For the third year in a row, CSUSM students, faculty and staff are reading a book together as part of the University’s Common Read, a program designed to be like a University-wide book club, giving students a shared academic experience and encouraging a sense of community.
Increasingly popular at colleges and universities around the country, Common Read programs typically revolve around an outstanding work of fiction or nonfiction selected for everyone on campus to read. Similar to One Book, One City community reading programs, a Common Read engages an entire campus in reading and discussing one book and its themes, stimulating discussion and critical thinking.
This year’s CSUSM Common Read is “This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women”, edited by Jay Allison. Previous selections were “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson (2012-13) and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot (2011-12). “This I Believe” is a collection of short essays by eighty Americans, based on the National Public Radio series and 1950s radio program of the same name.
Common Read is a collaboration of the Kellogg Library and First Year Programs, which implements and supports efforts to help first-year students achieve academic excellence in the classroom and develop a deeper understanding of, and commitment to, long-term academic goals.
"We're excited to have a Common Read this year that really resonates with our first year curriculum,” said Outreach Librarian Melanie Chu. “Students are encouraged to engage with the stories of diverse people from all backgrounds while at the same time find their own voice and tell their own stories. “This I Believe” also ties in with our campus Civility Campaign, which encourages students, faculty and staff to participate in respectful dialogue, acknowledging the culture and humanity of others."
Upcoming events, free and open to the public, include a screening of portions of the film “Temple Grandin” followed by discussion on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Kellogg Library, room 3400. This award-winning movie stars Claire Danes as an autistic woman named Temple Grandin who revolutionized the humane treatment of animals on cattle ranches and slaughterhouses. One of the book’s essays is written by Grandin.
A social media contest is inspiring students to distill their own personal philosophy, based on "This I Believe”, into a visual graphic, podcast or tweet. Selections will be read during an open mic event on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in Markstein Hall, room 125, where individuals are invited to come and read their own personal belief statements.
For more information on this year’s Common Read, visit the library's webpage.
“Students are encouraged to engage with the stories of diverse people from all backgrounds while at the same time find their own voice and tell their own stories." commented Outreach Library Melanie Chu