Campus Shooting: Georgia State University’s Rhetoric as an Inner City Institution Analysis

The moon Illuminating Piedmont North Dorms on the night of the shooting.

The moon Illuminating Piedmont North Dorms on the night of the shooting.

When I first received my acceptance letter to Georgia State, I was tentative about attending school here this being due to the fact that safety concerns are a huge part of the spacial rhetoric for Downtown Atlanta and subsequently- Georgia State has. With the biased lens of a 18 year old girl who grew up in a predominantly upper class, white suburb section of Los Angeles county, Georgia State seemed scary. In what ways does a city with: “a violent crime rate of 1,433 per 100,000” (Forbes) really manipulate the rhetoric behind a leading research university located in it’s heart? An example of this manipulation can be easily found- stemming from a drug related shooting that occurred on campus- just days ago. It was nine o’clock at night when I was walking back into my dorm. Earphones in and desperately wanting a shower after doing my hour and a half at the gym I rushed upstairs- completely unaware of what was occurring in the parking lot directly behind me. At 9:00 on Monday night, March 21st 2016, Georgia State Freshman, Bryan Rhoden and Shelton Torance Flournoy (who does not attend GSU) got into a drug related altercation in the parking lot of the Piedmont North Dorm building that resulted with both Rhoden, and Flournoy shot in the chest and rushed to Grady Hospital.

Police in Piedmont Dorm parking lot the night of shooting.

Police in Piedmont Dorm parking lot the night of shooting.

As I observed the aftermath of the shooting (consisting mostly of bewildered residents of the dorm and policemen with blue lights flashing in the parking lot below) from the balcony of Piedmont North’s sixth floor balcony over the parking lot and past to Piedmont Avenue NorthEast. I began to see and hear something very similar from each individual who pulled out their phone to record what was happening or between people having a conversation. “Only at Georgia State would something like this happen.” Different renditions of this same exclamation began to pour out of people’s mouths and just as quickly onto different modes of social media like Twitter or Snapchat. Hashtags like #RatchetSchool and #GetItTogetherGSU became associated with the shooting, the city of Atlanta- and Georgia State as a whole. It seemed to me like Georgia States location had an unspoken and irreversible rhetoric of being a school were violent crimes or drug related crimes were to be expected because of its location in the heart of Downtown Atlanta. Linked with words like “ratchet” and “ghetto” Georgia State began to receive even more flack when news outlets like 11 Alive News alerted the masses to the details of the shooting before the university did. Analyzing the unspoken rhetoric can be extremely useful when the connotations of the area surrounding can turn to be problematic. It seems like Georgia State University, although a highly accredited school, will always be “guilty by association” – possessing the spacial rhetoric of the city it calls home.

Actually An Annotation: Digital Media Data Analysis Faux Pas

Brown, Ammon. “Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes in Digital Media Data Analysis.” Search Engine Watch Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes in Digital Media Data Analysis Comments., 05 July 2011. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.

Ammon Brown, a professional internet marketer with a veritable cornucopia of digital media skills and a: “self proclaimed former Googler, startup veteran, shoddy programmer, SEO and SEM nerd, all around generalist in the digital space by day and by night carouser and stand up comedian” writes in his article “By understanding the caveats of digital media data analysis and examining relationships carefully, media planners and buyers can launch and manage better performing campaigns with accurate, proven results” (Brown). Brown heavily relies on his primary sources and general knowledge on the topic as a professional internet marketer in composing this article, his professional occupation reinforcing his ethos. His purpose is to inform companies on how to more efficiently analyze and market to consumers via digital media. The intended audience are companies who utilize digital marketing to reach their consumers and those with interest in digital analysis data and how it can be applied in beyond the virtual world and into reality.This is useful because it notifies business of how they are making mistakes in reaching their consumers to generate business growth, it also works to notify consumers of what business tactics are being utilized to gain profit by major businesses, and it aids researchers of digital analysis and users of the internet how to change their digital rhetoric to reach a broader audience or bring a positive digital consumers.

Campus Shooting: Georgia State University’s Rhetoric as an Inner City Institution Description

Georgia State University Homepage.

Georgia State University Homepage.

When Georgia State University’s homepage loads, one is immediately greeted with a video titled: “Accepted? Find Out What’s Next” playing in a rectangular box with arrows on each side that allow the reader to toggle through some of the highlighted information or events presented by the school. Immediately having my attention pulled to the video and the pictures on the site, I notice that each of the links associated with each individual photo illuminates a positive aspect of attending Georgia State. The video edited to include footage of students walking through the plaza, food being prepared in the dining halls, or the university’s more modern, contemporary architectural buildings such as Aderhold and the Law Building. When clicked upon, links will send you to articles on technological or scientific  advancements all affiliated with Georgia States Research 1 graduate program.


Passage Responses: Schindler’s “Architectural Exclusion”

1. Urban Design is exactly what it sounds like: the layout and architectural from the lines on the street to the top of the skyscrapers in an Urban, city-like location. Visually, Urban Design can look like what a Georgia State student sees when they walk to and fro from the numerous and fluctuating in architectural stylistics buildings that Georgia State owns. We at GSU are surrounded and immersed in Urban Design.

4. A lot of times people barely recognize the implications behind architecture or urban design, much less are cognizant of the exclusionary nature behind it. Something as simple as a park bench with bars separating 3 seats could be viewed as such (more than likely by people who live in the community or are privileged). However, for a homeless person, those bars, bar them from being able to sleep on the benches.

7. Architecture designs are all created with purpose. The phrase “there are no neutral designs” is in concurrence with that. All architecture has rhetoric, it simply communicates to different people different things- especially within different socioeconomic statuses.

14. It is very common to see African Americans (or POC in general)  living in urban or metropolitan communities and Caucasians residing in suburban areas because of the stratification in cost of living. This fact, and the fact that many minorities living in the inner city either cannot afford or have no need to possess private transit such as a car. Therefore public transit is very common and heavily used. Although minorities have access to transit suburban towns have blocked this transit from reaching their towns- keeping minorities and their ability to get jobs in the inner city.

Rhetorically Right Reflection

All throughout my education writing and English have been my strong suits. The switch from creative into academic writing styles as I progressed in my education is a change that I’ve had to grow accustomed to and alter my writing style in some ways in order to progress as a writer in general. This specific class is furthering my writing abilities in that not only does it teach a research based style of academic writing, but also focuses on the importance of digital literacy and how to properly construct a website and how to write in digital spaces. This new emphasis on digital literacy is very new to me and thusly requires of me to get out of the comfort zone of traditional academic writing- trading in MLA formatted essays for blog posts. This class has already taught me a lot about research writing and about the actual research that goes into it. Having assignments like annotated bibliographies have done a lot to not only teach me the process of acquiring good scholarly information such as secondary or primary research from a scholarly source, but also has resulted in me- and my peers- being able to use one another’s personal research for our own research projects, but also learn from one another’s mistakes. Due to the experimental nature of this class, the whole thing for me so far has been a learning process and has revealed to me some discrepancies about my writing such as my lack of brevity when needed and my need to make my thesis and writing overall more clear. Although there have been times in this class alone where my writing has not met up to my best standards I have utilized some of the extra credit opportunities such as edits to my blog to make it more navigable and appealing to a browser. I’ve put a lot of effort into getting out of my comfort zone in this class by learning a new style of writing and changing my mode of publication of this writing. However, because of my adversity to this change in the beginning of the class some of my earlier works could use some of the revisions that were suggested on my Google Document.

Although not even halfway through this class has taught me a lot not only in an academic sense on how to construct an efficient scholarly website, and how to do good research, but how to objectively and constantly analyze the world around you, how everything has rhetoric and communicates something, and how something as simple as the architectural structure of a building, city, or even website can have significant meaning.

My Google Doc: A Pondering.

I received a lot of good feed back via Google document from my Professor, Ms. Arrington. Not only is the use of a Google document to allow real time correspondence and positive critiquing and feedback extremely efficient, but also very tech savvy which goes along with the curriculum of this class that emphasizes digital literacy. In regards to the feedback given to me specifically about my reading summaries, I found that the critiquing was very positive and very constructive. Not only was feedback given on how well i interpreted and then summarized the material, but I was also given step by step examples of how to improve (such as how to improve organization) but also resources like the face to face help from my Professor in order to really know what she’s looking for and be able to utilize her advice to improve my writing skills. Based upon this I plan to schedule an appointment with my professor to more in depth go over what I need to do in order to improve my summary writing.

Some Summarizing Stuff: Architectural Exclusion

The Architectural Exclusion piece by Sarah Schindler: Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment was not only deeply insightful and thought provoking, but also maddening. In this piece Schindler breaks down exactly what architectural exclusion is and how architecture is used to alter the behavior and abilities of the people within or surrounded by said architecture, and even how it is purposely constructed to exclude.

Schindler describes architectural exclusion as “a man made built environment with specific features that make it difficult for certain individuals- usually poor people and people of color- to access certain places”. Some of these exclusionary architectural pieces are obvious, such as walls or gates, others such as bus stops and traffic signs are more insidious in their purpose of denying unwanted people into suburbia or other places of higher socioeconomic status. Lawmakers and civil activists have catalyzed progressive change in acts of exclusion towards minorities or those living in poverty such as rezoning, however when it comes to architectural exclusion many things such as lack of streets signs to allow for people who are unfamiliar with the area (people of lower socioeconomic status who couldn’t afford to live there) to be able to get around efficiently, thus discouraging people who don’t live in the neighborhood to travel in that area.

Another example of architectural exclusion given by the author is the placement of bus and train stops. It doesn’t usually come to the attention of the minds of people who don’t use public transportation, however to those who utilize public transportation, they are affected directly by the decision made by suburban predominantly white areas to blocked transportation stops from their areas. This keeps out undesirable people from living, visiting and working in their areas. This form of exclusion not only acts to keep people of lower socioeconomic out, but also inhibits them from acquiring higher paying jobs if not jobs at all. Schindler provides an example of how this form of built environment has even proved to be dangerous for those trying to escape the confines of the environment they live in. Cynthia Wiggins, a 17-year-old girl African American girl had to walk across a 7 lane highway to walk to work, and got struck and died. She was on her way to work at Walden Galleria, a suburban upscale mall. She was forced to cross the highway every time on her way to work because her bus route did not cross Walden Avenue, a street that split two cities. Transit stops also prevent those in a lower socioeconomic place from getting jobs in that they can’t get to the jobs. However money isn’t the problem. Some areas with higher socioeconomic stature will readily raise the minimum wage to encourage older people and teenagers already living in the area to work. Further proving the blocking of transit is really to architecturally exclude.

This article really shocked me in that our society has even more insidious ways of enforcing institutionalized racism and peniaphobia. Schindlers piece on architectural exclusion breaks down the many ways that we do that, and reveals how subconscious America’s exclusion of those who are not of a certain culture or socioeconomic stature really is.

Syllabus and Course Info Take Home Quiz

What are the major projects? In a bulleted list, provide links to the project descriptions for each of them.

Reading Summaries:

Annotated Bibliographies:|2||annotatedbibs|0

Built Environment Descriptions:|0

Built Environment Analysis:|0


Final Website:|0||participation|0||finalwebsite|0
How will your final grade be calculated?

You will earn points for just about everything you do in this course–attending class, completing in-class work, studying, major projects, contributing material to our collaborative archive about the built environment in Atlanta, etc., etc. You can also lose points for missing class, failing to turn in a project on time, coming to class unprepared, etc., etc. At the end of the course, if you have completed all four of the major projects (reading summaries, annotated bibliography, built environment descriptions, and built environment analysis), your letter grade will be assigned based on the points you’ve earned.

What is the “submission form” and how do you use it?

we use this form to submit pretty much everything for which you’d like to earn points–study group reflections, major project drafts, contributions to our Atlanta built environment archive, etc. We will keep track of when you come to see us during office hours for individual or group conferences and when you complete exercises in Writer’s Help.

Embed the form below your answer (hint: Google “embed Google form” to find out how).
Embed the course calendar and weekly overview below this question.

Found how to do it, however there is no drop down menu at the top of the form?
Where on the course website can you find an overview of what’s due and the readings for each  unit?

The week to week overviews include a weekly unit based overview.

Under the course overview and syllabus tab.

The Unit Overviews within the week by week overviews.
What is the best way to see an overview of what’s due each week?

Weekly overview (see syllabus tab)

Detailed Course Overview with a week by week

What is the attendance policy?

You earn points for coming to class and lose points for unexcused absences. Students in the M/W F2F section earn 20 points for coming to class, and lose 20 points for each absence. Students in the hybrid sections earn 40 points for coming to class, and lose 40 points for each absence. Arriving to class late will result in a deduction of 10-20 points. In this course, students are expected to adhere to the Georgia State University student code of conduct.

What are my office hours, and how do you make an appointment to see me outside of class?

Office hours: Tuesdays 9:30-11:30 a.m., and by appointment; I’m able to meet via WebEx or Google Hangout if you can not be on campus Course Description Everything that is composed contains information.

How do you earn participation credit? Provide a link to the instructions/guidelines for particiption.
How many points can you earn by participating in or organizing a study group session?
How can you be assured of earning an “A” in this course?

2500 points
What are the minimum requirements for earning a passing grade of “C”?

1475 Points

What do you do if you’re not sure how to document your participation in order to earn points?

Contact Mrs. A

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