ORSL supports the Oxy community in their pursuit of a vibrant and meaningful spiritual and religious life while engaging religious diversity with a commitment to acceptance, mutual respect, awareness, and dialogue.
Programs & Events
The offices hosts and sponsors many campus events for members of the Occidental community. These include:
- On and off campus retreats over fall break and at other times during the school year
- The use of the labyrinth for personal prayer, meditation and reflection every Wednesday
- Food Justice Month -- every October
- The Interfaith Thanksgiving Lunch
- The Interfaith Baccalaureate Service
- Study breaks for students during final weeks
- And much more!
Resources to Report Religiously Based Bias or Hate Incidents
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) report that in the ten days following the election on November 8, 2016, there were 867 reported incidents of harassment, intimidation and hate across the country (The Southern Poverty Law Center, "Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election," November 2016, SPLCenter.org). These events took place in a variety of locations including in schools, homes, houses of worship, public transportation and stores. The SPLC data comes from incidents reported on #ReportHate and media accounts. It is important to note that the total number of incidents is probably higher since nerarly two thirds of all hate crimes go unreported. Of this total of 867 reported incidents, 49 or about 6 percent were anti-Muslim while another 100 incidents or 12 percent were anti-Semitic.
The Office for Religious and Spiritual Life has a list of resources for individuals who may experience incidents of bias or violence due to their religious identity. This list is an ongoing project. We will add more resources as we identify them. Click on the link below to access more information about how to report an incident or to receive legal or other forms of assistance.
The 2016-2017 Values and Vocations Fellowship
The Values and Vocations Fellowship, funded by the Angell Foundation, provides students the opportunity to explore the intersection of spirituality and social justice by engaging with a community-based site and participating in a weekly seminar. The seminar allows students to explore their passion for social justice and their need to develop a spiritual practice that will ultimately help to sustain a lifelong commitment to social justice.
The Office for Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) will award 6 Values and Vocations Fellowships for the Spring 2017 semester. Studens may participate in the fellowship for one or two semesters. Fellows volunteer 8 to 10 hours on a social justice project at a community organization. They also spend 2 hours each week attending a weekly reflection seminar facilitated by Rev. Dr. Susan Young, Director for Religious and Spiritual Life. During the seminar, fellows engage in small group exercises, contemplative practices and discussions about religion, spirituality, social justice, community engagement and vocation. Fellows must demonstrate a commitement to interfaith respect, dialogue and relationship. Students receive a study grant of $1,300 per semester for participating in the program. Fellows will also enroll in the INT 100 zero credit internship program administered by the Hameetman Career Center.
To apply for the Fellowship, students must: (1) submit a written application and (2) participate in a fifteen minute interview with ORSL staff. The Values and Vocations Fellowship application is divided into two parts. Part One is the student application and Part Two is the faculty reference.
Students may submit their application by emailing it to Rev. Dr. Young at email@example.com or by dropping it off at our office located in Lower Herrick. Faculty members are asked to complete the reference form rather than writing a formal letter of reference. Faculy should submit their reference to ORSL directly by either: (1) emailing it to Rev. Dr. Young at firstname.lastname@example.org; (2) dropping it off in a sealed, signed envelope to the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life in Lower Herrick; or (3) by mailing it in a sealed, signed envelope to the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life.
The deadline for the student application and faculty reference is Thursday, January 19, 2017. Interviews will take place the week of January 23. Rev. Dr. Young will contact applicants to schedule the interview after receiving their application. Please click on the link below to download the student application and faculty reference form. Applications are also available at ORSL located in Lower Herrick.
Rev. William Barber, a Well Known Civil Rights Leader, to speak at Occidental College
The Rev. William Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP and architect of the Forward Together Moral Monday movement, who captivated a natioinal audience with his speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention will speak on racial and social justice on February 1, 2017 in Thorne Hall at Occidental College at 7:00 pm. This event is open to the public. Information about how to receive tickets will be provided at a later date.
The President's Interfaith Service and Campus Challenge
Occidental College is participating in the President's Interfaith and Community Service Challenge sponsored by the White House and supported by the Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Campus Challenge is a national initiative to encourage college students to engage in interfaith dialogue and service as a way of cultivating a commitment to interfaith cooperation and religious pluralism. The Office for Religious and Spiritual Life will host events throughout the year through this national initiative. Our first event is a 9/11 Interfaith Vigil on Friday, September 9 at 12:30 pm.
Additional Interfaith Calendars:
Office for Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL)
Occidental College, F-8
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041
- Phone: 323-259-2621
- Fax: 323-341-4959