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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.

Student Identity and Cultural Centers

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Title: Student Identity and Cultural Centers
Author(s): Files, Ryan
Subject(s): Identity social spaces diversity african american asian american
Abstract: Cultural centers are traditionally known as a haven for entering students that fosters learning about individuals and their culture. However, many feel that the cultural centers do not fulfill their traditional roles as learning environments. Some feel that cultural centers are exclusionary while others feel that they are important within the university. The purpose of this study is twofold. The first is examining the problems students have when they enter the university. The second will analyze how the cultural centers address the concerns of these students. An ethnographic methodology was used, composed of interviews with administrators who are directly involved with the cultural centers, as well as students, undergraduate and graduate, who attend the university. Historical materials were gathered to explore the context and time periods of the struggles for cultural centers as well as initial goals for these centers. At the end of this study, this data is assessed to determine if the cultural centers have adhered to their mission statement. The final result is to understand what possible solutions can be found to ease the transition for students into the university.
Issue Date: 2008-02-11
Type: Text
Publication Status: unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS: 2008-02-11

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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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