Incoming BU freshmen tackle early assignment

For Immediate Release

Date:  August 21, 2006


BLOOMSBURG— Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s new freshmen will get a dose of college academics during their summer orientation.

Every summer, BU’s freshmen are assigned an article or book to read before Welcome Weekend and are asked to come to campus ready to discuss the reading. According to Maramonne Houseknecht, coordinator of new student orientation, this year’s assignment focuses on civic engagement.

Students are reading a 10-page article, “Civic Renewal vs. Moral Renewal” by Don Eberly, director of the Civil Society Project, a national initiative advancing ideas to strengthen America’s social institutions and community life. The article, published in a 1998 issue of Policy Review and available online, focuses on Americans’ differing perspectives of civic duties.

According the Houseknecht, the assignment gives students a chance to get involved in college-level academics before their first day of class. Faculty and staff volunteers will lead small-group discussions Friday, Aug. 24, at 10:30 a.m. at locations across campus. 

Houseknecht believes the students will benefit from the assignment. “It’s a way for them to see what our expectations are in our classes, and they’ll meet faculty members before they have them in class,” she said. “They get exposed early, but in a more comfortable environment.”

Among other activities, Welcome Weekend also includes picnics where the new freshman may meet students who share their major as well as department faculty. This fall for the first time, all of BU’s colleges – Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology – are hosting picnics. A picnic will also be held for students who have not declared a major.

“This is a college-wide event, so students and faculty can mingle and discuss things in a very relaxed environment,” said Houseknecht. 

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students and offers 58 bachelor’s, 16 master’s and one doctoral degree.