TCU students from various organizations shared a meal together while engaging in conversations that provided new perspectives on various beliefs, identities and world views.
TCU Better Together, an interfaith group, invites organizations on campus to monthly dinners to connect students who they might not otherwise meet.
Students from TCU Spectrum, Word of Truth gospel choir, TCU Catholic, and Kappa Alpha Theta shared a meal at “Know your Neighbor Night.”
“We hope that these meals provide an opportunity for students to get to know their TCU neighbors,” said TCU associate chaplain and leader of TCU Better Together, Britt Luby.
Melissa Odoemene, senior biology major, went to the “Know your Neighbor Night” in September and came back again for the October dinner.
“A lot of the questions help you to see different perspectives because a lot of people bring different things to the table,” she said.
At the dinner, Luby made sure students were spread out at tables where they would be sitting with people that were different from them. The first thing Luby told students to talk about was who gave them their name and why.
“This allows the student to share a unique piece of their personal history and sets the tone for authentic and honest sharing,” Luby said.
Jack Schroeter, a junior communication major, said that he went to Know your Neighbor Night with TCU Catholic.
“We’ve been really looking to outreach to campus this year and get to know other religious organizations and other organizations on campus, so we thought this would be a great time to bring a few of our leaders and have dinner, have fun, and get to know a few people,” Schroeter said .
Lindsay Shanley, a senior biology major, said Know your Neighbor was a great experience and she was happy to have met so many different people.
“College is the perfect time to stretch your comfort zone, to ask questions, to listen to people that are different from the people you’ve always known,” Luby said. “We want TCU students to be better neighbors to each other, so this is a great way to get to know people in the TCU neighborhood.”
Mallory Mathison, a sophomore nursing major, is a member of TCU Catholic. Last night was her first time at a Know Your Neighbor night, and she’s already planning her next visit.
“I thought the event tonight was an amazing way to encourage conversation between different faiths and cultures at TCU,” said Mathison. “It felt like a safe, supportive space where everyone was genuinely curious about each others’ values and struggles. I know I’ll be coming to the next dinner.”
TCU Religious and Spiritual Life graduate intern, Danielle Musselman thinks that Know Your Neighbor nights help establish a sense of belonging in the TCU community and will continue to improve dynamics here at TCU.
“One of the reasons we have Know Your Neighbor night is because we live in a culture that often encourages people to hang out with people who are a lot like them,” said Musselman. “And this is contrary to that. This is asking people to come around our shared humanity to live into the tension of being different and unified at the same time.”
The next Know Your Neighbor night is Nov. 28 in Jarvis Hall.