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UC Launches Common Reading Program with Incoming Freshmen


Students will receive a book at Bearcats Bound Orientation this summer and participate in activities and discussions throughout the academic year.

Date: 6/11/2013 7:30:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823

UC ingot   The University of Cincinnati kicks off a new, common reading program for incoming freshmen that will reflect not only the university’s pursuit of scholarship, but also the university’s values. New students will receive Michael Sandel’s “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” at Bearcats Bound Orientation this summer.  Activities and events related to the common reading project – both in and out of the classroom – will take place throughout the year, says Gigi Escoe, UC vice provost for undergraduate affairs.
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The common reading project is part of a national trend. Colleges and universities across the nation blend common reading programs into student first-year experiences to unite students in a shared discussion. The Association of Colleges and Universities reports that nearly all of these programs begin at summer orientation to develop a shared experience among new students, as well as to build on the new students’ connections to campus.

The UC book project, “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” is described as a thought-provoking book that ties political philosophy to national issues, including affirmative action, same-sex marriage, national service and morality. The book was selected by a committee of students, staff and faculty seeking to find a book that would reflect the spirit of the Bearcat Bond honor pledge that was introduced at freshman Convocation last year.

The Bearcat Bond reflects the university’s mission, the 2019 Academic Master Plan and UC’s Just Community civic education program.

“We are a community that is dedicated to doing the right thing, and this project is a scholarly pursuit in that regard, with an academic and historical perspective to it,” says Escoe. “The book explores the different nuances of justice – fairness, good work, value judgments of what’s right and wrong – it’s all a discussion of justice and ethical behavior. The book also explores case studies because it integrates philosophical thought.”

The UC common reading program is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, Division of Enrollment Management, all baccalaureate college dean’s offices, Student Affairs and Services, Student Activities and Leadership Development, Student Government, the Bearcat Bond and UC’s Just Community.

UC’s Bearcats Bound Orientation got under way on June 3 and runs through July 18. UC is expecting a record number of freshmen this fall.