In preparation for Fall 2014, all first-year students are asked to read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. By reading this book over the summer, students will arrive on campus prepared to engage in discussions using the book as a springboard to introduce critical thinking and begin the first steps toward creating a community of learners by encouraging all students to join in and be part of the discussions during the Week of Welcome.
The theme for Convocation this year is "Technology and Commmunity," with the key question of "Does Technology Erode or Encourage Community?" For many young people, technology provides a platform that facilitates exposure in a way that encourages communities where respectful understanding of differences and recognition of those differences are celebrated. However, technology also provides a platform for communities that seek to promote division and negative views of diversity. Through this book, we hope to inspire students to consider the potential for positive communities through technology that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to see and to engage in a larger conversation about technology and its potential as a tool for either good or bad in establishing and maintaining communities.