Faith remains in students

RIDE LIKE AN EGYPTIAN: President Donna E. Shalala rides a camel brought to campus by UM Hillel as part of an effort to raise awareness for Birthright. Courtesy University of Miami Hillel

Eleven official organizations such as UM Hillel, St. Augustine’s Catholic Student Association and Baptist Campus Ministries can be found on the University of Miami campus.

There are also many others that have religious affiliations that are not featured on Miami’s website.

Many of the organizations on campus work with each other or with non-religious groups to spread word. At Canefest, most have a table.

They also ensure to include those of all faiths. There is no animosity among groups.

“Overall, I feel the religious organizations on campus provide students with a very diverse and comprehensive group of organizations that any student from any religious affiliation can find a group to join,” said Teddi Thosath, the executive director of the Jewish Collegiate Learning Exchange.

Shifat Hossain, social chair of the Muslim Student Association, said that the association meets with the Jewish and Muslim Students Organization for dinners and discussions to talk about the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths and how their cultures and religions differ and are similar.

Emily McCollum, former president of Baptist Campus Ministries, said that most of BCM’s events are co-programmed and that many guests who come to campus are sponsored by multiple organizations. They are not just concerned with their faith, but with the university community as a whole.

“I don’t see us just as a religious organization, but my heart is with the whole university community,” University Chaplain Becky Crandall said.

Often times, organizations on campus work with the Greek system to get students more involved. This past semester the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority worked with Hillel to raise awareness about breast cancer at a themed Shabbat dinner.

Hossain said that religious organizations mainly act as a good support group.

“Religious organizations are a good way for students to stay in touch with their morals because in college morals may be influenced by the new atmosphere, and these religious organizations are a support group to lean on,” Hossain said.