What Are Campus Religious & Secular Groups Doing?
April 15, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has altered the landscape of higher education. Campus closures across the nation have not only impacted the academic endeavors of students and educators, but it also shifted their sense of community and, for many, spiritual home. As campuses grapple to achieve their missions during crisis, they have been navigating the digital space with online classes and platforms to build, connect and reconnect communities of diverse interests.
Amid this space-shifting, information sharing isn’t quite as organic – there are no informal conversations while passing in the cafeteria, and one cannot happen upon a flier in the library. Even if we could – the levels of stress and anxiety right now are high, shared not just by students but by all of us. So, we wanted to share with you a few of the ways religious and spiritual organizations are offering support for students to stay connected with their faith communities online. We tapped into our network to speak with national level religious organizations like Hillel, InterVarsity and Secular Student Alliance as well as campus based religious, spiritual and secular groups to compile a list of resources that are available for students.
It is important to note that campus-based groups that are not affiliated with national associations are likely reaching out to members in powerful ways—they are simply less centralized. Campus based student groups’ membership will likely ebb and flow, as all student groups do, depending on interest in any given year. Given the massive change being experienced right now by students and faculty, who often serve as advisors, it may be more difficult for these non-national groups to continue to connect. At the same time, many religious minority faculty and staff on campus are reaching out to the students they have relationships with, in order to be an additional resource right now. This list is not exhaustive – if you are curious about other resources, we encourage you to reach out to your campus religious life or student engagement staff, or IFYC.
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