'Assembly the Second' and galvanizing college students to thrive and derive which means amid worry and uncertainty | Stanford Information – Stanford College Information

From a 1-credit course to on-line playlists, a brand new program provided via the Workplace for Spiritual and Religious Life was designed to assist the campus group grapple with the pandemic and a 12 months of upheaval.
By Chris Peacock
Assembly the Second, a brand new sequence of packages developed by Stanford’s Workplace for Spiritual and Religious Life for the 2020-2021 educational 12 months, goals to assist college students and others confront “societal, financial and non secular upheaval” introduced on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alessandra Wollner is the director of a brand new program provided via the Workplace for Spiritual and Religious Life known as Assembly the Second. (Picture credit score: Raisa Aziz)
The programming was designed to encourage and to assist the campus group discover which means throughout this unprecedented educational 12 months and is meant for these with assorted – or no – non secular or religion backgrounds.
Some occasions and assets are for college kids, and others can be found to your entire Stanford group. Digital film nights, with post-screening discussions, and on-line playlists are geared to month-to-month themes. Story Exchanges, by which strangers inform tales to one another, is designed to foster connections and group.
A lot of the content material is pushed by this system’s Assembly the Second Fellows. This group of seven college students, who’re enrolled full-time at Stanford, meet weekly, create and produce on-line packages and function educating assistants for a repeatable, 1-credit course provided through the fall via spring quarters.
“We’re creating a set of alternatives via which college students can join authentically, intimately and deeply,” mentioned program director Alessandra Wollner. “Assembly the Second, each the category and the fellowship, can also be about integrating practices that can assist college students to architect significant, fulfilling lives for themselves. The necessity for that’s evergreen, and can stay on far previous the pandemic.”
This system is a joint effort with Stanford Well being and Human Efficiency, the Lifeworks Program and the Stanford Storytelling Undertaking. It was developed via the Workplace for Spiritual and Religious Life’s Rathbun Fund for Exploring What Results in a Significant Life.
Assembly the Second Fellows chosen the month-to-month themes – from “Discovering Floor” to “Pleasure as Resistance” – and talk about them in on-line reflections and private narrative podcasts within the model of the favored The Moth Radio Hour.
Darnell “DeeSoul” Carson, a senior majoring in cultural/social psychology with a minor in inventive writing, is among the many inaugural group of fellows. In a Month-to-month Reflection, he tells how he took developments in stride, no less than at first, as the results of the pandemic started to take maintain.
Darnell “DeeSoul” Carson, a senior majoring in cultural/social psychology with a minor in inventive writing, is among the many inaugural group of fellows for the brand new Assembly the Second program. (Picture credit score: Emily Mam)
“When information of COVID hit again in March, the realizations got here in waves. The preliminary thought was the identical as most college students: prolonged Spring Break!” Carson writes. “However, because the updates continued rolling in, so did the questions I discovered myself grappling with: The place would I stay? What did a digital quarter imply for my capability to interact with faculty work? How would new social tips change my day-to-day life?”
Immediately, he provides: “As an alternative of making an attempt to carry issues collectively, I’ve began to acknowledge that every thing I’ve grown used to is falling aside. I nonetheless make my plans – as a result of that’s grow to be an integral manner I make sense of the world – however I’ve made much more room for maybes.”
Tiffany Steinwert, Stanford’s dean for non secular and non secular life, mentioned consciousness of such haziness and the necessity for inquiry and assist is particularly pronounced in the present day.
“This 12 months has been marked by a seemingly never-ending sequence of crises as one pandemic multiplied into many: because the virus unfold, white supremacy and systemic injustice ravaged the nation, fires and hurricanes left destruction and devastation of their wake, and a contentious and fraught election season retains us all on edge,” Steinwert mentioned. “We’re all studying what it means and the way it feels to stay in a state of fixed, persistent stress. Ideally Assembly the Second will help our campus group discover hope and inspiration for what Harry Emerson Fosdick known as ‘the residing of as of late’ or simply ‘the going through of this hour.’”
Upcoming occasions within the new program will be discovered at Assembly the Second.
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