The Binghamton University Interfaith Council (BUIC)
The Binghamton University Interfaith Council (BUIC) began meeting in January 2019. Since then, faith leaders from 13 different congregations with leadership from BUIC members Randall Edouard, assistant vice president of student affairs and interim dean of students, and Beth Riley, assistant dean of students and director of Case Management Services, have submitted a mission and guidelines for review. The organization has also acquired space in the University Union — now being renovated —and put marketing materials into play. Various members have been tabling for Orientation to welcome incoming students and family members and to put forth their message of unity.
During Orientation, visitors to the BUIC table receive a brochure listing contact information for all BUIC members and their congregations, and Sister Rose of Newman House describes the benefits of participation with other students who are members of her Catholic organization. Having contact information for the other faith groups makes referrals flow easier and more efficiently any students who might be looking for something on the continuum ranging from fellowship to experiencing a transformative experience that enriches their world. In April, members of BUIC were hosted for a social gathering at Newman House by Sister Rose, Imam Anas Shaikh (Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier), Rabbi Marley Weiner (Hillel) and Dave Mayner (Campus Bible Fellowship). The result was a brief education for attendees about each other with an infusion of information about each attendees’ faith. Not every BUIC meeting since January has involved easy conversations, but the group has found common ground and the social in April became an important team builder.