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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student


College is to religion as ...

No other environment is as conducive to self-exploration and experimentation as college.

However, there is a stigma surrounding religion on college campuses.

While students that stray away from institutionalized faith-based organizations are praised, there is a stigma on campuses across the nation that implies students who subscribe to a faith are either ignorant, extremists or prudes.

Most students, and professors, to a certain extent, believe that in a place where intellect reigns supreme, the notion of believing in an intangible, abstract higher power is silly at best and destructive to society at worst.

Wherever students finds themselves in their spiritual journey, college does not mean they have to walk away from their faith, whatever the flavor may be.

The individual is the only person that is capable of understanding the intricacies of his or her personal beliefs and ultimately, the foundation of his or her identity.

Society has created labels laden with stereotypes that do a disservice to the variety of interpretations present within a population that claims a particular faith.

While the forces of the status quo are strong, no majority opinion, congregation or religious leader can define personal faith.

The self defines faith, and it is only by sticking beside these beliefs that one can let him or herself be known and exchange ideas in the collegiate marketplace.

In the same token, people have the right to change their minds.

Because college is a prime environment for intellectual innovation, students will hear ideas that will challenge their beliefs.

The confidence and surety in one’s beliefs creates a willingness to listen to opposing ideas.

In a respectful discussion, an individual can either walk away with a greater understanding of an opposing opinion or a new idea to further explore.

Should an idea grow to influence personal faith, the person should have a right to change his or her mind without judgment.

It is wiser to lean into the discomfort of change rather than live in the rigidity of a lie.

No other environment is as conducive to self-exploration and experimentation as college.

The flow of ideas and people make every day an opportunity to defend your position and learn from others in the process.

By standing beside one’s principles while maintaining an open-mindedness to change, an individual is showing the larger populace that there is more to belief than blind faith.

More to faith than close-mindedness and fear.

More to faith than the nasty extremism of rigidity.

More to faith than being named the party pooper.

College is a time for exploration, but it does not have to necessarily result in redefinition.

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