopher Newport University consider adding a convenience store on main campus that would be open 24/7 to protect and satisfy students’ schedules and needs. In providing a convenience store open 24/7 conflicts to student classes or daily schedules during dining hours will decrease, ensuring that every student has the accessibility to feed their mind no matter what hour it is.
Keywords: convenience, store, 24/7, safe, dinning
Christopher Newport University is a highly respected school known for putting its students first. To ensure student safety, campus police patrol the area day and night. In addition CNU has emergency service stations located all around campus. However, with Newport News known as the tenth most dangerous city in Virginia for violent crime additional steps are needed to protect CNU students (Movoto). The study that follows recommends that CNU add a convenience store to the main campus that is open 24/7. Many students’ agendas and eating schedules conflict with dining hours. Therefore, students must often cross Warwick Blvd. late at night to get a bite to eat in addition to other products. Warwick Blvd. is a busy street and actions need to be taken before someone gets hurt.
Lynn University, a small private college in Florida, just recently decided to keep their dining halls open 24/7 because the administrators were worries that students weren’t eating when they needed to (Grasgreen). Athletes, working students, and international students often eat at odd hours and regularly miss meals causing them to be less engaged and dozing off during class. This study is not to encourage dining halls to be assessable 24/7 but to emphasize the importance of students having access to food 24/7.
A convenience store on main campus would provide students with not only food but also products they may need such as toiletries, school supplies and medicine just to name a few. In addition, the store would offer students with employment opportunities. Based off the findings of this study the majority of students would be interested in working at the store and parents are thrilled that their student could possibly hold a job on campus.
Realist ethnography was the theory used in this study to understand CNU students and parents perspectives on adding a 24/7 convenience store to main campus. Ethnography is an in-depth study of naturally occurring behavior, beliefs and language within a specific social group. An ethnographic research method allows one to study and describe human cultures using surveys or interviews to gain detailed information without bias. Ethnography has been used to study the behavior and beliefs of CNU students and their parents. This method provides the opportunity to observe the participants’ daily lives. In order to know if CNU students would be interested in a convenience store on campus their behaviors must be studied. It’s important to be aware of their daily activities, as well as their thoughts, which include: do student classes or events conflict with dining hours, do they eat late at night, do they go out late at night, are they worried about their safety, and are they interested in a job? How they respond to these questions allows me to acquire the knowledge that’s needed to test whether my hypothesis is right or wrong. The hypothesis being that a 24/7 convenience store on main campus would create a positive impact on CNU students and parents. After reviewing the method used to observe the group the majority of participant responses has proved the hypothesis correct.
A ten question survey was created using SurveyMonkey and was posted on CNU’s Facebook page. The study recognized student and parent thoughts about a 24/7 convenience store on campus specifically stating whether or not they would use it, feel better protected, find it more convenient and have interest in employment. The results will be examined further in the Findings section, but the data did show word similarities in people’s responses. Examples are that many students and parents used the words “safe” and “protected” to describe how they would feel about shopping at a convenience store on campus day or night. According to Lexipedia the underlying meaning for these words is shelter and conserved. The participant’s are not simply stating that they would feel safer shopping on campus but that CNU is a safe haven and a guard that shields them from exterior threats. In addition, the word “convenient” continued to reappear in reference to the convenient store, which means helpful, beneficial, and promoter of well-being. The continual use of all these words reveals how great the impact of a simple convenience store would have on students’ lives. The responses also brought attention to questions that had not been asked, such as: How many of you have access to a car? What was great about using this method was that students were able to voice the problems they’ve run into when shopping off campus, problems that hadn’t originally been considered.
In this section the data will address CNU student and parent thoughts and concerns in regards to the absence of a 24/7 convenient store on campus. The data that follows reflects the online survey described in the Methods section.
- When conducting research through the survey current CNU students, alumni, and their parents were chosen. Out of the 51 participants 8% were parents and the other 92% were students. When asked if student’s classes had ever conflicted with dining hours 86% said yes. However, when asked if students ever found themselves needing to eat when the dining halls were closed 96% answered yes. This data proves that although class conflict may not directly be the result of interference with dining hours, 5 students mentioned that their work schedules conflict as well.
- The questionnaire proceeded to ask if parents and students would be interested in a 24/7 convenience store located on main campus that sold food and other goods and 94% of respondents were in favor. In addition, many of the participants said it would be more convenient and that they would feel safer than walking to east campus. On average the participants stated that they could see themselves using the store at least once or twice a week.
- When asked if a student takes late night trips to grab something to eat, 82% responded “yes” explaining that they are either night owls or typically grab a bite to eat on the way back from work at night. 94% of the participants said that they would be more inclined to go shop during evening hours if they felt safer. Therefore, if a convenience store were located on campus more students would be willing to stop in at night. All four parents indicated that they would be more comfortable with their students shopping at night with the safer option of an on campus store.
- The study also asked if students would be interested in working at a convenience store on campus. 39% of students said that they would be interested while 31% said no. Three out of four of parents said it would be a great opportunity for their student.
- To get an idea of what students and parents think should be in the store, see graph below:
- The final question of the survey asked if the convenience store should tie into the Dining Dollars and Captain’s Cash, not surprisingly 100% of participants said yes. This would alleviate the need for students to carry around cash and parents prefer it because their students wouldn’t be charging to their credit cards as much.
Based on the research that has been examined the results in fact show that CNU students would benefit significantly if they had access to a 24/7 convenience store located on main campus. As a reminder the latest dining services are open until 10:00 pm forcing students to look elsewhere for a bite to eat later in the evening. Besides the occasional “no” responses there were no remarks that would lead one to believe that a convenience store on campus would be a bad idea. In order for CNU to maintain its stellar reputation we need to make sure we are doing everything possible to ensure our students’ safety and health.
Grasgreen, Allie. “More Dining, Less Dozing.” Insider Higher Ed, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 16 May 2015
Grigson, Natalie. “These Are the 10 Most Dangerous Places in Virginia.” Movoto. Movoto Real Estate,
2012. Web. 15 May 2015.
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