Reallocate Campus Ministry funds

By on April 27, 2011

Here at the non-religious affiliated Quinnipiac University we have a Campus Ministry office, run by a Catholic chaplain, Father Hugh Vincent Dyer. While every organization except WQAQ and the Student Government Association was ousted from their student center offices, the Campus Ministry stayed. The university also employs Rabbi Reena Judd and the Rev. Susan Fowler. Rabbi Judd is located in the Hillel house while Fowler has an office in Rocky Top.

Not only does the university pay to have the chaplain full-time, but the “Campus Crusade for Christ” is a student center recognized and SGA funded organization. For the upcoming 2011-2012 school year they received $1,340 in the budget process. VITA, a pro-life organization, received $4,165 from SGA.

I was brought up in a Christian family, and practiced as such until reaching the so-called “age of reason.” I find religion to be a repulsive institution no matter the faith. I would also never think of stepping on one person’s right to practice his or her faith. I feel doing so would be as insufferable as a religious person trying to force his or her beliefs on me.

As a university, I don’t feel we should be sponsoring religious offices and organizations. There are plenty of religious organizations throughout the community that students can utilize. I realize faith is an integral part of some people’s lives, I just feel such an expense should not be placed even slightly on the shoulders of the university.

I applied to only non-religious affiliated universities for a reason. I assumed, apparently vastly incorrectly, that meant they didn’t sponsor religious activities. A fraction of my tuition money is going to pay a Catholic chaplain. That makes me more than slightly uncomfortable.

The Campus Ministry takes up office space and money from more worthwhile and beneficial endeavors. I’m not suggesting the university curb any freedom of expression or freedom to practice religion. I simply don’t agree that my tuition money should be put toward such initiatives.

The university has to be extremely neutral in such matters. Campus Crusade for Christ and VITA should be student center recognized organizations, but SGA shouldn’t charter them or give them a budget that comes from my tuition.

I would much rather see that money placed toward more inclusive initiatives. The university should consider hiring a “Sustainability Officer” or if they wanted to be a bit more grandiose, a “Director of Environmentally Conscious Initiatives.” In this position, the person could help reduce the carbon footprint of our community.

The post would raise awareness for various initiatives on campus and hopefully foster an environment where throwing a recyclable item into a trash receptacle or supporting coal based power is deemed socially unacceptable.

Instead, the university is sponsoring organizations such as VITA, who are fostering an environment in which abortion and embryonic stem cell research are deemed socially unacceptable.

 

Comments

About Jeremy Stull

Opinion Editor
Email: opinion@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @jpstull
Year: 2012
Major: History
Hometown: Lehman, Pa.
Dream Job: President of the United States Soccer Federation

13 Comments

  1. Proud Catholic

    April 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Did you ever think that other groups on campus are also receiving money. Such as the Democrats of QU and also the Republicans of QU. Clearly you can’t support both sides, so your tuition is being used for a group you don’t support. I do identify myself as Catholic, and appreciate that there is a mass on campus for me to celebrate my beliefs. But I also respect that those who are Jewish have the Hillel house to follow their beliefs as well. I don’t see anything wrong with the fact that my tuition money is being spent toward having a full-time rabbi. Please get your facts straight before you decide to attack a group that is rightfully receiving money.

    • Eric

      April 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm

      Maybe QU can also give money to organizations which help and console child rape/molestation victims too.

      • Proud Secular

        April 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm

        GOTCHA!

  2. It's an Opinion

    April 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Proud Catholic, it’s an opinion article. Just because his opinion doesn’t agree with yours means you should verbally attack him. And he does have his facts straight. I agree with Jeremy that I don’t like part of my tuition going to organizations that I don’t support. I think organizations like VITA are ridiculous. But those are their beliefs, and I can’t do anything to change them.

    Jeremy, part of your tuition may be going to groups you don’t support, but the people in those groups pay tuition too and part of it goes to funding those groups they support. Just like part of your tuition goes to funding SGA, and the Chronicle and whatever organizations you are part of. So it almost balances out.

  3. Ronald

    April 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I see no problem with the fact SGA funds go to Campus Ministry, Hillel, QU Protestants, but thats more as cultural houses. Jeremy is right about there being a problem with VITA getting money, because its not a cultural house but a religious cause. If Campus Ministry wanted to give anti-choice groups money, thats one thing.

  4. Proud Secular

    April 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    By supporting Vita SGA is projecting an image of pro-life which is not the Universities official stance on the matter. The school being secular does not have any particular position on the subject other than purposely not publicizing one, let alone the student government be so bold as to take a side. The only way in which I can see solving the issue in a secular way is the way in which Jeremy suggests.
    “Campus Crusade for Christ and VITA should be student center recognized organizations, but SGA shouldn’t charter them or give them a budget that comes from my tuition.”
    I do not have a problem with these organizations forming groups or meeting but I do have a problem with my money being used to support and attend pro-life rallies in Washington D.C. which I am morally against. The Vita charter should be retracted and they should find independent funding on this private issue.

    • QU Student

      April 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm

      SGA does not take a side on this issue, if there was a pro-choice group on campus, they would also be funded.

  5. Voice of Reason

    April 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    As at many universities, money goes where there are students who want to organize around an activity, cultural/religious endeavor, or cause. You personally don’t have to be involved, but the university has a pledge to support groups that have large numbers of students involved. Check with your SGA–most universities/colleges with similar government have a way for students to make their own groups, and as long as they have 6 or 8 or 10 members, they can get funding, and they get more funding for more involvement. Obviously, they can’t be a group hurting anyone or doing anything illegal, but beyond that, most groups are fine. I think you are taking your anti-religious opinions and trying to prevent anyone with a religion from receiving aid in order to meet and do work in the community. Personally, I don’t even go to QU. I went to BU in Boston, another non-religious university where diversity, science, etc are fostered. However, we had a Hillel house, a Catholic Center, and a chapel on campus where many religions held their services. In addition, there were pro-choice and pro-life groups. I’m sure if you wanted to create an atheism group and had enough people who wanted to join, QU would support you in that. If you wanted to make a pro-choice group, same thing. The point is, as long as there are enough students who want to participate in the group, QU will sponsor them.

    In addition, what’s to say that a religious group isn’t as deserving as a frat/sorority, an a cappella group, or intramural soccer? It seems to me that religious groups do a lot of community service work that benefits the community of your college and surrounding your college. That seems to be a pretty worthy goal to me, regardless of the fact that they also hold mass and pray together. In addition, I’m sure the religious groups wouldn’t exclude you from their activities, even if you aren’t part of your religion. They aren’t EXCLUSIVE as you say–they would probably love for you to join them and learn about their religion or help them with events if you wanted. You just don’t want to, and that’s fine too. But if others do want to partake, they have a right to do so, and if there are enough people interested from QU, they are entitled to funding.

    By sponsoring these groups, QU is trying to celebrate its religious diversity and support all students. If other religions wanted to come forward, I’m sure that would be supported as well.

  6. where are my gays?

    April 27, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Where are my gays at? Where is GLASS at please? Only a homosexual could figure this shit out and it’s called biased, on one hand. On the other it’s just another atheist dork that garners attention by creating something relatively “scandalous” deemed as such by a person who really believes a “fraction of his tuition” is going to a Catholic run organization. If you don’t like it and if it makes you “slightly uncomfortable” the leave. But really, where is GLASS, you never hear about them! Where my gays be at y’all. They’ll fix this shit. GLASS is the group being left out if anything. Onward and upward SGA, lets really do something please and thank you. This “newspaper” is just getting more pathetic by the week. Let’s make like cake and rise up. Out with the old, in with the new. It’s great that his voice was heard, but guess what: it doesn’t matter. the end. fin. au revoir.

  7. Disappointed

    April 28, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Jeremy, you provided information on the budget. I ask, where is this? According to the “SGA Briefs- 4/14/2010,” the budget breakdown by organization should be on quchronicle.com. Upon searching for it, I was unable to find it. I would love to see what other clubs we give money to in order to compare and provide better feedback on your opinion piece. The information is long overdue since it has been a year from that article, so I ask again where is our transparency on our student organization budget?

    As for your complaint, you pay over $36,000, not including room and board, to go here as do the 6,117 other undergraduate students. This means that Quinnipiac has an annual budget of about $220,248,000. You are complaining about the $1,340 and $4,165 for Campus Crusade for Christ and VITA. That is .0025% which equates to a total of $0.89 that you pay to these organizations.

    Now you are probably thinking that I didn’t put the cost of the staff members. Okay you got me, but like any other staff member on campus, you and I don’t control who works here or the positions the school offers. Almost every college and university has some kind of campus ministry regardless of religious affiliation including big state schools like Penn State which has 61 religious/spiritual organizations and UCONN which has 22 religious organizations. This is primarily because there is a desire for these programs even if that desire is not yours. I am so sorry that your $0.89 is going to student organizations you don’t want here, but I wonder how much I am paying for you to be able to print your article complaining about such a meager amount?

    As for your interest in Sustainability, if you don’t already know there are a number of QU initiatives for this area. We have Roots and Shoots, a new organization (featured on page 5 of this week’s paper), and the Sustainability Committee aka QU Sustainability. I understand that you want a person in charge of these efforts, however it shouldn’t be one person’s responsibility to reduce an entire community’s carbon footprint. I personally, would rather see The Chronicle, and you specifically, Jeremy, since you have a passion for it, do more stories on sustainability. You say you want a place “where throwing a recyclable item into a trash receptacle or supporting coal based power is deemed socially unacceptable.” Well I challenge you to make it unacceptable. As part of the media, it is your job to challenge these social norms and make a change. For example, current rumor is that QU doesn’t recycle; tell us how true this is. If you find it is true, maybe QU will take the issue seriously, or if you find it to be false, students will consider recycling more. I believe this kind of article would be more productive than the opinion piece you have written. Also for “supporting coal based power,” Quinnipiac gets 100% of its energy from renewable resources which means it does not use coal based power. We already live in a place where coal based power is not acceptable. Please if you want to know more about QU Sustainability initiatives, look at what we are already doing on the QU website under Green Initiatives.

    Overall, I am disappointed that you are not acting with an open mind for those that want to practice religion. Though you are entitled to your opinion, I would prefer that you provide me with news, not opinion. The Chronicle is, after all, a newspaper. Yet, each week many of the issues like the budget and sustainability, which you brought up, continue to go uncovered.

  8. we are who we

    April 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Hello Jeremy, I do not know you and therefore I cannot judge you as a human being but i would love to have a real conversation with you. While I agree, that there are certain organizations that deserve funding that they do not currently get, Quinnipiac is a private university. As a private university they can fund any program that they like. Personally, as a quinnipiac student i currently fund organizations with my tuition that i do not necessarily agree with but do not oppose. I am not a Democrat but I love the fact that they can express their beliefs and debate their beliefs with others and have a level for respect for those with other beliefs. Though religion may play no role in your life, it plays a large role in mine. I am Catholic, but i have taken advantage of both Christian and Jewish events on campus. I would also have no problem if Quinnipiac funded a group that was anti-organized religion, but both stances on the issue should have a forum for their beliefs and values.

  9. It's an opinion

    April 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    You all need to stop crying about someone else’s opinion. People will disagree with you. Deal with it. Don’t attack him because you don’t agree.

  10. Alum

    May 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    To all of those who say that we shouldn’t be ‘attacking’ the author for his opinion: a. nobody is attacking him, they are providing their counter arguments b. it’s an opinion piece, it’s meant to garner a response

    Personally, I completely disagree with the author as well, but I certainly respect his opinion and his right to state it. One commenter makes a brilliant observation that, in fact, less than one dollar per student at Quinnipiac is contributed to these orgs. The other simple fact by which I make my own argument is that I am not a democrat, but I certainly respect the right of the democratic org to exist on campus, with a portion of my tuition contributed to their cauffers.

    I understand that the author does not agree with the pro-life stance, but I wonder if he would ever argue against a pro-choice org. Religion is under attack in the modern world, and Christianity in particular is a favorite target for abuse.