Opinion | Evangelization has no place in campus buildings

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Cameron Krasucki

Students line up outside of the Ikenberry Dining Hall on Aug. 20. Columnist Sanchita Teeka believes secularity should take effect in campus buildings rather than evangelism following a scene in the dining hall.

By Sanchita Teeka, Columnist

One day amid the typical overpriced Ikenberry Dining Hall dinner, a sudden interruption drew my attention. My focus was then directed to a girl standing in the middle of the dining hall.

Her speech began with the declaration that her friend’s cancer had been cured. Subsequently, the hall erupted in cheer upon hearing the fantastic news. Who in her shoes wouldn’t share this splendid announcement?

It was all welcome, however, she claimed God cured her friend’s cancer.

Having this religious advertisement performed in Ikenberry is a stark contrast to the separation of public school and church. The speech’s objective was to convince the dining members to join her religious group based on the fact that her friend’s cancer was “cured by God.”

At first, I was taken aback that someone would attempt in the University’s hall to convince everyone that God had cured cancer. An apparent violation emerged with this student evangelizing us when people were seeking the average Ikenberry atmosphere: eating, socializing and minding your own business.

It’s wrong to spread your religion inside public institutions when unwarranted. There needs to be an emphasis and enforcement of secularism in public universities.

It’s not wrong to wish to spread your religion’s word. Nevertheless, the issue here lies in the context of where you choose to do so — other environments present better opportunities for this.

This particular situation wasn’t outside on the street where you can easily say a quick “No, thank you” and pass by. This was performed in a place where students were required to be and were essentially forced to listen. Additionally, most students who utilize Ikenberry are freshmen recently departing adolescence; therefore, they are much more susceptible to influence, especially as the speaker exploited the dining crowd’s overwhelming acceptance.

Coming to a public institution, one is under the impression that they will receive an education free from religious influence.

Young and impressionable students should be able to trust that they won’t be delivered sermons inside the University’s buildings. The separation of church and state in public universities should be a given.

There needs to be greater enforcement of the separation of church and state in public universities. The University has a responsibility to students to allow them to find their beliefs without the preaching of others. If we can’t maintain secularity in university buildings, there isn’t much else we can trust to be unaffected by outside voices.

Sanchita is a freshman in LAS.

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