Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Who's Union Anyway: Exploring Cultural Connections at the University of Illinois through the Illini Union Board
Author(s):Lugo, Eric
Subject(s):Student Organizations
Abstract:This project explores the relevance of the Illini Union Board’s Cultural Programs committees to the very communities they “claim” to represent and investigates the means of communication between the IUB and the departments who represent the Latino academic and social student constituency. On the basis of interviews, web research, and review of university documents, the study finds that, when the Illini Union Board brings down controversial keynotes, this is a surprise to the larger Latino student community, which creates a sentiment that the IUB is not interested in the needs of Latino students, but rather their white counterparts. The assistant director of the Illini Union argues any relationship that is to exist between the cultural programs area of the Illini Union Board and the universities ethnic cultural centers is dependent upon student interests. However, the author wonders whether students eager to participate in the university setting should become the sole bearers of the collective burden that is community representation and advancement? If so, than what is the purpose and role of an advisor to a student run organization? And lastly, by adopting a larger cultural programs area, has the Illini Union Board accepted and lived up to the social obligation that is nurtured within the consciousness of student life and activism at the universities cultural centers? The project includes a proposal for continued research.
Issue Date:2005-05-15
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-09-21

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.
  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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