Currently, Baylor has no non-Christian religious organizations chartered. Although Baylor does have the right, as a private institution, to disallow these organizations, the university advertises the inclusion of all religions in this community, encourages broadening one’s horizons and emphasizes understanding a “rich cultural diversity.” The organizations present on campus should reflect these values.
As stated, the Baylor family includes a diverse group of students from many different faith backgrounds, so why is there no official organization or organizations allowed that can reflect that diversity? Baylor does have the “Better Together” program, but this is not a specific faith-based organization. It is simply part of Baylor’s cultural competency initiatives.
No, students aren’t required to be Baptist to go to Baylor, and yes, Baylor has stated that they support students of a variety of religious beliefs on campus. However, if these students have no official place or group to meet with on campus, then Baylor is not truly fostering the community they preach to have.
Baylor’s statement of diversity and inclusion states, “We are a university with diversity. The Baylor community is fully committed to nurturing an environment for knowing, being, and doing across the campus where people of all backgrounds can come together and reason together, live together, believe together, create together, learn together, work together, and grow together.”
Baylor should consider implementing programs and organizations for other specific religions to meet and form community on campus. This is an integral step to truly foster diversity and inclusion on campus and allow these students to feel as though they have a place to express their beliefs.
Acknowledging, learning about and celebrating other religions does not deter from an institution’s or a single person’s inherent values or beliefs. You can be a Christian campus and hold Christian chapel services while also allowing others to share their beliefs — allowing them share their culture and allowing others to broaden their knowledge.