Digital History at Ursinus

Browse Exhibits (3 total)

Bears With Booze: A History of the Creation, Enforcement, and Reformation of Alcohol Policies at Ursinus College

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Welcome!

Bears With Booze: A History of the Creation, Enforcement, and Reformation of Alcohol Policies at Ursinus College 
is a student-created and organized digital exhibit archiving the history of Ursinus College's tumultuous relationship with alcohol laws, customs, and culture.

From its creation, Ursinus College has maintained a controversial reputation in Montgomery County as an icon of liberal reformation in an demographical ocean of deep political and religious conservatism. Ursinus grew out of a period of intense theological discussion, debate, and change. The progressive and reformative ethics, opinions, and operations of the original benefactors and creators of the Ursinus identity - reconstructionist members of the Mercersburg Seminary - have endured history, and have reflected directly into the aura of determination, nobility, and extraordinary democracy in which Ursinus resides today.

Our website is organized into four separate categories:

  1. The Historical Narrative: A navigatable library of various media, all together illustrating and narrating the events of most tumultious and formative era of Ursinus history.

  2. The Modern Perspective: A navigatable library of various media, all together illustrating the state, style, and method of today's substance administration on the Ursinus campus.

  3. Photo galleries: High-resolution navigatable galleries of historically significant photographs and documents.

  4. Interactive features: Engaging, interactive exhibits for if you want to take a deeper delve into the complexities of Ursinus College's alcohol policy!

 

Credits

Dan Berger, Kasey Chatburn, Sam Mamber, & Alessandra Psomaras

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Reading Between the Letters: Inclusivity of Marginalized Groups in Ursinus College's Greek Life

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Reading Between the Letters is an Ursinus digital history project that records the inclusion of marginalized groups within Greek Life from the 1970s to present day. During this time frame, values of diversity and inclusion began to gain momentum on a national scale with the civil rights and feminist movements. Our research seeks to understand how Ursinus was affected by and responded to the national discourse on diversity and Greek life.

Our research question is: How inclusive has Greek life on campus been of marginalized groups, including women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community?

Our primary sources include Ursinus' newspaper articles, especially opinions and editorial pieces, to understand overall inter-fraternity and sorority policies and broader student body responses. We also use photos from the yearbooks of Greek organizations to complement our findings from the newspapers. Our exhibit presents and compares articles about greeks, faculty, and the student body as a whole to gage the way racial and gender inclusivity has played a role in Greek life. 

The sections of this project include:

The History of Ursinus' Greek Life: a timeline of the complete history of Greek organizations at Ursinus and overview of the past conflicts about pledging between administration and Greek life.

Gender Segregation and Inclusion in Greek Life: a discussion on critiques of Greek life's gender segregation and information about the four gender-inclusive Greek organizations in Ursinus' history.

Racial Diversity and Inclusion in Greek Life: Ursinus has had Greek organizations on campus for the past 110 years, but the campus only saw organizations focused on racial diversity and inclusion starting 25 years ago. This section will focus on why these racially diverse organizations were present and how Ursinus responded to this. 

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UC Presidents

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ABOUT 

      Ursinus is a respected liberal arts campus, featuring an egalitarian core that’s showcased through curriculum and student attitudes. At its foundation, Ursinus was notoriously religious and all male. Under the service of dedicated presidents, the campus began to shift quickly over time into the respected liberal space it’s today. Presidents are memorable figures in history, usually evoking change and progress during their term. Therefore, our group Memorable UC Presidents plans to conduct a comprehensive history of the presidents from Ursinus’s foundation to present day. There are presently 17 Ursinus presidents. For linguistic purposes, we’re featuring only 5 presidents in our project. In a biographical style, we plan to detail the lives and accomplishments of each selected president during their administrations at Ursinus. Our main objective is to present a full representation of Ursinus through a study of the president’s impacts in shaping our campus into a liberal space.

        We will be presenting on John Bomberger, the founder and first president, as well as Leslie Omwake, Richard Richter, and John Strassburger. For each president, we will be focusing on different themes such as physical changes on campus, gender policies, and curriculum changes. We hope that our project will help both students and faculty understand how the Ursinus campus they live on today was shaped by these influential presidents. 

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