Denison Religious Understanding

The Elder Council

“Elder Council” is the governing body of the Denison Religious Understanding multi-faith dialogue program. This group of committed students is led by Chaplain Mark Orten and student interns or “Pipe Bearers” in keeping DRU going strong.

Elder Council's responsibilities are wide-ranging, including oversight of nearly every aspect of Monday discussions, from ordering food to setting up the room to creating topics and moderating discussion. Other roles include working to improve communication between various religious groups on campus, running annual events such as Interfaith Week and the Maypole Celebration, and coordinating DRU's other events, programs, speakers, and retreats.

If you're interested in joining Elder Council, or have questions or suggestions for us, please don't hesitate to contact our Pipe Bearers.

Monday Discussions
Monday Discussions

Monday discussions are the core of Denison Religious Understanding. Each week, we gather at 5:00pm in The Open House. There, we meet and discuss a particular topic of interest over a shared meal. Our meals are always vegetarian in order to be as inclusive as possible. Discussion topics range from the everyday to the arcane, and we welcome all points of view, so long as they come to the table in an open and understanding manner.

Rarely, if ever, do we reach any group consensus by the end of a discussion, but the process of debate and open sharing is a valuable one for all participants. Join us every Monday!

What Matters to Me & Why
What Matters to Me & Why

Ever wondered what's going through your professors' heads when they're not teaching?

Here's your chance to find out! What Matters to Me & Why is a new program through the Center of Religious & Spiritual Life that gives students and professors a chance to interact on a different level outside of the classroom. Once every month, we invite a professor to come and speak to us and to tell us what matters to them and why.

Sometimes the conversations that follow are serious, sometimes hilarious… sometimes they deal deeply in matters of religion, while other times the topic never comes up at all. The one constant is that the program offers professors a unique opportunity to share with students and colleagues at a deep and meaningful level. If you have suggestions for a professor to invite, or if you are a professor and would like to share, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Interfaith Week

DRU's annual interfaith week is a celebration of the many religious traditions here on campus. Held in the Fall semester, interfaith week offers a wide variety of opportunities to learn about and interact with students of other faiths, both here on campus and more broadly.

Events often include presentations and experiences with different groups on campus, a movie, a craft project, community service, opportunities for dialogue, and discussion panels among prominent religious figures in our community.

We're always looking for more ideas on how to provide Denison students with greater access to each other and the interfaith community as a whole, so look forward to a bigger and better interfaith week to come.

Maypole
Maypole Celebration

Early May is often a stressful time here at Denison. Seniors are about to graduate, everyone is buried in papers, and finals are right around the corner. DRU offers a chance to unwind with our annual Maypole celebration.

Each year, as close to Mayday as we can manage without interrupting exams, DRU sets up a maypole in the middle of A-quad. There's little in the way of formality on Maypole day; it's a time to relax, unwind, and frolic — yes, frolic!

The Maypole celebration involves not only a traditional Maypole dance, but music from campus and local performers, flowers, dancing, and often free-form art projects. We hope you'll frolic on over come May!