Dear Members of the Class of 2020,
As president of Tulane University, I am happy to extend an enthusiastic welcome to the class of 2020. At Tulane, the opportunities to learn and to engage with the world around you will not be restricted to the classroom. Each year, Tulane requires the entering class to read an acclaimed novel or work of non-fiction to frame their first year experience; we call it the Tulane Reading Project. This year's book is Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture – and What We Can Do about It by celebrated author Kate Harding. Harding is a teaching artist at the Loft Literary Center, and Asking for It was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in non-fiction.
The Reading Project committee, made up of students, faculty, and staff, chose Asking for It for its no-nonsense approach to examining sexual violence and our cultural response. The book also was chosen in conjunction with next year's campus-wide exploration of the theme of power through the Forum Tulane initiative. A blend of frankness and humor, Asking for It captures how power is malleable and how culture can change. The committee hopes that the book will foster meaningful discussions on an issue crucial to society, to campuses across the country and to Tulane.
You will soon receive an email with instructions on accessing the Asking For It e-book through Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. For students who require an alternative version to the e-book, please contact the Goldman Office of Disability Services at 504-862-8433 or Melissa Weber in the Newcomb-Tulane College Office of Cocurricular Programs at email@example.com.
This fall and into the spring, we will offer a series of interactive events exploring power and the themes addressed by Asking for It. Tulane's Sexual Violence Prevention & Education Coalition will partner with Newcomb-Tulane College to host an enlightening and engaging event on September 22 called Shifting the Paradigm, featuring a keynote lecture with author Kate Harding. Please also visit the Events and Activities page on the Reading Project website for a schedule of events, which will be updated throughout the summer as additional events are scheduled. And check the Materials and Resources page for additional materials pertinent to the book, such as guidelines for discussion, support resources, and how you can get involved.
I hope that you critically engage with Asking for It before you arrive on campus. The Reading Project is a great way to strike up those first conversations with your fellow classmates, as well as our faculty and staff. The Tulane community is thrilled to meet each of you in August and enter into dialogue with you in your first intellectual experience as a Tulane student. We hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.
Michael A. Fitts
Newcomb-Tulane College Programs, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5728 firstname.lastname@example.org