Dean Powers, along with a select group of faculty and interested students, will head a Task Force on Spirituality on campus that focuses on individual self-discovery.
The genesis of the project came about in discussions Powers and President Duncan had regarding their shared concern over what degree of self learning students completed before their graduation from Rollins. Despite engaging in academic learning and athletic performances, Duncan was concerned that students were not receiving the opportunity to learn about themselves.
“We want students to graduate with a grasp on their self worth,” said Powers. “Wouldn’t it be a failure for Rollins if a student went through four years and never explored their inner worth?”
Commissioned by Duncan, the Task Force on Spirituality is not a faith based project. According to Powers, there already exists both faith based and social justice based “spiritual” groups on campus, but an inner spirituality group is missing.
Wouldn’t it be a failure for Rollins if a student went through four years and never explored their inner worth?
“This is not faith based spirituality, which I call an ‘up reach’,” Powers said about the Task Force in an e-mail to interested faculty. “Nor is it a social action based spirituality which I call an ‘out reach’. It is to be a cognitive based spirituality, which I call ‘in reach.’”
Powers envisions the Task Force as a way to provide multi-pronged opportunities for students to explore this “in reach.” One of his ideas includes free weekend retreats where students can focus on reflecting on the “big questions” (Who am I? What am I doing here?) rather than partying or engaging in their usual social lives that don’t permit this kind of self reflection and, as Powers calls it, “soul building”. Other ideas are to invite speakers to discuss topics of inner spirituality, host book clubs, and promote more on-campus activism.
As of now, the Task Force is still in its beginning stages. According to Powers, any expenses for this project and its activities would come from discresionary funds.