Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 18, 1997

Religion In
America Focus of
1997 MSE

The Homewood campus is already looking toward autumn, as students prepare for the next Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium. The annual symposium's co-chairs have been chosen, its topic selected and students have begun the legwork to make it a success.

The 1997 MSE Symposium, "In God We Trust? America's Response to the Rise of Religion," promises to be controversial, exciting and inspiring, say its co-chairs, sophomore Craig Zapetis and junior Andrew Levi.

They plan to invite prominent speakers to talk about topics like the Christian right, the "godless media" and the role of religion in education.

"There's a lot of really meaty issues this topic touches on," Levi says. "One lecture will be titled 'The Divide,' which will look at religion among whites and minorities. We'll look at the statement: 'Sunday morning is the most segregated time of the week in America.' Then there's a talk titled 'Is Religion Opposed to Feminism?' which will ask whether a woman can be both religious and a feminist."

Unlike past years, when the co-chairs have shouldered all the work of booking speakers, fund-raising and attracting publicity by themselves, the 1997 MSE Symposium will put to work a small army of student volunteers. With the help of these volunteers, Zapetis and Levi hope to raise three times as much money as their predecessors had raised, in order attract national leaders on each topic.

The Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium was established in 1967 by Hopkins' undergraduate student council to honor the university's eighth president. Every year since then, a team of two to three students chosen by the student council has arranged and managed all aspects of the free series.

Leslie Rice

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