What makes Unity House worth studying?
While researching about Unity House, we questioned the significance of this project and why it should matter to us in the here and now. What made Unity House and its functions important to us and others at Ursinus? Included in this page are some personal reflections from us, the authors of this research. We hope these perspectives better illustrate what makes Unity House significant in the college‘s history.
To me, the Unity House project has been a significant way of celebrating and reminiscing the memories and impact that the Unity House had on Ursinus College, and how clubs and organizations operating under the roof of the Unity House had a chance to change the campus's social environment, as well as help and guide numerous under represented Ursinus students. By doing research and assembling this exhibit, I have learned so much about Ursinus's history of diversity, racism, and inclusion on campus and how the dynamic of those things have changed and adapted Ursinus's administration policies. -George Gordon
Admittedly, I had heard little of Unity House during my freshman year at Ursinus. Partly that has to do with my freshman year coinciding with the creation of the IIE. Another part of that has to do with who I am: I am a straight white male on campus. Not marginalized nor systematically-discriminated against, for myself (and many others), Unity House, the IIE and the Crigler Program can easily be passed by without a second glance. Conducting this research and taking the accompanying course gave me a greater awareness of the organizations on campus that help give a voice to those who often feel silenced or oppressed. Like the Crigler Program, Unity House and the resulting IIE stand as efforts on campus to give greater awareness and support to the students and faculty that are historically-underrepresented and contemporarily-oppressed. It is tragic that myself and others can experience four years on campus without giving even a passing thought to the importance of the IIE and the Crigler Program. Knowledge is ephemeral, so our research on the history of Unity House is important because it acts as a record to help understand the history of programs on campus that strived to make Ursinus a welcoming and encouraging environment for all people. -Alex Wagoner
I first encountered Unity House prior to my freshmen year at Ursinus during the Crigler Program. Outside of Musser Hall, it was our second home. Then, I took it for granted. It wasn't until this project that I was pushed to engage with its vibrant history and grapple with our context in it. Without uncovering the history of Unity House and racism at Ursinus, we are refusing to live in context; which is impossible. The omission of history is history. This is the most important concept I have learned in completing this project. -Ang Bey
My first few times being in Unity House, I involved myself in a community themed club, Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). I quickly became a board member after being involved with GSA all throughout my high school years. During that fall semester of my freshman year, we had to move our meetings to the Institute for Inclusion and Equity (IIE) due to the wear and tear of the building. I didn't know much about the history until starting this project in Race and the University. Unity House holds inspiring history at Ursinus College, and I feel honored to have been able to learn such vital information in this project. -Cyn Ercole