I have been teaching here at Pacific for the past 28 years in the Philosophy Department. As you know, for quite a while, Pacific has had a number of centers on campus, including the Center for Gender Equity, the Center for Civic Engagement, the McCall Center and the Center for Languages and International Collaboration. Just this fall, Pacific started two new centers: the Center for a Sustainable Society and the Center for Peace & Spirituality. I am the new director for the Center for Peace and Spirituality.
Well, I just read your “Our Two Cents” column in the November 29 Pacific Index and I wanted to send a personal apology to you and the campus community for not having arranged for a broader holiday celebration in the UC. I suppose, now that the new center exists, this is something I should have taken care of, but I didn’t. I will definitely make sure that something broader and more inclusive will happen next year.
Having said that, throughout this fall semester there has been a series of displays in the Scott Hall display case about different world religions and peace. In September, there was a display about Yom Kippur for Judaism; in October, a display about Mahatma Gandhi and also about Eid al-Adha for Islam; in November, there was a display about Diwali for Hinduism; and currently there is a display about various perspectives on the world.
Additionally, I have met with various campus groups over the fall semester about the new center and have asked for people to let me know how the enter could be useful on campus. For example, I met with the undergraduate Student Senate and also the graduate Student Senate to tell them about the new center and to ask them to let me know what they would like the center to do and be.
Also, I have met with President Hallick to talk about finding some space on campus for an inter-faith sanctuary, where students and staff could have a common place for spiritual reflection. As you know, space is pretty limited, but we are working on getting something; we hope to have a place by late spring.
So, again, I personally apologize to you and the campus community for not having something ready for this holiday season to celebrate more broadly and generally, but some things are in the works and I will certainly try to do better in the future. Please let me know how!
Director, Center for Peace and Spirituality
Drake House 107