On Wednesday, Nov. 9, RSA partnered with the offices of Spirituality, Service, & Justice (SSSJ) and Multicultural Student Services (MCSS) to host a forum for discussion regarding the most recent Trail article about the Underground Christian Fellowship (UCF).
RSA Student Leader Hannah Smith felt inspired to create the event, entitled A Conversation about the Intersection of Faith and Sexuality at Puget Sound after reading the article in Oct. 30’s edition of The Trail.
Students from both the LGTBQ and religious communities on campus, as well as faculty and staff, came to discuss their personal experiences with both religion and sexuality. Questions were provided to guide the discussion, such as “What are your perceptions of the campus climate for religious students and queer students?”; “How were you impacted by The Trail article and/or the events described by it?”; and “What steps can we take as a community to create a more inclusive environment for all students?”
Students expressed a number of experiences and reactions to The Trail article, but amidst complaints about the content of the article and the details of the issues surrounding the UCF, there was a general consensus of gratitude to The Trail for sparking the conversation. As the “intersection between religion and sexuality” is a complex relationship, student leader Michael Aiyar came up with the idea for SOL: Speak Out Loud. SOL’s mission is “to promote leadership and multiculturalism within the Puget Sound community.” The goal of the project is to use peer-led presentations and discussions to empower students to become leaders and learn from and educate their peers.
The controversy surrounding the UCF is just one of the issues students involved hope to discuss at SOL sessions, held on the third Thursday of every month. The inaugural SOL session was held on November 17th, from 5-6pm at the Student Diversity Center and. If you would like to be involved in the discussion, please attend future SOL sessions, and if you or someone you know is interested in being the featured speaker/discussion leader, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.