Every January three delegates from Eastern Nazarene College are sent to Point Loma Nazarene University to meet with their respective peers in order to discuss the most important issues facing each school. This year, a number of issues arose, including questions about LGBT support groups on campuses.
At the Nazarene Student Leadership Association, representatives share strategies with one another for dealing with the issues of the day. The hope is that they are able to grow from the discussions and collaboratively become more effective in dealing with important issues.
Altogether, 11 schools attend the event, which adds up to a total of 33 delegates.
Representing ENC were student body president Payne Ford, SGA adviser Keri Lewis, and vice president for student development Vern Wesley.
Ford not only attended the NSLA meeting, but helped to coordinate the event as acting vice chairman.
“It was fun. We got to share information and talk about [our respective] student bod[ies],” said Ford.
On Friday, Jan. 25, the meeting had a more serious tone. Everyone gathered together for a video conference with one of the general superintendents of the church.
“We got to talk to him about where the church is at and how we can better minister to our campuses to keep the church of the Nazarene strong,” said Ford. Each student body president was expected to give a formal update about their home school during the video conference.
Following this, all representatives met to discuss heavier matters facing each school. The three most pressing issues were dancing, drinking, and potential support groups for the LGBT community on the campuses.
“Our biggest topic was the support groups for LGBT people. We spent the most time talking about that,” said Ford.
At the beginning of last semester, the student government at Point Loma received an application for a support group for LGBT students. The administration stepped in and denied charter of the group on the grounds that it would be contrary to the positions of the Church of the Nazarene.
At NSLA, Ford spoke out about the necessity of having LGBT support groups on each Nazarene campus.
“Conversations are happening all over the country about the support groups,” said Ford.