The First-Year Experience Task Force lists events and programs that deal with issues raised by this year’s common text, Heaven’s Coast, by Mark Doty. Doty will be on campus this week to discuss the text and to read his poetry. Each year the UST English Department selects a common text for freshmen to read.

The task force is a group of faculty and staff from various departments on campus who discuss ways to enrich the experiences of students who are new to St. Thomas.

Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 1 and 2

9 a.m.-8 p.m. in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium

AIDS quilt display

Tuesday, Nov. 2

Noon-1 p.m. in Koch Commons Fireside Room

“Understanding Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Diversity”

The Rev. Jeff Huard will give a short presentation on Catholic doctrine that relates to sexual orientation. Some UST students will share their perspectives on being gay, lesbian or bisexual at St. Thomas. Staff and students will provide information; there is an interactive component to the program.

Wednesday, Nov. 3

7 p.m. in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium

Mark Doty, the author of Heaven’s Coast, will speak about his book and read from his new memoir, Firebird. All students in freshman English classes are required to attend.

The Commuter Student Center is sponsoring a dinner for all the first-year commuter students who want to stay on campus and have dinner before the 7 p.m. program.

Friday, Nov. 5

7 p.m. in 3M Auditorium, Owens Science Hall

Mark Doty will read from his five collections of poetry as part of the university’s annual Sacred Arts Festival.

Tuesday, Nov. 9

“Dealing With Grief and Loss”

Dr. Sarah Armstrong and Dr. Colette Kuhn, Personal Counseling, will suggest how to cope with grief and how to support a grieving friend from noon to 1p.m. in Room LL12, Koch Commons. There will be an opportunity for participants to share common experiences. Handouts will be available.

Thursday, Nov. 4

Another event, not connected to the First-Year Experience, will be held by Faculty Development.

“An Afternoon With Mark Doty, Author of Heaven’s Coast,” will be held from 2:45 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, in the third-floor lounge, Murray-Herrick Campus Center. For more information, call (651) 962-6020, or click here to see the story that appeared in Bulletin Today.