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:Invisibility in Graduate Student Health Insurance at UIUC
Author(s):Scarborough, Isabel
Mckinley Health Center
Multicultural Health Center
Graduate Students
International Students
Abstract:This project investigates health insurance issues amongst international graduate students who are residents of student and family housing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). On the basis of interviews, time allocation mapping, archival research, and review of university documents, the study finds that that the Multicultural Health Center provides very few actual health care services, and the space itself is practically and virtually “invisible” to both members of the UIUC community, and the larger Champaign-Urbana population. This is so, despite the fact that the inadequacy of the university health insurance for the UIUC graduate student population is a topic which has been debated for the past four decades within the university community, and which is an important part of current contract negotiations between UIUC’s Graduate Employee’s Organization and this university’s administration. The author argues that the invisibility of the MCHC is symptomatic of a larger problem in which UIUC’s administration is deploying health care and health insurance as a mechanism to exert power and surveillance on its graduate student population, and thus assert its position of authority. 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Publication Status:unpublished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.
  • The University and the Community
    This collection of student research interrogates the relationships between the university and the local community.
  • 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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