The Hill is home to a growing set of groups that emphasize these skills week in and week out: dialogue groups. These organizations-- currently numbering five-- are committed to helping Denisonians develop the skills required to communicate effectively, listen with empathy, and better understand the issues that impact our campus. In recognition of the Jewish community's milestone, several dialogue groups will intentionally focus on issues of inclusion and religious/spiritual life during the month April.
One example of this is Sustained Dialogue, a student-run organization that forms groups of ten students that meet weekly throughout the semester to engage issues of importance. Sustained Dialogue will provide prompts to its student facilitators related to issues of religious and spiritual life. Some selected prompts that the 50 members of Sustained Dialogue will consider this month:
Have you had conversations about religion/spirituality on campus-- with roommates, friends, professors and staff, etc? What were these conversaitons like? What conversations, if any, do you wish you were having?
One central idea of Judaism is expressed in the phrase "tikkun olam." In English, this roughly translates to a commitment to "healing the world." In what ways-- if any-- do you see religious and spiritual groups as contributing to the "healing" and growth of our community? How do you see this, or not, in your own life?
What resources have you used on campus (or in central Ohio)-- if any-- that have supported your personal interaction with religion and spirituality? Is anything missing? Why is this-- and how could we address this gap?
Sustained Dialogue is joined by the Amava Dialogues (which focuses on masculinity on campus), Sister-Leaders in Dialogue (a group for African American women), and Denison Religious Understanding (a weekly discussion group at the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life) as they consider how themes of inclusion, religion, and spirituality intersect with their own unique focuses.
In total, several hundred students, faculty, and staff will participate in these conversations-- a wonderful tribute to the history of Jewish life at DU.
For more information about dialogue at Denison, contact Mark Anthony Arceno (firstname.lastname@example.org).