To accommodate students from different religious backgrounds, UVU offers resources for students who identify with different worldviews from the local majority, such as the Interfaith Student Council.
The mission of the Interfaith Student council is to “engage in interfaith leadership by facilitating conversations and organizing events for students from a variety of worldview (religious, spiritual, and/or secular) perspectives,” according to the organization website. The council works with several on-campus organizations to increase interfaith education and support throughout the student body.
Utah Valley University hosts students from a diverse range of backgrounds, according to Spring 2022 enrollment demographic numbers. A Deseret News survey states that as of 2021, 72% of Utah County residents were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. However, some students do not identify with that majority.
While giving a tour of the Reflection Center, student and Interfaith Council member, Brian Walker spoke about the importance of Interfaith’s work here on UVU’s campus. He worries that students may not recognize the importance of taking the time to meditate and recharge or take the time to pray. Walker shared how this is the only place on campus dedicated to helping students slow down and take a moment to reconnect with themselves, and is proud to be a part of a community who cares so deeply for students.
The interfaith council operates out of the Reflection Center which can be found on the first floor of the Student Life and Wellness building. The center includes a prayer room, meditation room, and convening room, free for all students to use.
Miranda Noble, a member of Interfaith Student Council, is a student who is still discovering her beliefs and constructing her worldview. She expressed the comfort she has found in the community facilitated by Interfaith.
“Interfaith has helped my mental health because even when I am around people with different worldviews than me, I’m still around people who encourage the development of my personal worldview,” said Noble. “Even if we disagree, we have a common goal. At the very least we can learn to respect each other.”
She went on to describe the appreciation she has felt for the community and encourages others to take advantage of the resources found in the Reflection Center.
The Interfaith Council hosts several activities for students to get involved in, such as weekly mindfulness workshops on Thursdays at 10 a.m. Other campus activities include the upcoming “Faith and Film” activity on October 5, where you can watch a film and participate in a discussion surrounding faith.
The Reflection Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. During business hours, students, faculty, and staff are free to tour the center, or take advantage of the meditation and prayer rooms.
Students can find more information about the council’s mission and resources on the Interfaith Student Council website, or by emailing the council at [email protected]