The research projects require that our colleagues identify an issue in their department or division to help enhance inclusive practices for their area.
Did U Know...? is a collaborative project from Union College’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and Andrea Belair, Librarian for Archives and Special Collections. The goal of the project was to bring out under-represented voices and issues from Union College’s past through the use of primary source materials.
Life Expectancy, Mortality, and Survivorship: Student Research at Vale Cemetery in Schenectady, New York
How did life expectancy, mortality, and overall health conditions change over time in Schenectady? What factors contributed to these changes?
Students enrolled in CLS202: Introduction to Archaeological Methods at Union College in Spring 2019 examined these questions by carrying out demographic research at Vale Cemetery in Schenectady. Dedicated in 1857, the cemetery is currently home to over 33,000 graves and remains an active burial place. Students tested two hypotheses about the population performance values of those buried at Vale Cemetery:
1) Females have higher age-specific survivorship, lower age-specific mortality, and longer age-specific life expectancy than do males.
2) People who died after the start of the 20th century have higher age-specific survivorship, lower age-specific mortality, and longer age-specific life expectancy than those who died before the 20th century.
Students also considered the broader implications of their results by studying how differences in income, education, race, and gender still contribute to dramatic inequalities in life expectancy and health, in Schenectady and throughout the United States and the world.
The American Disabilities Act became law in 1990 under George Bush. It is a civil rights law that protect individuals with disabilities in all areas of life. It is similar to the protection of individual on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age or religion. In reference to construction of spaces it plays a major role in planning for the accessibility of a space for projects on commercial or private business based on size of a company or organization. But in general it is looking out for a group that is not able to look out for themselves during changing situations.
This project discusses current and future enhancements to various athletic facilities on campus.
The Adirondacks, a mountainous wilderness located in New York State, fundamentally changed in the late 19th century. Expanding rail lines, the publication of travel guides, and other economic and social factors ushered in a new era of tourism and development. As more travel routes opened towns up to settlement and growth, droves of new visitors followed suit. The era of great camps built by Gilded-Age industrialists further brought in wealthy seasonal residents and tourists alike. Recreational outdoor activities were the other part of this boom, with hiking being formally recognized as such around the turn of the 20th century. (1)
The popular image of the Adirondacks has been that of a predominately modern, white-settled area that boasts nothing more than seasonal tourism. This historical narrative has often ignored indigenous populations and people of color who have historically lived and worked within the Adirondack Park.
1. ."Hiking in America." Forest History Society. Accessed January 22, 2019. https://foresthistory.org/research-explore/us-forest-service-history/policy-andlaw/recreation-u-s-forest-service/hiking-in-america/.
Black Space and Branding the AfroFuture: The Rippling Effect of Schaffer Library’s AfroFuturist Exhibitions:
Julie Lohnes and Robyn Reed
Leveraging the library space to help realize the college's goals of diversity, the Access Services Librarian and the Director and Curator of Art Collections and Exhibitions sought to address the lack of racial/ethnic representation on campus through a multimedia exhibit and art installation that brought our diverse collections to the forefront. The exhibit Black Space: Reading (and writing) Ourselves into the Future highlighted our library's speculative book, film and music collections, while the art installation Branding the Afrofuture featured political and celebratory digital print collages with graffiti wall drawings to present black cultural production through an Afrofuturist lens.
We used AfroFuturism as a powerful, intentional mechanism to place black/brown images and traditionally marginalized perspectives at the center. These exhibitions established a place for students of color to be part of the narrative in a PWI and offered interpretive tools whereby black intellectual and cultural production could take center stage for academic engagement.
Lilia Tiemann and Susie Hanks
This project highlights the inclusive wording to be added to admissions forms, web pages, staff business cards, and campus visit registration. Examples of inclusive language changes already completed are listed as well.