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‘This I Believe II’ returns for 2012 First-Year Common Reading Experience

July 10, 2012

Book cover of "This I Believe II"NIU faculty, administrators, staff and returning students are encouraged to “Get the Book, Read the Book and Donate the Book” as part of the First-Year Common Reading Experience (CRE) this fall.

For the second year, NIU’s book selection is This I Believe II, a collection of seventy-five 500-word essays written by a variety of Americans who have expressed one of their strongly held beliefs. It will be used as a text in some UNIV 101/201, ENGL and COMS courses this fall.

The use of this book reinforces the Northern Pact as we strive to foster an educational community where beliefs are listened to justly, supported, shared openly, disciplined into actions towards betterment and common good, and celebrated.

Sixty-eight UNIV 101/201, English and Communications instructors used the book in their courses last year. After reading the book for one of her courses last year, a student wrote, “I’ll remember to always be open to other people’s ideas and opinions.”

Because of rising book costs, the planning committee for the CRE urges faculty, staff and returning students to consider purchasing the book, reading the book themselves and then donating the book through Orientation & First-Year Experience to a first-year student with significant financial need. While reading, members of the NIU community are encouraged to mark their favorite essays and perhaps include an inspiring note for a first-year student as a way of welcoming new students to the university.

Another student commented that “This book not only allows us to talk about the fundamentals of essay writing, but it also gives us a way to express our own ideas and opens a dialogue between students about what’s important to them.”

The book can be purchased at the University Bookstore, at popular booksellers or online. It’s also available for e-readers and can be borrowed from the DeKalb Public Library.

“Everyone will find essays that speak to them in this book, whether they read it entirely or pick out selected chapters,” said Denise Rode, director of Orientation & First-Year Experience.

Donating the book is as simple as sending it through Campus Mail or bringing it to Orientation & First-Year Experience in Holmes Student Center 023. Staff members will make sure that students with a zero Expected Family Contribution on the FAFSA receive a copy for classroom use.

In addition to classroom use, a full schedule of activities around This I Believe II is being planned for the fall term.

For more information, contact Orientation and First-Year Experience at (815) 753-1535.