Easy-access religion

Though it is famous for its religious majority, the LDS Church, Utah is also home to many other faiths. At the U, several religious traditions are represented through student clubs and campus ministries. Whatever the religion, students have many options to find a club that fits their values and beliefs. “By encouraging diversity on campus and open discussion, U students can learn more about each other’s faiths,” said Devan Hite, president of the Student Interfaith Council.

This spirit of interfaith cooperation is embodied in the council. “[We really want to] get people from different traditions to engage in dialogue and produce positive relationships,” Hite said.

The council consists of two bodies – one made up of students chosen by their religion to represent their faith and a programs committee that handles planning, public relations and activities. Members of the programs committee do not necessarily represent a faith, but “must have respect,” Hite said. “The council is excellent prep for social studies. Most of our programs committee members are pre-medical majors,” but many pre-law students are also involved, Hite said.

Whether through the Student Interfaith Council or a specific religious group, there are many opportunities to become spiritually involved at the U.

Amanda Friz

Campus religion at a glance

Who: Bert Hillel/Utah HillelWhat: An all-volunteer Jewish campus organization that will be holding High Holiday services for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in September.When and where: Services are held at the Commander’s House on Fort Douglas Circle.How to join: Go to www.utah.edu/hillel/join.htm and fill out the membership form.Web site: www.utah.edu/hillel

Who: Campus Crusade for ChristWhat: Worship includes music and a speaker, games and coffee afterward.When and where: Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. in the Den at the UnionHow to join: E-mail the director at [email protected] or contact Kali Waterfall at [email protected] site: www.campuscrusadeforchrist.com

Who: ElevationWhat: A discussion-oriented group congruent with Capital Church. Activities include movie nights, baseball games, restaurant visits and a trip to Moab.When and where: Sunday nights at 7 p.m. at Capital Church (1010 E. 700 South)How to join: Call Jason Weidenbenner at (801) 718-3827Web site: www.capitalchurch.com

Who: Jewish Student AssociationWhat: Activities are geared toward the Jewish faith and include Torah study, Friday services and holiday celebrations. When and where: Friday services at 7:30 p.m. at the synagogue; Saturday morning services at the synagogue; table at the Union on Thursdays.How to join: E-mail Rabbi Benny Zippel at [email protected] site: www.chabadutah.com

Who: Latter-day Saints Student AssociationWhat: LDSSA sponsors many activities around campus, including a Homecoming bonfire, aid with Crimson Nights and many LDS Institute activities.When and where: LDSSA council meets on Wednesdays at 6:30 a.m. Activities occur around campus and at the LDS Institute building.How to join: Anyone who is taking LDS Institute classes or is willing to adhere to LDSSA’s standards is welcome. E-mail Ali Abegg at [email protected] for more information.Web site: none

Who: Lumen – A Welcoming Student MinistryWhat: Coffeehouse on Sept. 17 followed by a laser show at the Clark Planetarium, in addition to weekly activities. Service and social activities are geared toward faith development.When and where: Weekly activities start on Aug. 2 and occur every Thursday night at the Sojourner House (75 S. University St.).How to join: Visit the Lumen table during the opening week or the Sojourner. Can also call the house at 961-8410 or Joel Nau, the Lutheran campus pastor, at (801) 582-2321, extension 11.Web site: www.lumenmin.org

Who: Muslim Student Association What: Dedicated to increasing the awareness of Islam on campus through Islamic activities, guest lecturers and picnics. Open to everyone.When and where: Weekly Friday prayers, weekly table at the Union.How to join: Send an e-mail to [email protected] site: clubs.asuu.utah.edu/msa

Who: Reformed University FellowshipWhat: Large and small group activities, Bible study, community service and discussionsWhen and where: Large group activities: Wednesdays at 8 p.m. at the Fine Arts Auditorium; Genesis Bible study: Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Heritage Center. Discussion group held on the first and third Tuesday of the month at noon in the Union cafeteria. Current events discussion group held on Mondays at noon in the Union cafeteria.How to join: Go to www.ruf.orgWeb site: clubs.asuu.utah.edu/ruf

Who: Religious Studies AssociationWhat: An academic approach to religion with no bias provided by guest lectures and occasional member meetingsWhen and where: Throughout the year, all over campusHow to join: Contact Prof. Colleen McDannell at (801) 581-5748 or e-mail Kirk Watson (president) at [email protected]: clubs.asuu.edu/rssa

Who: Student Interfaith CouncilWhat: A joint committee of seven faiths (Catholic, Evangelical, Baha’i, Jewish, Islam, LDS and Lutheran/Episcopal) whose purpose is to get people from different religious traditions to engage in dialogue and participate in service projects.When: Fall discussion series, Spring Evening of Sacred Themes and weekly committee meetings.How to join: E-mail Devan Hite at devan_hit[email protected] or visit the Web site.Web site: www.interfaith-u.org