Miami University’s Multifaith Engagement for Transformative Action (META) team will host Better Together, a week of activities connecting students with interfaith organizations. This is the first time the event will be held since 2019, and it will run from Sunday, April 10 to Saturday, April 16.
Nina Emlemdi, a senior human capital management and leadership major and Wilks Fellow, said META, which works within the Wilks Institute for Leadership and Service, aims to engage students in interfaith activities on campus.
“Our job in META is to unify the network of student leaders through interfaith work,” Emlemdi said. “We put on and sponsor events across campus that help us understand, respect and just learn about other religious, spiritual, cultural differences around us.”
With Better Together week, META will use daily activities to highlight these differences.
“Our goal is to put on events that showcase interfaith in different aspects of everyday life whether it’s interfaith and service or interfaith and the climate,” Emlemdi said. “Students can look forward to collaborations with organizations and clubs … on how to get involved in interfaith work.”
Some of META’s partners include the Middle-Eastern Student Association (MESA), RedHawks Count, the Comparative Religion Student Association, Hillel, service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Students can find events for the week on META’s Instagram page.
Alpha Phi Omega and EWB led an event to show how interfaith and service connect on Monday, April 11. RedHawks Count will be creating Instagram story highlights on Tuesday, April 12, about religion and politics. Students will be able to submit questions for experts from different fields of religion to answer. Hillel’s event on Friday, April 15, will teach students about anti-semitism.
Sidra Capriolo, a junior psychology and Spanish major and a Joslin Service Fellow for Wilks, said even if students miss an event, they’ll still have more to look forward to.
“Something that I really like about Better Together week is that it is every day,” Capriolo said. “If there’s one day where you’re super swamped and you can’t do something, then the next day there’s something going on.”
As chair for Wilks’ marketing committee, Capriolo helped design graphics for merchandise and stickers that will be given away throughout the week. META is also hosting an AirPods giveaway during the week.
Emlemdi said these rewards will help draw students to the events.
“This will be a great way to meet students on campus, gain a new network of different friends from different diverse backgrounds,” Emlemdi said. “We’re excited. Everything is free. I know multiple people are offering events that have food, and there’s incentives like shirts to get involved as well.”
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Capriolo, who is not religious herself, said the events will help build a more inclusive campus.
“Learning about different faiths is really important in order to make new friends and also support fellow students,” Capriolo said. “It’s important to know what other students are going through, what religious experiences they have and what they’re participating in.”
Better Together week in 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and no events were planned for 2021. Emlemdi joined META in Jan. 2021, so this will be her first time helping host the events.
“We’re in different times, so we’re adjusting to this new culture in an environment that the world is in,” Emlemdi said. “Really gauging what students want and reaching out to student organizations and seeing these new ideas of what the world is thinking and what students are thinking and interested in — that’s probably been my favorite part.”
Capriolo said students can attend any events they would like.
“You don’t have to go to everything to be involved,” Capriolo said. “There are so many different aspects of religion and faith that just apply to a lot of our lives in different ways, and so you can really get involved in any way you can.”