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Texas State University
Texas State University



2019-2020 Common Experience


1 a (1): the body of real things, events, and facts
  : actuality
  (2): the state of being the case : fact
  (3): often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality


During the 2019-2020 academic year, Texas State University students will become scholars of Truth. To fully and freely participate in the world, a core value of Texas State’s mission statement, students should actively pursue truth and the complexity of its meaning. This pursuit is our Common Experience theme. 

While investigating Truth through University Seminar (US 1100) courses, students will understand how truth operates in the context of a university and how students, faculty, and staff seek truths on a daily basis through courses and research. However, truth is not limited to the academic environment — by interrogating common frameworks of truth from nuanced, multidisciplinary lenses, we’re empowering students to navigate post-graduate life with an unparalleled critical thinking skill set. This theme will catalyze a collaboration among students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. Together, we will discuss the meaning, nature, embodiment, and action of truth and how all involved can become more involved and empathic global citizens. 

The midpoint of the Undergraduate Academic Center (UAC) building is a grand arch through which students enter the Texas State campus. Four shared academic values are engraved into the archway, including the Latin term veritas — or truthfulness. Those shared academic values are also engraved into the Texas State mace, which is traditionally used at commencement ceremonies:

  • Auctoritas — the sense of one’s standing gained through experience, industriousness and service to others 
  • Gravitas — a sense of dignity, seriousness and duty
  • Humanitas — an appreciation for refinement, civilization and learning
  • Veritas — truthfulness 

It is veritas that completes our list of values. By actively pursuing truthfulness and its meaning, our students will realize one of Texas State’s most cherished practices.

All past Common Experience themes have explored truth. However, by focusing solely on the concept, students can look at truth through every lens: a quest for truth, a search for truth, and an examination of authenticity. Areas of exploration will range from an understanding of university truth — in scholarship and research — to a definition of Universal Truth with a capital T, and from one’s own personal truth to a sense of honesty, accuracy, validity, and truthfulness