Students on Campus | Photo by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian
Wright State University boasts multiple religiously affiliated organizations on campus, expressing a variety of major faiths and practices.
According to the WSU Engage site, there are 11 faith-based organizations on campus. Out of these 11 organizations, seven are Christian organizations, making up just over 60% of all WSU religious organizations, which also include Islam and Judaism.
According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 70% of surveyed Americans in 2014 identified as Christian.
H2O Church President Julia Forbes says that the church attracts a mixture of Wright State students, graduates and other young professionals around the area.
H2O will often express faith through campus tabling, Sunday services and Life Group, a Christain gathering where a small group meets for Bible discussion, prayer and connection with the H2O community.
“For me, I come from a family that is more culturally religious,” Forbes said. “I love being able to be on campus with my H2O community. I know that they love me and have my back no matter what. We also constantly encourage one another to grow closer to God.”
Much like the H2O Church, the Muslim Student Association focuses on a blend of faith and community.
According to MSA president Marwah Almuzoughi, activities include sports tournaments, regular Friday prayers and regular boys and girls Halakha, a Muslim gathering for religious discussion with a religious scholar.
According to the Pew research study, 0.9% of surveyed Americans identified as Muslim, but Almuzoughi explains that there is still a strong sense of community from the over 200 registered members in MSA and the approximately 500 Muslim students on campus.
“When I was in high school, I wasn’t around Muslims, but when I moved to Wright State, there is a little bit more diversity than I had in high school. Now, I have friends of the same religion. We can talk about things, it makes life a little bit easier,” Almuzoughi said.
As a minority religious group, a large part of MSA is educating the greater campus population.
During Muslim Culture Night on Nov. 4, domestic and international students from a variety of nationalities and cultures gave traditional performances, provided food and created a space to educate others about the diversity of the Islamic faith.
As the oldest surviving monotheistic religion representing approximately 1.9% of Americans, the Jewish faith has a rich culture and history to explore.
The organization J-Shoft, which serves the Jewish community in the WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine, connects Jewish students or people interested in learning more about Judaism who go to medical school by providing activities and community, according to co-president Hilary Kleppel.
Kleppel explained that these activities include traditional Jewish holiday celebrations and a weekly Friday Shabbat dinner in a potluck style with attending members.
In addition to the previously mentioned groups, J-Shoft welcomes all students regardless of faith or identity.
“We are a very open group who are happy to share in our religion and share our religion to people who are interested in learning,” Kleppel said.
A very recent addition to campus in 2020, J-Shoft is the only current Jewish organization at WSU.