Campus Programs Put Focus on Student Spiritual Life
Elizabeth City State University is concerned with the development of the whole student, not just the academic student. A student’s life is made up of many facets, and spiritual needs are important, says director of the P.A.C.E. (Prevention, Awareness, and Cultural Education) Center, Dr. Crystal Terry.
Two programs are scheduled for students throughout the year to do just that, she says. The Breathe About Life series, and Critical Conversations focus on those needs, and will provide students with the opportunity to experience something beyond the classroom.
“We just want to connect students with what we have in the community to appeal to their spiritual needs,” she said.
Al Bailey of Nowon Center for Inner Training will conduct Breathe About Life throughout the year. Bailey, who is located in downtown Elizabeth City, will come to campus and work with students focusing on navigating life’s challenges through breathing techniques and other exercises.
Dr. Terry says Bailey will show students how to “navigate life as an adult, how to handle stress, and focus on personal expectations of leadership by looking within.”
Bailey, says Dr. Terry, will do this using breathing exercises and talking about meditation practices.
Also on the calendar this year is the program, Critical Conversations. This program, says Dr. Terry, features Tamice Spencer from The Mount, Chesapeake.
“She has experience working with colleges in Atlanta,” says Dr. Terry. “She will facilitate conversations that take on everyday issues and assist students with life issues.”
The Mount is a popular church based in Chesapeake and Elizabeth City. Dr. Terry says Spencer calls her program “Debunking Church.”
“It’s an outside of the box look at church,” she said.
Other programs planned at the P.A.C.E. Center will include sound therapy sessions with Bailey, color therapy, aroma therapy, and yoga. The center is located on the second floor of the Ridley Student Center.
The P.A.C.E. Center will also be creating a weekly prayer and meditation time for all faiths. Dr. Terry says this is individualized prayer and meditation akin to quiet time, which is inclusive and respectful of all faiths and traditions.
“Whatever your faith is, come in and meditate or pray,” she said.
Dr. Terry says Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Gary Brown has a vision that will give students a holistic experience on campus. The idea, she says, is to address all components of a student’s life through programs available to them, and also to faculty and staff.
Dr. Terry says a very important component of these programs is that it is available to the entire campus community. She would like to see faculty and staff attend these events as well.
“It’s good for all of us and helps create relationships with the students,” she said.
The programs launch in September and run throughout the school year.
The Breathe About Life series begins Thursday, Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Ridley Student Center, on the first floor. The topic is “Facing the Fear of the Unknown.”
The Criticals Conversations series picks up on Sept. 25 in room 202 of the Ridley Student Center. For more information call the P.A.C.E. Center at 252-335-8535.