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).


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