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Texas State University
Texas State University

Our Plan | Spring 2021

January 14, 2021

Also available in a brief summary version.

Star field with overlay of colorful fractal pattern


  1. the branch of any science in which forces or motion are considered.
  2. the motivating or driving forces, physical or moral, in any field.
  3. a pattern or history of growth, change, development, or activity.

Spring 2021

The Common Experience at Texas State

To our students, faculty, staff, and community:

On January 28, 2020, we shared our first social media posts about reliable information on novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and tracking its spread. A year later, we are still in the midst of a global pandemic that has taken 385,698 American lives — at the time this was written — among 23.1 million cases in the United States.

Your safety is our top concern. We wish we could present in-person events during the spring 2021 semester, but until conditions change dramatically, that won't happen. Keep your distance, wear your masks, get tested, and watch for details about vaccinations.

In the meantime, the Common Experience at Texas State will continue to be online-only.

We're just as exhausted by online platforms as you are. However, we're still finding ways to offer fresh ideas, new experiences, and events that matter. We presented 102 events during the fall 2020 semester, including the three most-attended live online academic events in Texas State's history.

If you have ideas, let us know. We're always listening.



All Common Experience events will be online-only during the spring 2021 semester. In our view, it’s safer and easier for everyone if we're consistent with online-only programming than to create complex plans that might have to be undone or canceled.

There is one exception: exhibitions. Campus galleries are open for individual visitors wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. Check with galleries before visiting.

Planning Something?

If you or your department/program are planning a Common Experience-related event for the spring 2021 academic semester, please contact us as soon as possible. Work with us. We want every event to be outstanding. Our students deserve it. Also, we need to include every event on the calendar as soon as they’re confirmed, regardless of whether all the details are finished. Please review our Policies for Events before making plans.

No Overlapping Events

The Common Experience will not schedule live events starting on the same date/time. We don’t want students to have to choose between simultaneous events.

Blog: Ideas in Motion

If you haven’t seen the official blog of the Common Experience, go have a look. We'll be adding new pieces soon.

Student Voices

This year, we're offering a second blog-style section of our website. All content there has been — and will be — written for students, about students, and by students. We'll soon include student work about fall 2020 experiences and events.

Social Media

We worked hard to increase our social media presence in fall 2020, and the results have been outstanding. Most of our spring 2021 content will be driven by and presented through our social media platforms.


Our 2020-2021 Theme

Our Common Experience theme for the 2020-2021 academic year is Dynamics. It's about movement and the motivating forces behind everything, everywhere: physical forces, moral forces, driving forces. You can see and feel dynamics in growth, change, inspiration, and action. It’s movement from where you are to where you will be. Watch our video.

American Like Me

2020-2021 Common Reading

Our 2020-2021 Common Reading is American Like Me, edited by actress America Ferrera. It's a collection of first-person stories from famous figures about the experience of growing up between cultures.

Free Access to eBook

We provide first-year students with free access to the eBook version.

Our Budget

As with nearly every department and program at Texas State, we are working with a smaller budget for the 2020-2021 academic year. Here are the changes we made to adapt:

  • Eliminated Common Experience Event Grants for co-funding events during the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Moved expenses for promoting the LBJ Distinguished Lecture onto the LBJ Distinguished Lecture Series Restricted Fund.
  • Tapping the Common Experience account where donations have been collected; we've been holding onto our recent donations in case we had a budget situation like this.
  • Seeking additional donors and sponsors for the Common Experience for this year and the years ahead.
  • No additional expenses for students — or anyone else.


If things change, we’ll let you know. If you have any questions, send us a message. We’ll reply as soon as time allows:

Best wishes to all,

Twister Marquiss
Director of the Common Experience
Texas State University