As no one knows the campus better than the students themselves, Arrelia Thomas (Senior) has written a story explaining the inclusive nature of the campus.
After the news about President Trump’s travel ban, a small group of students, both domestic and international, joined together to plan a demonstration that would begin an open dialogue between all students at Methodist University, where global issues, such as exile, could be discussed. On February 1, at 11 am, students held up signs to show their support of the university’s international community. In the aftermath, students showed renewed energy on the topic of international issues. The Global Discussion Circle was founded by students Ibrahim Sabea, Abdulwahab Qader, and Arrelia Thomas to enhance healthy discussion on campus amongst students and faculty.
Methodist University has always supported its international students’ religious beliefs and goals, through joined efforts of the hard-working employees and student-run organizations. By the name, it might seem that the university would be overtly Christian, but this is not the case. All religions and denominations are given equal importance and respect. Interfaith Initiatives is an organization with a focus on creating understanding between religions found on campus through weekly discussion groups and the celebration of many of the world’s holidays, including Holi and Eid Festival.
Vrushali Thombare, from India, is an alumni of United World College (UWC), Algeria. While she was attending UWC, she became involved in the campus’ Orran Service Group, which focused on work with underprivileged children. She is an active student leader on campus and explained at the demonstration, “Everyone should have a right to go anywhere they want, we are all global citizens.” It is her belief that the new atmosphere on campus can be used to create a platform where students can focus on international issues.
Also an alumni of UWC, Mohannad Al-Shalalda graduated from the campus in the Netherlands. Prior to arriving at Methodist, he founded the International Peace Conference, which is still held annually. He also founded, and is still involved in, a foundation focused on the promotion of social initiatives in Palestine. On campus, he is a student leader involved in multiple organizations. When asked about his reason for becoming involved in the demonstration, and The Global Discussion Circle, he stated: “I became involved, not because I necessarily support the ‘bigger’ cause, but because I support the idea of Freedom of Speech.”
When students have ideas about the direction the school should take, Methodist University fully supports them. President Dr. Hancock is dedicated to ensuring that students are able to complete their studies while also enriching their lives through experiences the university provides. Every student is Whether that be through religious activities and celebrations, or secular clubs and focus groups, every student is provided with a pathway to excellence.
Photo credits to Fayetteville Observer