Blank canvas provides opportuities for religious discussion

For the second consecutive Wednesday, students may have noticed a large,  paper message board on campus.

The papers themselves vary in their affixed messages. Last week’s prompted passersby simply to write or draw something meaningful.

This week’s canvas wears the prompt, “How has religion hurt you or helped you?”

Attached to the boards are Sharpies in a multitude of colors.

“(The purpose is) to try to provide open discussion where people aren’t judged or defensive,” Nathan McIndoo, a nursing program graduate, said. “Students don’t talk about religion a lot.”

McIndoo said he has previously used this method in Costa Rica.

McIndoo is accompanied by Jess Walters, a graduate with a secondary education degree.

“It provides a forum for discussion without affiliation,” Walters said. “It’s fun versus wanting to punch someone.”

These message boards aren’t in any way a response to the scene in the Quad a few weeks ago in which two preachers caused a stir 0n campus, but Walters remarked there was, “a bitter taste with the preacher.”

Both men reiterated their project is non-discriminatory, not specific and non-threatening, although both McIndoo and Walters openly profess to be from Christian backgrounds. Despite their own beliefs, they wanted to facilitate an open discussion of any religious or non-religious background.

“There is no end goal,” McIndoo said.

The poster board from last week is in the back of McIndoo’s pickup and both men vehemently said they don’t want to throw the boards away. The duo is considering a wide array of possibilities involving the eventual display of the boards on campus, but have yet to secure a location.

In general student reponse has been fairly positive. Many students choose to observe the writings of others, while others affix their own messages and some engage in conversation with one another, McIndoo and Walters.

Walters enjoys speaking with students and “hearing from every walk in life.”

Although there is no set schedule for the continuation of the message boards on campus, Walters said they do plan to continue visiting campus and exploring God, spirituality and life through discussion and the accompanying boards.

 

 

 

About the author  ⁄ Amy Merrill

Amy Merrill

Amy is a senior at Boise State and the current news editor for The Arbiter. She crammed everything she possibly could into a single degree; a dual major in communication and English, a journalism emphasis and a political science minor. She is eager to earn what she calls, "that expensive piece of paper" on May 18, but in the meantime is focused on bringing campus as much news as humanly possible.