First Year Reading Experience (FYRE)
The first year reading experience (FYRE) at Salem State University connects new students to the university community through a shared reading experience, welcoming them to a culture that values the thoughtful discussion of ideas.
On opening day (the day before classes begin in the fall), first year students will meet with faculty, librarians, administrators, staff, and alumni for a conversation about the selected book. Many professors will also incorporate the book and its themes into first year courses and events throughout the academic year.
The schedule for opening day and FYRE can be found at salemstate.edu/fyconvocation.
Stay updated with the conversations by liking "FYRE First Year Reading Experience at Salem State University" on Facebook.
2015 Reading Selection
After a campus-wide vote, the Salem State University community has selected Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream by Joshua Davis as this year's reading. First year students will receive the book free of charge during orientation and are asked to read it prior to September 2. Check out the FYRE Reading Guide to assist you as you begin [PDF].
No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much--but two inspiring science teachers convinced them otherwise. Born in Mexico, but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school, these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean were encouraged to build an underwater robot. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition--and yet, against all odds, they won!
But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story--which became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement--will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan.
United We Dream: Founded in 2000, United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the United States! This organization fights for access to higher education and legal status for undocumented immigrant youth. Learn more about the organization at www.unitedwedream.org.
For more information, please check out the following links:
- Read the article that kick-started it all
- Where are they now?
- Listen to an interview with Cristian, Lorenzo, Luiz, and Oscar
- FUSION interviews Joshua Davis
- Watch the trailer for La Vida Robot
- Washington Post book review: Spare Parts
- The DREAM Act and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program
Faculty, alumni and staff interested in serving as discussion facilitators on opening day should fill out this quick survey.
If you are an upperclass student who would like to participate as a discussion facilitator and help with convocation and the rest of opening day, please fill out this form.
FYRE is proudly sponsored by first year experience, academic affairs and Chartwells.
To request accommodations, please contact the disability services office at 978.542.6217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.