Wrapping Up The Echo: Week 3 Update

This week marked the wrap up of my initial examination of The Colonial Echo. I’ve looked through hundreds of student pictures and articles that chronicle the years at William and Mary. As I’ve moved through the years since 1899, I’ve seen a definite shift in the inclusiveness and diversity of the culture at William and Mary. Soon after African American students were admitted into the undergraduate class, black students started forming groups like the Black Student Organization and fraternities and sororities like Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Zeta Phi Beta. Aside from these spaces created on campus for specific ethnic, racial, or cultural identities, previously all white organizations eventually became integrated as well.

Not only were these new diverse groups established, but their members also worked to publicly celebrate diversity and other cultures on campus. The Black Student Organization held black culture weeks to spread diversity to all students. The school also held specific events over the years to expose students to a wide range of cultural expressions from around the world. Though some issues of racial insensitivity remained among students, the responses to these issues from other students (which I hope to find in more detail in The Flat Hat) became more outspoken. The Colonial Echo overall shows the progression of William and Mary from an all white male institution to an diverse group of students that wished to spread cultural appreciation.