Seton Hill discusses Hunger Games

Freshman and transfer students gathered to discuss controversial book “The Hunger Games” on at Seton Hill University (SHU) Sept. 1. In small group discussions and a forum afterwards, students and professors discussed the validity of the choice in addition to the content of the book.

“The book discussion was an extremely worthwhile experience, especially because this was the first time I got to talk about the novel with other students and view their opinion on the book,” said freshman Lindsey Jacko.

“One student said The Hunger Games made her want to read more books. I call that a result,” said Nichole Peeler, professor of English, on her Twitter.

“One of the lessons I want student’s to take away from summer reading is: don’t assume that reading only happens in the classroom. In the same way, don’t assume that learning only happens in the classroom. If (students) expect (professors) to be the only source of knowledge at Seton Hill, then they are missing out on a world of opportunity,” said Geoffrey Atkinson, Summer Reading Committee chair and professor of mathematics.

A panel including senior English literature Josie Rush and reference and public services librarian Kelly Clever followed the group discussions. A video made by Jalen Gumbs, sophomore, was shown as well.

Rush spoke about Katniss as a strong female character, one of the most celebrated elements of the book. Rush argued that Katniss’ strength lied not only in the fact that could hunt and protect her family like a stereotypical man, but that she was still emotional and human.

“We as readers lose if we don’t place as much value on Katniss placing flowers on Rue’s body as for her shooting an arrow through her opponent’s neck. We have to value people for their actions and not just for their gender,” said Rush.

Clever spoke about the fiction and DVD collections at Reeves Library. She discussed the value of reading for entertainment as well as for research.

“Don’t limit yourselves just to doing academic stuff. Your brain needs a break, and the library is available for that,” said Clever.

Gumbs’ video garnered reactions from the audience. The video included interviews from students and faculty about whether the book, aimed towards young adults, was appropriate for a college summer reading program.

“Watching the video on The Hunger Games did not really answer any questions I had about the book because I think it was a good novel for students our age,” said freshman Keith McCauley.

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