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:The "U" Word: Undocumented Students in Higher Education
Author(s):Lagunas, Mayra S.
Equal Opportunity
EPS500 F07
Abstract:I decided to learn as much as I could of those whose struggles had gone unnoticed. The amount of undocumented Latino students in institutes of higher learning are few, but in existence. It is important to know about their struggles, and my obligation as a student of color, to advocate for programming inclusive of resources that would benefit such students. While the U.S. fights wars against the world in the name of democracy, and U.S. humanitarians advocate for the equality of opportunity, many overlook the problems at home. I began looking to find out how the lives of undocumented students were different than those of other Latino students (citizens) at the university. I decided that the best way to get the stories of undocumented students through would be by using their own words and learning about the laws and policies that dominate their lives.
Issue Date:2008-02-22
Course / Semester:EPS 500pf1: Race and Ethnography: A Study of the University, Prof. Priscilla Fortier. As a member of this course students join a campus-wide learning community in which the University of Illinois is being explored ethnographically. Students begin the course by thinking about what the university is, as well as about race and ethnicity as phenomena within the university's narratives. One area of concentration will be "ethnography," and students learn and practice the basic skills of observation, interviewing, and writing as an ethnographer. They complete several relatively short assignments that are intended to help them develop these skills, as well as one larger ethnographic project on the University. The latter allows students to explore an aspect of the university that has to do with as issue of race or ethnicity. The course syllabus is available at:
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-02-22

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • 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.
  • 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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