October 29, 2014
Although our CSO has been active on campus for about 50 years, we’ve never been recognized by our Student Union until our appeal was approved this month. Years ago, when our CSO was smaller, an appeal was made but rejected. This year, we submitted an application and described our intent as a student group: to provide an opportunity for students to discover and engage with Christian Science.
What our Student Union most wanted to see was our short and long-term goals and how effective we would be at putting on events for the student body. We shared some of the things we’d done in the past: providing a speaker for an interfaith panel during the university’s Pluralism Week, donating to a food drive put on by the Catholic Student Center, joining in on interfaith dinners at Hillel (a Jewish group on campus), hosting a Radical Acts game night with Campus Outreach (a Christian group on campus), and passing out free editions of The Christian Science Monitor to students, to name a few.
It was important to show our interaction with the student body and our involvement with other faith organizations. We have been a part of the Interfaith Campus Ministries Association for years, and we highly recommend that CSOs join interfaith groups on their campuses. This can provide especially wonderful support on a secular campus.
We also expressed our goals for the year, which include bringing a lecturer to campus again, most likely for an interfaith event because these types of events draw diverse audiences. We spoke about wanting to become an established organization that students can easily find. Being recognized now puts us on the official list of campus groups and includes us in the email of religious groups sent out to all incoming freshman students. We now have permission to post flyers and increase our visibility, as well!
From this point forward, we’ll have discussion topics that are relevant to the needs of campus to guide us and give our meetings even more purpose. We are also meeting in the open and publicizing meetings so that all are aware and feel welcome.
The appeal process was very harmonious, and the appeal committee was supportive and enthusiastic, saying in their email, “We really liked that you guys have put on such successful events already and we are looking forward to what you will continue to do in the future!”
Throughout the process of appealing for recognition, we declared that the good our CSO reflects is already recognized, and that the CSO is already a complete idea. We didn’t see our group as in need of something that we didn’t have access to. We knew that what blesses one, blesses all, and that our motive of Love for all students could only lead to receptivity and a successful appeal. Besides, there was only one Mind on both sides of the appeal process.
Christian Science Organizations truly bless the world and play an important role on campuses around the country, as agents that see rightly and that aim to bless others by spreading Truth. I encourage all to appeal for recognition on your own campuses! Your work will not be in vain.
By Audrey Ball