Diversity is celebrated for the United Nations’ International Day of Peace

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Photo by Maricel Evangelista

The Reflection Center celebrated the International Day of Peace, a day where students of different beliefs and backgrounds come together to discuss how to better demonstrate peace on campus.

All are welcome to find, discover and seek your spiritual and ethical identities, Ellie Thompson, Reflection Center coordinator, said.

Thompson led the open-house event with games, inspirational activities and diverse food options for all to enjoy.

“We must understand that in order to thrive as a school and individuals, we need to be healthy in all aspects, emotionally, physically, and spiritually,” Jasmine Garcia, a freshman in political science, said. “This is a place to come and be nurtured.”

Planned by the Interfaith Student Council and the Peace and Justice club, this event was meant to introduce and bring to light the opportunities for spiritual and reflective experiences available through the Reflection Center. Students discussed how peace can be created on campus. Different attributes and values such as, knowledge, compassion, empathy and respect were considered.

“I don’t like that man, I must get to know him better,” a quote from Abraham Lincoln, was discussed in relation to students on campus. In an effort to create peace and inclusivity, participants were invited to get to know and understand each other, believing that as a result, we can come to love each other.

“Our university is committed to serving the needs of our students by providing opportunities for development of mind, body and spirit,” President Holland said in a written response to the opening of the Reflection Center. “The center will serve students from a variety of religions and those affiliated with no faith tradition. We hope all will benefit from a place of solitude and meditation.”

Located in the Student Life and Wellness Center, the Reflection Center was created to support  inclusivity and interfaith engagement. It is meant to be a place for all forms of individual religious expression, to accommodate students, faculty and staff from a variety of philosophical perspectives and religious practices. The Convening Room, Prayer Room and Meditation Room work together to create an open and inclusive space.

“This is a physical space where people can pray, meditate, learn new tools and explore issues of truth and spirituality,” Thompson said.