Story by Cassie Ballard
College can be the perfect place to acquire knowledge and understanding about a variety of spiritual beliefs.
The topic of religion on college campuses can be controversial. Some college students turn to atheism and agnosticism instead of religious groups.
“I do not conform to any specific religion,” said Cassandra Souchek, an art student at MSU Denver.
Not all students feel this way, however. Hamid Hadi, president of the MSU Denver Muslim Student Organization has a different viewpoint.
“We are open to everyone,’’ Hadi said. “It is our responsibility to invite with equity. We call that Daw’ah.”
The Muslim Student Organization is tied to UCD and MSU Denver. The goal of the organization is to educate people about Islam. There is no better way to learn more about a religion than directly from the source, Hadi said.
“I do recommend coming to one of the association’s presidents to talk about religion, just because there are so many that do not completely understand the religion,” Hadi said.
Groups not directly affiliated with the campus offer other forms of spirituality and religious education to students wishing to learn more.
Wednesdays at 5 p.m. a group of Christian students gets together to join in a prayer group at the Student Success Building to pray for each other and the campus.
UCD student Daniel Kim heads the group with support from his sister, Grace Kim, also a UCD student, and Hope Guan, a minister at Newgate Church.
“We pray for what moves hearts,” Grace Kim said.
Another form of prayer can be heard most days at the center of campus. Next to the library sits a group of Krishna Bhaktas usually consisting of devotees Noah Mcelwain, Adam Copeland and Peter Costello.
Their chants are accompanied by the harmonium — a combination of an accordion and a piano — and the mridangam, a two sided drum made of cow hide and clay. As they play, they chant a mantra that begins with: “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.”
The vibrations of the mantra are meant to bring joy and connection. The group shares their meditation through song and welcomes anybody to speak with them and join in.