Like similar public reading initiatives sponsored by cities, libraries, and television and radio shows, campus common reading programs rest on a simple idea: that reading the same book brings people closer together as a community by creating common ground for discussion. Assigning a book during the summer gives incoming students, who often come from very different backgrounds, a shared experience. At the same time, moderated discussions of the reading can bring the diversity of student viewpoints to the fore and provide an occasion for modeling the intellectual engagement with different ideas that is expected in college.
The 2018 first year reading is still being chosen by the College's selection committee.
Once chosen, all first year students will be sent a e-copy of book and are expected to have completed the reading prior to their arrival on campus in the fall. Small group discussions and large group activities regarding the book will take place during New Student Orientation (NSO).