Inviting all to join in the dialogue.
Around 7/10 students at Roehampton identify themselves with some sort of religious or spiritual belief. And this reflects the diverse melting pot nature of London. University is a great time to look at the world from different perspectives and mix with people who think differently to you. Even if you wouldn’t identify yourself as within a religious belief everyone has faith in something, everyone has a way in which they see the world. I’m proud to say that this university already has a culture of peace and tolerance when it comes to our different beliefs which is so valuable and worth being intentionally built upon and maintained. Dialogue about faith and beliefs is not just between faiths, but between people. People who can agree on common ground and respectfully disagree and debate on differences. Religion and philosophy cut straight to the heart of what is it to be human, what gives us value and dignity and how we should then live our lives. It’s something that affects all of us, but something many of us never stop to think about. My role isn’t just isolated to improving the lives of people who identify with a religious belief, as if we are somehow separate from the rest of secular society. But to improve the lives of all Roehampton students by opening the invitation to everyone to join in the dialogue and contribute what they think.
I would do this in a number of ways. 1. By encouraging more interfaith activities through working with different faith and philosophical societies on campus and the university chaplaincies to produce helpful and interesting events that allow for friendly discussion and education about different beliefs. 2. Ensuring that religious freedoms are maintained so every student feels they are able to practice their religion without fear of persecution. 3. Inviting all students to increase their awareness of different faiths. 4. Being a point of contact for any students who want to raise issues about faith or bring ideas and represent that to the RSU
Let’s unite around and celebrate what we have in common so that we can better understand each other as people and our differences. In encouraging peaceful and genuine conversation we can help get rid of harmful misconceptions that damage our society and our relationships with one another. Let’s see how we can use our common beliefs of love, compassion and social justice to better our world and our campus.