Manchester Student Interfaith Society

Interfaith dinner on Wednesday 2 November 06 in Sanam Restaurant, Rusholme

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On 2 November we went for dinner at Sanam restaurant kindly sponsored by a multifaith group of professors. After the dinner we asked the participants about their feedback for improving multifaith society and multifaith profile in the university.  

Feedback from participants

1. Publicise the regular or special events of various student faith societies (such as islamic awareness week of Isoc, meditation class of Budsoc, Yoga of Hindu Soc, Sikhi week of Sikhsoc, Hanukkah party of JSoc, prayer meetings of Bahai soc, multilingual Xmas carol) , and actually go and attend them. This way we can quickly publicise the multifaith soc and get more interested people on board. Also we can publicise multifaith soc through the already existing publicity channels of various religious student societies.

2. Increased publicity of multifaith events through student direct newspaper (by emailing communiation@student-direct.co.uk or information provided in any week's newspaper), as well as on the student union website: http://umsu.man.ac.uk/diary /submit
(but for that we have to quickly get registered as a official society with 30 signatures first, which should be easy but need to do th paperwork)

3. Doing a nice show and publicity during multifaith week coming in second week of December 4-8 organised by student union esp by Karolina Kopiec the international officer, who is the organiser. we have to discuss this with Karolina as well.

4. One of our major problems is lack of manpower, lack of pople to run the society since James is busy, Sandika is also busy and I may be unavailable in a few months. So maybe we need to build an autonomous structure so that whole task of running society doesnt fall on one person or few people.

5. On 28 Nov Tuesday we are running a workshop of different faiths. During that workshop their will be different stalls from different faiths, each stall shall do something related to their religion, as a kind of taster session. Example are a session on Buddhist meditation or Hindu Yoga or Bahai or Christian music. If you have any proposals to do a session please email me. The venue will hopfully be a hall in St Peters chaplaincy.

6. Temple and place of worship visit: although we have them currently but many people dont know too much about thse. so far we have visited a Bahai centre, Sikh gurudwara, Jewish synagogue and Hindu tmple. We also welcome offers from people for visits to other places of worship such as Catholic or pentecostal or Anglian Church or Buddhist vihara or Jain community centre or moque, and also visits to centres relating to other branches of the same religions.

7. We have got the following few volunteers now to help in running Abraham and Sarah's tabl of 7 December and maybe matters related to the workshop (or something else I forgot)
Sophie, Naseem, Anisa, Joy, Kevin, Mo, Raymond, Angela, Kalpa and Shohel. We will meet at 6:30 coming Tuesday 7 November to discuss this further, just before next multifaith soc meeting at 7:30 when we shall be watching a multifaith film organised by Oxana.

8. A survey questionnaire (through the student faith societies) to assess what problems faith students are facing to practice their faith and what they expect from the multifaith society.

9. Someone suggested we do some things that help in students applying religion to their daily life, such as meditation class or yoga or prayer. Thre is already a free meditation class run by Buddhist soc on Mondays and a yoga class I think by Hindu soc which will start shortly etc, but they need to be publicised more among interested students.

10. Someone suggested we publicise multifaith society and multifaith event through our existing members and ask volunteers to put up posters in their halls of residence or maybe in their departments or bring their friends along and tell more people about them. This is another untapped avenue of publicity.

11. The website needs to be updated regularly and a forum put in there really soon.

12. We need to become an official student society really soon.

13. Having a stable venue and resources. St peters chaplaincy has kindly agreed to support us in all possible ways with venues etc.

14. Food Events like the upcoming Abraham and Sarah's table on 7 December in St Peters chaplaincy, we can publicise this kind of events quite a lot among students.


Publicity:
  • We should also tell our friends about the Multifaith Society because they trust us, and if we show excitement about it, they'll be excited too.
  • A press release needs to be written before the multifaith week so that BBC radio and others can be informed about and invited to attend the events of the multifaith week.
  • New students could be informed about the Multifaith Society by advertising for it in their 'welcome pack'-thing.
 
Ideas for activities of the Multifaith Society:
  • Visiting activities of Faith groups and activities to get to know them and make us known. We need to be open-minded!
  • Rock climbing as a communicative activity (also sightseeing or other outdoor activities).
  • Sharing sessions. There could be a set time for sharing meetings, and one or two people volunteer to organize a session where they bring something they want to share (art activities, singing, devotional, yoga class, etc...).
  • Meditation classes or courses (they exist already).
  • Volunteer work in our own departments or places of accomodation.
 
Other points:
  • We should really celebrate the multifaith week!!
  • What are our resources for the Abraham's table in December? Theme, speakers, activities? Any ideas and suggestions are welcome. 

 

Some photos from the event (kindly supplied by Nassim) , click to make them bigger.