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Please feel free to browse any of our past articles in the Article Archive >

Christianity in the Middle East: Analyzing the Scholarly and Policy Response: A lecture by Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou

by Robin Handley, '15

On a recent Tuesday afternoon the foyer to the Lewis Global Studies center was packed full. With enough chairs set up for the 15 or so expected audience members, the space soon became standing room only as the numbers grew.

The excitement was over guest speaker Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou, who came to give a talk entitled: Christianity in the Middle East: Analyzing the Scholarly and Policy Response.

Dr. Prodromou is the Visiting Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution at the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University as well as the Co-Chair of the Eastern Mediterranean and Europe Study Group at Harvard University.

Dr. Prodromou started by giving[...]

Vigil for Peace: Responding to Islamophobia

by Robin Handley, '15

On a cold, blustery day a crowd of 25 or so students gathered on the steps of the Campus Center as Dean Walters began speaking. It was noontime and as students passed by on their way to lunch many stopped to hear the speakers. Quickly, the crowd grew to 50 or so students.

What was so intriguing that students were drawn to stop on their way to lunch? It was a vigil for peace; responding to Islamophobia hosted by the Interfaith Alliance and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life Advisory Board.[...]

Smith Students Attend Ash Wednesday Services at St. John's Episcopal Church

by Robin Handley, '15

Wednesday the 18th of February was a busy day at Smith. No classes were held, but campus was a-flutter with students celebrating Rally day. Seniors, in particular, were full of excitement over the announcement of their commencement speaker as well as wearing their robes for the first time. However, something else was happening on Wednesday- it was Ash Wednesday.[...]

Initiation- the Opening of the new Kosher Kitchen

by Robyn Handley, '15

Friday February 6th marked the start of something new. It was the opening of the brand new Kosher kitchen. To celebrate the opening, Hillel and the greater Smith community gathered for a Friday Shabbat service.

The new kosher kitchen is located behind Jordan house. It's a small, square main room with white walls and a kitchen off to one side. The bookshelves lining the walls are filled with books and three wooden signs sit atop one bookshelf proudly proclaiming: "live laugh love."[...]

A Job Where We Can Bring All of Ourselves-
a profile of Dean of Religious Life, Dean Jennifer Walters

by Robyn Handley, '15

Taking a Break: Soup Salad and Soul

by Robyn Handley, '15

On the menu at Friday's weekly Soup Salad and Soul program: apple fennel salad, naan bread, vegan wheat bread, lobia soup, and engaging, stimulating conversation.

The Soup Salad and Soul program was started in the spring of 2010. Originally created by Dean Walters, the program was inspired by a similar program at her college. The goal of Soup Salad and Soul is to provide a conversational space for students over a delicious vegetarian lunch cooked that day by student chefs.[...]

Light, Presents and Family: Talking About Chanukkah

by Robyn Handley, '15

A live band was playing, some people were dancing, others were playing games, and delicious smells were wafting down into the Campus Center. What was happening? It was the annual Chanukkah party, hosted by Smith College Hillel. I sat down with Hillel board member, Lily Stern '15 to ask her about the holiday and the party. [...]

Justice, Identity, and Social Change

by Robyn Handley, '15

"The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life is launching a new initiative: "Justice, Identity, and Social Change," with the conviction that our role is to confront the most pressing moral issues of our time." These are the words of Matilda Cantwell, Smith's Interfaith Fellow, who is heading up the initiative.

As Smith's Interfaith Fellow, Cantwel's role, as she puts it, "is to provide another set of eyes and ears" for the Center of Religious and Spiritual Life. Cantwell observes and reflects upon how the Center For Religious and Spiritual Life can best serve all students. Cantwell says that in her view, "all people have spiritual lives, or as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin put it, 'we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.'" [...]

A time for celebration and reflection: Otelia Cromwell Day 2014

by Robyn Handley, '15

There is "much to do and much to change in ourselves" was the reminder given by Dean Jennifer Walters proceeding Thursday's Otelia Cromwell Day speech. Dean Walters acknowledged the day as a time for celebration and reflection on one woman's life and legacy, but went on to expand this definition. She proposed the day as one of personal reflection as well.

Otelia Cromwell Day, as explained in a video produced by the Otelia Cromwell Day Committee, is a celebration of the accomplishments and legacy of the first known African American graduate of Smith College, Dr. Otelia Cromwell. [...]

Tahera Ahmad speaks at the celebration of 25th anniversary of Al-Iman

by Robyn Handley, '15

Tahera Ahmad [pictured] speaking at the celebration

Walking into the chapel on the night of the Eid celebration, the air of festivity was tangible. The space played host to large tables draped with black cloth and twinkling white lights. People sat at the tables and mingled as the smell of delicious food filled the air.

The celebration was twofold. It was Eid, the Islamic New Year, as well as the 25th anniversary of the student organization Al-Iman's presence on campus. [...]

Family Weekend Interfaith Panel

by Robyn Handley, '15

"Tolerance starts with the mouth and ends with the stomach, love starts in the stomach and ends in the mouth." This is an Arabic proverb shared by Tahera Ahmad during the Family Weekend Interfaith Panel. Ahmad went on to explain that the proverb means tolerance is only on the tongue, and that to have love, one must first satisfy the soul. Shared near the end of the panel, this quote summarized the general feeling of the afternoon.

During family weekend, the Campus Center was a hub of activity as parents and students gathered for the Green Fair and stopped in the café for a snack. However, tucked away in a small side-room off of the main walkway there was a much more peaceful gathering taking place. This was the annual Interfaith Panel. [...]

Pet-A-Pet Day: many cuddles and little stress

by Robyn Handley, '15

Students with their fuzzy friends!

On a gray and chilly October afternoon, Smith students gathered in front of the new Schacht Center for Health and Wellness for some apple cider, doughnuts, and cuddles from visiting dogs and cats.

Many students were feeling the stress from ongoing and upcoming midterms and attended the event as a break from studying. "I'm stressed with mid-terms and I needed some love," said Lily Stern '15 when asked why she had decided to come to the event. [...]

An Evening of Music to Stir the Heart

by Robyn Handley, '15

The full ensemble performs Bach's Magnificat

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was quoted as saying, "I believe music must, first and foremost, stir the heart." On October 5th at 7pm, in the Helen Hills Hills Chapel, these words captured the spirit of the room, as a mixture of students, faculty, and community members gathered to listen to a performance of Bach's Magnificat. The performance was given in honor of the 300th anniversary of Bach's birth. [...]

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