September 14, 2007
Book club returns to campusSusquehanna's "Darned Ole Fools Over Books" (DOFOBS) club will start off its second year by reading "The Autobiography of Malcom X."
Started last fall, DOFOBS is a "group of students, staff and faculty who gather once a month to have discussion about a common text," according to Brian Johnson, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) and special assistant to the president.
"I have always dreamed of being in a book club, and after conversations with Erica Stephenson and Jennifer Lassahn, who also were interested in starting a literary discussion group, the DOFOBS were born," Johnson said.
Each month, the club focuses on a different topic. For Sept-ember, the club will focus on a book that features a male protagonist, which is why Malcom X's book was chosen.
Club members may borrow the books from the office rather than purchasing their own copies, Johnson said.
"Part of the reason we formed this group was to encourage people to read for fun," Johnson said. "It can be difficult sometimes to find the time for reading. Academics often 'get in the way' of leisure reading. This group is a way for many of us to 'force' ourselves to read something other than a textbook."
Caro Mercado, assistant dean of student life and director of first-year programs, joined DOFOBS after the first meeting. Mercado said the best part of the club is "being able to read an assortment of different books and deconstruct them with all members of the university community from faculty, staff, students and family members."
Mercado said Johnson has done a "good job of inviting us to consider different genres of books to read."
"It is a good way to have all the members express their varied literary interests while introducing others to them," she said.
Junior Laura Newman, a member of the club, said she enjoys the club because it is a good balance of age, identity and occupation. According to Newman, the club is about 50 percent faculty and staff and 50 percent students. She said the diversity in the members creates interesting perspectives and viewpoints on the readings.
According to Johnson, the main goal of DOFOBS "is to help participants gain an appreciation for diverse literatures, but participating in the book club, I think, provides so much more."
"We have learned about the value of seeing others' perspectives and viewpoints. We've had open conversations about deep issues and have shared our own life stories in connection with the texts," Johnson said.
DOFOBS is open to the campus community. The club meets on the last Monday of each month beginning September 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the OMA in the lower level of Degenstein Campus Center. Contact Johnson for more information.
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