Week 02 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Week 02 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Lab Reflection:


How has communication evolved over time?

Has student fashion changed? What has depicted student fashion?

Line of Inquiry:

In order to answer these questions, I must source evidence from the past that connects one or even both of my questions. A lot has changed from the 1900s, but it’s important to understand how students have grown over technology and innovation of new fashion. Back then, it wasn’t as easy to meet with your friends on campus because communication was not as strong, especially during the war. Additionally, students do not wear the same clothes that they’ve worn in the past.

4 Pieces of Evidence:

According to the video Changing Communications | Student Life, it was shown that in the early days, “mail proved to be the most popular way of reaching out” to other students or even family and friends (0:16-0:24). I chose this video because I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if we continued to use the same mailing strategy today. Mailing takes a lot more time to deliver in comparison to newer technology that involves texting or voice calls. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=velIPeyseXU&feature=emb_logo

After watching the video Changing Communications | Student Life to the end, I discovered that “over the years, telephones proliferated from offices, to private homes, to public areas, to everyone’s hand” (1:37-1:49). This proves that the innovation of the telephone affected communication between everybody and made things a lot easier, compared to when they constantly had to read through newspapers and kiosks. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=velIPeyseXU&feature=emb_logo

The video on Changing Student Fashions | Student Life brought to life what students wore back in the day and how they styled their hair. It was proven from the video how their style was transformed from “luxurious beards of the 19th century, to flowing dreads in the 21st century” (0:13-0:18). How did this trend necessarily start? Was it based on other peoples’ opinions, or did they do it to their own liking? After finding out that newly enrolled men would shave their mustache as a norm, the student newspaper of 1881 claimed that “this wholesale slaughter of mustaches must be stopped” again changing how men shaped their look. Overall, hairstyle and facial hair has definitely changed from the past. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=wc2AdQqboeI&feature=emb_logo

This photo demonstrates how The U.S Navy strategically found a way to communicate during the way by using balloons that would lift soldiers into the sky to locate the other country’s position. They recruited the Department of Engineering from the University of Illinois to “design an instrument that measured the tension of kite balloons,” to communicate to one another where an enemy could be.


I observed that student life was not as easy as it is now. Compared to the past, we now have almost every resource we need: from smartphones that allow us to find everything, to computers that let us explore the web. I learned that many students faced struggles that pushed people to be more innovative and invent things such as the telephone that would positively impact the students on campus. Additionally, the newspaper tested a man’s ego after they wrote that they must eliminate the clean shave look after it became a tradition.

I discovered that communication and fashion from the past has evolved greatly over time, transforming the world in a positive way. My analysis shows that communication was a key part to students success and continues to be today. Student fashion was driven by the students themselves and I think it’s important that a student should have the right to dress in their own way, regardless of criticism. Although I could do more research, the evidence showed what impact the varies types of communication has had in the past and how useful it is to have good communication resources.

Reading Response:

Nugent and the DRES Community used different strategies to disrupt the dominant image of disability. According to Reagan, ” Nugent created a climate that welcomed disabled students and a program that drew them into the campus mainstream while providing spaces where a separate community of their own could nurture and support them” (Raegan 51). This strategy encouraged to overcome barriers in order to institute DRES. Many students who were in wheelchairs felt they had no incentive to overcome their adversity, but their reputation was set at a high standard by DRES. Both Nugent and the students themselves understood that the “image and reputation of students with disabilities as independent, intelligent, and socially integrated” was important for both Nugent and the student’s own success (Raegan 51). Students with disabilities did not realize at the time how important they were to the university’s innovative program. As a matter of fact and according to Raegan, they created it. “Tim Nugent regularly credited students and, from the beginning, recognized that the disabled kids influenced the program’s directions” which was another way that Nugent pushed for the DRES community. Not only did this inspire more students, but the passion that he had for this program made innovation more common not only to the University but to the entire world.

The fact that in the last two centuries, many people didn’t believe in people with disabilities, pushing them out of the world, which is heartbreaking. Nugent made a tremendous effort by battling “prevalent negative social attitudes, university bureaucracy, and an inaccessible environment” to better prepare those with disabilities (Brown 165). Thankfully to Nugent and his aspiration to make a better environment for the DRES community, this resulted in the Illinois program becoming an oasis for wheelchair students that treated them like any other student. This allowed for these students to become visible on their own terms after the author argued how “quadriplegics went from the hospital to a nursing home. Now they have the opportunity to move onto campus” for a better education and even better support system (Brown 171).

Pages 50 – 59: Leslie J. Reagan, “Timothy Nugent: ‘Wheelchair Students’ and the Creation of the Most Accessible Campus in the World,” in The University of Illinois: Engine of Innovation, edited by Frederick E. Hoxie

Pages 165 – 187: Steven E. Brown, “Breaking Barriers: The Pioneering Disability Students Services Program at the University of Illinois: 1948-1960,” in The History of Discrimination in US Education, edited by Eileen H. Tamura (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)

Week 02 – Lab + Reading Response

Question: What do students do for fun outside of school and how has that changed over time?

Line of Inquiry: I would need to learn about the different types of extracurricular activities at the University of Illinois and what they each entail. As well, I would need to understand how previous definitions of these activities may compare or contrast from how they are now. If possible, learning the origins of each activity would be relevant as well. In the end, this could showcase the evolution of interests over time or reveal commonalities despite the changing times.

According to the video “Star Course | Music in the Air,” Star Course was a student organization formed to be a “speaker series styled after the ‘Star Course’ literary circuit of Boston” (0:22-0:27). Then, “by the mid-20th century, the organization was an active force in bringing the heat of its generation to student audiences” (1:22-1:28) and is now the “oldest student-run organization at Illinois” (0:29-0:32). I chose to highlight this, because it showcases how despite changes in taste and preference, the Star Course student-run music production continues in popularity. Video: https://youtu.be/eXCP1CR5tfA

According to the video “1868-1919 | How Do Students Live Here?”, the University officially embraced the Greek System starting in 1891 and “Greek houses began appearing on campus in the early 1900s, providing living quarters and instant companionship for students seeking new friends in a new environment” (1:46-2:03). This reveals that the origin of Greek Life was to meet the basic needs of housing and companionship for its members. Video: https://youtu.be/jQZAqPJJhk0

According to the video “1941-1966 | How Do Students Live Here?”, “One student could offer wisdom beyond her years: ‘Pretty much everyone will say that the dorm they lived in their freshman year is the best one on campus!’” (2:07-2:16). This perspective reveals that many people at the time based their identity and social life on their dormitory, and thus, they felt a lot of pride attached to their chosen residence hall. Video: https://youtu.be/AY879GDcptk

According to the “Fraternity and Sorority Tour: 1912-1913,” many former fraternity and sorority houses encompassed space along Green Street. This is a lot different from nowadays, because those houses no longer occupy Green Street, and the area nowadays is largely seen as a commercial area for recreation, food, and drink.


From the tour and data, I learned that student life at the University was largely attributed to and dictated by housing choice. This can be inferred from the rise of the Greek System as one of the reliable sources of housing before public housing (for males) was offered by the University, as well as the general feeling of pride for one’s residence hall. Nowadays, such pride for one’s dorm is not as prevalent—likely due to the rise of technology making communication and coordination among students living in different places more seamless. A few texts and a bus ride later, people could be having lunch with their friends all across campus. The identity and social circles of a student is not bound by their dorm and its physical confines but rather the course schedules and bus timesheets. Additionally, the Greek System has likely risen in popularity in terms of a student’s identity with a series of traditions and standards one must meet in order to get a bid, which is a far cry from its original goal of meeting housing and companionship needs. The identity and social life of a person can indeed be outlined by their fraternity or sorority in today’s time. At the same time, student organizations like Star Course, which itself hosts music productions, have remained largely the same in mission despite the decades since but its execution in terms of music genre of course differs from reggae to rap to rock depending on the time. 

My analysis is definitely incomplete, and my perhaps deficient analysis is largely influenced by the finite source material of the digital exhibits and historic maps. At the same time, I have to consider how the objective of the videos I used as evidence was to highlight the change in housing over time in an energetic manner, and I largely had to extrapolate my findings and apply my current perception of student life in order to deduce social change on campus. Whether I myself am that comprehensive of a source on student life remains to be considered, but it definitely leads to a weak answer to my question. There is a lot of further research I could do involving Greek Life specifically, the evolution of Green Street, the growth of RSOs, and the effects of technology on social life—even then, these are only a few ideas. There are a lot of additional questions I have as well: how did the balances of certain student persona types’ average daily time spent doing activities (e.g. studying, RSOs, Greek Life) change over the decades? How was this influenced by race and gender? What was the perception among students of other students (e.g. stereotyping)? The intersection of these topics surrounding social life is where a lot of my questions rest.

Reading Response

In order to demonstrate the ability and worth of the DRES community, Tim Nugent relied on several uncommon strategies in order to prove to an audience that believed them to be incompetent and worthless to the University community. At the start of 1949, the initial 14 paraplegics admitted to the University were explained in The Daily Illini “individually, by name, age, major, and reason for the paralysis that ‘forced [them] to use wheelchairs'” (Reagan 52). It’s clear then, that this dehumanization and objectification was not being cast on others but merely students with disabilities as it was viewed acceptable to openly discuss their bodies rather than afford them privacy. Nugent continued to lobby against these injustices–including how the change to wheelchair-accessible sidewalk curb cuts was not being done quickly enough so “Nugent and a group of students then went out late one night and broke curbs with sledgehammers, forcing the university to ‘repair’ them with curb cuts” (Reagan 54). This sort of renegade thinking and action allowed for the increased accessibility of sidewalks as the University did not feel compelled to update them for wheelchair access unless they already had to update them due to a general need for repair. At the same time, Nugent’s standard for new buildings to be built with wheelchair users in mind in 1953 was already 15 years before the federal Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 and was the first of its kind on college campuses (Brown 173). While the University may seem somewhat slow and unprogressive in addressing the needs of students with disabilities, it was in reality lightyears ahead of its peers and competitors in doing so. Nugent’s work a long way in dismantling the current status quo of the time where those with disabilities were not expected to go to University, nonetheless participate in recreational activities like sports (“Expanding Horizons” 3). In that light, his work did a lot to illuminate DRES students in their own terms and allow them to do a lot of things that they previously could not, such as participate in education at a large university and do sports.

Week 2 – Reading Response + Lab Reflection

Reading Response –

There were several methods that DRES and Nugent applied to change the way disability was treated on campus and eased the lives of several members of the community. Some of the most noticeable and landmark strategies that were used to disrupt were creation of a climate that welcomed disabled students and a program that drew them into the campus mainstream while providing spaces where a separate com-munity of their own could nurture and encourage them. There were accommodations towards disabled veterans, disabled students’ ability to open doors and portray adaptability, and the integration of sports and recreation. Created wheelchair accessible buildings, sidewalks, and other infrastructure to provide a truly accessible campus experience. In terms of disability accommodation the campus became a model of innovative architectural design. The governor, William Stratton gave a speech which legitimized and greatly showed support for the program.

Before DRES, and during the past two centuries, many Americans believed individuals with disabilities were deviant, or worse. Those with disabilities were cast aside, like criminals, away from public view. This was more or less the cultural perspective and a barrier that DRES had to overcome. This was overcome by the creation of DRES, and it was also the first barrier that they had to overcome. Nugent shepherded a program that succeeded in shattering longstanding, pervasive institutional, physical, economic, psychological, and other barriers that marginalized and ostracized people with disabilities. Another more recent issue that DRES faced was the ability for students with disabilities to receive access to technologies at the University of Illinois. By the creation of DRES, “The inventiveness and passion of the program that Nugent created did something even more important: it made these innovations commonplace, first on the university campus and eventually, across the nation and many parts of the world.”

Lab Reflection –

Questions –

1. How do veterans play a role in the culture of the University and how does UofI make these student veterans feel welcomed culturally in the university?

2. What are the different programs and facilities in terms of policies and infrastructure that benefit the veteran community? How is their cultural experience?

Line of Inquiry –

There are a few things we could do to find out the answer to our questions – First research about the veteran community at UofI, find out RSOs that exist on campus for veterans, learn about the buildings that have been made for the Army and veterans. Interview veterans and learn about the facilities they enjoy as being part of the veteran community, also learn about their responsibilities as a veteran if any.

Pieces of Evidence –

#1 Geri Young | Who Are the Illini? 1:05-1:13

This video talks about the life of a veteran on campus. Geri Young is a veteran and she talks about night counseling with the veterans on campus, this is one of the examples of how the University has created policies to make veterans feel more welcome.

#2 Geri Young | Who Are the Illini? 0:20-0:45

This part of the same video talks about the cultural differences and how the univeristy diversity helps her feel welcome at the university, it also talks about the age and cultural gap.

#3 Chez Veteran Centre


The map contains the Chez Veteran Centre in Urbana, which was established by the University to give support to the veteran population at the University.

#4 Veteran Memorial Project

A project found in the digital archives to honor the men and women of the University of Illinois who made the supreme sacrifice as members of the U. S. Armed Forces during our nation’s wars and conflicts so that we may live and learn in freedom.

Analysis –

– I learned about the extensive archives that the univeristy keeps about all its landmark policies and achievements. It was interesting to learn how the University supports its veteran community. The digital archives were a rich source of information that depicted clearly how students think about the facilities provided by the university. The gallery provided students with the opportunity to learn in detail about the heritage that is present at UofI.

– My line of inquiry was all answered by the evidence that I was able to find through these archives. It helped me learn a lot about the life of veterans at the Univeristy both in terms of the benefits, policies they enjoy and also the cultural perspectives of veterans. Learning about the Memorial Project, the Chez Veterans center, and watching the Geri Young video taught me about how age and past life experiences also play a role in the university experience. I also learned how the university awards the countries heros with amazing policies, and infrastructure such as the Chez Center.

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.