Jed Barber | Opinions Editor
A group of students asks tough questions.
The discussion group, Choros, formed in 2012 to probe often taboo topics such as gender, sexual orientation and how Christians should interact with these cultural issues. A group of students in conjunction with Taylor Student Organization and Kevin Diller, associate professor of philosophy and religion and the faculty liaison for the group, brought the organization into existence.
"The intent of the group is not to champion a particular agenda, perspective, or policy, but rather to extend the university's commitment to whole-person formation within a nurturing Christian community to issues of sexuality," the Choros guidelines said. "With humility, gentleness, and patience, our hope is to serve the strengthening of faith in Christ and the fellowship of believers, by means of the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:2-3)"
The guidelines also outline the core values of the group, which stem from a belief that open and safe discussion will allow for listening and learning to occur for all those involved.
The main goals for the group are to provide a safe environment for all the visitors to their sessions, and they hope that the discussions that begin in that environment lead to ultimate reconciliation among the disparate viewpoints brought to the table.
Junior Alison Bell currently heads the group as its president, and she believes that the group aims to foster multiple perspectives amongst its constituents.
"It's a place for open discussion of different ideas," Bell said. "We're not trying to push an agenda."
Bell notes that part of why she believes Choros is necessary is a lack of space to tackle these topics in Taylor's community. To her, campus events like Sexuality and the Body do well to foster conversation, but she wants Choros to become a dedicated, year-round space where questioning people can come with their worries and concerns.
She sees it as an important addition to other campus conversations, and she believes that she sees members come to the discussion with greater understanding and a heightened desire to understand what the other is saying.
Bell hopes that she can increase knowledge of the group on campus so that new students come to their meetings, and she hopes to increase working with campus organizations such as CoPro.
"My goal is to help people in the Taylor community better love and serve each other," Bell said.
Sophomore Emily Pawlowski has attended the meetings since last semester, and she too views it as a safe place to discuss important issues. She has made an effort to actively participate in the group and contribute to their conversations.
She believes that the group does its best to put forth unbiased information on the topics the group discusses before fully opening conversation, and they foster an atmosphere that allows for a number of opinions to be heard.
"I see Choros as a place where people can have the discussions they're too afraid to start anywhere else," Pawlowski said.
Choros attempts to meet semi-regularly, and their sessions are preceded by posters around campus. They can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.