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

Celebrating Eid at Smith

by Nora Turriago '16

This Thursday, a celebration of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha was held at Helen Hills Hills Chapel, hosted by Al Iman, Smith College's chapter of the national Muslim Students Association. This year's annual Eid dinner featured guest speaker Linda Sarsour, delicious Mediterranean food, and activities ranging from henna to calligraphy. [...]

Open Lawn:
Starting Dialogue, Guinea Pigs, and Question Games

by Kristin Rivers, '16

The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life held a CRSL Open Deck event on a hot and sticky Thursday afternoon between 12:10-1:00 p.m. outside the Campus Center. Somewhat similar to their booth during the Student Involvement Fair, there were goodies such as backpacks, pamphlets and delicious candy, boards explaining their mission with social change and identity and information about upcoming events such as Pet a Pet Day and Otelia Cromwell Day. Students also had an opportunity to talk with some of the staff present, but this time also have the chance to participate in a question game behind the booth and feed guinea pigs. [...]

Doubts & Harmonious Voices amongst the Rain:
Rosh Hashanah at Smith

by Kristin Rivers, '16

For many students during the start of this new school year, it is a time to reflect, adjust to a new schedule, and take a deep breath before things pick up. For those who attended Sunday night's Rosh Hashanah evening service in the sanctuary despite the pouring rain, led by Jewish Student Adviser Rabbi Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser, it became a time to remember that "having doubts is part of what you believe."

It was also a time for change within the Smith Community [...]

Music is a Dream: The Power of Music in Saving Lives

by Nora Turriago, '16

"The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved my Life," is a documentary about a concert pianist and oldest Holocaust survivor, Alice Herz-Sommer, who proved the incredible power music has in bringing strength and resilience to those in a horrible situation. Shown this past week at Neilson library, the 35-minute film won the 2013 Academy Award for best documentary-short film. The producer, director, and writer of the film, Malcolm Clarke, was also at the presentation. [...]

Expanding the Horizons: Student Involvement Fair 2015

September 18th was a still summer-like, beautiful day. From 11:30 to 1:30 p.m., throngs of students gathered outside the Campus Center, checking out many of Smith's diverse organizations at the Student Involvement Fair.

Among those organizations was The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, represented in a booth near John M. Greene Hall. Dean Jennifer Walters and the students heading the table took time to talk with interested students [...]

Activism On Smith Campus - Students' Perspective

by Robyn Handley, '15

This past academic year, the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life has been working with the theme Justice, Identity, and Social Change, probing at the intersection of social justice and activism and how that intersects with individual forms of identity and belief systems. This theme has sparked workshops, vigils, and an entirely new student advisory board to lead the way. Following this theme I sat down with three current Smith students to ask them about their beliefs about activism, activist work on campus, and how it intersects with religious and spiritual life and identity [...]

Pet a Pet Day - Spring 2015

by Robyn Handley, '15

On Wednesday April 22nd students gathered outside the Schacht Wellness and Health Center for cider, doughnuts, and puppy snuggles. This annual event draws a large crowd of students eager to take a break from studying. Some favorites at this semester's event [...]

A Koyal's Cage

by Robyn Handley, '15

The Koyal's Cage is a play by theatre major Afreen Seher Gandhi '15. It is a re-imagination of Ibsen's 19th century classic A Doll's House. Set in modern day India, the play seeks to illustrate the redefinition of marriage and relationships through the lens of Islamic laws and patriarchal culture.

The play was performed in the Helen Hills Hills Chapel sanctuary; the removal of the pews has allowed many events such as this one [...]

ServeUP - A Spring Break Service-Learning Trip

by Robyn Handley, '15

Every year, as students across campus leave for various locations for spring break, a diverse group of Smith students head to New Orleans for a very special mission.

This mission, a faith-based service-learning spring break trip called ServeUP, was started 10 years ago by InterVarsity New England as a response to the devastation caused by the flooding from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in New Orleans. Every year since, college students [...]

We Gather Often Now - Remembrance and Solidarity with Kenyan Students

by Robyn Handley, '15

On Monday April 6th at 12:15, a crowd began to gather on the steps of the Campus Center. It started out small, 5 students then 10 then 15. Soon the crowd had grown to closer to 90 people.

The crowd was gathered in a vigil for the 147 people killed in the Garissa University shooting the week before. [...]

My Religion is Kindness - A Peace Meal

by Robin Handley, '15

About 20 students from all different disciplines gathered on March 24th at 5:30pm in the Dewey Common Room, filling the small space. Dinner was served buffet-style, a delicious menu of salad, lentil soup, and corn muffins, made by the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life student cooks.

Students sat at tables arranged in a semi-circle around the room. In the front sat a panel of three community religious and spiritual leaders, and [...]

They Have Some Kind of Power- The Nakatani Gong Orchestra

by Robin Handley, '15

The second night of the Smith College Festival of Sound and Space too place on March 25. The featured artist of the night was Tatsuya Nakatani.

Nakatani is a native of Osaka, Japan who came to the United States 20 years ago. He started as a percussionist, than moved to primarily playing the gong and now works on solo projects playing many different styles of gong. Nakatani travels to many different cities and plays with different groups. [...]

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." [...]

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. [...]

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