The following appeared in a memo from the director of student housing atBuckingham College.
"To serve the housing needs of our students, Buckingham Collegeshould build a number of new dormitories. Buckingham's enrollment is growingand, based on current trends, will double over the next 50 years, thusmaking existing dormitory space inadequate. Moreover, the average rent for anapartment in our town has risen in recent years. Consequently, students willfind it increasingly difficult to afford off-campus housing. Finally,attractive new dormitories would make prospective students more likelyto enroll at Buckingham."
Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed toevaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthenthe argument.
In this argument, a director recommend Buckingham College to build some new dormitories to commensurate the increasing need of students. The director point out the significant growth of students in 50 years and the also rising average rent which may cause the reduction of off-campus students. These facts the director has listed may appear to be convincing at first glance, however, when scrutinizing closely, the argument lack several critical evidences which should be given before rush to a conclusion.
In the first place, the director predicts an incessant growing trend accounts for the inadequacy of dormitory space in the near future. A hidden assumption behind this prediction is that all conditions and factors upon which the current trend depends will remained unchanged in the future. However, the circumstance can vary a lot with the fleeting of time. The enrollment may not continue grow or even drop down after a few years. To strength his deduction, the director has to provide strong evidence about the unchangeable trend in next 50 years. The same imprudent mistake has been made when the director suggests the rent for off-campus will continue to increase in the following years.
Granted that the growth of enrollment and average rent will endure, the director does not provide complete information concerning that off-campus students will find it difficult to afford rent. The author only informs us that the increment of average rent, but what we care more is that this growth could actually cause many student fail to afford the off-campus apartment. Perhaps the average rent is effected by only some new developed big, luxurious apartment which students would not rent, or maybe the earning of students who have part-time jobs has also increased. For lack of detailed information about the number of off-campus students, we can hardly evaluate that dormitories will be wanting in near future.
Finally, the author need more evidence to assume that the proposed actions are both sufficient and necessary for attaining more enrollment at Buckingham. Adopting the actions alone, however, may not ensure prospective students will be enthralled by the attractive new dormitories. Other aspects such as the quality of teachers and the equipment of laboratories may be more important. Before the dictator makes thorough comparison between the effectiveness of his own proposal and other possible methods, the author’s proposal should not be hastily carried out.
In sum, the director's argument is not persuasive. To bolster it he must provide clearer evidence that the new dormitories is definitely needed for the coming students. Such evidence may include following: statistics showing that the enrollment will double in 50 years; a survey suggesting a growth number of students who cannot afford off-campus housing; and more detailed comparisons showing new dormitories will be an effective attraction to future students.