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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

“Gen Z goes to college” looks to bridge generation gap

The book club currently has around 40 members of campus faculty and staff signed up to participate.

Marquette Staff Senate introduced a book club revolving around “Gen Z Goes to College,” a book aiming to educate educators on the university-aged generation.

The group had its first meeting March 27 to discuss the first selected section of the book written by Corey Seemiller and Meghan Grace. The club will have its second meeting April 11, followed by its final meeting featuring a virtual visit from Dr. Seemiller to further discuss the contents of the book April 25.

Staff Senate communications subcommittee co-chair Calley Hostad came up with the idea for the book club, citing the contents of the book as an important learning tool to communication with students, as well as an opportunity to start a dialogue.

“I think that there is a lot of value in after reading something, being able to discuss it with someone else,” Hostad said. “We all bring our own particular viewpoints and our own backgrounds and experiences to what we’re reading or learning and so I think having the opportunity to then discuss it with others is just a really helpful thing. I think it builds empathy.”

The books main points include motivation, preferred learning styles and how students engage with peers. The book also talks extensively about social media use and the emergence of technology in Gen Z students lives.

For Staff Senate subcommittee co-chair Kirsten Boeh, this book club is an opportunity to further her learning and advance herself professionally, applying these teachings to her job as communications coordinator in the College of Arts & Sciences.

“I can only do do my job well if I can communicate to Gen Z. If I can’t explain why Arts and Sciences are important to people who are 16 to 25 years old, I can’t do my job,” Boeh said. “My goal is to provide a forum to bring people together that wouldn’t necessarily meet each other and sit down at a table in a small group and share personal experiences and reflect on a topic that they maybe don’t know a lot about yet.”

For Christine Fleming, Staff Senate secretary, this is also an opportunity to learn more about the students she works with in her job as manager of community engagement at the Haggerty Museum of Art.

“I think there are interesting sort of stereotypes for different generations across the board and I’ve chatted with quite a few of my student interns about that,” Fleming said. “But then to bring that to the students that I personally know and work with at Marquette to see if they agree, to see how those stereotypes are sort of assumptions about generations actually play out. I think there’s there’s always two parts, there’s what history records and then what people actually see and live through.”

In an excerpt from Seemiller and Grace’s book “Generation Z: A Century in the Making,” the duo describe an experience from a 2013 summer orientation, noticing students having been more engaged in talking about involvement than in years past. The authors made special mention of students interest in participating in social change programs.

The book club currently has around 40 members of campus faculty and staff signed up to participate. Anyone can join and learn more about the current generation of college students through analysis and discussion. Free digital copies are available through the library.

“I recall more in the good times and conversations with friends or colleagues as opposed to the books themselves. I also see that perhaps this will be some community building across departments,” Hostad said. “I’m excited to see the range of people who have signed up for the book club. We have some from academic departments, someone from admissions and just across campus and so I get excited when I see names that I don’t know simply because it’s not opportunity to meet someone else who is working here.”

This story was written by Kevin Fitzpatrick. He can be reached at [email protected]

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