Disorientation 101

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At more than a dozen campuses around the
U.S. and Canada, students have taken the
college orientation process into their own
hands, by publishing a series of alternative
student guides. Each publication specifically
addresses its own campus, in an effort
to provide in-coming students with the real
deal on university politics and the college
experience, particularly for those concerned
with issues of social justice and
human rights.
Whether it be the Boston College Freshman
Disorientation, the Stanford University
Disorientation Guide, the Harvard University
Disguide, or the UIUC Disorientation
Guide: Lifting the Curtain on the UIUC
Experience, these publications seek to provide
access to an often silenced history of
the institution and helpful hidden facts.
The UIUC Disorientation Guide, for
example, introduces students to sites of historical
student struggle, highlights the invisibility
of queer students, offers a history of
the Chief Illiniwek controversy, articulates
student demands since 1968, and introduces
students to progressive organizations.
More importantly, “the aim of disorientation
is… to critique and unravel our
socialization, to build solidarity with one
another and to document and discuss dissent,
resistance, and change on the UIUC
campus and the larger community.”

About Antonia Darder

Antonia Darder is a professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is a longtime Puerto Rican activist-scholar involved in issue's relating to education, language, immigrant workers, and women's rights.
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