Today's Update: Wednesday, June 17

June 17, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, 

As you know, I have been writing about a different well-being dimension every week. This week I am highlighting spiritual well-being.  

Our Student Life Student Wellness Center defines it as, “The spiritually well person seeks harmony and balance by openly exploring the depth of human purpose, meaning and connection through dialogue and self-reflection.” I have also seen it defined as the ability to experience and integrate meaning and purpose in life through a person's connectedness with self, others art, music, literature, nature or a power greater than oneself. 

You can practice spirituality in many ways including journaling and being in nature. Today I want to share about one aspect of spirituality on campus.   

The Ohio State Interfaith Council is doing important work. It’s apparently been around for a long time, but this current version started about three years ago at the prompting of Student Life. Tracy Stuck currently serves as the university’s liaison to the group, and Counseling and Consultation Service’s Carli Barnett and representatives from the Student Life Multicultural Center are active as well.  

There are 14 member organizations represented, and about 40 people attend the monthly meetings regularly. Their mission: to encourage and support spirituality and the faith development of students and The Ohio State University community while promoting interfaith cooperation and understanding in a religiously diverse academic community.  

The Council has a new website: Check out the religious holiday calendar. It’s an excellent guide for those who plan events and are considering dates that will have special meaning, especially in regard to attendance or diet, for many of our students. The calendar not only includes the date, but also the meaning of that particular celebration and suggested accommodations or special considerations.   

Faith leaders have historically been at the forefront of social change, and this particular group has been very active in the past few weeks listening and thinking of ways to address racial inequalities. By setting up a framework for leaders to come together, the Council and its members can be leaders in overcoming hatred and racism. This is a component of diversity that doesn’t get much attention, and bringing together people of differing faiths and spirituality can be instrumental in creating a society where peace and justice rule.   

We all experience and practice the dimension of spirituality in our own personal way. Finding common ground to make this world a better place is a Scarlet and Great step in promoting the wellness of everyone.