Some of the feedback and additional ideas that we received from the workshop were:
- Student input: We were asked the question of whether or not we had considered polling our fellow students about their thoughts on the Thomson space. I know that this was briefly mention in our discussion amongst our group members but we felt that the greater hurdle was in convincing the administration to let us change the space. There would be value in getting other student’s perspectives to increase the amplitude of the issue (more specifically pointing to the voices of complaint and not a general complaint). However we were hesitant to reach out, especially this late in the process. On one hand it would not hurt to try but also would that confuse the structure/angle of our argument more. Also what format and platform would we use to get student ideas but not create a false sense of hope?
- Frame of Argument: Our writing center staffer asked the simple question of how we intended to frame the argument which should evoke an easy answer at this point which we had but I personally wondered if we might need to tweak it just a little bit. Also this was a good exercise of really stating more clearly the direction in which we are arguing from. From our informal meetings with various stakeholders, we concluded that our argument is not necessarily an argument for community, as we had thought it might be, but more of a reminder that the attention to details and intentional thought of a space are important for community. We want to argue strongly from the point of the students’ need for a stable dedicated community space that is an extension of the outdoor space of back circle. We want to persuade our Stakeholder not to make it another study space, bike storage, etc by emphasizing their fear that was discussed with us. That fear being of the possible isolation that comes with suite style living. So in appealing to administrators we are going to finesse the existing language of community in a reminder of the connotated assumptions and spirit of Transy’s campus that extends beyond academics. We also are drawing on the previous instances of renovated community spaces such as Alumni Plaza which were overwhelmingly major successes.
- Tips for Proposal Format: While one of our group members has some experience in writing short grant proposals, we asked the for pointers on what should all be included in a proposal style document. We have come to the agreement that we will need a more formal piece of documentation to leave with our stakeholder in order for that person to not only have a reference but also then be able to take it on up through the chain. Our writing staffer had not exactly written a proposal document but had done something similar to it which was most closely described as an advocate letter. However what was suggested most simply was that our proposal would need to include: overview, background/ problem, solution(s), budget, and layout.