As part of the actual NAU.edu site, my site is built into campus politics. Similar to WeThePeople, it goes directly to the campus Senate to be voted on and passed/declined. My site is about as user friendly as the actual NAU site, and has the same kind of homepage. This makes the students feel more at home, and like the petitions will actually reach the desk of the president as it is more official.
- because the site is a plug-in, it would draw administrative attention necessarily, and force them to pay attention.
- the students/staff/faculty would sign by first signing in with their NAU ID and password, and then proceeding to read more about the petition and sign with their NAU ID and password again. This ensures that there is no fraud happening in the signing process.
- Students/staff/faculty would learn about petitions through the link on the nau.edu homepage, and could learn more about each petition through the “Current Petitions” button. After signing a petition, petitioners can also share via social media that they signed and what/why they signed. This ensures that the maximum amount of people can hear about it.
- Any student/staff/faculty can start a petition with their NAU ID and password
- Each petition needs 10 signatures to be passed onto the Senate who will vote on it from there
- I chose this approach because in a college setting, I believe that only an official petition would actually be heard by the policy makers. Successful petitioning is one in where the majority vote is acted upon.
A faux case could be a petition for more parking on campus. The original petitioner (OP) would click the “Start a Petition” button. From there, they would be directed to an “About” page where they would explain the what and why of the petition and tag it with keywords. From there, the site would recommend any relevant previous petitions and offer a “continue with my petition” button (several pages down, to where they have to click through all of the suggested petitions before being able to continue (this ensures that they know all of the previous attempts and why they failed/succeeded)). After that, they will sign (yes, they sign their own petition), and be able to share the petition via any form of social media. Once 10 people have also signed the petition, the petition will reach the desk of the NAU Senate who will then vote on whether or not to proceed with the process. If they vote no, the OP will be informed that it did not pass, with a brief summary of why not. If they vote yes, the OP will be informed that it did pass, and the next steps for helping NAU achieve the OP’s goals. The NAU senate will then proceed to talk to the president and relevant people to make the petitioned action happen.
I learned that designing a website gets easier with practice. Bright colors are not always the best thing, nor is bold font, but rather a balance that draws the viewers eye to what you want them to see. I learned that it could potentially be really easy to be a clictivist, but at the same time, depending on the user friendliness of the site, it could also be very difficult. If you are doing it in an attempt to be better informed and actually change the world for the good, even slight blocks in the road could be seen as learning tools; however, if you are doing it in an attempt to simply be a whistle-blower and don’t really want to follow through or accept the consequences of your actions, learning more through roadblocks is just a frustration. Online petitions all work differently, but could potentially be a good idea. In the case of WeThePeople, I think it is one of the best ways that the White House could hear the voice of the people. But, in the case of Change, I think that I would categorize “petitioning” under whistle-blowing. Everything matters in politics, and petition sites could be a big influence in politics of the future. Large petitions that have many votes should gain attention, but should also be weighed against costs and be tested to see how much of the population agrees with it.