CSUN Freshman Reading Choice to Explore Our Love Affair with Garbage

GarbologyThe simple act of throwing away a coffee cup has implications for the environment, economy and everyday life, particularly when one factors in the fact that Americans generate more trash than anyone else on planet—more than 7 pounds per person each day.

Members of the public are invited to join California State University, Northridge’s incoming freshmen as they explore America’s relationship with garbage by reading “Garbology” as part of the university’s 2012-2014 Freshman Common Reading Program.

“Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash” follows the journey that trash takes as it makes its way from garbage containers to landfills, sanitation plants and scrap heaps. Author Edward Humes will address CSUN’s first-year students at the university’s annual Freshman Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 12.

“We hope that reading the book will help students think about their habits as consumers in a new way,” said English professor Cheryl Spector, director of CSUN’s Academic First Year Experiences program. “Though the book is certainly not dry or dull, it examines trash from an academic perspective. It changed the way I live a little bit and I hope it has a similar effect on everybody who reads the book.”

Incoming freshmen, and members of the public, are invited to read the book and discuss the book as part of a community of readers that includes CSUN faculty, staff and fellow students.

“Reflecting about a book in this way places academic engagement—teaching and learning—at the very center of the community,” Spector said. “The Common Reading allows us all to think, talk and learn together across and beyond the boundaries of any single classroom.”

First-year students have been invited to assemble at 5 p.m. that day in Matador Square on the east side of the Oviatt Library. From the square, they will march down Matador Walk to the Oviatt Lawn. CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison will lead the procession in full academic regalia along with formally robed vice presidents, deans and associate deans of each college and all department chairs and faculty.

“Garbology” is just the latest book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Edward Humes. Humes’ other books include “Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart’s Green Revolution,” the PEN Award-winning “No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court,” the bestseller “Mississippi Mud” and “Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion and the Battle for America’s Soul.”

CSUN’s Freshman Common Reading Program is part of Academic First Year Experiences, which strives to help freshmen and transfer students make a successful transition to California State University, Northridge. Programs like the Common Reading and Freshman Convocation provide opportunities to link curricular and non-curricular learning so that first-year students smoothly begin university life. For more information about the Academic First Year Experiences program, visit http://csun.edu/afye.