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Hana' Wan Harun aka Hana' Fathiah
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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Assalamualaykum wht,

I usually do not pay much attention on what's happenin' around campus.
But today is different...muahahaha....

Islam is in the air,
Only that I wish, I could be more prevalent about it.


Study: Spirituality can increase during college years

UCLA research shows students explore beliefs
By Kacie Foster | Indiana Daily Student | Thursday, June 16, 2005

Before coming to IU as a freshman, Sarah Wilson was concerned about the how a University with a party reputation would affect her Christian faith. Now a senior, Wilson said her faith has actually strengthened. (Believe it or not, IU used to be #1 party school in the US)

"I'm closer to God now than I ever was in high school," she said.

Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles studied college students' spiritual beliefs, and have found that many students are exploring and growing in spirituality and religion, like Wilson has.

According to the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA Web site, the study is using 'multi-institutional and longitudinal design to identify trends, patterns, and principles of spirituality and religiousness among college students.' HERI surveyed more than 110,000 first-year students at 236 universities nationwide.

They found that "freshmen have high expectations for the role their institutions will play in their emotional and spiritual development ... Many are actively engaged in a spiritual quest and in exploring the meaning and purpose of life." Their results claimed that 75 percent of college students are searching for a meaning or purpose to life.

Wilson grew up in a Christian home in Bedford, Ind. She said originally she didn't want to go to IU, and wanted to go to a Christian school.

"People think of IU as a non-religious and liberal college," she said. (Oo ye ke,..I never thought about that...)

Wilson said she changed her mind when she felt God calling her to IU.

"It's good to be in the real world and around people (that) don't believe in the same thing, because you grow more confident and want to share with others," she said.

Wilson has lived in the Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) house for a few years while at IU, and said that living there has deepened her faith and brought her closer to God.

Junior Andie Carboni said her faith has grown tremendously while at IU. She said she became a Christian the summer before her junior year of high school.

She got involved with Bible study and youth group, and said that helped her grow in her faith. Carboni said there weren't many people that were her age in her church, so IU held great fellowship opportunities for her. Like Wilson, Carboni became involved with CSF.

"I lived in a dorm my freshman year," she said. "That was a little weird for me, I never really partied at all, and I'm not into drinking."

She said she loved being with her dorm mates, but once she found CSF, she started hanging out there when her dorm friends went out partying and called it her 'second house.'

Senior Hana Wan Harun says being around others of the same beliefs is a great support system. Wan Harun is a Muslim, and gathers with other Muslims about once a week to meet new friends and participate in activities. She said sometimes people look at her strangely because she covers her head with a scarf. Once while driving on campus, a man made a hateful comment toward her about her religion.

"After the incident I was afraid," she said. "They just make judgments based on what they know."

Wan Harun said she wants people to know that Muslims are peaceful.

"I prefer them to ask questions rather than make assumptions (about the Islamic faith)," she said.

Despite the taunts, she said it is easy for her to practice her faith. Following traditional Islamic custom, she prays five times each day. Depending on where she is, sometimes she'll pray in the stacks at the library or in an empty classroom if it's time for her prayer.

"I think my faith is stronger by overcoming harassment and obstacles," Wan Harun said.

Rabbi Sue Shifron at the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center said college can be a great environment for a student's faith. She said while attendance is usually much higher during big holidays, anywhere from 500 to 1,000 students participate in Hillel events each month.

"There are some that choose not to do anything but there are a great number of those that are getting involved," she said. "I think it can provide students with a warm caring community."

Shifron said students looking to strengthen their faith must make a commitment to do so.

"A student has to work harder to maintain their religious traditions, if that's what they're interested in doing," she said.

Though the HERI study found many students interested in spirituality, this does not apply to all students. Sophomore Alexander McQueary said his spirituality is apathetic.

"I don't believe in anyone's god or anyone's devil," he said.

When McQueary was younger, he attended Catholic school, but said he did not practice the religion. He said he wants people to know that being an atheist doesn't mean he's a bad person.

"My morality is pretty much if it doesn't harm someone, or offend them in some way, then I don't think it's immoral."

"Some people say atheists have no morality because they don't have God," he said.

McQueary said he believes the same thing that many religious people do, and treats others the way he would want to be treated.

"I think freedom of religion is a good thing," McQueary said. "I just chose freedom from religion." (And we chose Islam since we have discovered the truth ... ^-^ )


* How come org2 kaper ni boleh still rasa agama dia betol, agama dia secured...
If only they know the truth, kan....
Hmm..sape punye keje tu nak spread the word?

posted by Hana' at 6/16/2005 11:40:00 PM |