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:Wheelchair Ride to Panhellenic Pride: Ramps, Recruitment, and Reaching Full Accessibility to Sororities
Author(s):O'Connor, Maggie
Subject(s):Panhellenic Council
Abstract:With 18 sororities that participate in formal recruitment at the University of Illinois, Panhellenic Council seeks to promote full inclusion and “mutual understanding” among all women who decide that they want to become a part of the Greek system. For women in wheelchairs or motor chairs, Panhellenic Council facilitates the accommodations necessary to allow the potential new member to visit every house. This paper explores the limitations of accessibility that is only required for formal recruitment and how this may deter or promote participation in sorority life for women in wheelchairs. Ultimately, it highlights the ways in which the Panhellenic community is working toward but still has yet to reach mutual understanding of what “accessibility” means between able-bodied sorority members and women with disabilities.
Issue Date:2012
Course / Semester:English 199/CHP; Spring 2012
Instructor, Catherine Prendergast
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-07-04

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  • 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.

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