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Breaking the Ban: Students gather to bring attention to Banned Books Week

October 2, 2014

 

 

 

 

Savannah Woods, a junior sciology student read Lolita to bag the first prize at the dramatic reading contest during the banned books reading event–Photos by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

Savannah Woods, a junior sociology student read Lolita to bag the first prize at the dramatic reading contest during the banned books reading event–Photos by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

 

FREDEDREIA WILLIS
Staff Reporter


While many may want certain books banned or removed from schools and libraries, a student group at Louisiana Tech is reminding all the reasons to keep them accessible.

 

This is the fifth year Tech’s English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta has celebrated the right to read with Banned Books Read Out.

 

The Banned Books Read Out was held Friday in the Shakespeare Garden in the George T. Madison courtyard.

 

The Banned Book Read Out was organized by Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society–Photos by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

The Banned Book Read Out was organized by Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society –Photos by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

Sigma Tau Delta President Alana Crump said the purpose of the week was to celebrate banned and challenged books.

She also said the event invited students to stand up for their favorite banned books and not allow the government to restrict their right to do so.
“This event is important because people don’t realize many of the books we read today, when they first came out, were really controversial and the way people viewed literature in the past times was different from how we view it today,” Crump said.
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries.
During the Read Out, students and faculty members were offered the opportunity to read excerpts from their favorite banned book.
“It is good that the students get the opportunity to read some texts that are controversial, so this event is important for them to attend,” said Scott Levin, faculty adviser for Sigma Tau Delta.
Levin said this type of event challenges the students because they are often faced with the unexpected about the books.

 Dorothy Robbins, right, an English professor, read “The Bluest Eye”, a novel by Toni Morrison–Photos by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

Dorothy Robbins, right, an English professor, read “The Bluest Eye”, a novel by Toni Morrison –Photos by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

 

Students and teachers drifted in and out of the event listening to excerpts from books that have been banned from libraries and schools for reasons ranging from religious viewpoints to sexual and drug references.

 

Nancy Andrews said she attended the event because she was interested to see how the event would unfold.

 

“Times have definitely changed when it comes down to a banned book,” said Andrews, a senior health information management major.

 

 

Alana Crump, graduate English literature student talks to students at the Read out–Photos by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

Alana Crump, graduate English literature student talks to students at the Read out–Photos by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

“When I was young they used to have banned book burnings and it seemed like everyone was banning a book for crazy reasons.”

 

College of Liberal Arts Dean Donald Kaczvinsky said the event underscores the power of reading for a free, just and democratic society.
“It is governmental, religious and social institutions that ban books because they are afraid of what the books say,” Kaczvinsky said.
“What and why books get banned is a good indicator of what the society fears most. To restrict our reading is to restrict how and what we think. It is exactly because the books were or are banned that students should read them.”
Email comments to flw005@latech.edu.

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