Dozens of student organizations at Tyler Junior College are designed to bring students with similar interests together.
The Interfaith Club is the total opposite. It was formed for students because of their differences. Interfaith Club is an organization formed by Dr. Stephanie Eijsink and Ms. Kahne Parsons, and its focus is to join people together with different faiths, beliefs and religions.
“The objective is for the students on campus of different world faiths, to share their beliefs, their ideas, their life with people of other faith, so that we can try to understand each other better,” said Dr. Eijsink, sponsor of the group.
“Many wars are going on all around the world with people who disagree about faith.”
Interfaith Club wants people on campus of different faiths not to be separated because of religion.
“We want to bring people together so they can connect with people of other faith and also learn more about their own faith,” said Kahne Parsons, sponsor of the group.
Students on campus often “clique” up with groups they feel more comfortable with, and most times do no take the time to meet students with whom they don’t share common interests.
“Most students stay in their comfort zone, we want students to be involved and introduced to students who are different from themselves,” said Parsons.
The organization helps its members to gain an understanding of each other. People often wonder about the faith of others.
“I like to learn about different religions and cultures of the world,” said Tyler Gilmore, president of Interfaith Club.
“There were things that I didn’t understand about other religions.”
The group has helped him to get a better understanding and appreciation of other religions. Once I got to meet people of other religions, I would ask them about it,” said Gilmore. The group meets monthly and discusses their views and feelings about the topic based on their holy book. “It’s just a way for people of different religions to learn more about each other and get rid of some of the prejudices,” said Gilmore.
Membership is open to anyone.
“Anybody who wants to join; its not this religion is better than that religion, it’s just let’s get together and see what we can learn about each religion,” said Gilmore.
Faith is something that most people do not choose, it’s often chosen based on someone’s parent’s beliefs.
There are currently 38 members. They meet at noon on Fridays in the Java Cafe and every second Saturday of the month at Starbucks on Loop 323 and Paluxy. Students can contact Dr. Eijsink, Ms. Parsons or Tyler Gilmore for more information about joining the group.
“Part of my motivation is to get students from other countries and cultures so that they can connect with TJC and have better friends,” said Eijsink.
The motto of the group is, “A planet that stays together prays together.” They hope to bring more unity among people of different faiths and help everyone see each other as brothers and sisters.