Misunderstandings between student religious organizations in past semesters spurred Interfaith Community to bring TCU Coexist to campus today in its first big event of the semester, the organization’s vice president said.
Katie Caruso, vice president of Interfaith Community, said TCU Coexist will consist of booths in the Campus Commons from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., each displaying information about different religious and world views, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Secular Humanism.
She said Interfaith saw a need to put on an event like this after conflict erupted between two campus faith-based organizations last school year.
Last spring, the Skiff reported that members of Hillel, a university Jewish organization, objected to a flag display arranged by Peace Action that discussed the destruction of Palestinian villages in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Hillel argued the flag display left out the fact that the destruction of the villages resulted from Israeli forces acting in self-defense of Arab attacks, while Peace Action said it was only trying to bring awareness to an issue that history usually overlooked.
“We’re trying to inject Interfaith Community more into pockets of students like that, to really help them understand each other and learn together and work together and find new ways to sort out conflict,” Caruso said.
Participating organizations will put on different activities to educate the campus community on their views, such as planting seedlings with the Secular Humanism group, tying hijabs with the Muslim Student Association and guided meditations held at intervals throughout the day, Caruso, a senior theatre major, said.
Interfaith Community is a campus group comprised of students, faculty, staff and friends interested in participating in discussions about faith, according to the organization’s website.
Caruso said her organization works with Interfaith Youth Core, a national interfaith organization for youth. Interfaith Youth Core’s movement, titled “Better Together,” promotes understanding between faith-based groups.
“Coexistence is really not just about being tolerant of your neighbor, it’s about making the effort to truly understand and correlate with your neighbor,” Caruso said.
The event is free and open to the campus community.
What: Tables set up to distribute information about different religious groups
Where: Campus Commons
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Staff reporter Christa Acuna and news editor Marshall Doig contributed to this report.