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In previous years the first-year book program at Eastern has not gone very well, to say the least.In theory the program sounds like a wonderful idea – have a book all freshmen read before coming to Eastern and have them discuss it with other students and orientation leaders. This would give freshmen something to debate with other students.

But students did not read the book, nor have they ever been motivated to.

Students were only able to talk about the book in panels with at least 60 other people, not giving them a chance to speak their minds or discuss the issues brought up in the book.

The books were useless to most students. This year, however, the committee has taken a different approach.

Not only will incoming freshmen read the book, they will also discuss it in smaller groups with current students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Also, students will have immediate access to the author of next year’s book, Silas House, a new member of the English department at Eastern.

These changes have the potential to make this program really excel at Eastern as long as the university takes an active interest.

With the changes we’re hopeful the new freshman book will be used for more than just a doorstop.