Forbidden: CSU-Pueblo’s Banned Book Club made its first appearance on campus last week in a dramatic way.
Students who visited the library were surprised to see that the doors were covered in brown construction paper and marked with signs warning them of the secrets trapped inside. After being greeted inside the library by the club, campus and community members were asked to write their favorite banned book on a whiteboard and pose for a mug shot. These titles included everything from “Ender’s Game” to “Mathilda.”
The club’s main focus is to discuss the social and cultural issues that emerge when books are challenged or banned. New to campus, the club welcomes everyone, the more the merrier, and is hoping to make a big initial splash.
“I wanted to get people involved,” said club president Isabel Soto-Luna. “We asked them to pick a book they love and then find out if it’s been banned.”
Forbidden is a group that not only educates its members about past and present censorship of books, but also allows them to share a common interest.
“This all got started because we wanted to bring people together who love to read, and hopefully make a few more book lovers in the process,” said Soto-Luna.
Currently, all members of the club are women, but Soto-Luna stressed the fact that the club welcomes all students, faculty and members of the community. The only requirement to join is to simply have an open mind.
“It’s amazing how many beloved books have been banned,” Soto-Luna said.
She listed numerous examples of banned books that will be discussed in upcoming club meetings and why they were banned, including “Green Eggs and Ham” for homosexual seduction, and “The Fault in Our Stars” about cancer.
She is dismayed that many of the banned books are children’s stories.
“How can you possibly tell a child they can’t read a book because it talks about cancer? she said. “Banning a book is someone making a choice for you, and I absolutely hate the idea.”
Soto-Luna stresses the fact that censorship is a topic worth discussing.
“Censorship doesn’t happen often at CSU-Pueblo, one of the reasons I love the school. However, although it doesn’t happen here, it does happen everywhere else,” she said.
Plans for the club in the coming months include group meetings, a guest speaker, and a number of viewing parties for books that have been made into movies such as “Ender’s Game,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”
“Right now, we are a small group, but we have fun. I can see all of us forming friendships and know I can trust these girls to keep this group going,” Soto-Luna said.
The club will meet on the third floor of the library on the second Friday of the month. For more information on Forbidden, check out the club’s Facebook page, Forbidden: CSU-Pueblo’s Banned Book Club, or visit its listing on the CSU-Pueblo student organizations page.