by Bekah Ervin
A campus organization for nonreligious students is finding its footing again. “If you identify as secular and want to talk about that, you are welcome here,” says MC Lord, president of Millsaps Secular Society (and current arts and life editor for The Purple and White, for full disclosure). “[MSS] started in 2007, but has not been active for quite a while. I am excited that Dr. James Bowley and I are working to get it going again.”
Because of the club’s recent inactivity, most current students have not had the opportunity to participate in the organization that aims to be a safe space for those students who identify as secular.
Members of MSS meet occasionally to discuss what it is like to be secular while residing in a region that has much emphasis on religion as part of its culture. Lord describes MSS as a place where students can go to talk safely as they “dabble in the new college environment.” She believes it is a vital option for students at Millsaps because there are so many religions that are represented on campus, but no place for the nonreligious students. “It is a great place to learn and discuss the experiences had for a secular person on and off campus,” Lord says.
MSS is just getting re-acclimated into the Millsaps environment. Lord shares that the numbers are low right now, but she hopes for more involvement soon. She encourages anyone who is interested even casually to contact her or the organization’s sponsor, professor Bowley. “Nothing is mandatory,” she says. “You can come to simply chat and meet others that identify the way you do. It is a welcoming place for many.”
Lord hopes to soon establish a regular meeting time for the group once there are more members. She also hopes to work with the interfaith community at Millsaps to show more representation for the nonreligious portion of the student body.