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Students and faculty participate in Banned Books Week activities

Banned Books Week
UNG student Candace Bourque discusses her poster about "Water for Elephants" during Dr. Westry Whitaker's class during Banned Books Week.

Students and faculty from the University of North Georgia (UNG) marked Banned Books Week, Sept. 23-29, with a variety of activities.

Dr. Donna Gessell, professor of English, and Dr. Westry Whitaker, assistant professor of teacher education, had their classes present projects exploring why some books are challenged or banned and why people advocate against this censorship. Both faculty members said many books are challenged, while some end up being banned from schools or libraries for content deemed offensive.

As part of these efforts, students made posters with a photo and a quote illustrating the tensions surrounding certain books.

Sigma Tau Delta, UNG's English honor society, also held a pair of events for the week: one seeking to match authors with the books they wrote and the other a "Blind Date with a Book." The second event involved books wrapped in brown paper with key words about the plot, setting or characters written on the cover available for purchase for $1 each.

Gessell said allowing controversial books to be read is a crucial piece of discussing hard topics.

"It's best to get the content out and discuss it in safe ways," Whitaker said.

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