Choosing Civility is the First-Year Reading Book at Clayton State University

P.M. Forni’s Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct is the First-Year Reading book at Clayton State University! All incoming first-year students are have been reading the book this summer. Choosing Civility will be incorporated into first-year curriculum and programming through the fall semester.

The university’s aim is not only to get students reading before classes begin, or to give them all one book in common with one another once they’re on campus. Clayton State selected Choosing Civility and has developed significant programming, the CSU Civility Project, to ensure students understand, practice, and value Dr. Forni’s rules of considerate conduct, which also reflect the university’s Student Code of Conduct.

The book began to make an impact as students read and talked about their reading on Twitter over the summer:

In addition to practicing civility and respect in the classroom and around campus, Clayton students will discuss the university’s expectations for student conduct, communication skills, personal responsibility, self respect, civility in media, and more in regular discussion workshops and on an open-thread blog: Civility@CSU.

First-Year students are also encouraged to unite with their peers and connect with their community by participating in a service learning project. The First Year Advising & Retention Center facilitates several projects throughout the academic year; students who volunteer have the opportunity “to develop a sense of self, social responsibility and civility” while serving their community.

Choosing Civility is one of Macmillan’s Popular Picks for common reading! Click here to see the other schools that have adopted the book.

Choosing Civility • St. Martin’s Griffin • 208 pages

Update: ‘Three Words of Civility’ Video Contest!

This fall, the First-Year Advising & Retention Center and the Clayton State University Civility Project sponsored a ‘Three Words of Civility’ video contest, open to all enrolled students.


More than a dozen groups of Clayton students got together to promote civility on campus on film. Check out some of the entries on the Clayton State University Freshman Facebook page.

Each video focuses on one of the 25 rules outlined in Choosing Civility, including Rule #2: Acknowledge Others; Rule #13: Keep It Down (and Rediscover Silence); Rule #25: Don’t Shift Responsibility and Blame; and others.

The winner, “What is Kindness” by CSU students Hussain, Mylinh, and Sally, is about kindness on campus and how to “pass it on!” Watch “What is Kindness” here (video and audio will play automatically).

It Happened On the Way to War is SUNY, Potsdam’s 2011 Common Book

Iraq veteran Rye Barcott’s memoir, It Happened On the Way to War,  is the 2011 Common Reading book at the State University of New York, Potsdam. In August, the university’s Student Success Center distributed copies of the book to incoming students enrolling in the First-Year Success Seminar (FYSS).

The book will be assigned reading in all sections of FYSS, a college transition course that most new students take in the fall semester. Though sections of the course are based on an array of interdisciplinary topics, appealing to a student body with broad academic interests, the book will be the common thread that links the whole class together.

Students will be asked to consider what lessons might be learned from these two “worlds” of service [military and humanitarian], as well as how they can make an impact on the world as college students.

‘On the Way to War’ Author Speaks to SUNY Potsdam Freshman

The First Year Experience (FYE) program also has a Residential Life component; students enrolled in the same FYSS will live together on the same floor in one of two dorms. This way, freshman students making the transition to university life and academics can “go through it all together” with their peers. Students will also have the support of upperclassmen who live on each FYE floor and serve both as Academic Peer Mentors, providing general academic guidance, and as FYSS Teaching Assistants.

Rye Barcott will visit campus to speak on October 12.

Previously, P.M. Forni’s Choosing Civility was the common book at SUNY, Potsdam. Click here to see all the schools that have adopted these titles and other Popular Picks for first-year reading from Macmillan.

It Happened On the Way to War • Bloomsbury • 352 pages

First-Years at Penn State Berks are Choosing Civility

Penn State Berks has selected P.M. Forni’s Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct for the 2011-2012 Common Reading program!

Each year, the Common Reading Steering Committee invites college community members, faculty, staff, and students to nominate books for the following year’s program. From those, the committee identifies a few finalists and asks the Penn State Berks community to vote in an online poll for the best book for the next year’s freshmen. The committee named Choosing Civility a finalist based on the following criteria:

The book should:
—Act as a bridge between students and faculty
—Contain themes for discussion which touch on many different topics
—Appeal to young adults
—Prompt inquiry, reflection, and discourse
—Be available in paperback
—Be lively and engaging reading (highly readable, not too long)

Incoming first-year students are required to read the book before New Student Orientation in the fall. During Welcome Week, First Year Group Leaders will facilitate small group discussions about Choosing Civility and its themes, especially in the context of the Penn State Berks community.

When fall classes commence, Choosing Civility will be a featured text in the First-Year Seminar course, which all new students take in their first year at PSU.  Among the seminar’s core goals are: to set every student up for success at the university level with study strategies, research skills, a sense of academic integrity, and an understanding of PSU’s academic policies and resources; to develop and polish students’ communication skills and establish lines of “communication-across-the-curriculum”; and to promote skills and positive attitudes toward scholarship and seeking knowledge.

Each fall, students everywhere are embarking on a unique journey . . . Not only will you and other first-year students be sharing the joys, frustrations and adventure of attending college for the first time, you will also be drawn together in a more intimate common experience even before you enter the halls of Penn State.”

Why a Common Reading Program?, Penn State Berks

The Common Reading program also incorporates a university-made study guide, guest speakers (including Choosing Civility and The Civility Solution author P.M. Forni, who will visit campus in December), community service and social activities all linked to the book’s content.  Because the shared reading experience is a link between new students and their peers in the classroom and in campus-wide activities, the Common Reading book becomes the foundation for “an intellectual community among first-year learners, returning students, faculty and staff.”

Choosing Civility is one of Macmillan’s Popular Picks for common reading! Click here to see the other schools that have adopted the book.

Choosing Civility • St. Martin’s Griffin • 208 pages