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Resident Assistant to host religious variety

Are you a member of Campus Fellowship? Are you a participant of Hillel? How about an atheist? Ever thought you might be interested in another religion? This Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Bulldog Theater, Umesh Veerasingam will be hosting his second Religious Fishbowl event.

This event gives students the opportunity to speak to various religious and non-religious individuals and get an idea for what their ideals stand. Students will also be able to have all of the questions they have prepared answered on a wide variety of values.

Veerasingam felt that having an event like was this was important to help the Drake community recognize and respect the various religions on campus.

“As a result, I teamed up with my friends from Residence Life and Drake Interfaith Dialogue to organize a religious dialogue at the Bulldog Theater,” he said.

With this being the second time a religious fishbowl even has happened on campus this year, Veerasingam said that the turnout for the last event was good, so he decided to hold another one with an even more diverse set of beliefs.

“This time, we will have a Methodist, a Jewish Rabbi and a representative of the Jain faiths. Also, last time, all representatives had religious beliefs. This Religious Fishbowl, however, will have representation from the side of an atheist as well,” Veerasingam said.

He also added that having a non-religious representative would help form a sense of tolerance during the discussion and would help open up further dialogues between the Drake and Des Moines communities.

Speakers attending the event will be Ted Hatten, an ordained minister for 17 years who runs the Wesley house and is an adjunct faculty at Drake; Randy Henderson, the president of the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers; Mirza Baig, the president of the Islamic Center of Des Moines; a representative of the Jain faith; and, lastly, a Rabbi of the Jewish faith.

Students will have the opportunity to ask questions of the representatives of the various faiths.

“Oftentimes, students on campus think about what other religions are like, and this event could inspire them to look more into religions or perspectives that they find interesting,” Veerasingam said.

The Religious Fishbowl will definitely be one that will give insight and intrigue the mind. Students will be able to get all of their questions answered about those religious queries they might have. Whether students are religious or not, there is an opportunity for them to discover other faiths.

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