Incoming Students Connect with the Fourth Estate

Instead of being asked to absorb a classic novel or autobiography for their summer reading assignment, the Class of 2013 was told to read a newspaper each day.

Sounds mundane enough, but this is a demographic for which texts have replaced written letters and even typed e-mails, and instant news flashes are Twittered or blogged into the collective consciousness. The newspaper is all but a relic.

But Class Dean and Associate Professor in economics Nancy Baldiga knows there is value in the daily paper. She launched “The Class of 2013 Paper Project” to help students realize the importance of reading and discussing the news of the day. “My goals for the project were to increase the students’ awareness of current issues, expose them to quality writing and allow them to make connections with members of the Holy Cross community,” Baldiga explains.

Participation in the project was high, with faculty, students and staff reading online posts made to the specially designed Paper Project Web site.

“Throughout the project, I provided links to information about faculty, programs and resources at the College. Members of the class not only got to know each other, they also became acquainted with key people on campus.”

Baldiga says she is most gratified by the conversations that stemmed from the project, reporting that participants “discussed issues that are important for liberal arts students: finding and identifying quality data, developing effective arguments and welcoming opposing viewpoints.”