Interfaith Organization Serving Kent State Announces New Name
At a recent meeting, members of the Campus Ministers Organization serving Kent State University voted to change the name of the organization to the Campus Religious Life Association to better reflect the diversity of its membership. This change is effective immediately.
“Changing the name from Campus Ministers Organization to Campus Religious Life Association reflects more of who we are today in relation to the whole university community,” says the Rev. Douglas Fidler, CRLA treasurer and pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church.
While the name of the organization is new, Campus Religious Life Association continues to foster the positive relationships it has established within the university community and remains faithful to its essential purpose.
Campus Religious Life Association is a voluntary association of various religious life groups and their recognized and credentialed campus representative who seek to serve Kent State students, faculty and staff by offering religious life programs, ministries and services in the university community.
“The name change from Campus Ministers Organization to Campus Religious Life Association more accurately reflects the diversity of religious professionals, including Jews, Baha'i and Muslim members, who currently spiritually support students on campus,” says the Rev. Lauren Odell-Scott of United Christian Ministries. “It's also a great change as Campus Religious Life Association seeks to reflect the increasing religious diversity of students on campus.”
Established in the 1970s in response to the changing religious landscape on campus following the events surrounding May 4, 1970, Campus Religious Life Association currently has 16 member organizations, representing Jewish, Christian and Bahá'í faith traditions. Although members do not always agree doctrinally, Campus Religious Life Association promotes avenues for dialogue and understanding to strengthen its mission to the university.
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The events of May 4, 1970, placed Kent State University in an international spotlight after a student protest against the Vietnam War and the presence of the Ohio National Guard ended in tragedy with four students losing their lives and nine others being wounded. From a perspective of nearly 50 years, Kent State remembers the tragedy and leads a contemporary discussion and understanding of how the community, nation and world can benefit from understanding the profound impact of the event.