Hands On: BVU Students’ First Amendment Rights: “Religion”

Lena Gripp, Staff Writer

Attending Chapel is a great example of BVU students demonstrating the freedom of religion.  Chapel is held in the Underground at 11:00 every Thursday morning. 

“The freedom of religion is one of the most important freedoms to me,” states BVU student, Olivia Wieseler.  She also says that she’s glad she lives in a country that allows her to practice her faith openly and freely. 

Over six different faiths are practiced and/or exist on the Storm Lake campus.  BVU accommodates to different faiths because Chapel is non-denominational and open to all religious and provides a safe space to rejoice together and discuss religious topics.  I was also fortunate to converse with BVU Chaplin Ken Meissner.

“The worship is intended to be ecumenical to welcome the majority of students who desire to take time to worship during the week,” states Meissner.  He continued with, “The Administration at one time set aside time for worship with no classes scheduled at that time but as the climate on the campus has transformed, the designated time is largely ignored by faculty and staff.”

To make up for this lack of faith-based community, Chapel on Thursday morning continues, and there are a few religion-based organizations on campus that students are involved in. 

Wieseler also claims, “The beauty of the freedom of religion is that I can practice my faith how I want, meaning I can still attend the chapel service that is offered at BV on Thursday mornings.  It’s a great way to practice my faith and learn about others’ faiths, too!”  Through the freedom of religion, we are permitted to freely practice different religions in the United States.