New Club on Campus: Better Together
As the new fall semester starts off at Southwestern, student organizations and clubs are thriving off of both new and returning students. While some of these organizations are established and familiar, there are several new clubs sprouting up around campus this fall. One such club is Better Together, an interfaith organization started by junior Leanne Johnson.
“The three components of Better Together that I’m looking at for Better Together are spirituality, interfaith, and dialogue,” stated Leanne. However, she emphasized that Better Together is not only about what she – or even its members – believe, but rather is meant to cater to the needs of the Southwestern student body. “It’s for every student at Southwestern. Whether you’re a member of the club or not, your voice matters. And whether or not you come to weekly meetings, this is for you. We’re going to be asking students, ‘What do you want from us?’ Because it’s not just about us, it’s about everyone.”
Her goal is to create a group that not only embraces spirituality but also embraces spiritual diversity and gives all students a space where they can discuss topics – including difficult topics – related to faith and spirituality. “Spirituality is something that generally is a source of conflict, and I don’t think it should be. I think it should be something that brings us all together.”
While Better Together is currently limited to the Southwestern Campus, Leanne hopes students will use it to become a part of a greater worldwide movement toward compassion and understanding. “One place to start is here at school,” she stated. “I want to create a home on campus where everyone is accepted for who they are. And I don’t want students to tolerate diversity, I want students to celebrate each other’s diversity.”
Leanne explained that Better Together was inspired by her desire to live in a world where people can have conversations that seek to understand rather than seek to judge. While she initially was afraid of and warned away from having difficult conversations, she realized that they were conversations she wanted to have–and that she perhaps wasn’t the only one. “I want to be on a campus where it is safe for me to explore what I believe, so I figured there were probably a lot of students who felt the same way I did, and thus Better Together was formed.”
Better Together meets on Tuesdays at 6:00 PM and is actively seeking members to help shape its goals as an organization. For more information, contact Leanne Johnson.