Religious clubs are not just relegated to after church services anymore. It is welcomed on several college campuses as a way to allow students to share their beliefs with fellow students and allow then to be well-rounded in their academic pursuits.
College of the Canyons has several religious clubs that students can be involved in. There are 53 clubs on campus currently. Five of them are religious based and they are Grace on Campus, Bible Talk, Catholic Forum Club, Latter Day Saint Student Association, and the Muslim Student Association. The Associated Student Government department, at COC, would like to see that number increase next year.
There are an average of 15 members per club at any given time and that number can change depending on certain variables that take place each semester. Membership drop due to students graduating or a shift in the enrollment tactics of the potential club, for example.
One of the primary purposes of religious clubs on campus is to allow the students to learn more about our college and a number of social issues that directly and indirectly affect our way of life.
“Their main focus is to have open discussions and activities that provide students at COC with more knowledge and encourage their involvement on campus and in the community,” said ASG Vice President of Inter Club Council Fernando Vasquez.
Kristy Lafon, a senior at COC, feels that a college that has religious clubs as a part of its social scene is okay if all religious beliefs can be represented in an equal playing field. “Some people would get highly offended if their religion was not openly recognized,” said Lafon.
COC is very hospitable to religious beliefs, says Vasquez. “We have religious clubs that hold talks about the topics mentioned previously and these clubs have also held activities on campus that encourage students to be aware of religion and God,” said Vasquez.
Each potential club must go through a process. They must first pick up a packet containing a petition for charter from the Student Development Office, they must find seven people who would be interested in being part of the club and attend regular meetings, and these seven members would then become the founding members of the club and elect officers to manage the club.
Once the petition has been submitted for approval to the SDO along with a written constitution stating their rules and regulations, a meeting is set up with the SDO to go over those objectives.
The final process is to turn in two very important forms, the club chartering form and the club members roster form that contains the names of all members in the club.
At the beginning of each semester, established clubs of all kinds are allowed to display their enrollment booths and post billboard signs around the campus to attract new members into their ranks, as the college enrollment grows with new students.
Having a college or university in your area that allows its students to express their religious beliefs in a setting other than a church, temple or temporary place of worship is a good thing.