Group Blogs: Pitching Your Ideas

For the final third of the semester (weeks 11-15), you will be creating, promoting and maintaining focused group blogs. In preparation, and to identify similar interests, each of you will propose a group blog concept and a list of potential stories. I’ll use these to determine group assignments, which we’ll finalize in class. Use the group blogs you reviewed in this week’s read & respond to identify ideas you think will work (and those you think NEED work).

Post a comment (to this post) with a pitch for a group blog concept by 10 a.m. Wednesday, September 19. This must contain the following:

  • A one-paragraph description of a group blog concept focused on some aspect of Morgantown life (no activities calendar blogs!). Other regions (e.g., West Virginia; other cities) can also be your focus as long as you’re able to cover them.
  • A tentative title for this blog concept
  • At least FIVE story ideas. Use complete sentences and address why this story matters. For example: “A few years back, downtown Morgantown saw an explosion of eCigarette shops, but today many of these have closed. Is vaping on its way out?” Include at least two potential sources for each!

We’ll go through these comments in our next class. By the end of class, you must post comments to TWO concepts that you’d be interested in contributing to (more than two is fine), and let the creator know what you’d bring to the table. This will determine who you’ll be working with for the last five weeks of the semester, so make your best case!

56 Responses to Group Blogs: Pitching Your Ideas

  1. omvanhorn says:

    Traffic Troubles

    Everyone knows that traffic in Morgantown is a major issue. Whether you’re trying to get to work in the mornings and hardly ever get there on time or you constantly find yourself stuck in road work traffic, chances are you deal with Morgantown traffic on a daily basis. A blog focused around the various cause and effects from traffic in Morgantown could give student bloggers a way to join the conversation facing year-round residents as well as temporary student residents.

    1. Five years ago, the construction of the roundabout on the Mileground was completed in an attempt to reduce rush hour traffic on that side of town. However, traffic is still very backed up each evening in this area, so did the roundabout make any difference at all?
    Sources: YouTube video explaining how to use the roundabout, Twitter or Facebook poll asking for various opinions on the roundabout

    2. It seems like every time we turn around, there is some type of construction taking place on a main road in Morgantown. The traffic congestion is always worsened by these instances, so are they ever doing any good for the road conditions?
    Sources: West Virginia Department of Highways, Morgantown City Council Members

    3. You don’t have to drive far in Morgantown before you come face to face with massive potholes littering the roadway. Morgantown has promised over and over that they are working to pave the roads and fix these issues, but are we seeing any evidence of this progress?
    Sources: Facebook/Twitter opinions on the potholes in Morgantown, Morgantown Public Works Department

    4. Unfortunately, we have had several pedestrian related accidents in Morgantown in recent months. As a college town, we have very heavy pedestrian traffic all throughout our town, so it is important for Morgantown to make pedestrian safety a number one priority.
    Sources: Someone who has witnessed or been victim of a pedestrian traffic accident, Morgantown Police Department

    5. Morgantown natives always know when the WVU students have left for the holidays or when they return after the summer because traffic in Morgantown either declines or severely increases. While it’s understandable that the students need a car for the time they are in Morgantown, is it worth clogging up the roadways for nine months out of the year?
    Sources: Morgantown native, student who brings a car to school

    • Patrick Kotnik says:

      These are great ideas and I pitched similar ones down below. Another story idea that could work is taking a look at how game days affect student parking on weekends as well as during the week for basketball games.

    • Alex Balog says:

      The pothole issue would be one many students would be interested in. I live near West Run Road and hit numerous potholes on that road alone. I have noticed quick patch jobs that the city attempts at night but those end up either making the problem worse or being destroyed themselves within a week or so. You could talk about the giant bump on Chestnut Ridge Road in front of Keglers. This slows traffic down and can be very dangerous with the speed limit at 40mph in that section of road. Potholes seem to be one of those constant Morgantown problems which makes it very relevant.

  2. A group blog concept I would be interested in would be to focus on WVU Arts and Entertainment. This will show students what is going on through the creative community and what they could potentially get involved in. Most don’t know what is happening within the school, so it will be our job to make them aware and to encourage their freedom to be creative in any way they prefer.

    A Look Inside the Creative Life

    1. WVU Students making their move into the world with new opportunities, recently a student launched a new video game. We should celebrate our fellow students and show what is possible with a degree. How did he achieve this and what else could be in store?
    a. Sources: Students that made a mark in the world after their degree or even before. Someone who taught these students how to follow their dreams.
    2. Releases of new technology within campus, there was an interactive sculpture that charges phones that was put into the library. Keep students aware of what they now have access to. What other technological advances has Morgantown made and where exactly is it located?
    a. Sources: Librarian or someone that can report if it has been successful. Whoever contributed to making it.
    3. Launch of new minors and majors that students may be interested in, recently a new Interactive Design program made for Media Major. This will provide students with amazing opportunities. What other minors have been released? Can you change your focus to something you might enjoy more now?
    a. Sources: Professors in the department of media. Student that might want to be a part of it.
    4. Stories about the Plays and Music shows that can be found at the Creative Arts Center. Keep students informed and encourage them to audition for future parts. What can we go and watch? Is there a student discount?
    a. Sources: Worker of Creative Arts Center. Someone who regularly goes to these shows that is a student.
    5. Festivals held near the school, including the Wine and Jazz Festival and the Arts Festival that takes place on High Street. Taking a break from the school work and get in touch with our locals. Has these festivals been successful? How does the school contribute?
    Sources: Local that contributed to working these festivals. Bystander that participated.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      I think this one would be very cool and interesting to work on! The Art scene in Morgantown is much bigger than people believe it would be. I think it would be a good idea to go to 123 Pleasant Streets amateur artist night. They do everything from stand up comedy, poetry, rap, and singing. It is all more or less amateurs who are just trying to get their name and their art seen and heard. I think it would be cool to see how this event all came together, and explore what it means to the artists who are given a platform.

    • I like this blog concept a lot! This ties into my post about ways to say involved during the fall semester. After Fall Fest, it’s basically up to students to find things to do. WVU Arts and Entertainment usually has an artist come to the coliseum each year. My freshman year A$AP Rocky came. My sophomore year Lil Wayne performed and last year Migos came to the coliseum to perform. A possible blog post could be about who they will bring to Morgantown this year. I think the story about the interactive sculpture that charges phones is neat! Finding out who made that sculpture would shine light on the artist and give them credit. All of your story ideas interest me!

    • Taylor Brown says:

      WVU does have its own functioning record label with artists. Mon Hills records give students the chance to work with, produce and sell artists. It would be interesting to dig deeper into this to see why it was started and what opportunities it has to offer.

    • As I was reading through your post, there were a few things that I did not know about, like the interactive sculpture that allows students to charge their phone. I thought that was really interesting. Also, it shows that your idea is already fulfilling it’s purpose in letting them know about Arts and Entertainment at the university. A story idea that I had would be more focused on local arts and entertainment. Retro-tique, a vintage store on Walnut, does live music performances every Thursday night. The owner just recently expanded her store so she could hold events such as live music or art exhibits. I could talk to her and find out why she wanted to expand into bigger things such as holding performances instead of just selling things.

    • This idea is fantastic. The introduction of new technology is really impacting the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, with many buildings spending huge chunks of their budget to acquire new utilities to use in the classroom that makes lectures a more creative experience for students. I know that there are regular “Art Shows” that feature the work of selected WVU students. Also, places like Mainstage and 123 Pleasant Street provide a ton of concerts and shows for students to attend. You could also discuss how the University is using creative programs and majors to fill in artistic gaps that STEM majors have traditionally lacked.

  3. Morgantown: Then and Now

    Many people have noticed many changes to WVU over the years, especially alumni who come back to visit. Whether we see pictures of what WVU was like years ago, or we’ve heard stories about what it use to be like, it’s obvious that it’s way different than it use to be. A blog that is focused on issues in the past and how they’ve since been fixed, or current issues and how they plan on being fixed I think could potentially reach a big audience.

    1. University housing seems to be taking over majority of downtown. The Sunnyside area use to be known for its house parties and couch burnings, but the university took over the area and turned it into university owned apartments. Why was this change necessary, and how do alum/students feel about it?
    Sources: Sunnyside Up, WVU Police Department, alumni, students

    2. With new housing continuously being added to the downtown location, this decreases the parking areas for students to use. Some students who live off campus rely on driving to get to and from their class, but with no guaranteed spot sometimes it’s not even worth trying. What was parking like before these places existed? Why has the university chose to add more apartments complexes instead of parking lots?
    Sources: WVU Transportation and Parking, students who have to drive to class

    3. Chain stores and restaurants like Sheetz & Panera being added to the area have closed down many locally-owned business. Sunny Superette was one that was known by many, but has since closed since Sheetz has been added to the Sunnyside area. How have other locally-owned business been competing with chain restaurants, and how do students feel about local places vc chain places?
    Sources: local business owners, students

    4. With Arnold hall to be renovated and Stansbury to be removed to make way for the new B&E building, what will WVU’s campus look like? What other plans does WVU have for the future? Where will the departments that are currently in Stansbury hall be located?
    Sources: Rob Alsop (VP for Strategic Initiatives), students opinions on this, current faculty members opinion on this who have an office in Stansbury

    5. Homelessness growing in Morgantown has previously been something many people have been aware of, so we could look at how the numbers have increased/decreased since then. Are different businesses in the community and/or the university helping fix the issue at all, and if so how?
    Sources: Bartlett Housing Solutions, businesses in Morgantown, students at the university

    • I love this idea for a a group blog! I think it would be a good idea to put Greek Life into the mix also and see what has changed in sorority/frat houses. You could also do the restaurants and see what has changed with the local eats.

    • I also posted about a similar idea. I think we would work good together because although our main blog idea is the same, we had different ideas for individual blog posts. That would give us a lot of different ideas to work with through the end of the semester. I had the idea of doing a blog posts about the huge changes that are happening to Greek Life at WVU. I think that’s a good topic because all students are interested in Greek Life, even if they hate it, and have all noticed that changes that have been happening surrounding it recently. We could ask a lot of different people about the changes like current members of greek life, the director of greek life for WVU, and alumni of greek life.

    • AJ Barnes says:

      I think this is a good idea and could go along with mine about ‘Changes in Morgantown.’ There are plenty of sources to get information from and I don’t think it would be difficult to find stories.

    • Alex Balog says:

      The parking issue is a very relevant one. It would be interesting to learn why the university chooses to build more housing instead of parking. You think after years of hard to find parking there would be more parking garages. You also might be able to look into why the city of Morgantown thinks about the lack of parking. Are they willing to help the university with the parking situation? Is the university’s lack of parking affecting Morgantown businesses negatively or positively?

    • This idea is very similar to mine. I would love to expand on your topic to cover how the increased student population has put stress on many Colleges to create new lecture halls. We could find the statistics detailing student enrollment at the University over the past 10-30 years and relate it to how the University has tried to handle it. Are the new buildings big enough to accommodate for the influx of students? How effective have the changes to parking been in dealing with the off-campus student population? I think your topic adds a historical value to my idea. For certain buildings, such as the Life Sciences Building, I have connections to many of the professors and have talked with them about how they think the WVU board is handling the increased amount of biology students.

  4. katieforcade says:

    Tentative Title: Transpo in the Mo
    This blog would be focused around this idea of transportation here in Morgantown. We’ve all known the struggle of trying to get to class, to work, or to a social event on time but get stuck in traffic or literally on a PRT trying to live our daily lives.

    Five ideas:
    1. PRT or POS? Is it really that bad trying to catch a ride on the PRT this semester? I would definitely love to interview transportation and parking over this new system update and why they had to start sending out PRT shuttle buses all through the day while they’re trying to work out the kinks of the new PRT system.

    2. Potholes in Morgantown. Driving to class, instead of taking a bus or the PRT, can sometimes be very deadly for your car considering there are potholes the size of an entire lane all over Morgantown roads.

    3. Parking at Restaurants and Other Non-Campus Lots. I’ve seen people try to park at a Chick-Fil-A or other restaurants and hike to class so they wouldn’t have to fight for a parking spot in an actual short-term lot. How do these restaurants feel about this?

    4. Morgantown Airport. I’ve never flown out of there, but I hear all kinds of things on how this airport rips the average Morgantown citizen off. I could find out why prices are so high to fly out of there, and interview people to see if it’s just cheaper and easier making the trip to Pittsburgh’s airport.

    5. What is the difference between the buses? You see shuttle buses, charter buses, and the regular Mountain line buses. What is the difference between all of these and how/when can you use them? It’d be interesting to see how each bus line differs (price, route, times, etc.)

    • omvanhorn says:

      Katie, my group blog pitch was very similar to the idea you have proposed here. I love your tentative title, and I think that both of our ideas could come together as a larger, more comprehensive concept. Transportation and traffic are both very controversial topics in Morgantown because everyone deals with these issues on a daily basis. In addition to the ideas that you proposed here, as well as some of the topics I came up with for my own proposal, I think an interesting post would be to cover what the city and university are doing to try to combat these issues. Surely something is in the works from at least one of these entities, and it would be helpful to talk to the “decision-makers” from these groups to see what is being planned.

    • These are good ideas. I had similar ones in my post. It would be interesting and helpful to find out how the buses are different and the best way to utilize them. If more students knew about the routes of the mountain line buses it would serve as another option to get around campus.

  5. ABlogByBrie says:

    West Virginia: Unknown
    West Virginia has an abundance of unknown facts, conspiracies and mysteries. We see people finally starting to realize that this place has so much history that is never sought out, because most people couldn’t even point out West Virginia on a map. If this goes the way I can picture in my head, the blog can inform outsiders about the interesting and often mysterious history of West Virginia, and entertain the people of West Virginia who never get to see mysterious and shocking content about the place that they live.

    1. Point Pleasant Bridge Collapse/ Mothman Prophecies: as the 51-year anniversary of the Point Pleasant Bridge Collapse approaches, we take another look at the conspiracies surrounding the incident. Mothman has become one of West Virginia’s most notable conspiracies, and since the anniversary of the bridge collapse is coming up, it might be interesting to do a piece on the conspiracies from the POV of the locals as well as alternate media (The Mothman movie, pages dedicated to it, newspapers from the time of the collapse, eyewitness testimony, etc.)

    2. Wvu unknown facts: Like the fact about the faces on the side of Stewart Hall, there are tons of unknown facts about WVU and Morgantown that could be disturbing and spooky. I figured there are tons of stories on campus that have their own conspiracies. We can interview old alumni and currents workers here at WVU and see what we discover.

    3. Debunking the myths and conspiracies: There are tons of interesting and rather disturbing rumors revolved around WVU, some involving the resident halls, buildings and houses. We could interview current and past students and gather the most popular conspiracies on campus, and then find the truth about these conspiracies, where they originated and why, and find out whether or not there is any truth in them.

    4. As the 6-year anniversary of Rachel Shoaf’s confession to murdering 16-year-old Skylar Neese with her best friend Shelia Eddy approaches (Following her stay at Chestnut Ridge in late December), we can do a story on what happened, while also interviewing the locals. Most students in the area don’t even know this murder took place, despite it being such a wildly publicized murder, even still being referenced on television within the last year, so it could be an interesting story to inform the WVU community on. Plus, since it happened right here in Morgantown, there are tons of sources to cover, from UHS alumni to the police.

    5. Last year, an international student named Arthur Bagenda was found dead on the rail trail, and his family never received any information by the police on how he died. To this day, the death is shrouded in mystery, as the police never released any updates on the investigation they allegedly began after his death in January of 2017. Because this death was so recent, there are still students here who were close with Bagenda, and could be interviewed on the topic as well as the police department, if they’d even be willing to be interviewed considering they’ve been so highly criticized on the issue. There is also a story online dedicated to Bagenda and the mystery surrounding his death. The case is strange, and to this day it isn’t exactly solved in the eyes of the WVU students.

    • I love this! I think it would be very interesting to get a closer look into the unknown of Morgantown. You could also do recent crimes such as the Sunnyside Stalker or even just a closer look into abandoned buildings to see why exactly it is vacant.

    • I started watching conspiracy videos on YouTube my sophomore year. They really interest me and I think bringing that to Morgantown in a blog post would be something new and exciting! I took senior photographs of a girl in Stewart Hall because of the pillars up stairs. Exploring the building and finding out the history of it could be a great story. I like you you did research on these topics and found out anniversary’s. The Mothman post would be a good story to do around Halloween.

    • katieforcade says:

      I really liked your idea on tackling all of these myths, conspiracies, and theories going on in Morgantown. It’d be a really fun blog to work on throughout the fall. I would personally really enjoy tackling this blog. I love unknown little facts and theories, so it wouldn’t ever be a chore getting a post done for this blog. I remember reading up on different ghost stories and myths that people have seen/experienced paranormal activity in some of the buildings here on campus. I know one of the Towers buildings had rumors of a ghost on an abandoned floor my freshman year as well, which would be interesting to interview students and RAs on. Really interesting and fun idea!

    • Honestly, I love conspiracies and all things mystery, so this idea drew me in immediately. A good story idea would be the ghost stories of Morgantown. I’ve heard a couple and I think it would be interesting to dig a little deeper into them. I’ve heard a few of the sorority house have ghosts in them and I have also heard that Woodburn might have a ghost too. I would talk to some of the sorority girls to see if maybe they had any “encounters” with the ghost and find out about the origins of the ghost. For Woodburn, I would want to talk to professors who teach in there or maybe a janitor who works in there late at night. Maybe they have had an encounter. They could also tell us something that maybe we did not know before.

  6. Alex Balog says:

    West Virginia: Unkown
    Morgantown itself has many hidden facts as well as unsolved mysteries such as murders. Sticking to Morgantown alone can limit this blog, however. Expanding throughout the state can broaden the range of topics that can be talked about throughout the semester. There is a good amount of out of state students at WVU as well. This blog could inform them more about their new home.
    1. One of the most if not the most famous folklore in West Virginia is the Mothman. In November of 1966, the first sightings of Mothman were reported. Just over a year, later the Silver Bridge collapsed on December 15, 1967, which resulted in the death of 46 people. Many near the bridge collapse reported seeing the infamous Mothman that night. I think exploring this tale could be both fun to write and to read.
    2. On July 6, 2012, 16-year-old Skylar Neese was murdered by 2 of her high school friends Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy. Her so called friends, stabbed her more than 50 times and attempted to hide the body in the woods across the Pennsylvania border. At first, police thought Neese was a runaway. A tip was given from North Carolina that turned out to not be her. In September of 2012, the West Virginia State Police and the FBI joined the investigation. It was not until March 13th of the next year that her body was found. Eddy was sentenced to life in prison with possible parole after 15 years. Shoaf was only sentenced to 30 years in prison with possible parole after 10 years. Because an Amber Alert was not immediately issued when Neese went missing her family introduced Skylar’s Law which requires immediate Amber Alerts if a child is missing. The case was covered nationally by Anderson Cooper, Dateline NBC, Dr. Phil, ABC’s 20/20 and more.
    3. In January of 2017, 19-year-old international student Arthur Bagenda was found dead on the rail trail in Morgantown. Bagenda was found without his cell phone as well as with bruises and cuts. His parents have still yet to be given a lot of information on their son’s death. There was no autopsy report released by the police and even after 4 requests from his parents they still have yet to even show them. According to West Virginia state law, the next of kin has the right to see the report. In the DA’s article on this case last year they said that WVU said that they are not involved with the investigation. Why is there so little involvement from both the university and the police?
    4. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was built in the mid-1800’s and was not closed till 1996. With the building no longer in use as a hospital, tours are given throughout the year. During October it is turned into a haunted house. On the first floor, there is one specific room that many have claimed they encountered a spirit. A 9-year-old who died from pneumonia supposedly lives in the room where she spent most of her short life. Toys such as plastic balls and a jack in the box are left in the room so visitors can play with Lily. According to americas-most-haunted.com, there have been several occasions in which the jack in the box starts by itself and when ball roll across the floor by themselves. This story takes place in a state tourist attraction and Lily’s room is unique enough to make the reader want to go for themselves.
    5. Although most of us feel we know WVU and Morgantown pretty well there is still tons of information that can make you say “huh, I did not know that.” One, for example, is that there is a pool in E Moore Hall. I found this out last year and was shocked. Unknown facts tend to attract the attention of myself and others around simply because it’s a fun read. The post could possibly include 5 hidden facts with background information as well for each fact.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      This seems like a really cool idea. Morgantown is a unique and weird place with a lot happening at all times both in the student community and in the broader Morgantown community as a whole. I think it would be cool to try and unearth some of the weird and unknown things that Morgantown has to offer. From the mothman to unexplained deaths. I think a funny one would be to do a story on the kid who got blacked out drunk and woke up in Mexico. Like how the hell did that happen. That or the one of the kid who ordered an Uber back to his house… in New Jersey.

    • ericaryoung says:

      This is one of my favorite blog ideas because I have an interest in true crime, unsolved mysteries, etc. and often research them in my spare time for fun. I could see myself getting very involved in finding new information on things like the Skylar Neese and Arthur Bagenda cases. An idea I have for this blog is one that was briefly discussed in class the other day-it was mentioned that a student had previously looked into ghost stories/sightings on campus, but did not do much research. We could try to dive further into this and find more information.

    • This is a great idea. I pitched something different but I like your concept. doing research on topics like this would be fun and cool to learn about, as well as something good to read. Your blog ideas are definitely something that would interest a lot of people and make them want to click and read.

    • ABlogByBrie says:

      Hey Alex! We literally have the same idea, right down to the very similar ideas for stories. I think we could take this really far, even to the point of incorporating multi-media perspectives (podcasts, videos, etc.). With Mothman, point pleasant is a few hours out, and we have the ability to go there and gather perspectives of people who were alive when the bridge collapsed. We could also do a piece on old conspiracies, whether they’re true, where they originated. This town is full of conspiracy and mystery, and we could take advantage of the paranoia.

  7. ericaryoung says:

    Morgantown: Then and Now

    As we discussed in class on Monday, Morgantown has changed drastically, even in the past few years. This could be an interesting blog concept that would examine these changes closer and get the honest opinions of residents.

    1. Sunnyside is essentially unrecognizable from what it was several years ago. Well-known places like the Sunnyside Superette have been replaced and university housing makes up the majority of the area. Students and faculty could provide their opinions on this and the Sunnyside Up Project (who has spoken with me before for classes) has a lot of useful information on what exactly was changed and why.

    2. Old dorms like Arnold Hall are being torn down and new ones like Seneca Hall are being built. This is a big change as some of the older dormitories are nostalgic for some WVU students. A story could explore why new dorms need to be built and how they affect students and the school as a whole. Sources could include students again, as well as the WVU housing department.

    3. Parking on campus is obviously a big issue for students that is talked about almost daily. A possible blog entry could look into this further and find out how much the amount of parking on campus has changed over the years and if anything can be done to fix it. Another way to look at it could be trying to determine why parking has become a bigger problem over the years. UPD could be a source as well as WVU Transportation and Parking

    4. Transportation on WVU’s campus is also a topic that is frequently discussed. This post could look at the history of the PRT system and how well it has worked over time. WVU Transportation and Parking could be another good source for this.

    5. Campus housing has clearly changed a lot in recent times, with more university apartments being built and older houses being demolished. A post could look at the history of WVU housing and compare older places with newer ones. Students and landlords could provide good insight here.

    • I had very similar ideas to these! The only one I think I didn’t list is transportation on WVU’s campus, and I think there’s a lot we could do with this! We could even talk about newer forms of transportation like Uber because I know when I was a freshman Morgantown did not have Uber. As a freshman, I always relied on walking everywhere especially if the PRT was down, so we could compare the advantages freshman (and other students) have now vs. before any of this came to Morgantown. I think we’d work well together since we were able to come up with similar ideas.

    • I also made a post very similar to these. We had the same main blog idea, but different ideas for individual blog posts. I think that would give us a lot of different ways to take the topic this semester. Going off your idea on transportation, I posted that about the changes to WVU transportation since Uber has came to Morgantown. When I was a freshman, Uber wasn’t here and if the PRT was closed, we had to rely completely on the busses or the Morgantown Taxi company. I think it would be interesting to talk to someone who works at the Morgantown Taxi company and see how Uber has effected their business.

  8. Taylor Brown says:

    Morgantown
    A blog about the things people love and hate about Morgantown. From the problems with the PRT to the ways, students can help out around the community. This blog will cover the students perspective on what the students really think about and do in Morgantown.

    1.Student response to the PRT problems. Should WVU scrap the old system or continue to pour money into the PRT? What would happen if the PRT was beyond repair, how do the students think they would get along without it? Sources for this could be the PRT operators and students

    2. What would students like to see from the city or university? Morgantown is a great place to live, but in order to see or do anything fun, you find yourself driving to Pittsburgh or another state. How can students help bring new entertainment to Morgantown? Sources would include representatives at city hall or within the university responsible for planning events.

    3. How can students get more involved in the city if they want to help? The university is full of organizations that help the less fortunate and animals throughout the state. Who can they talk to and what will the be doing? Sources will be student organization and clubs at WVU as well as organization set up in the city.

    4. What are the best WVU traditions? WVU was known as the party school for many as chared couches sat in the front yard. Since couch burning has been banned, what has taken its place? Are they well placed or a blemish on WVU? Sources would be students and gameday attendees.

    5. What are Morgantown and surrounding areas least-known best places? This post would shine a light on Morgantown’s hole in the wall places to be. Where do students spend their valuable free time? Sources would be students and the Morgantown chamber of commerce.

  9. Expanding Morgantown
    West Virginia University is increasing in size and student population at an exponential pace. To accommodate the growing number of students, the University has introduced new majors, classes, and buildings; however, it is still facing daily issues due to the expansion. This blog would focus on how WVU is handling the increasing population, and it would cover the opinions of students and faculty members on issues brought about by the expansions that have already made.
    1. The Life Sciences Building is using labs and conference rooms as lecture halls because there aren’t enough classrooms to hold the massive number of biology/psychology students. This has created murmurs about the potential introduction of a new building, but no official plans have been made by WVU. Will plans be made soon? Sources: Professors that teach or have a lab in LSB, students that are being forced to have classes in labs instead of lecture halls.
    2. Parking on campus has been an issue for a while. WVU simply doesn’t have enough student parking lots, and students are being forced to find alternative ways onto campus. WVU has introduced plans to add additional parking to the Mountaineer Garage, but construction is far from the beginning. Why hasn’t the construction began? Sources: Students that live off-campus, WVU Transportation and Parking, WVU Facilities and Services.
    3. With the recent introduction of the new Agricultural Sciences Building (2015), WVU removed a large portion of the old Agricultural Sciences Building and renamed it the South Agricultural Sciences Building. This allowed for the creation of the Evansdale Quad. How has this change affected biochemistry classes and labs? Sources: Biochemistry professors, WVU Facilities and Services
    4. Evansdale Crossing was recently built to provide food and service offices to students on Evansdale. It is home to the Media Innovation Center and Student Services. The introduction of this building has really helped define student life on Evansdale, but will it be enough to slow overcrowding? Sources: Students that are in the crossing, WVU Facilities and Services.
    5. University Park and University Place were both built to provide housing for a massive number of students. The introduction of these two apartment complexes has created a rift between the University and those that wanted to preserve Sunnyside. Is the University looking to build even more apartment complexes? Do students like the ones that have been built? Sources: Students that live in University Park/Place, citizens that opposed the construction of the buildings, WVU Facilities and Services.
    (6. Blog posts detailing new majors with the sources being students in the major and professors that teach the major’s classes.)

  10. Mountaineer Problems: Sort of going off the idea of Morgantown Problems, talk about issues surrounding the university itself and what is being done about these problems. As students attending the university, we see and deal with these problems first hand. It seems like almost every week there is always something popping up that causes a controversy. It would be interesting to see the students’ and even the professors’ perspectives on the problems of WVU.

    1) Toward the beginning of the semester, there was an threat made by a student saying that he wanted to commit a mass shooting here. The university never sent anything out about this, and a lot of people were not even made aware that this happened until after the fact. (Personally, I found out about this through an article on Facebook shared by one of my friends.) Why didn’t the university tell us this happened? What was the big secret if the news outlets knew about it? I could talk to students and professors and ask them how they felt about not being told about this. I could see if I could talk to someone from maybe UPD and see their take on this. I think it would be interesting to see what the university employees say.

    2) A few weeks ago, financial aid had a huge crisis and ended up kicking students out of their classes. Not just a few students, but hundreds of them, leaving them stranded with no classes and no access to their university emails. There were lines so long at the financial aid office, that they were passing out coffee and snacks to the kids that had to wait. Everything eventually got sorted out, but it took some time. I would want to talk to some of the students that were removed from their classes. I would also want to talk to someone from financial aid to see how they felt about the situation. Did they realize the problem was as bad as it was? What happened that caused everything to get so out of whack?

    3) Earlier this week, there was an email that I received and I know a lot of people that I know did also, about a grad school fair. This wasn’t too strange. The problem was that the name wasn’t correct on the email. A couple of hours later, the university sent out a follow up email explaining that the information in the system didn’t match up names with emails correctly. That seems very strange to me. I would like to talk to someone from the graduate department and see if they could give me any insight as to how the names and emails got mixed up. I would also like to try and get in touch with the girl that they mixed my information up with, as she was cc’ed in the second email. I want to know if she got anything my accident too and just know how she felt about the situation.

    4) Greek Life is a huge topic all the time. There is always a new issue arising within the Greek community and the University. The biggest issue right now would be that there are fraternities dissociating from the University because “their values do not align”. I would talk to those fraternity members to see why they thought not being recognized on campus would be a good idea. I would also talk to the director of Greek Life, Dr. Matt Richardson to see what he has to say about this. I would even try and talk to one of the chapters that are in good standing with the university and see how they feel about this and what they are doing to continue to be in a good standing.

    5) Parking. It has to be the biggest and the most consistent issue that this university has. Every year, students ask for more parking garages or at least more parking lots. Every year, it seems like we are being ignored. This problem is so big that it causes students to leave hours ahead of class to try and find a parking spot, just to not find one and still be late. I would want to talk to a commuter student because this would have the biggest affect on. I would also want to talk to professors and ask them how they feel, especially their take n how they feel about students being late due to the lack of parking.

    • ABlogByBrie says:

      Hi Alexis, commenting this from literally right next to you and it feels super weird. Anyways, I love this idea, I love that it has the potential to be so controversial and really raise some eyebrows. Personally, I love the idea of sticking it to the man (in a sense). Not sure if you know, but in regards to your #2 topic, more than 900 students were kicked out of classes in one day, and all of them were expected to pay late fees, even though many of them were kicked out based on the errors of the registrar’s office, and not their own. This post could really irk some admins, and I’m super into it. Greek life has the potential to become a string of stories. Every week something is happening where the greek life admins are battling with the students in greek life. There is so much there, we can go back and interview alum, and ask them about how much has changed with greek life, whether it is stricter now (it is) and why they think that is. Parking is huge, too. I was forced to leave my car at home because I couldn’t afford to park here, and even if I found somewhere, I wouldn’t be guaranteed a spot on campus at all times.

      • katieforcade says:

        I really love this idea. I’ve definitely been wondering about what’s been going on with the university this fall considering all of these issues and it would be very interesting to tackle this blog. I know the university tried to rebill me a lot of money a couple weeks ago from an issue I was refunded on, so I understand having to sit and wait in the financial aid office. It was very busy that day I was in and I’ve heard many people angered over the issues. It also effected people trying to go to the gym, they had to either argue their way into the gym or were stuck not getting into the gym because their ID wouldn’t work. I also remember hearing about the possible shooting that nearly took place on health sciences. It’d be interesting to go into depth and investigate why the university hid this for a while. Very great blog concept!

    • Taylor Brown says:

      I like this blog idea a lot, there is a ton of issues that can be covered. Tagging along with your first post idea about the threat, obviously, we don’t know the full motivation for him to do this. But what steps has the university taken since to make students feel more comfortable and generally happier on campus?

  11. Patrick Kotnik says:

    Morgantown Transportation Trauma

    As most of us have seen and/or experienced, transportation around Morgantown can be a nightmare with traffic, limited places to park and a crowded downtown campus. It’s an issue that isn’t just centered around traffic, but also issues with the PRT and buses which result in students not getting to class on time. This particular subject has many different storylines that can produce content, so a blog focused on this matter can prove to be an effective one.

    1.) PRT and Buses
    The PRT endures a large amount of breakdowns every year, but its efficiency rate claims to be a percentage somewhere in the 90’s. A story can be done on the history of the PRT and potential reasons for its inconveniences as well as how it affects students. You could also look into the real efficiency rate of the PRT and whether or not buses may be more reliable.
    Sources: Student opinions, WVU Transportation and Parking staff.

    2.) Game day parking and traffic
    Morgantown traffic is especially bad on game days when it comes to WVU football and basketball games. I believe it would be interesting to do a story on how game day affects those who normally park on law school hill and the Coliseum during the week since they’re required to move their cars come game day. You could also talk to people who tailgate and come into town for games and get their takes and strategies as to where they park for games.
    Sources: Public opinion, WVU Transportation and Parking staff.

    3.) Parking in Morgantown
    This is an ongoing issue with students in Morgantown as there are limited parking spots at times and students also face having to pay for parking, resulting in some not paying or not paying enough as they are left with tickets. A story could be done on what causes limited parking and also whether students prefer to have their cars on campus or not.
    Sources: WVU students and parents, parking authority, WVU Transportation and Parking staff.

    4.) Morgantown Airport
    I recently heard that the Morgantown airport had plans to expand so that Big 12 teams could fly into there rather than Pittsburgh when they come into town to play WVU. I’m not sure if this is true, but it’s something to look into and something else that could be researched. You could also expand on that and see why this airport offers only a few destinations to travel to.
    Sources: Morgantown residents, WVU student-athletes, Morgantown Municipal Airport.

    5.) Construction/Plans to improve roads and traffic
    One of the causes of frequent traffic throughout Morgantown is constant construction in certain parts of the area, but some roads seem to be more dangerous and rough on others. A story could be done on the progress of some these road projects and why some are completed before others.
    Sources: Morgantown City Council, Morgantown Public Works Department.

    • omvanhorn says:

      Patrick, I proposed a very similar idea when posting my original group blog concept. It is evident that traffic and transportation is a big conversation in Morgantown because it is a relatively small town with an ever-expanding population. Another story idea that I had for this topic would be to cover how roadways and traffic patterns have changed in recent years to try to combat these issues. I know it’s hard to imagine, but traffic used to be more hectic than it is now, so it would be interesting to investigate what has been done up to this point, as well as what is yet to come.

  12. Morgantown Changing

    Morgantown and WVU is changing in some ways every year. Sometimes the changes are very large, and sometimes the changes are small and almost unnoticeable to someone who is living here. Morgantown changes in many different ways from something as simple as a building being remodeled to Sunnyside being unrecognizable to alumni.

    1. Transportation around Morgantown has changed dramatically in the recent year. For example, when I was a freshman at WVU, Uber didn’t exist, and now it is the most common way to get around campus without driving yourself. How has the Uber coming to Morgantown affected the taxi service in Morgantown? Potential sources could be a worked for the Morgantown taxi service, an Uber driver, or even students by asking them which form of transportation they prefer.

    2. This year and over the past few years, Greek Life at WVU has seen a significant change, especially fraternities. With Gordon Gee trying to cut down on Greek Life related incidents, that means a lot of changes. What do alumni think of this change? Potential sources for this could be Greek Life alumni, Matt Richardson (the director of Greek Life at WVU), and current members of Greek Life.

    3. In the Spring, it was announced the Stansbury Hall would no longer be in use. This is just another building on the list that are being torn down, repurposed, or remodeled. Arnold Hall is another example, and it will be repurposed for the next several years as offices. What will happen to these buildings in the coming years? Potential sources are the people in charge of what will happen to the buildings, people who work in the new offices in Arnold, and people who live around the buildings who will be impacted by the change.

    4. This school year WVU made massive changes to the Mountainlair food options. They took out common chain restaurants and replaced them with lesser known companies. Did getting rid of the popular chain restaurants save the school money, and if so, did that lower the price of meal plans? Sources for this could be students who have meal plans or Bryan Jarrell (WVU dining services/ PR manager).

    5. For as long as I can remember, WVU has been listed as a top party school in the country. I feel like the WVU administration has been trying to stop the massive partying that used to happen several years ago. Examples of this trying to be stopped are emails being sent out to students before big events like Halloween, police pepper spraying areas to get students off the streets, etc. Sources for this could be the UPD Police Chief, UPD Police officers, and students who have witnesses the change in force.

    • ahost97 says:

      The concept is great. A story idea I would add is the changes that have already be made to Milan Puskar Stadium and the Coliseum. Additionally, I know there would be a great story idea when talking about the new university idea of “Climbing Higher” which is renovated or adding new things to the athletic areas to attract higher rated division I athletes.

    • AJ Barnes says:

      This is very similar to the idea I pitched, although I didn’t think to include Greek Life and the party school atmosphere in those ideas. I think there could be a lot of potential with this topic, and certainly plenty of people to interview. Going in and getting media (pictures, videos, tweets, etc.) would be easy as well because most of this is accessible to students. Most of these idea’s are WVU based changes, so if you added a few outside of the University I think this could be really good.

    • These are good concepts! I had similar ones, so I think we would work great together. The concept about massive changes to the Mountainlair is a good idea and one that I did not have. Almost every student gets food from the Mountainlair, so what if we even did something about finding out if they kept the students’ opinions in mind when getting rid of/adding new places. The sushi place, for example, I felt like so many people ate there, so why did they get rid of it if it was a popular place students enjoyed? Bryan Jarrell may be a good source for these questions as well.

    • ABlogByBrie says:

      I really enjoy this idea, I think you can do a whole post about stores (small businesses) being forced to close because of chains like Sheetz coming in. You could interview the old owners of the store that left the passive-aggressive note on their building about having to close because of sheetz. You could also expand on the greek life post by interviewing alum, asking about how much has changed, whether the reins have tightened or loosened. There’s a lot there, and it has the potential of becoming multiple posts.

  13. Dan Walsh says:

    College is hard and then you die
    This will be a blog for the students in Morgantown and center around the lifestyle and issues that we all more or less live through. College student culture is interesting and it is a community in itself. This blog will center around bringing this little world that we live in some light. After all we’re in a grey area of time that seems unreal and we all seem to be making it up as we go along. This blog will highlight our effort of finding our way.
    1. If the university is so worried about safety why are there so many instances of it showing it doesn’t. I remember a couple weeks ago there was a stabbing on campus and us students weren’t notified until 3-4 days later. Why the delay? There are many instances like this we could explore.
    2. Greek life is going away. Whether you’re into it or not, or just like going to the parties this will in some way or form make its way to your door. What does this mean for the people who are in Greek and what does this mean for the people who can’t wait until it’s gone?
    3. The perfect football tailgate for the college student. We could explore what people believe is the best way to tailgate, where the best place to tailgate is and what the best way to get drunk as hell on a Saturday is. Tailgating football games is a big deal for many of the students here, this is a way to find everyone’s favorite traditions.
    4. Could explore best places to get cheap food with the best deals. Look we’re in college, we’re poor and we’re hungry. Many of us eat a steady cycle of pasta, ramen, and pb&j. And when we go out to eat we’re always worried about giving away the dollars. Could look into what restaurants and food places give out discounts for students, have deals for food on certain days or straight up just get the best value for the dollar.
    5. Stress. All of us have it. Many people go days on days stressing, getting little sleep and contemplating dropping out and joining a pyramid scheme. We could look at and explain things we could do to manage stress, relax and get get some peace of mind. Mental health is important. We could interview yoga instructors, therapists, psychologists, the people who own Cool Ridge and our moms about how we should go about taking care of our mental health when the world is crashing down.

    • ahost97 says:

      I am very interested in the idea of how college students make their way. I know it was hard for my to find my way freshman year. Even though I am not far from home.
      A topic I would discuss is how international students deal with being away from home and having to deal with a drastic culture change in the United States and WVU. I am friends with a few of these students and I always find it interesting when talking to them about their stories.

    • ahost97 says:

      I know it was hard for my to find my way freshman year. Even though I am not far from home.
      A topic I would discuss is how international students deal with being away from home and having to deal with a drastic culture change in the United States and WVU. I am friends with a few of these students and I always find it interesting when talking to them about their stories.

    • Patrick Kotnik says:

      This is an interesting concept. You could also do a story on how students adjust from their hometowns to Morgantown. For some it’s an easy transition, but it can be difficult for some as well. You could interview students and see what it was like for them adjusting to college and life at WVU. You could also tie this in with your story idea about stress and mental health.

  14. Trouble in Transportation
    1. One of the main problems with getting around campus is the PRT system. I think it’s safe to say that most students who use the PRT have had an issue with it either breaking down while on it or waiting forever for a car to come just for an announcement to be made that it has broken down, making students have to find an alternate route and sometimes being late to class or work. Why can’t the university figure out the issue and work toward it to make the PRT more efficient.
    Sources: PRT workers, WVU students, WVU staff

    2. Students who have cars on campus often have problems with finding parking or getting tickets. And besides finding a parking spot, driving to class is an issue within itself with how bad the roads are in
    Morgantown. Also, the university parking fee per hour is more than the hourly fee for the city of Morgantown. There has to be a way to find space for more parking and fixing the roads.
    Sources: WVU students, Morgantown traffic commission

    3. When the PRT is down, the next best option for getting across campus is by taking the bus. However, I think there are only two or three total buses that run from beechurst to the evansdale crossing. Why not get more buses? And why do the buses only go downtown and to the crossing? This makes it harder for students who have to go to the medical campus if they don’t drive and the PRT is down.
    Sources: WVU bus drivers, WVU students, mountain line bus company

    4. Flying out of the Morgantown airport is not ideal. It costs more money to fly out of Morgantown than it does to fly out of Pittsburgh, forcing people who are budgeted for travel or want to save money to find a way to get to Pittsburgh, which isn’t too far away but still somewhat of an inconvenience. Also, the Morgantown airport has less options for where you can fly to, another reason to go to Pittsburgh. Why doesn’t the airport have better destination options and cheaper flight options?
    Sources: morgantown airport workers, WVU students

    5. Getting stuck in traffic is a problem for those who drive in Morgantown. At certain times during the day it can take much longer than normal to reach a destination. With all the one way streets in Morgantown, it makes it difficult to find an alternate route to get from one place to another.
    Sources: WVU students, Morgantown traffic commission

    • omvanhorn says:

      I proposed a similar idea to the one you described above when I posted my original group blog concept. Transportation and traffic is huge issue in Morgantown because the population is constantly growing, while the size of our town relatively stays the same. With the change in population brings more cars and more stress on the roadways and transportation systems. Another story idea I had for this concept would be to find out how Morgantown traffic is evolving, both with the increasing amount of cars on the roadways and the constant changes happening to traffic patterns in an attempt to deal with more cars on the roads.

  15. Post Fall Fest Blues

    After Fall Fest, it’s pretty much up to you to decide what you want to do with your free time. Some students don’t have cars to go home for the weekend or go to places like Pittsburgh for fun. It’s really easy to get homesick too. This blog would really look at ways to be involved on campus and in Morgantown. This can go beyond clubs and organizations, but is a way to find out how to stay involved during the fall semester.

    1. Suggesting that students visit Cooper’s Rock or find other places to hike. This could go into talking about the rail trial and how it is important to not walk it alone. This could include interviewing students about if they hike and where they exercise on campus.

    2. Finding events each week for students. This is more than just looking at a calendar. Looking at 5K races, clubs and other activities and seeing specific times. This could look at seeing what organizations offer more events.

    3. This post could be about Greek Life and how people get involved. One of my suite-mates joined a sorority freshman year. This post could include the benefits and the drawbacks in being involved in greek life on campus.

    4. Volunteering helps builds a resume and helps build character. This post could focus on finding events that need volunteers. It would be a good way to look at the Morgantown community and see what organizations really need volunteers and students to help them out.

    5. Find restaurants that have good areas to study. Panera is a typical place where people meet, but what local restaurants offer good food and good seating for individuals and groups. This post could include interviews with students about where they prefer to study and how they feel about going to new places to study.

    • ericaryoung says:

      I considered pitching the “post fall fest blues” idea as well! I like this idea because I think it is important for students to be involved on campus and find things that interest them. It helps them to find purpose and to meet new people. Some ideas I have for this would be to look into some specific student organizations and highlight what exactly they do and to look into fitness classes at the student rec center. These would stress the importance of keeping students involved and happy/healthy.

  16. ahost97 says:

    Getting to class in Morgantown:
    My group idea is going to be on the transportation issue in Morgantown. Primarily dealing with how students get to class with an unreliable PRT system and only one major busing system in Morgantown(Mountain Line). We have many story ideas and multiple angles we can go at this topic with. One of the main issue I want to focus on is the PRT and how unreliable it is even though the university’s statistics say otherwise. Another issue is the roads of Morgantown and how they affect our vehicles when we have to drive to class and are the big trucks allowed downtown apart of the issue. Moving into another issue is the availability of parking and how the university charges more for parking than the city. Our fees keep going up and the breakdowns for the PRT are higher but the prices for parking are still high.
    Additionally, how do students get to class on bad weather days when the PRT is down and the bus is running behind schedule and how professor deal with lower attendance due to kids being gone due to the weather.
    Finally, all the PRT system upgrades and still the breakdowns what is the university actually doing to address the issue and to fix the system that the university uses as a recruiting tool.

  17. ALL 'EERS says:

    Changes in Town (Tentative Title)
    Plenty of things change around Morgantown; whether its within the University, down on High Street or across town, nothing is always the same. The focus of this blog would be on changes made in Morgantown and the impact they would have.

    1. Arnold Hall is one of the major renovations going on at the University right now. What does the University plan to do with the space overall? This post could include what they have done with it in the past and what they are currently doing with the space.

    2. Another major project is Stansbury Hall, set to be torn down sometime next year. This post could include interviews from the departments located in the building and talk about where they are moving everyone.

    3. Sunnyside is being bought up by the University piece by piece. What will be the next step for the University and why does it feel the need to get rid of student houses and replace them with apartments? An interview from a student who lives in the new apartments v an interview from someone who lives in a house could act as a compare and contrast.

    4. Summit & the Mountainlair have been stepping up their game with healthier food options and the dining hall being redone. What do the students think about these changes?

    5. Jamesons> Almost Heaven how is the new bar doing? What renovations were made and how does the community feel about losing an old bar?

    • I follow someone on social media who was posting pictures and video at the bar, Almost Heaven, before it opened. I think that would be a good story and a way to investigate the communities opinion. We could find out what people think about the construction in Morgantown.

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