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Topic Proposal

Robert Dowse

Hamad Hadeed
Peter Oertel
Kyle Summers

Background Information
Purpose/ Importance of our research
Method of gathering data
location of study
Application of data (Basically the same as purpose/importance)
safety of researchers/ students/ data

Background Information
An individuals food environment is affected by numerous factors such as the cost of food,
availability of facilities, time of preparation/ consumption, and nutritional value. For example, A
student living in a dorm room may be limited to food that can be stored in a mini-fridge and
prepared in a microwave. Another example of one of these factors affecting students is that
some students may not have time to prepare a meal between classes, so they are limited to fast
food restaurants on campus or vending machines. These factors affect what kinds of food
college students eat as well as the health of the students. Our group will conduct an
ethnographic research in order to find out what specific factors contribute to the food
environment on UNC Charlotte's campus. The factors that we will be focusing on are the
availability of facilities as well as how theyre used by students. By conducting this research
project, our group hopes to discover what factors play the largest role in determining where
students eat on campus.

The overall objective of the survey is to better understand the "why's" behind the food choices of
students living on campus. The following objectives highlight our groups questions.
1. Use the survey to see what facilities students use to get/prepare food.
2. Determine why one facility may be more favorable than others.
This kind of data may be useful to campus administration in the planning and development of
dining options and kitchen facilities on campus. These factors contribute to the types of food
that students eat, which also influence students physical health and academic performance.

Methods of Gathering Data

Though all UNCC students may contribute to our research, our data will primarily focus on
students who live on campus. We will primarily be focusing on these students, because they will

be the students who are impacted the most by the food environment at UNCC. Our data will be
gathered using an online survey, and will be collected using a Google Form. The form will only
be available to students with a email address, and can be completed by each
student only once. Our goal is to collect data from numerous students in each type of oncampus housing, including high rises, suites, and apartments. This way well be able to
compare the compiled data and show the differences between the habits of residents of each
hall. In addition to the survey, we will also research the type of food that are available to
students on campus. We can obtain this information from both online research as well as
through field notes. These field notes will be taken on what kinds of food are available inside
local grocery stores as well as in campus eateries.
The questions that will appear on the survey are:
1. How often do you use the available kitchen to make food?
2. What kinds of food do you make?
3. How many people do you make food for?
4. Whens the last time you made food?
5. How often do you go to the dining halls?
6. How often do you go to on-campus restaurants?
7. How often do you go to off-campus restaurants?
8. What types of appliances do you typically use to prepare food?
In addition to these questions, we will collect several pieces of demographical information to
better categorize and analyse the responses. These questions may include age, school year,
gender, etc. By collecting data from a wide variety of students, we will be able to study how
different types of students are affected by the availability of facilities on campus. For example, it
is expected that freshmen will likely depend on campus eateries whereas upper classmen have
the ability to prepare their own food.

Location of Study
The completion of our survey will take place almost exclusively online, using a Google Form.
This will allow us to gather simple quantitative data quickly without having to personally interact
with the surveyor. However, we may need to advertise participation in order to collect enough
data points to have a statistically significant result, therefore we intend to:
1. Post flyers in residence halls asking for participation.
2. Stand in a public place and ask people to complete the survey on one of our
researchers devices.
3. Post the link on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

Safety of Students Data

Each student that completes the survey requires an email address to participate.
This email is recorded along with the response in order to prevent duplicate responses.
However, this data and all other data that can be used to personally identified a person will not
be published along with our study results, and is kept in Google Spreadsheets that are only
viewable by the researchers.