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Common read wrecks barriers, creates conversation

MIRANDA+SAMPSON
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Common read wrecks barriers, creates conversation

MIRANDA SAMPSON

MIRANDA SAMPSON

MIRANDA SAMPSON

MIRANDA SAMPSON

Landon Dierks

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Rape culture has proven itself to be a difficult topic, but this year students and professors will attempt to lead the conversation using this year’s common read, “Wrecked” by Maria Padian.

 The novel sheds light on the multiple perspectives involved when dealing with sexual assault on a college campus.

Each year since 2009, South Dakota State has engaged in a campus and community experience known as the Common Read.

With the help of community groups, including the Brookings Human Rights Commission, signature events are planned with the goal of engaging SDSU students and Brookings community members and sparking conversations on central themes of the reading.

“Wrecked” was chosen to address the timely topic of sexual assault awareness and prevention on college campuses as college age students are statistically the most likely to be victims of sexual violence.

 SDSU requires first-year students to participate in Common Read, but all students, faculty and community members are encouraged to engage in the common read experience.

 Rebecca Bott-Knutson, dean of the Honors College and Common Read Committee co-chair, believes offering students the opportunity to immerse themselves in Common Read and discuss relevant issues within our society is important part of growing as a community.

 “Our goal is to challenge people to have critical conversations, broaden their horizons and think more deeply,” Bott-Knutson said. 

“If you’re going to have people rise to that challenge, the topics ought to be stimulating. No matter the subject we are trying, as a campus community, to stretch people so we can continue to grow together and be our best.”

Hanna Holmquist, honors adviser, is a co-instructor for four Honors orientation sections with Bott-Knutson. 

She acknowledges that this year’s subject matter can be difficult to discuss, but challenges students to keep an open mind when reading and discussing the topic.

 “It’s something that is prevalent in our society right now and it needs to be talked about and because it’s difficult to talk about, it isn’t always talked about,” Holmquist said. “We also want to make sure we aren’t narrowing in on one thing when there are other important themes to the book such as personal relationships and emotional wellness.”

 SDSU faculty are not the only ones who see the value added by the common read.

Hara Mubashir, a senior human biology and political science double major, has participated in Common Read for several years both as a member of the Brookings community and as an SDSU student. She believes everyone should participate in the common read and embrace the “plethora of perspectives” available on the topic.

 Several signature events are scheduled each year to
accompany the common read book. This year’s common read experience features ten events. According to Common Read Committee co-chair Kate Stock, these events are designed to get students talking, erase stigmas, share important resources and learn from one another.

 The first common read event, the Common Read Kickoff, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 5, in the Volstorff Ballroom. 

The 2018 common read experience will conclude with the Griffith Honors Forum Lecture at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, where sexual
assault prevention advocates Annie E. Clark and Andrea L. Pino will visit SDSU. Free tickets for the lecture will be available to claim at noon
on Oct. 7.

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Common read wrecks barriers, creates conversation