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:Life on Campus: Then and Now
Author(s):Weller, Morgan
RHET105M5 S08
Abstract:My research methods were to get as much info from current students as from alumni. I wanted to ask them questions that would prompt emotional responses. I asked them all the same questions. I also wanted to do it in a setting that they were comfortable in. In the end, I found that most of the people that I interviewed wanted the Chief to come back. The older the people were the more passionate they were about this. I found that my grandparents were incredibly emotional about it and upset. They were sick about the fact that he was gone. Students that were seniors or had just graduated were irate about the situation. They were furious that he was being taken away after being here for 80 years and they wanted to do something about it. Younger students that had just gotten here and hadn't really experienced the chief one way or the other still seemed to want him back, but didn't have the emotion that all of the others did.
Issue Date:2008
Course / Semester:Rhetoric 105, Principles of Composition, Race & the University, Instr. Kristin McCann: This course entailed continual negotiation of three primary focuses: academic writing, introduction to ethnographic research methodologies, and critical inquiry into issues of race and representation. I approached this course as a semester-long conversation with students, the texts with which we engaged, and the kairos of the physical and ideological spaces in which we were immersed. I encouraged students to draw upon their expertise as current UIUC undergraduates and to consider their stake in the university’s narratives. Students were, of course, not expected to produce a complete ‘ethnography’; rather, to consider what combination of ethnographic research methodologies might be most useful to their specific essays and research projects and what issues they deemed most exigent for their inquiries. Students also had the opportunity to present at the bi-annual EUI conference, alongside other EUI undergraduate and graduate students. The course syllabus is available at:
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-06-10

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.
  • 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.
  • Technology and Student Life
    This collection appreciates and investigates the meanings and impact of new technologies on students' social lives, learning, and group formation.
  • University Units and Institutional Transformation
    Projects in this collection explore institutional growth and change as seen in the histories and practices of university units and programs.

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