The three potential topics that I’m considering for my researched argument are sustainability, affirmative action, and student debt. I like each of these topics because they can be examined not only on a societal level, but also on a campus level. I also think that they’re all topics that I won’t get bored with, and haven’t been “overdone”. For sustainability, my question is “How can colleges work towards creating a more environmentally and socially sustainable campus environment?”. I’m interested in exploring the topic of sustainability because it’s something that I’m learning about in my sociology class. We recently had the co-founders of a company called AndAgain come to speak to our class. AndAgain is a company that upcycles jeans, which has many environmental and socially sustainable benefits. For instance, it reduces the amount of pesticide use and water wasted in the production of jeans. What’s great about this company is that its co-founders are both students here at UD. This made me start to think about what other steps the UD community can take in order to make our campus more sustainable. I’m also interested in the topic of affirmative action because it’s something that I’ve heard of before, but don’t know a lot about. For this topic, my question is “Is it fair for colleges to favor one group of students over others based solely on factors like race and gender?”. Since I don’t know much about this topic, I hope that through my research I’m able to determine which side of the argument I tend to lean towards. The third topic that interests me is student debt, particularly now that I’m a college student myself. My question is “To what extent should colleges reduce their tuitions in order to make a college-level education more accessible?”. It’s mind-boggling to me how drastically the price of college tuition has increased over the past decade or so. The tuition for an out-of-state student at UD is over $30,000! Now that I have these three topics in mind, I need to decide which topic will inspire me to write the strongest researched argument.
For the issue of student debt, an online platform proves vital and encouraging to helping quell the problem. The internet stands a great means to reach almost everyone in today’s world, especially college students and college graduates, who the issue has the greatest impact on. Although this issue affects many people decades after graduation, it poses the greatest impact in the short term, so the young age of those affected the most propels for greater spread through social media. As younger individuals are more inclined to use social media, the ability to reach a larger audience, by the means of twitter, etc., proves easier. Likewise, the staggering statistics set forth in various website platforms proves vital in spreading the extent of such an issue. One website that I feel does a great job of doing so is debtcollective.org. Upon entering the website, the visitor sees the amount of reported debt on the website in the United States. Even though many people will not have reported their debt, the number presented is still astounding, standing well into the one hundred millions. Additionally, the website provides links to several articles that speak to the injustice of student debt that many people face and proves easy to navigate. Moreover, it provides a platform for people to debate on ways to promote advocacy and direct action on how to combat the issue, and as a result, gathers people into a more cohesive unit and allows for greater spread of the problem. The website also launched Rolling Jubilee, a project that intends to abolish student debt. This website furthers awareness on the topic, allowing for users to spread the word through twitter and by providing videos ranging from information on the issue to actual student protests that have occurred as a result of student debt.
Much like the websites above, I intend to make my website easy to navigate from topic to topic. I also hope to present the information and statistics in the most efficient way possible as the two websites have done, highlighting the stats that validate the great extent of the issue. Furthermore, the use of various pictures and videos aided in the experience of the websites as it created a greater emotional response to the students who are impacted, so I hope to incorporate such visuals in order to create a similar effect. Overall, the most important aspect of my website will be to help the reader understand how truly comparable the issue of student debt is, and that there are several ways to combat the issue and lessen the burden it places on countless people throughout the nation.