Around 60 Baylor University students and faculty gathered Friday afternoon on the steps of the Bill Daniel Student Center for a “Gathering for Peace” event addressing the ongoing war in Gaza.

The student-organized and university-approved demonstration focused on spiritual reflection and an educational panel. The event comes during a time of mass student protests on college campuses across the country and when over 100 pro-Palestinian protestors were arrested at the University of Texas at Austin this past week.

Baylor spokesperson Lori Fogleman said the event was considered an “expressive activity“ and was approved by the university. She said student organizers sought approval and collaborated with the university to host the event at the student center.

People are also reading…

Students and faculty, displaying pre-approved signs, kicked off the event with 15 minutes of spiritual reflection. After prayers for peace, community members walked in silence into the student center for an hour-long panel discussion. The Tribune-Herald was not permitted in the building during the panel, but according to student organizers, about 100 campus community members attended the panel discussion and there were no interruptions.

Speakers on the panel included Baylor faculty members Joanne Cummings, Sharon Weiner, Lynn Tatum and Nathan Alleman.

After the event, Alleman said the panel was designed to inform the audience about the history and complexity of the situation in the Middle East.

“We really wanted to convey through a couple different angles of expertise the complexity of the situation in the Middle East so we had someone with a great deal of experience in the state department, a person who is a theologian and who has lived in Jerusalem in the past, a Jewish scholar who studies trauma and my experience doing peace activist work,” Alleman said. “We wanted to push people in the audience to think about what it means to advocate for peace, to be dedicated to understand the complexity of the situation and to reject the dehumanization and demonization of people who may see differently or think differently or come from different backgrounds.”

The event was organized by four social work upperclassmen students, Becca Clark, Bee Matthey, Brynn Eaton and Miah Dennis, and was not associated with any one student organization. In a statement shared with the Tribune-Herald, the students said the event was intended to promote peace and a ceasefire in Palestine while also honoring Baylor’s mission of creating a caring community.

“We saw what was going on at universities around the United States and we felt like it would be a good idea to stand in solidarity with them in a way that honors Baylor and Baylor’s mission, which is creating a caring community focusing on academics and spiritual life, so we collaboratively came up with a gathering for peace,” Dennis said.

The aftermath in Khan Younis after Israel’s ground invasion is something he had “never seen” in his time working on disposing of explosives.

A follow-up article on Baylor students’ efforts surrounding the war in the Middle East is planned.

#lee-rev-content { margin:0 -5px; } #lee-rev-content h3 { font-family: inherit!important; font-weight: 700!important; border-left: 8px solid var(–lee-blox-link-color); text-indent: 7px; font-size: 24px!important; line-height: 24px; } #lee-rev-content .rc-provider { font-family: inherit!important; } #lee-rev-content h4 { line-height: 24px!important; font-family: “serif-ds”,Times,”Times New Roman”,serif!important; margin-top: 10px!important; } @media (max-width: 991px) { #lee-rev-content h3 { font-size: 18px!important; line-height: 18px; } }

#pu-email-form-education-email-article { clear: both; background-color: #fff; color: #222; background-position: bottom; background-repeat: no-repeat; padding: 15px 0 20px; margin-bottom: 40px; border-top: 4px solid rgba(0,0,0,.8); border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0,0,0,.2); display: none; } #pu-email-form-education-email-article, #pu-email-form-education-email-article p { font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, “Segoe UI”, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, “Apple Color Emoji”, “Segoe UI Emoji”, “Segoe UI Symbol”; } #pu-email-form-education-email-article h2 { font-size: 24px; margin: 15px 0 5px 0; font-family: “serif-ds”, Times, “Times New Roman”, serif; } #pu-email-form-education-email-article .lead { margin-bottom: 5px; } #pu-email-form-education-email-article .email-desc { font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; margin-bottom: 5px; opacity: 0.7; } #pu-email-form-education-email-article form { padding: 10px 30px 5px 30px; } #pu-email-form-education-email-article .disclaimer { opacity: 0.5; margin-bottom: 0; line-height: 100%; } #pu-email-form-education-email-article .disclaimer a { color: #222; text-decoration: underline; } #pu-email-form-education-email-article .email-hammer { border-bottom: 3px solid #222; opacity: .5; display: inline-block; padding: 0 10px 5px 10px; margin-bottom: -5px; font-size: 16px; } @media (max-width: 991px) { #pu-email-form-education-email-article form { padding: 10px 0 5px 0; } } .grecaptcha-badge { visibility: hidden; }