Reallocate Campus Ministry funds

Jeremy Stull

Here at the non-religious affiliated Quinnipiac University we have a Campus Ministry office, run by a Catholic chaplain, Father Hugh Vincent Dyer. While every organization except WQAQ and the Student Government Association was ousted from their student center offices, the Campus Ministry stayed. The university also employs Rabbi Reena Judd and the Rev. Susan Fowler. Rabbi Judd is located in the Hillel house while Fowler has an office in Rocky Top.

Not only does the university pay to have the chaplain full-time, but the “Campus Crusade for Christ” is a student center recognized and SGA funded organization. For the upcoming 2011-2012 school year they received $1,340 in the budget process. VITA, a pro-life organization, received $4,165 from SGA.

I was brought up in a Christian family, and practiced as such until reaching the so-called “age of reason.” I find religion to be a repulsive institution no matter the faith. I would also never think of stepping on one person’s right to practice his or her faith. I feel doing so would be as insufferable as a religious person trying to force his or her beliefs on me.

As a university, I don’t feel we should be sponsoring religious offices and organizations. There are plenty of religious organizations throughout the community that students can utilize. I realize faith is an integral part of some people’s lives, I just feel such an expense should not be placed even slightly on the shoulders of the university.

I applied to only non-religious affiliated universities for a reason. I assumed, apparently vastly incorrectly, that meant they didn’t sponsor religious activities. A fraction of my tuition money is going to pay a Catholic chaplain. That makes me more than slightly uncomfortable.

The Campus Ministry takes up office space and money from more worthwhile and beneficial endeavors. I’m not suggesting the university curb any freedom of expression or freedom to practice religion. I simply don’t agree that my tuition money should be put toward such initiatives.

The university has to be extremely neutral in such matters. Campus Crusade for Christ and VITA should be student center recognized organizations, but SGA shouldn’t charter them or give them a budget that comes from my tuition.

I would much rather see that money placed toward more inclusive initiatives. The university should consider hiring a “Sustainability Officer” or if they wanted to be a bit more grandiose, a “Director of Environmentally Conscious Initiatives.” In this position, the person could help reduce the carbon footprint of our community.

The post would raise awareness for various initiatives on campus and hopefully foster an environment where throwing a recyclable item into a trash receptacle or supporting coal based power is deemed socially unacceptable.

Instead, the university is sponsoring organizations such as VITA, who are fostering an environment in which abortion and embryonic stem cell research are deemed socially unacceptable.