The Common Reading Initiative is designed to introduce new students to the academic and intellectual culture of the college through a shared reading. It kicks off during Summer Orientation, when members of the incoming class of students receive a copy of the chosen (“common”) book — selected by a committee of JSC faculty, staff and students during the prior academic year — to read and think about before returning to campus for Fall Orientation and the start of classes.
During Fall Orientation, you’ll meet in small groups with other incoming students and a faculty or staff facilitator to discuss some aspect of what you read. This not only gives you a chance to learn what others have gotten from the book, it gives you a first taste of college-level discussions of literary ideas and themes.
The Common Reading Initiative goes well beyond one session during Orientation, however. Throughout the semester, you’ll have many opportunities to share and compare ideas about the common book. Many of the guest lectures, special discussions, exhibits, films and concerts that take place during the fall are specifically chosen complement the book. In addition, your peer Orientation leaders, along with many faculty and staff, will have read the book, so don’t be surprised if it comes up again in one or more or your classes.