Better Together Week begins on Monday

by Belle Ward, Features Editor

The Better Together Week begins on Monday with a variety of events for students to learn about the importance of collaboration and respect within Interfaith.

Interfaith interns Elise Tauer and James McKee, along with a group of RLC interns, planned the events for the week.

“It is a time where people can come together and discuss their own beliefs as well as sort of building bridges in between a lot of people as well,” McKee said.

Tauer wants students to consider having conversations with students they may not regularly talk to.

“There’s so much hate going around in the world right now, and really taking a week to try and focus on, ‘Hey, what brings us together,’ and understanding each other more than just working off of assumptions that probably aren’t true,” Tauer said.

Better Together Week has similarities to Justice Week but also important differences.

“It also helps because we’re looking in more at ourselves instead of necessarily like what are issues out in the bigger community,” Tauer said.

Tauer hopes students learn more about cultures that are unlike their own and making them challenge their ideas about groups of people.

“If you see someone walking with a hijab, you’re not going to automatically think ‘terrorist’ or something like that,” Tauer said.

Tauer wants students to be able to look beyond the stereotypes of a given group and discuss the importance of differences.

The week begins on Monday with a holiday festival.

“This event is meant to work similar to Org Fest for students, where we’re bringing in several different religious beliefs and just general belief sets to represent different holidays and different ideas,” Tauer said.

The event will feature individuals who identify as a variety of beliefs, including atheists and Pagans.

On Tuesday, the activity will be centered around making pet toys and blankets.

“We will be donating all of that to both Kiya Koda in town and Second Chance, which is a group that RLC works with quite a bit,” Tauer said.

Wednesday’s event will be a prayer panel.

“We will be discussing what prayer looks like across multiple belief systems, and kind of trying to gain a better understanding of the commonalities of prayer and really just look into what prayer is and what it means to people in different religions,” Tauer said.

Friday is the first performance of Festival of Short Plays. The theme this year is Interfaith.

“There will be a talk-back after the performance on Friday night about what happened in the show,” Tauer said.

McKee wants students to attend in order for students to educate themselves about diversity.

“If they are really dedicated to what you’d hope Simpson College should be about, they should care enough to come to these events,” he said.

Tauer wants to see the beliefs that separate students bring them together.

“I hope people learn that differences don’t mean problems,” she said. “That differences can be appreciated and that sometimes those differences are what make a connection possible.”