In order to give students the opportunity to engage and reflect on society’s most difficult conversations with thousands of other students across the nation, Oklahoma Christian University united with the Q UNION organization last night to present a series of short lectures on various topics concerning our nation.
Three Oklahoma Christian students, seniors Madeline Roseke and Tanner Robbins, and sophomore Racquelle Idlebird, were chosen by the Dean of Spiritual Life Jeff McMillon to each present a nine-minute talk, following three nationally broadcasted speakers, New York Times columnist David Brooks, Director of Fuller Youth Institute Kara Powell and Los Angeles hip-hop and spoken word artist Jason Petty.
Addressing 20 different colleges simultaneously through a two-hour, live broadcast event, Brooks, Powell and Petty made clear that no topic was off limits. Leaders were encouraged to consider, reflect and plant seeds of action in the minds of schools across the nation.
McMillon said selecting students for this lecture opportunity was not an easy job and he tried to find well-known, respected students.
“Q was started by Gabe Lyons a few years ago,” McMillon said. “Gabe [and John deSteiguer] and I were really good friends, so Gabe asked us to help. We really liked the idea of collaborating with 19 other universities. We thought it was important to have these conversations. The nation feels really divided, and Q can help us talk about the issues.”
Robbins said he was excited about the opportunity and, going into the event, he planed to talk about his experience with a French nun and her love of “The Little Way,” a talk inspired by his prior hospital chaplaincy internship. He said his main goal was to cause discourse among the student body and promote students to think about national issues on a smaller scale.
“My prayer is that Q Union and my talk will help people to think about things in new ways or that they will dust off some old neuro-pathways that haven’t been used in a time,” Robbins said. “If people leave Q Union with something to think about and discuss with their roommates, I will be encouraged. Maybe someone will take a thought that will help them make a difference in their life or in the life of the campus — I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”
Idlebird’s discussion, “Open,” was aimed towards college-age students. She said she sees herself as someone with a lot to say and wants her thoughts to go beyond her peer group and even escape the “OC bubble.”
“Coming from a student, it resonates a lot more than from an older person who doesn’t necessarily identify with the younger culture,” Idlebird said. “I feel as though some stuff I could say that wouldn’t necessarily fly, I am going to say it. If I don’t offend anyone, I will be surprised. It is important to talk about things a conservative college doesn’t want to talk about. Openness is freeing and being able to talk about whatever is going on.”
Roseke’s talk, “Take 2,” discussed the need to unify with one another in hopes of gaining a better grasp on the “bigger picture” in handling our nation’s issues.