How to Read the Common Text

Welcome to St. Edward's! One of the most important things we hope to do as a university is create a love of learning in our students, and the first part of that happens with the Freshman Studies' common text, a book we ask you all to read over the summer. Our committee of faculty, staff, and students has chosen Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire as this year’s common text. In the book, journalist Margaret Regan takes us into detention centers to interview the people inside and brings us across the border to hear the stories of those who have been deported.

As you read the common text this summer, don't read as if it is a textbook. There's no need to memorize any facts. Instead, think about the issues Detained and Deported raises. Make notes in the margins, mark passages that stand out to you, and write down questions you have. That way you will be well prepared to write about the book in class this fall and to participate in discussions. You will also have opportunities outside of classes to think about the book and the common theme by attending screenings of documentaries, hearing lectures by experts, and going on field trips.

Email me (alexb [at] with any questions about the common text or Freshman Studies. And again, welcome to St. Edward's.  

Alex Barron
Associate Professor, University Studies
Director, Freshman Studies Program