Movement gives USU religious diversity
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 00:10
Students and faculty sat in the Walnut Room of the Marketplace in the Taggart Student Center to listen to Dr. Runell Hall, a visiting professor from New York University, who spoke to the audience about starting an interfaith movement.
Hall helped start an interfaith movement at NYU and is the internal director of the Center for Spiritual Life at NYU. She also developed a faith zone training modeled after the LGBT “safe zone” training to celebrate and understand religious diversity on college campuses.
“We have the opportunity to make history here, to be seen as an inclusive place for religious dialogue,” Hall said.
She laid out a 10-step outline to start a program at USU and issued a challenge to the audience.
“If this is something that speaks to you, what are two things you could do when you leave here tonight for this semester, for the year?” Hall said. “Is there a class you could take, a person you could take out for lunch or talk to further? Is there a person you could reach out to over social media to ask some questions or connect with? Is there a book you could read, a web site you could visit? What are two things you could do?”
David Tauber, a sophomore dual-majoring in religious studies and anthropology and a resident at the InterFaith House in the Living Learning Community, believes the 10 steps outlined by Hall will be a useful guideline to starting the movement.
“I think they are extremely useful,” Tauber said. “We’ll definitely be making use of all 10 in working through this movement that we are hoping to start.”
As one of the leaders of the interfaith movement, Tauber announced one of the main goals of the organization is to have it ready for the student population by the end of the semester.
“I think that the university as a whole could benefit from a broader understanding of people with other faiths,” said Yoshi Kawa, a freshman studying electrical engineering.
Students who wish to learn more about the Interfaith program are encouraged to contact Dr. Bonnie Glass-Coffin, an anthropology professor who is working closely with the group, at firstname.lastname@example.org.