Spiritual Wellness

Table of Contents

Push for Expanded Dining Options to Accommodate All Belief Systems and Faiths

The Problem

Many students choose to eat a specific diet because of their beliefs, including, but certainly not limited to, kosher, halal, vegetarian, and vegan diets. However, dining locations on campus continue to struggle to accommodate all eating choices, especially those only followed by a small community of students. It is not uncommon for labels to be incorrect, and little effort is made to still follow these diets when certain ingredients are out of stock. Unless you have a food allergy, there are few precautions to avoid cross-contamination with foods that do not follow a student’s diet, as these beliefs are only considered preferences. The definitions used by the university are also not typically the strictest interpretations of these diets, meaning that students may be led to believe that a certain food follows their personal diet when it does not. Students are often left feeling anxious when they are not assured that their food contains and is prepared in a way that conforms to their beliefs. Our current dining hours also do not often work well for students who are fasting and only eat after sundown, especially in the summer.

Our Plan

Maddie and Sri will better accommodate all personal and religion-based eating choices by working with University Dining Services to:

The Impact

Students following belief and faith-based diets will feel more comfortable eating on campus because they have been assured that the food prepared for them was made properly for their beliefs.

Create More Inclusive and Expanded Interfaith Spaces on Campus

The Problem

While there are currently several interfaith prayer and meditation (as well as “wellness” and “quiet”) rooms on the Columbus campus, there is significant room for improvement. Some of these rooms are open for non-faith related events and are treated like any other meeting room on campus, which limits student access to those resources. Many rooms also do not have prayer rugs, wash basins, or other items used by people before, during, and after prayer or meditation. There are also several areas lacking any spaces like this, including Ag Campus near the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) in Columbus and the Lima, Mansfield, and Wooster regional campuses. Even on the Columbus campus, there is no dedicated space for students to meet to discuss and build their faith.

Our Plan

Maddie and Sri will increase the access and inclusiveness of interfaith prayer and meditation rooms by working to:

The Impact

Expanding and making interfaith spaces more inclusive, especially in areas and on campuses currently lacking these resources, will allow students to conveniently practice their faiths without judgement or negative impacts on their studies.

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