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Academic Core

Common Read

Marist College’s Common Read Program, like many colleges and universities, seeks to enlighten and unite the incoming class through their exploration of one common book. Students are required to read the book during the summer and come to Marist ready to engage with its themes both inside and outside the classroom.

The book for the Class of 2024 is Vote for US: How to Take Back Our Elections and Change the Future of Voting by Joshua A. Douglas. The FYS Committee enthusiastically chose Douglas’s book to not only educate readers but to motivate young citizens to participate robustly in our democracy.

Vote for US book cover and author

Marist College is excited to incorporate this book into the Class of 2024’s first year experience. Voting is a critical topic for students as they enter this new chapter of adulthood. We seek to enrich our students’ appreciation for our democracy, their voice within it, and their role in perpetuating it.

For further information, here are some frequently asked questions about the Common Read Program:

1. Why was this book chosen?

Colleges all over the country are embracing the unique role they can play in voter education and registration. This book will be a foundational text in civics education for a brand new group of voters.  We hope that the energy and excitement surrounding the 2020 presidential election will make the book relevant and meaningful for the class of 2024.

2. Will the book be used in their curriculum?

Students will write an essay on the book in their First Year Seminar, as part of the college’s assessment of our Core/Liberal Studies curriculum. There will also be events throughout the year relating to the Common Read and its themes, as well as a lecture from the author Joshua A. Douglas. Therefore, this book will be relevant for the students all year.

3. How will you ensure that this book will not contribute to polarization rather than unity?

This book is strictly nonpartisan and neither the author nor Marist seek to steer students toward a particular political party. Additionally, all discussions, activities, and events, both inside and outside the classroom will ensure that discussions are educational, civil, and center on larger themes of citizenship and democracy.