Common Experience

Texas State Class of 2023 students smile for a photo in their Common Experience t-shirts, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, at Strahan Coliseum.

Texas State announced that “Dynamics” will be the Common Experience theme for the 2020-21 academic school year.

In an email sent out to the university, Provost Gene Bourgeois said the theme will focus on discussing the motivating forces behind everything, everywhere.

Twister Marquiss, director of the Common Experience, said he hopes the theme will encourage students to create change and discover the elements of motion found throughout the world.

“If everybody can see the way things work and see that they can make things happen, I anticipate that we’ve got a very productive year ahead of us,” Marquiss said. “The more opportunities students have the more likely they’ll be able to find something they want to do.”

The theme will be accompanied by the book  “American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures”, edited by award-winning actress America Ferrera. The book is a collection of first-person stories from Ferrera and 31 prominent figures, such as Lin-Manuel Miranda and Liza Koshy.

All incoming first-year students will receive a copy of the selected book and are expected to discuss the book in university seminar classes and other courses.

Since this year’s New Student Orientation will be conducted virtually, Marquiss said the Common Experience book will be delivered to incoming students via their university seminar instruction or peer mentor.

“The tentative plan is to do that the first day of class,” Marquiss said. “What we don’t know yet is whether we will be delivering paper copies of the book as usual or digital copies that they can claim online.”

In the upcoming weeks, the Common Experience team plans to resume coordinating events for the 2020-21 school year after putting a hold on planning in March. Events such as the LBJ Distinguish Lecture Series will be planned in accordance with how social distancing regulations will unfold.

“We will do everything we can but we will not push boundaries as far as student safety, that comes first,” Marquiss said.

For more information about “Dynamics” and the Common Experience program, visit

Journalism is an act of civic responsibility. We see our work as a public service that is necessary for a community to thrive because knowledge is empowering. If you enjoyed this story, please consider helping us "Defend the First Amendment" by donating today!

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.