Next summer, incoming freshmen will no longer receive a book during their orientation sessions. The college recently decided to eliminate the First-Year Reading Initiative and is replacing it with First-Year Residential Experience Integrative Core Curriculum Theme Kick-Off events, consisting of six theme-based programs.
Students are expected to have read the book and be prepared to discuss it during the Welcome Week FYRI seminar. Although students have most of the summer to finish the book, it is not possible to force apathetic students — or those who do not enjoy reading — to read for an optional event that is seldom attended.
The college is wise to eliminate the FYRI: Only 35 percent of the 1,550 freshmen attended the Aug. 26 seminar. With a percentage so low, the college is better off putting time into planning events that guarantee student attendance rather than trying to enforce reading.
By creating the ICC Kick-Off events, students in each theme will actually have the opportunity to meet one another and to ask questions about the new program and the ICC requirements. This is especially beneficial because the ICC can be confusing for new students.