The Common Book program starts with students receiving their copy prior to winter break, and it continues throughout the academic school year with various engagement opportunities available each quarter. 

Check out the following below for more information about First Year Experience events and activities that connect back to the Common Book experience!

A passive board is a board within a residential community that contains information and resources for residents. These boards typically highlight certain knowledge, skills, or tools, for residents to explore, but they can also connect back to current events and programs happening on and off the Hill. FYE hosts an annual Common Book Passive Board Contest to encourage Resident Assistants and other residential community leaders to create a passive board that encapsulates the main theme(s) of the Common Book.

The Common Book Essay Contest is an opportunity for students to connect back to the Common Book through a reflective 500-word essay. Each year, there is a new essay prompt, inspired by the themes of the current Common Book and submissions are read by a group of judges consisting of staff, faculty, and students. The top three essayists will receive $75 on their Bruincard.

Residential Life's Arts Engagement Network hosts a series of Brave Space: Open Mic Nights on the first Monday of every month. To encourage students to freely express themselves while drawing inspiration from this year's Common Book, FYE co-programs with Arts Engagement to host a unique themed night filled with music, poetry, spoken word, and performances. 

In Spring Quarter, FYE, UCLA's Volunteer Center, UCLA Recreation, Residential Life, and UCLA Writer's Den all come together to program a Common Book inspired One Bus, One Cause Service Project at John R. Wooden High School. On site, staff and student volunteers participate alongside the high school students in various activities such as team building/leadership exercises and writing workshops. It's an engaging and fun-filled day of service! For more volunteer opportunities, check out the UCLA Volunteer Center website.


In conjunction with the One Bus, One Cause Service Project, FYE collaborates with Residential Life's Team Green to organize an annual Recycled Book program. To promote sustainability and the importance of service, students can donate their copy of the Common Book at various locations across the Hill. By donating, students can also enter into a drawing for a chance to win an Amazon Kindle! All of the books collected are donated to John R. Wooden High School for their library and writing programs.