Photo by Ryan DeBerardinus/123f.com
By Jedine Daley
Religion and spirituality can be linked to development in the lives of many college students. Some college campuses, though not affiliated with a specific religion, allow students to form clubs and organizations to express their beliefs.
This is completely fine.
Students of different religious backgrounds should, however, have equal access to this. Colleges must avoid leaning towards one specific religion, because this usually results in said religion being forced upon students in an effort to alter or shape their beliefs. Being able to practice your religion is not a privilege, but a right. It is a form of self-expression. Everyone’s religious views should be respected whether you agree with them or not, and a different perspective never necessarily means a wrong perspective.
Students are exposed to different religions on college campuses due to the high interactions with people of diverse backgrounds. With Christianity being a dominant religion here on campus, there are a number of organizations and channels available for Christians to express their faith. Christian holidays like Christmas are recognized by the university. This is not exactly reciprocated with all other religions practiced by students.
Many Jewish and Hindu holidays are not acknowledged here on campus. This defies the school’s campaign for diversity. Can religion not be diverse? Students who practice non-dominant religions are often left to choose between their education and their faith on most of their religious holidays.
Many religious groups such as Muslims are minorities, and often feel threatened in practicing their religion. Minority religious groups are often subjected to discrimination and disadvantages. A school community should never be a place where anyone feels unsafe or unwelcome in practicing their religion. If we’re going to practice or promote religion as a school, this platform should be equally shared. All religious groups should be comfortable in expressing their faith.