Week 02 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Lab Reflection

  • Questions:
    • What impact has the military and government made on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
    • Has the military changed the lifestyle of students and faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
  • Line of Inquiry:
    • I would need to find the military’s introduction to the university’s lifestyle. Finding the development of the military at the university will reveal its impact on the buildings and practices. This would also support my argument that the military has made an impact on the University as a whole.
  • 4 Pieces of Evidence:
    • According to the video “1941-1946: How Do Students Live Here?”, “the war would have a stunning effect on the University of Illinois campus, simultaneously draining it of most of its male students, then filling it back up with military trainees” (0:08 – 0:18). I chose this part of the video because it showed the impact the war had on the population of male students enrolled at the university. 
    • According to the James Era Building Tour in the “Campus Historic Maps and Timelines”, “all underclassmen were required to train for three hours a week, and a total of 1,525 soldiers trained actively – double that of most other National Guard units.” The University of Illinois had more National Guard units than any other university during this time. It shows the importance it had on the military and the military impact through the creation of the armory.
    • The next piece of evidence comes from the same video from the first piece. According to the video, “lured by the G.I. Bill, 11,000 veterans signed up at Illinois” (0:53 – 0:57). This example shows the impact the military had on veterans. After the war, they were provided with the opportunity to receive an education that would improve their livelihood.
    • According to the World War I Tour in the “Campus Historic Maps and Timelines, “the University’s engineering department undertook 16 war-related projects at the government’s request.” This showed the early relationship between the University of Illinois and the government. Their innovation as a university helped to push the war efforts for the United States military.
  • Analysis:
    • Overall, I learned a lot about the impactful relationship the University of Illinois creates with its students and alumni. The gallery provides students with the opportunity to participate in the history and heritage that is present at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It was interesting to see the growth from Illinois Industrial University to the present sixteen college university.
    • My analysis answered my question regarding the impact the United States military had on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The evidence showed the increase and decrease of male students during the war. It also shows the growth of the armory making it the biggest national guard training facility. I focused the majority of my research on the impact as a whole. I would say my research into the different buildings impacted by the military would be needed. However, my research has provided me with another question. Why did the United States government use the University of Illinois to train and grow their military body?

Reading Response

The different strategies that Nugent and the DRES Community used to disrupt the dominant image of “disability” were accommodations towards disabled veterans, disabled students’ ability to open doors and portray adaptability, and the integration of sports and recreation. These examples helped students with disabilities exemplify independence and reveal their strengths to the University of Illinois and the governor of Illinois. Another strategy that was used to change the perception of these students was governor William Stratton’s speech which legitimized the program. However, Nugent did not believe this strategy was impactful. According to Steven E. Brown, “Nugent thought legislation might force people to obey laws, but it could also stymie creativity in finding ways to enhance integration, whereas education could truly change attitudes” (180). Brown understood that Nugent wanted education to enhance and disrupt the older image of students with disabilities. Forcing schools to follow a strict set of rules would only limit the growth of disabled students.

One of the problems that needed to be overcome by DRES was the ability for students with disabilities to receive access to technologies at the University of Illinois. According to Expanding Horizons, “DRES has obtained several grants to initiate the development of a distributed network of assistive computer technology that may be used in dormitories or class areas” (31). These innovations have enabled DRES students to become visible on their own terms because the students would not be forced to receive the technology that was only provided at a rehab center. This provides the students with a choice to access the technology around the campus. More options in public area provides visibility in public spaces with their fellow peers.

2 thoughts on “Week 02 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response”

  1. Connecting the increase in technology to an increase in public awareness is a very good point that I did not think about! At the same time, it’s important that as you noted, it allowed DRES students to be visible on their own terms. This relates back to how in the ’50s, the “Sigma Signs” rose as a student-written annual magazine for students with disabilities to showcase their achievements to the rest of the country (Reagan 55). This was instrumental to fostering a self-identity for students with disabilities and in portraying themselves the way they wanted to be portrayed, instead of how others had previously wanted to objectify and question their existence.

  2. Great post! Loved the questions, because I felt you selected a very interesting topic. I enjoyed the line of questioning. Although it would be interesting to see if you could interview a few people as a line of inquiry to gauge better knowledge about the topic. The reading was interesting as it told us a lot about the whole situation and the troubles that the disabled population had to face in the past. It would be more interesting if you talked a little more about the expanding horizons part maybe?

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