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:Claimed space at the U of I: Increasing Student Sense of Belonging
Author(s):Bokish, Brianne P.
Subject(s):physical space
claimed space
Abstract:My preliminary research addresses how students at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana claim physical space on campus. Certain groups of students feel territorial about space on campus and it is space usually designated for a specific departments use. Through observation and interviews I discovered that students majoring in music have created a strong community based on space in the music buildings on campus. Departments with designated buildings, libraries, and lounges for their students promote smaller learning communities and a smaller atmosphere on a large campus. Having a space on campus designed only for your major develops a sense of belonging. In further research I will explore other ways in which students develop a sense of belonging. I would like to discover which departments have the most students that claim they belong and which departments have the least and explore which departments offer physical space for their students. If a sense of belonging and having a physical claimed space on campus for one’s major correlate, I propose constructing more buildings or redesigning buildings of departments with the least number of students that feel they belong. A sense of belonging not only makes a student feel happy they are attending the university, but it also increases their likelihood of success and their future loyalty to the school.
Issue Date:2011-08
Course / Semester:ANTH 411; Fall 2010
Ellen Moodie, Instructor
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-10-05

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.

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