October 23, 2014 - CSO Activity Report
What did you do?
The College of William and Mary has a reputation for depression and suicides, which is often attributed to the high stress levels among students. It is for this reason that our Christian Science Organization decided to hold a panel answering the question “How are prayer and spirituality relevant to relieving mental stress?”
How did it go?
The campus is generally very receptive to discussions on the topic of stress because it is a problem most of the students are looking for an answer to. The panelists were very open to speaking at the CSO event. Our biggest challenge was talking to the Student Government about receiving funding. They didn’t understand our event, and suggested that we find someone from the local church to speak instead of flying in a speaker. Regardless, TMC Youth had financial aid for the lecture fees and everything went seamlessly.
Were there any creative ways you shared the event? Did you partner with any other organizations?
We did! In addition to Christian Science lecturer Brian Talcott, CSB we invited two campus administrators and one campus minister to be on the panel. This way, the other three panelists were able to provide the perspective from people who interact with struggling students regularly, and also since they are all big figures on campus it was easy to advertise the event through their respective offices or programs. We also made a Facebook event and invited our friends, put posters around the campus, and advertised the event in the weekly school happenings email.
Any healings or significant demonstrations to report?
One of the best parts of having a panel discussion was that we were able to include different offices of campus. We gave everyone a Science & Health, so now the ideas shared in the lecture can continue to be spread. All the panelists were very receptive to Christian Science thought, and I think we gave the audience some good thoughts to leave with. The benefit of having a panel discussion is that the message is conveyed in multiple voices, so the audience hears the message in the way that works best for them. Most of all, we got a group of students and administrators praying about stress on campus, and that in itself is a step forward.
By Katie LeCornu