Interfaith Center is Sought

January 17, 2007

Author: Rosalie Westenskow

Source: Deseret Morning News,1249,650223578,00.html

OREM -- At a meeting with college officials Tuesday morning, local ministers and religious representatives urged the creation of an interfaith worship center at Utah Valley State College.

The need for an inclusive religious center takes precedence as the Legislature considers granting the college university status, said Linda Walton, a member of the Utah Valley Ministerial Association, which met with UVSC President William Sederburg to discuss interfaith relations.

The center would provide a space for meditation and prayer, particularly for students who are not affiliated with the LDS Institute. Of the college's some 20,000 students, Walton said, between 8,000 and 10,000 do not participate in Institute.

"We're finding that there is a lot more diversity than we thought there was, and there is a need for space (for an interfaith chapel)," said Walton, chaplain at UVSC.

Students of different faiths often struggle in the predominantly LDS community, Walton told those at the meeting.

"For instance, it came to my attention that there are several Muslim students on campus that have had to do their daily prayers in the rest room," she said. "That really irritates me."