Maria Serrano/ Contributing Writer
Aside from educating students in their career fields, FIU acknowledges the importance of religion in a student’s personal and academic life.
Campus religious groups are necessary for a student’s personal and academic growth, so when we look at our own University, which is culturally diverse and filled with students from all nationalities, it’s important to understand that with varying nationalities comes diverse beliefs and customs.
Religious clubs at FIU are important for students to express their thoughts, practice their religion and fulfill their needs in a safe environment.
A study found that 48 percent of students believe that “colleges have an obligation to help them develop both emotionally and spiritually as well as encourage personal expression of religious and spiritual beliefs,” according to Penn State News.
To help foster commitment and awareness, Student Affairs has a multi-faith council where, “Together as a council, the multiple religious organizations from different faith traditions serve the FIU community through a commitment to foster an atmosphere that both nurtures the intellectual dimensions of faith as well as encourage the spiritual dimensions of education,” according to the Student Affairs website.
Kamruz Hosein, a chaplain and head of the Muslim Student Association, has represented Muslims on campus for over a year, but it’s the first time that Muslims are represented in the Multi-Faith Council.
“We normally discuss different aspects of the religion and how we can bring about a sort of harmonious relationship with peoples of other feeds, spread the correct message of Islam, give muslims and non-muslims the opportunity to interact, learn of each other, and educate in these times of misconceptions,” said Hosein.
But, Hosein believes it’s the power of networking that makes religious clubs even more important.
“Because you have students from all over the world; you know, from Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan — it gives them the opportunity to meet and greet,” said Hosein.
While FIU has taken the necessary steps to provide a safe haven for students who wish to congregate and find their identity with proper guidance, it’s important for FIU to continue and maintain this support of religious diversity.
Being open and having sensitivity to the different religions on campus can have positive effects, but students need to remain informed and well educated on the different religions of the world.
This is not only for the personal reflection and development of the Panther community, but for a heightened respect for the beliefs of others and the development of a diverse but cohesive society.
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