“Big Questions” event discusses how technology affects spirituality

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    University students gathered in Mary Wright Admission Center Thursday to discuss technology and its role in spirituality at the fifth "Big Questions" event.

    A previously recorded video was shown at the beginning of the event to help the group brainstorm discussion topics. The video featured thoughts from other university students about technology and how it relates to spirituality.

    Sage Elwell, an assistant professor of religion, was the facilitator of the discussion. Elwell started by challenging students to make the connection between technology and religion and how it affects individual spirituality.

    Elwell said he decided to facilitate the conversation because he believes it is important for students to engage in meaningful, educated discussions.

    “I think that is what the university should be about, asking these big questions and acknowledging that we may not come up with an answer,” Elwell said. “We probably won't come up with an answer, but ignorance would be the worst possible outcome.”

    "Big Questions" is a discussion group presented by the John V. Roach Honors College and Student Development Services. The group meets bi-monthly to discuss questions college students are interested in, Pearce Edwards, a senior political science major, said.

    “We talk about everything from the election to universities, now religion and technology, so it's been a lot of points of conversations,” Edwards, who helped create the "Big Questions" discussion events, said.

    Edwards said he wanted to create the "Big Questions" event because it gives students “the ability to ask yourself things in an environment where it is not pressured toward a certain solution or outcome.”

    Taylor West, a junior political science major, said he went to the event to engage in the conversation and hear different perspectives.

    “It helps bring up ideas and questions you don’t think about every day,” West said. “I think a really big part of the college experience is being exposed to new ideas and different topics you wouldn’t normally think about.”

    Keri Cyr, assistant director of transition with SDS, said the group is a good way for students to “have a good conversation without the pressure of the classroom.”

    "Big Questions" helps develop good life skills for people, Daniel Terry, director of sophomore and junior experience, said.

    “Being able to talk about your own story and your own experience to other people who are sitting in the circle with you and learn from the experience of each other is great,” Terry said.

    Visit the SDS website for more information on the next "Big Questions" discussion group.