The Illumination Begins.

Personally, in regards to researching the topic of Black life throughout Kean University’s history I was given the assignment of conducting research around the issue of dorming, social cohesion, and Student government on campus and how it relates to the school’s historical Black experience. At the moment my research has centered around the dorms and while doing so an attempt is made in connecting such research to the larger story that is Black history on Kean University’s campus. While this attempt has proven difficult at the moment due to a lack of apparent information surrounding the subject of dorm life historically on campus, much life the dorm life of African-Americans, I have been able to find a great deal of information in regards to the history of dorms and dorming on Kean University campus. For instance, while looking at newspapers from the school’s historical archives I have been able to find valuable information in regards to the general history of dorming¬†on the school’s grounds. For instance I learned through my research that Newark State College, as Kean University was once called did not initially have dorms or any form of on campus living quarters for students. In fact, based on my research the first dorms were not built until 1962 as approved by then school President Wilkins. The first dorms created were simply known as the Women’s Residence Hall, and accommodated 150 students all of which were women, as the name suggested. It was not until two years later in 1964 that the first Men’s Residence Hall was created, and ever since dorm buildings continue to be created on the school’s campus until our present dorm configuration took shape. Moreover, based on this research I have come to the understanding that it is important to have good background information that describes the overall story of how the dorms came about which would be essential in telling any story of how those very buildings affected the daily lives of African-Americans on campus throughout its history. Lastly, despite all of this important background information that I have so far gathered from my research in regards to dorm life and the African-American experience on Kean University’s historical campus, the challenge remains in finding specific information that would connect this background story to the overall Black experience in the school’s dorming experience.


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