River for Specific Fish: An Exploration of Belonging and Alienation in Princeton University’s Upperclassmen
From Research Princeton Research Day on April 29th, 2020
I explore the role eating clubs, office hours, and faith play in creating the social fabric of the campus. The research also explores ideas of affiliations, group-making, going out, and isolation as helpful indicators of systemic processes of inclusion or exclusion. I take an in-depth look at the experiences of student-athletes, low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color, as well as patterns of faith and other priorities. These experiences reveal a deeper understanding of what types of students feel alienated or unwelcome on campus. While students from low income backgrounds struggle to carve a path for themselves on campus, others glide through the social scene with ease. Often, students of color have created communities and spaces separate from the pre-existing social networks in order to find belonging on campus. Ultimately, this research reveals a drastic divide in the type of campus community students of different identities are able to find.