Because I believe the issue of student apathy has been part of our history since the university’s founding, I didn’t think my final project would be complete without discussing the full evolution of student housing and its interaction with student life in general. For the project, I divided the school’s history into distinct time periods and investigated the most important changes that happened in each. For example, I think that the era of change from the late 60s to the 70s is one of the most important time periods to examine, not only for the events that happened during those years but the lasting effects these had on the future of housing. At the same time, some of the most captivating information I found during my research came in the form of images. Throughout the archives of Hopkins News-Letters and yearbooks are some incredible photographs, providing views of evolving student life, as well as the growing campus itself. For that reason, I knew I needed to include plenty of images in my final project.
In order to combine these crucial images with my wide view of campus history, I decided to create a poster series. For this series, I designed a poster for each of the time periods I considered to be most important to understanding how housing has impacted student life. For each time period, I provided a brief timeline of major changes to housing, like new buildings built or purchased, as well as changes in the students themselves. This included a variety of topics, from the preference for self-government that students exhibited in the 1950s and 60s, to the changes brought about by the transition to co-education in 1970.
As a finale to my fellowship experience, I had the opportunity to present my posters as well as speak at the Special Collections Freshman Fellows Panel, both chances for me to explain and share my research with others. Throughout the year, especially when researching particular time periods or topics, it could feel difficult to see the greater narrative that surrounds student housing. The creation and presentation of my final project, however, brought together all of these elements in way which helped me to gain a greater sense not only of my skills as a researcher, but also of my position as a Hopkins student in a complex and storied community.