Celebrating Banned Books at FSU

Dr. Lutz introducing the event.
Dr. Lutz introduces the event.
Censorship. Some people think it’s is okay; they think it’s good to censor the words of others. Sigma Tau Delta, the Ort Library, and the American Library Association disagree. Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society and the chapter on Frostburg’s campus worked hard alongside the Ort Library to plan and execute the Banned Books Reading. The event is held annually during the American Library Association’s Banned Book Week. Banned Book Week is the time when books are celebrated and it’s emphasized that words matter. Books are banned or challenged in many places. This means that people want to remove certain books from libraries or curricula. The Banned Books Reading celebrated those books that have been banned. Free speech is important. The words are spoken to ensure that they will never go unheard. 
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Kat Wharton reads from The Shining by Stephen King.
The audience for the banned books readings.
The audience for the banned books readings.

Banned Books was held on Tuesday, October 3 in the Ort Library. The event consisted of people reading excerpts from their chosen banned or challenged books. Some of the books that were read during the event were Looking for Alaska by John Green, The Shining by Stephen King, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. “I enjoyed every minute,” Herb Trice, a member of the group, said about listening to the readers. “I salute those that read because it takes a lot to speak or read in public.” The seats were filled at the reading and there were even a few people outside of the organization that decided to read. Anyone wass welcome to read.

Torie Costa reading from The Lovely Bones by Alice Seybold.
Torie Costa reads from The Lovely Bones by Alice Seybold.

There were 11 people in total who read. Five of the readers were members of Sigma Tau Delta, and the other six were people outside of the organization who wanted to read. Torie Costa, one of the readers and a member of Sigma Tau Delta, transferred to FSU last semester, so this was her first time attending and reading. “I wasn’t super nervous about reading in front of a crowd because they were all here for the same reason: to enjoy banned book readings,” Costa said of her experience at the event. The turnout for the event was great, and the room was packed. “We spread awareness through posters and social media,” Tiffany Gulick, a member of Sigma Tau Delta, said about advertising. The group worked hard to spread the word about the event. Costa, co-leader of social media in the group, created graphics to be posted during the week of the event. “The main thing was getting people to read for the event,” Trice, co-leader of social media, said.

Amanda McPherson reading from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
Amanda McPherson reads from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Sigma Tau Delta is an organization for English majors with high GPA’s and a love of everything English. The group is working to plan more events in the coming months. They hope to plan events that anyone in the campus community can enjoy. “We are brainstorming a new event for next fall,” Gulick said. “And we are planning on having a B-movie night soon in the Planetarium.” The B-movie night should be a fun experience for anyone. “It is really shaping up to be a fun night just in time for Halloween,” Trice said about the movie night. More information should be coming out soon for this event! Keep a look out for the events from this group; they’re sure to be fun.

Marshall Sandifer reading from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Marshall Sandifer reads from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

Sigma Tau Delta plans to have the Banned Books Event again next fall. If you didn’t get to experience the readings or participate yourself, there is always next year. “I regret not going to it my sophomore and junior years,” Trice said. This was his first time going to the event as he has recently joined Sigma Tau Delta. Don’t miss the event next year! It’s sure to be great.

If you’re interested in learning more about Sigma Tau Delta, contact advisor Dr. Mary Anne Lutz at mlutz@frostburg.edu, President Kat Wharton at kawharton0@frostburg.edu, or Vice President Bailey Knight at bkight0@frostburg.edu.

Herb Trice (Left) and Marshall Sandifer (Right) getting ready for the event to start.
Herb Trice (Left) and Marshall Sandifer (Right) get ready for the event to start.
Tiffany Gulick and Daniel Steel celebrate their raffle win of the banned books mug.
Tiffany Gulick and Daniel Steel celebrate their raffle win of the banned books mug.
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