Faith: the challenges Christian full-time UMD students face in a high pressure environment and the religious oppression occurring elsewhere

By Emily Dinowitz and Yousuf Naved (Row 3)

Balancing school work and faith; the challenge of a full-time Christian student 

The life of a full-time student demands a heightened level of multitasking, which can be difficult to grasp. An article published in The Diamondback yesterday evening discusses the difficult balance between school work and faith, which many Christian students at the University of Maryland face. Maryland's University of Christian Outreach chapter launched a three-part series, which extended from October toNovember, titled "How to Live as a Christian." The series included talks centered on time management and balancing busy student life with daily religious practices.

Similarly, there is a nationwide movement to strengthen religious ties on public university campuses. Yesterday, Lilly Endowment Inc. announced its decision to provide $3.89 million in grants, which will be distributed to 53 on-campus ministry organizations. The grant money is intended to help campus ministry chapters develop new programs, strengthen existing programs and recruit new members. This is the third round of grants from the Lilly Endowment Inc. The Lilly Endowment's president describes campus ministries as playing a crucial role in students professional and personal lives, which is why he continues to provide grants for university chapters.

Stunting faith; the struggle to practice religious freedom on college campuses 

By: Yousuf Naved
The situation at Brigham Young University is not the same. 90 religious and political leaders are currently boycotting the university due to its discriminatory policies. BYU's policy on religion states that students who enter the university as Mormon but then convert to another religion while enrolled in school are subject to expulsion and eviction from on-campus housing. Other discriminatory policies exist regarding student tuition. An article in the Washington Post describes the policy: "Free BYU asks that the university charge such students the full tuition rate that non-Mormons must render instead of the favorable rates that Mormons receive. Full-time LDS undergraduates pay about $2,500 a semester, while non-Mormons pay $5,000." The boycotters are hoping to have BYU officials revise their exclusive policies. 

The video above shows Mark Juergensmeyer, Ph.D participating in a Skype interview about religious oppression on college campuses. Juergensmeyer was asked to be a speaker at BYU but declined to participate after learning abut the university's discriminatory policies. He is now one of the lead boycotters fighting these policies. Juergensmeyer argues that students should be able to participate in whichever religion they choose and university officials do not have the right to oppress that. Universities are sites for freedom of expression and learning and there should be no hindering of this process.  

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