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You are the voice. We are the echo.
The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Echo

Clubs and organizations allow students to express their passions

Taylor World Outreach, Rice Pilaf and Ethics Bowl offer students unique opportunities

At the heart of Taylor University is intentional community. Yes, this phrase is thrown around like popcorn, but it is where clubs and organizations thrive.

Friendships naturally form and grow on wings and floors, but clubs provide a way to meet new people and spark a passion.

For those who feel led to be the hands and feet of Jesus, the Taylor World Organization (TWO) has ample opportunities to get involved locally and internationally.

The TWO director, Kiplangat Cheruiyot Bii, is going into his fourth year as director, and through that time has seen both students and ministry partners flourish.

“A lot of students walk away from their experience having shifted from that idea of ‘myself’ to more like we have accomplished something,” Bii said.

Some of the events TWO organizes include Lighthouse trips during J-Term and campus-wide events such as Empty Bowls, a fundraiser that partners with the art department to raise money for the Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis.

During this school year, TWO hopes to invite others to walk by faith and not by sight. This theme has been prayed over, and is accompanied by the idea of serving God through the quality of work TWO is able to do.

Even after students graduate, many maintain their relationship with the ministries they volunteer with and continue as either interns or employees.

“We emphasize intentional training,” Bii said. “We don’t just show up to different places and do things, we want people to be prepared to know what they are getting into, and also the people they are going to serve.”

One of TWO’s strongest desires is to emphasize transformational service over transactional service, since a transformational model allows students to build relationships with the people they serve.

As students love on others and serve a world in need, Christ’s glory shines throughout the community and within TWO.

While TWO uses their hands and feet to bring the community together, Rice Pilaf is an improv group that uses their voice to uplift the student body through humor.

Sophomore Trent Repass has enjoyed participating in improv since high school. When he heard about Rice Pilaf on a visit to Taylor, he talked to one of the members and decided to audition.

As opposed to theater or another extracurricular activity, Rice Pilaf’s rehearsals are not structured, which makes it a comfortable environment.

“My first show was super surprising because I knew about Rice Pilaf, but I didn’t realize how much of a big campus deal it was,” Repass said.

Attending Rice Pilaf shows is a staple at Taylor and a way many students bond with their wing and floor.

“It’s one of those things that extends Taylor’s community,” Repass said. “If you really have a heart and a knack for improv and making people laugh, if that’s something that you do and you enjoy and want to do in a more structured performance environment, I think Rice Pilaf is a great club for that.”

Everyone can enjoy a good laugh, but Ethics Bowl provides students a fantastic opportunity to learn about ethical situations and how to think about them in a practical way.

Senior and team captain Elizabeth Hammond first joined the Ethics Bowl freshman year,  wanting to take the opportunity to learn about ethical situations and debate certain issues.

Ethics bowl competes once a semester, and individuals are given nine cases in the fall and between 15-17 in the spring to prepare.

Once it is time for a match, there are only five people per team in a room alongside both a judge and moderator. A question will be asked, and each team will present their own case on the topic.

“We think it’s very important to examine what you believe and respectfully examine what other people believe as well, even if they disagree with you.” Hammond said.

Joining a club is a sure way to expand and create a memorable college experience. While these are just a few clubs and organizations mentioned, there are many more ways to be involved at Taylor that align with other passions.