New Interfaith Students Club hosts Thanksgiving gathering

Club invites religious and non-religious to find common ground over food

11/15/2012 - By: Tiffany Moore
 Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, Rotunda Interfaith Student Club will host a free potluck to celebrate Thanksgiving and spread awareness about their club and their discussions. The potluck will be 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 20, in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center’s Frank & Joan Randall Rotunda and is open to students, faculty, staff and friends of the University.

The University of Nevada, Reno's new spiritual diversity club on campus will host their first campus and community-wide event to celebrate Thanksgiving. Interfaith Student Club, a new organization that began at the beginning of the fall semester, will host a free potluck to celebrate Thanksgiving and spread awareness about their club and their discussions.

Interfaith Students Club President Daniel Richard Sanchez hopes the gathering will reflect the club's goals. "First, I will say a few words about the Interfaith Club and what we're trying to achieve. Second, some faith leaders from the Reno community will give a blessing to the students of UNR. Lastly, everyone will enjoy the potluck," he said.

"We have strong faith-based organizations on campus. The purpose of Interfaith Students Club is to bring all those clubs into one organization," said Reg Chhen Stewart, the University's director of diversity initiatives and of the Center for Student Cultural Diversity. "What we hope to see is that the spiritual fundamentals of the faith-based organizations transcend their organizations, bringing together how these positive beliefs can benefit the campus."

The club formed shortly after inquiries to the University by community spiritual leaders last February, about the possibility of an on-campus interfaith chapel last February.

"My recommendation was to demonstrate student interest by starting a club," Stewart said.

Interfaith Students Club has at least 30 members and hosts meetings the third Friday of each month in the Joe Crowley Student Union room 323.

"The central aim of our club is to bring people of all faiths and denominations, including non-believer groups, together to facilitate healing between the groups," Sanchez said.

"We want to provide a safe place to discuss interfaith topics about religious questions and learn about different faiths from people who practice them," he said. "Some examples of topics we want to discuss at our monthly meetings include literature and faith, religion in media, and debunking myths and rumors about faiths."

The club is yet another example of diversity at the University. The University views diversity in a broad sense. Other aspects of diversity, in addition to religion and spiritual beliefs, are gender, ethnic, socio-economic, geographic, ability/ disability, veterans and first-generation students who are the first generation in their family to attend and earn a college degree.

"Culture manifests in many different ways," said Stewart "Our definition of diverse is very inclusive."

The Interfaith Thanksgiving potluck will be 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 20, in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center's Frank & Joan Randall Rotunda. It is open to students, faculty, staff and friends of the University.

For more information about the Interfaith Students Club or the potluck, contact Daniel R. Sanchez at isc.unr@gmail.com.


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