STATEside looks back at the recent and not-so recent past, using the archives at the Vidette.

If you recall any of the campus happenings referenced in our This Week in Illinois State History feature, feel free to post in the Comments below.

Previous weeks: October 19 | October 26 | November 2 | November 9


The Tempest finished its run on campus over the weekend, becoming the first full production inside the new Center for the Performing Arts. Not all the new amenities were ready yet, but the ones that were – a full catwalk system for lighting, for example – made a big impact on the production. “As a performing arts center, the CPA takes us light years,” one fine arts official said. Construction of the CPA, which takes the place of 1950s-era Centennial as the main venue for student shows, came only after students overwhelmingly passed a referendum in 1996, one year after a similar measure failed.


The Women’s Transit Authority could soon be driving around a new type of client: men. The WTA is a joint project between the office of Student Life and Programs and Red Tassel/Mortar Board, transporting women who don’t want to walk around campus alone. The WTA now uses three vehicles running seven days a week, requesting only a 25-cent donation from riders. Come spring semester, a trial with male riders will be in the mix. “We recognize that males are just as much of a target for unwelcome confrontations as females,” said Karen Hart with Student Life and Programs. Today, the University Police is a partner in Redbird Safe Walk, a service open to students, faculty, and staff who would like an escort when walking to and from on-campus locations, bus stops, and apartments within close proximity to campus.


The lobby of Rachel Cooper (then home to Illinois State’s Health Service) was filled late last week (November 1982) with Walker Hall residents concerned they may have contracted lice. At least six Walker residents have already been confirmed as having lice, but dozens of others are feared infected too. The resident assistants there are scheduling staff meetings pronto to figure out how it started and how to control the outbreak. “The entire first floor has had it already,” one Walker resident told the Daily Vidette. Health Service officials call it easily treatable.


It’s November 1952, and the Vidette offers up a cutesy warning about tomorrow’s activities on the Quad: “If you happen to behold a multitude of girls strolling about campus and distributing floral blossoms to the instructors tomorrow, do not be overly alarmed, for these girls are not trying to raise their midterm grades, but are participating in Home Economics Week.” It’ll be Teacher Appreciation Day, followed by Show Your Best Day later in the week. The featured guest speaker for Home Economics Week is a business owner from Bloomington who will discuss jewels. The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, formerly known as the Department of Home Economics, was first established as the Department of Domestic Sciences in 1909. In 1995, the name was changed to the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Ryan Denham can be reached at