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What would the late Kurt Vonnegut thought about this book’s removal at a college of higher learning?

Monday, Aug 20, 2007

Committee gets its Goat by Kelly Marshall Fuller
Complaints from parents and some faculty members have shelved a book that freshmen at Coastal Carolina University were supposed to read this summer.“Goat: A Memoir,” which deals with male brutality and hazing, was knocked off the “Big Read” program for freshmen because the material did not fit the guidelines of the school’s summer reading program, said Provost Robert Sheehan.

“A number of individuals have come to me, including instructors, saying it is very difficult to have discussion relative to the text fit with the goals of the Big Read program,” Sheehan said. “It’s very intense.”

The program’s goals, according to the school’s Web site, are to “engage students in a singular academic task, encourage the critical thought process, explore themes and ideas relevant to student life, and challenge students to develop and explore multiple perspectives.”

Other required books included “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” by Mark Haddon, and “Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood,” by Marjane Satrapi.

A committee of students, faculty and staff reviewed “Goat” and chose it, said Nelljean Rice, director of the University Academic Center. Committee members chose the book to stress integrity, Rice said.

In “Goat,” a creative nonfiction work, author Brad Land is beaten and robbed, then must deal with hazing, his brother’s estrangement and a student’s death at Clemson University, according to the book’s cove

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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