With yesterday marking the beginning of the Lenten Season in the Catholic Church, I can't help but a feel a little anxiety about what the cafeteria will hold in store for tomorrow. During this season in the church, for any of those who do not know, believers are asked to give up meat on Fridays.
Does this mean the entire student body at Seton Hall University should be asked to do the same though?
In my opinion, it doesn't. Lent is something Catholics can choose to take part in, but, not even all Catholics elect to partake in this. However, our university feels this rule should be strictly enforced at every dinning spot on campus. I understand that Seton Hall is a Catholic University. Honestly, it is something that drew me to this school.
That cannot be said for everyone though and therefore the option of eating meat on Friday should still be there for those wish to eat meat.
Catholic universities up and down the east coast have given up the practice of not serving meat on Fridays during Lent. This lets students choose if this season is something that want to partake in or not. I think Seton Hall should follow suite, in many ways in this day and age not serving meat on Fridays in the cafeteria is a little bit like forcing your beliefs onto someone else.
And that is certainly not something Seton Hall stands for. This university is so open to other faiths and religions and all of the things they have to offer. Students are urged to share their beliefs and engage in dialogue about them.We would never force the entire student body to go to mass on Sunday, or to even to say a prayer before class. Why should this be any different?
So I believe we should let students on campus choose to give up meat on Fridays and if they do, explain to their friends why they've done so. Allowing students to voluntarily abstain provides an opportunity for a conversation, instead forcing students to abstain from meat just opens up a rant about the cafeteria.
Obviously, students will all survive the next few weeks without meat on Fridays and their diets won't suffer tremendously without the option. Students can get their protein in other ways for one day however; I am simply proposing that students not be forced to participate in something that they do not believe in.
Erin Williams is a sophomore public relations major from Wilmington, Del. Erin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org