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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Religions, Cultures & Peoples

The+IFYA+logo+featured+on+its+Instagram+page.
The IFYA logo featured on its Instagram page.

InterFaith Young Adults seeks to introduce Wofford students to new religions and traditions

As conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion increase at Wofford, a new organization on campus is bringing religious diversity to the forefront.

InterFaith Young Adults (IFYA) was formed at the beginning of the 2020- 2021 school year by Rik Ujaan ‘21, Eliana Davis ‘22, SJ Vaughan ‘22, and Brady Wolfe ‘23. The organization uses social media and events on campus to invite Wofford students to explore other cultures and religions.

IFYA’s first event celebrated the beginning of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah on Sept 18. The organization offered the traditional apples and honey associated with the holiday, which marks the beginning of the Jewish High Holidays.

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The group gathered on the seal of Old Main with traditional Jewish music and information on the three-day-long holiday for Wofford students to enjoy. IFYA was pleased with the turnout for its first event.

IFYA member Eliana Davis ‘22 said that she and other members “envision the group planning events that celebrate various cultures and religious traditions and sharing individual student stories.”

On Instagram, IFYA posts about upcoming events and also shares student stories about their faiths, ways of life and cultures.

Wofford College is affiliated with the Methodist Church and holds events celebrating Christian holidays such as All Saints’ Day and Christmas. First-year orientation typically fea- tures a Christian church service on the Sunday before the first classes of the school year.

However, not all Wofford students identify with the Christian faith. IFYA gives students opportunities to share their faiths and to learn about others.

IFYA’s last event was on Nov. 12 for the Hindu holiday Diwali, which is officially and globally celebrated on Nov. 14. In the Hindu faith, as well as the Jain, Sikh and even Buddhist faiths, Diwali is a festival of lights honoring the New Year.

The Diwali event featured traditional food, sparklers and a chance for students to draw Diwali-inspired art with sidewalk chalk.

Through these events, IFYA hopes to “encourage Wofford students to explore various cultures and be more open to having interfaith conversations,” Davis said.

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