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 Summer 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 3 Summer Values and Vocations Fellowships for an eight week Fellowship beginning May 29 through July 21, 2017. Fellows will commit to volunteering 35-40 hours per week at a community-based nonprofit organization on a project of their choice. Fellows will receive a $3,120 study grant ($390 per week). Students living on campus will receive free room and board.
An additional 2 hours each week will be spent attending a weekly reflection seminar. Fellows will engage in small group exercises, contemplative practices and discussions about religion, spirituality, social justice, responsible community engagement and vocation. Fellows must have a commitment to interfaith respect, dialogue and relationships. The seminar will draw from the fundamental belief that social justice work cannot be effectively sustained over a lifetime without a strong, centered and regular spiritual practice. The Rev. Dr. Susan Young will facilitate the seminar.
To apply for the Fellowship, students must: (1) submit a written application and (2) participate in an interview with the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life. The Values and Vocations Fellowship application is divided into two parts. Part One is the student application and Part Two is the faculty reference. The application deadline for both is Monday, April 3, 2017.
Students may submit their application by emailing it to Rev. Dr. Young at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com; (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.
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.
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