A new student-led organization will support interfaith dialogue on campus.
The group, Better Together, will provide opportunities for interfaith dialogues on campus and help support religious pluralism, accepting other ideologies and befriending their supporters.
“Interfaith dialogue is used to open a line of communication between different beliefs,” said Melaina Riley, religion sophomore and president of Better Together.
“It broadens your world view and makes interfaith relationships make sense. It is easier to truly understand other schools of thought by getting to know its people than by reading a book about it.”
All students are welcome to join, regardless of their faith or lack of religion.
“This is not a religious group but a civil group,” Riley said.
Last year the Interfaith Youth Core rated OCU as the only “better together” campus in the state.
The organization works to promote interfaith cooperation among students and young adults by hosting service opportunities.
“We decided to name our group after this designation,” said Hannah Lampi, religion senior.
The group will host “Better Together Week” in April. The week will be an extension of Love Not Hate Day, an event co-hosted with the Wesley Center.
Love Not Hate Day is an event where students tie dye shirts on the quad to promote inclusion and equality.
Love Not Hate Day began in 2005 when Westboro Baptist Church came to campus in protest of the School of Theater’s production of Moises Kaufman’s play, The Laramie Project.
The play was written in response to the 1998 murder of gay student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo., which was later labeled a “hate crime.”
The rest of the year will be spent supporting other religious groups on campus such as the Muslim and Catholic student associations and the Wesley Center. The group also plans to co-host a panel discussion for religious leaders in Oklahoma City.
“All faiths demand that they help the poor and community in need,” Lampi said. “We plan on doing community outreach projects with the understanding that we all have different beliefs and backgrounds.”
The group hopes for dialogues to become more frequent on campus, Riley said.
“In such a conservative state, there is a lack of communication between religions,” Riley said. “This results in misunderstandings and distrust.”
To learn how to get involved with Better Together email Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lampi at email@example.com.
Contributing: Copy Editor John Hiller