Justice is the 2011 Common Reading Book at Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University has chosen Michael J. Sandel’s Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? for the 2011 Common Reading Program.  Members of the incoming Class of 2015 will all receive a copy of the book when they visit campus for three-day New Student Orientation in July and August.

Students will read the book this summer, and they’ll have the opportunity to enter the annual Common Reading Program Essay Contest by responding to this prompt:

In your own words, describe the purpose(s) of American universities. Then, using some of the philosophical perspectives examined in Michel J. Sandel’s Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? decide if these purposes are just.

The winners, who’ll be announced in the fall, will receive a $300 University Bookstore gift certificate!

In August, first-years will return to campus for Welcome Days, a time for new students, and returning upperclassmen, as well, to connect and reconnect with the Case community through academic and social programming.

In addition to Meet the Faculty seminars, practical campus info sessions, a community service day called Case Connects!, and social activities like a Welcome Back Dance and an all-campus concert, new students will gather in small groups to discuss Justice during their first Share the Vision event.

Share the Vision is an ongoing initiative to “promote a just and humane campus for all.”  For 21 years, Case has been striving, as a campus community, to:

  • support the worth and dignity of each individual
  • respect new ideas and encourage examination and discussion of differing opinions
  • appreciate and enjoy our rich cultural, ethnic and racial diversity
  • reach for excellence and integrity in teaching, scholarship, research and service
  • promote justice and compassion on our campus and in our world
Through annual events like MLK Week, the Faculty/Staff vs. Student Basketball Game, and the Student Leadership Awards, and weekly events like non-traditional SatCo (short for Saturday College) experiential courses and workshops, and Community Hour forums, Case supports and celebrates the same principles that Michael Sandel writes about in Justice.

The author will visit Case and give the keynote address at University Convocation.  Here, Professor Sandel puts justice in terms of flutes, golf, and same-sex marriage at the TED2010 Conference in February 2010.

(For a quick snapshot of the twenty-minute lecture, watch at 7:30-8:45 when the audience joins Sandel in a debate about the 2001 Supreme Court case PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin.)

Last year, the Class of 2014 read Elizabeth Royte’s Bottlemania for the CWRU Common Reading Program.  The book tied in with the campus-wide Year of Water effort, during which the university implemented new and enduring water conservation measures and was recognized regionally and nationally for its accomplishments.

Justice • Farrar, Straus & Giroux Paperbacks • 320 pages

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One thought on “Justice is the 2011 Common Reading Book at Case Western Reserve University

  1. Pingback: Justice | Macmillan's Books for the First-Year Experience

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