Common Theme Program

USJ Common Theme 2023

The USJ Common Read program is now called the Common Theme program. 

The Common Theme program is a Common Read with a twist

Instead of just reading one book, you can choose from a variety of media that focus on a single topic.


The Common Theme program, USJ Explores, is designed to engage incoming first-year students, current students, faculty, staff and alumni in campus-wide events that foster discussion, connection and exploration. These shared experiences encourage the campus community to build connections to the University’s mission and core values.

USJ students, faculty and staff will have a choice to read books or essays, listen to podcasts, watch films or view art to launch discussion connected to the Common Theme. Through the variety of events, students will be able to connect with each other and members of the USJ community.

Fall 2023 Common Theme

The Fall 2023 Common Theme is Identity. We will explore the many ways that your identity develops over time, as well as how identity is linked to the Core Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy. USJ faculty, staff and students will lead discussions on the factors that contribute to identity and ways to share your story with the world.

For your First-Year Seminar course, you will be required to participate in at least one Common Theme activity and write a reflection about it. Other courses may require you to attend or may offer extra credit for you to do so. By attending Common Theme events, you can earn Priority Points for your on-campus housing.

To get started, choose at least one item from the Common Theme Playlist to read, watch or listen to this summer. A schedule of events will be available on the USJ website in August.

Common Theme Events

This series has ended for fall 2023. Check back soon for the next round of Common Theme events!


For questions about events or items on the playlist, please contact:

The Common Theme Chairs:
Christina Flood – [email protected]
Roseanne Krzanowski – [email protected]
Kaitlin Walsh – [email protected]

The Fall 2023 Common Theme Program is supported in part by the NEH Humanities and Arts Fund at the University of Saint Joseph.