Kathrin Willard

Professor Bailey

English 2010

11th October 2015

The Mission

Wednesday night I attended a Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment (CCE) meeting at the local library. Citizens Campaign is an organization that identifies environmental issues in the New York-Connecticut area. This meeting was about plastic pollution and the effects of it thus far. I met with Connie, the speaker of the presentation after the meeting. Connie and I expanded our discussion on the pollution problem and possible solutions.

During our talk, I was enlightened on what gyers are, and the damage they are doing to our ocean. Gyres are a vortex of wind and currents that that rotate the wind in the ocean, and garbage gets stuck and creates a cluster of garbage. These clusters vary in size and depth. Connie told me that there are five major gyers worldwide. She informed me there is eleven million tons of plastic that cover about five million square miles the Pacific Ocean. The major cause for the pollution in the gryes is due to plastic bag pollution. When the plastic brakes down in the ocean it emits toxic chemicals that has harmful effects on the marine ecosystem. One of the main goals of the Citizens campaign is to ban the use of plastic bags in the U.S.. As Connie, informs me that the process of banning bags takes a long time, what we can do as consumers use reusable bags. This is such a small step that makes a world of a difference.

I learned a lot from attending the Citizens Campaign meeting and speaking with Connie. I left this meeting inspired and ready to evoke change. I am ready to change my habits and make better decisions in using reusable bags as often as possible. I am ready to spread the word that a change needs to be made in saving our oceans. The more people that recycle then the better it will be. As scientists have said, if the oceans die, we will die. We need to respect the earth we live on and the Citizens Campaign is doing an amazing job in making this happen.


Why Multi Faith Rooms Are Important For Everyone

We have many different students here at SLCC that I believe could benefit from a multi-faith prayer room. In my experience I have seen students silently praying in a study area. They are not disturbing anyone and everyone else there is respectful and keeps to them-self, it’s nice. It would be nice to see a room where students could go however. I believe that a successful multi-faith space does not need to be extravagant or expensive. All you need is an empty room, nothing fancy just a space to pray. Somewhere where people of all faiths can feel comfortable to pray, meditate or take a break from their everyday hectic schedules.

People don’t want to pray somewhere where they don’t feel comfortable or they feel they are being judged for their religious belief. They want a place to go and meditate and reflect upon their thoughts and feelings. The room should be a place to unwind and leave your troubles at the door.

Hospitals and airports have had prayer rooms for many years. They have served as places of comfort for the bereaved and hope for the patients there. Meditation and prayer are seen as being helpful to the healing of a patient in a hospital. Everyone has hard times and stress that they deal with, there are many different ways to relieve stress. For those of us that choose to relieve stress through prayer it would be nice to see more of these multi-faith rooms across universities and schools everywhere. A place to go where you wouldn’t disturb anyone and something more than a corner where if you kneel, you hope no one trips over you. Here’s something to think about and ponder on. If smokers have a place to go and smoke then shouldn’t there be a place where people can go and pray.


Here are a few examples of prayer rooms

(www.amtel.co.th)

(www.ntuh.gov.tw)

(www.stmartinvc.org)


On the other side of the spectrum according I read an article about Muslims receiving special privileges to pray in public at school;specifically in Dearborn, Michigan “Muslims are being given special prayer privileges by school administrators, raising questions as about due process, equal protection, and freedom of speech for followers of the faith of America’s Founding Fathers.” “What is going on here is nothing less than an assault on the religious liberty of Christians disguised as simple requests for accommodation of Islam.”(Koprowski, “Should Muslims Be Allowed to Pray in Public Schools? Michigan Says ‘Yes’”)

This issue brings up a valid point. Why are Muslims receiving special accommodations and not individuals of other faiths? Everyone should have the same rights and freedoms no matter what religion they are. That is after all what the first amendment is about and it applies to all Americans. There needs to be equality among the religions in order for them to all be respected and revered in the same manner.


In the United Kingdom many prayer rooms are beginning to increase in numbers. The UK also has a number of interfaith centers of different kinds. For example, the Diocese of London have built the London Interfaith Center, a space designed for interfaith prayer rooms. Researchers from The University of Liverpool said there were more than 1,500 multi-faith spaces in the UK.(Rise in UK Multifaith Prayer Rooms, a Liverpool Study Reveals,BBC News)

A prayer room is simply a room or an area of a room set aside for people to reflect and pray. Here is an interesting video that describes why people pray and the importance of it for them. I think this video does a good job of explaining why prayer is important to those that choose to participate in it.

Citations

24–7 Prayer. “Why Pray?” YouTube. YouTube, 25 Apr. 2012. Web. Date accessed 09 Oct. 2015.

“Rise in UK Multifaith Prayer Rooms, a Liverpool Study Reveals — BBC News.” BBC News. BBC News, 27 Mar. 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2015

Koprowski, Gene J. “Should Muslims Be Allowed to Pray in Public Schools? Michigan Says ‘Yes’” Christian Post. N.p., 24 June 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.