Exercise 5


Student Proposal Example: UNH Pathway

In this proposal about unpaved pathways at UNH, the student is arguing that there should be more than enough money to pave the paths that students have discovered because then the student body would be safer while walking at night. She is addressing the university itself, explaining that this is an issue needs attention immediately. She has done research on the new projects that UNH has started, or completed. Within her proposal she has compiled a list of the projects, and how much they have costed. The end price is a whopping 106 million dollars spent on the Hamel Recreation Center, Hamilton Smith , and other projects as well. She effectively argues that if UNH can spend this much on these buildings, why can’t they find the extra 10,000 dollars to better ensure the safety of their students? This research is the defining piece of the proposal itself, making her small request of a paved path seem miniscule in comparison to the major projects that UNH has recently undergone.

The author also discusses the consequences of not having a paved path on campus. She mentions the issue of drug use on the path, and also the risk of assault on a dimly lit path as well. She uses statistics from the police department, and from outside sources regarding sexual assault on all campuses. She found that the university police “do not keep detailed records as to exact locations of where the reported assaults occur.” There is no detailed accounts of who was attacked or where it happened, and if the author tried to find the details, it would not be ethically correct. These victims deserve their privacy. The author does a great job with the information that she was able to gather. Even with the broad evidence that she has found, she makes the argument that without having these paths paved and lit, there is an increased chance that there would be an increased amount of attacks.

As I previously highlighted, the strongest aspect of this proposal was the list of projects that she lists out to compare how much money UNH has spent. The total cost of the paved path at most is 15,000 dollars. This evidence puts the argument into perspective that paying this small amount should not even be a second thought after spending so much on the other projects. She uses the phrase “drop in the bucket,” to describe how this path would not be much at all in the big scheme of things. This effectively conveys that this argument is to benefit the welfare of UNH students as a whole, something that UNH should take seriously.

The weakest aspect of this proposal is the fact that the author discusses drug use on the path. With or without being paved, people will still continue to use marijuana or other drugs. This issue does not really relate to the argument at hand, which is that the path needs to be paved and lit. Students find all different types of places to use drugs around campus, and by paving this path there is no guarantee that students will stop using drugs in that particular location.

Overall, I found the author’s argument to pave and light this pathway very effective because she uses logical and valuable evidence to support her claims. In the end she is trying to convey that the safety of UNH students is the most important factor of this project, something that the university should take priority over everything else.