Archive for December 2008
Watch out, Oprah. There’s some new competition in town.
This semester the Honors Program began a book club, an idea the Honors Program Student Council’s academic committee came up with at the end of last year.
“We encouraged them to develop a book selection process that’s similar to the way we do the honors first year reading project,” said Maureen Kelleher, director of the Honors Program. “The students came to me with the proposal and we talked about the process.”
The book club is currently limited to the Honors Program, but Kelleher said she wouldn’t be surprised if other groups on campus adopted the idea.
“Book clubs are becoming so popular these days,” she said. “Now there are even books about book clubs.”
Ed Klotzbier, vice president of student affairs, said he would like to see more book clubs on campus.
“A book club is a super idea if a group of students wanted to set it up,” Klotzbier said. “It sounds like a really good opportunity.”
So far this semester the book club has read two novels, “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen and “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot D’iacute;az.
Every other Thursday, the group of 10 honors students meets to discuss the book, generally splitting the book into two parts and discussing one per meeting.
“Sometimes the group brings in discussion questions,” said the club’s leader, sophomore psychology and English major Sandra Rago.
“I enjoy the discussions we have. It’s nice being able to talk about something academic with other students.”
The group is comprised of students with diverse majors, ranging from economics to psychology. This dynamic adds to the club’s appeal, Kelleher said.
“It’s fun to talk across disciplines,” she said. “I just think it’s really fun to talk about books and it’s a way to meet people that share the same hobby.”
Book club member Laura Kelly, a junior civil engineering major, said she also thinks it’s fun to discuss the books with others, adding that with her major, reading novels isn’t very common.
“I’ve always enjoyed reading from a young age and I’ve participated in book groups before,” she said. “I thought having a small, focused group to discuss books that I’m truly interested in, and in a non-academic manner, would be fun.”
However, some students said they would prefer to read solo.
“I wouldn’t [join], just because I don’t like reading,” said senior psychology major Fiona Lin.
For others though, it remains a possibility.
“I probably [wouldn’t join] right now,” said undecided freshman Andrew Malin. “But maybe I would in the future, depending on how busy school gets.”
Regardless, the honors section will continue turning pages next semester, but is still hoping for slightly more involvement, Rago said.
“It’s just an outlet for reading contemporary novels that you wouldn’t find in a normal class,” she said. “And it’s nice to be able to discuss that with peers you wouldn’t normally interact with.”