Date: August 16, 2005
Beginning this September, Andrews University faculty and staff members are encouraged to participate in the new campus-wide book club, R.E.A.D. (Read, Eat, and Discuss), designed to both stimulate intellectual discussion and build and bolster a sense of community among faculty and staff. Club meetings will be held at the University Relations house the third Thursday of each month.
In an effort to correlate reading material with both campus events and the celebration of national heritage months, planners have selected books to best compliment goings-on of local and national significance. September’s selection, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, which will be led by president Niels-Erik Andreasen, will parallel the observance of National Hispanic month.
In addition to club meetings and the ensuing discussions, planners anticipate supplementing the club’s book reading with enriching events, such as attending a performance of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (February’s selection) by the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.
To ensure that book club discussions don’t turn into “book talks,” where a scholarly discussion leader lectures on his or her personal and presumably superior interpretation of a particular book, various faculty and staff members will share the job of leading group discussions on a month-by-month basis. This approach, says Beverly Stout, a member of the club planning committee, will “create a comfortable environment where people can feel free to discuss and share a wide variety of viewpoints.”
Book club benefits also include an increase in beyond-the-workplace communication. And while the club is focused for faculty and staff members, its planners by no means intend to close membership to other interested parties.