by Michaela Carpenter, Public Relations Writer
Two of the biggest 21st-century issues that stand against unity, community, and emotional well-being are busyness and distraction. Understanding the importance of good emotional health and community, Cedarville University developed a program that encourages students to engage in relationships, not technology.
Every Tuesday evening during the academic year, students are encouraged to put down their mobile devices and spend up to three hours at Rinnova, the university’s coffee shop, interacting with classmates. The “Coffee and Community” campaign started last year and made a positive difference in unity and the emotional health of students.
By participating in the program, students receive a discount on their coffee.
“It’s really about creating intentionality when it comes to bringing people together,” said Indhira Adames, director of campus community for Cedarville’s Student Government Association. “I think Coffee and Community does that because it forces you to put your phone down and pay attention to other people when you’re together.”
Adames leads a team of students who plan each week’s Coffee and Community night. Their aim is to make the program a comfortable environment for students to enjoy each other’s company and to have conversations that matter.
“I think a lot of times we’re scared of people judging us because of what we think, and I want Coffee and Community to feel like a safe place for people to openly have healthy conflict, good conflict,” said Adames.
Some weeks the program will take on a lighter mood, with game nights replacing conversation topics and bringing students together to have fun and build community in a different way.
Upcoming topics include singleness and relationships, serving outside of the church and women’s roles in leadership. Some nights will also be hosted in conjunction with student organizations.
Whether it’s through a challenging conversation or a funny game, the focus of Coffee and Community is ultimately to promote unity among the students on campus.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.