Loyola students share their religious traditions

By Sam Israel

Students and faculty at Loyola University Chicago attended a program called “Rights of Passage” Wednesday night, where members of different faiths came together to discuss their religions traditions on becoming a member of their own community.

Representatives of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism presented to an audience of 40 people their religious traditions on how a child becomes an adult and member of their religious community.

The Loyola University Hillel program began the presentations at the McCormick Lounge by explaining the practice of becoming a bar or bat-mitzvah, the ceremony where a Jewish child becomes an adult.

“The Torah is considered a gift from God, by God, to the Jewish people,” said one of the presenters, Dovi Silberstein, 23, a senior finance and economics major. Silberstein then read aloud to the audience a portion of the Torah that he read on his Bar-Mitzvah.

The directors of the Loyola Interfaith Organization, Patti Ray and Brian Anderson, held the program to bring different religious groups together to learn about each other. However it was the students who created the presentations displaying their respective faiths to the audience.

“I am a member of the Catholic student Organization,” said Robert Stanczuk, 23, a graduate student in the math program. “Because of this, I felt that I had to represent my faith in this program.” Stanczuk presented the three holy sacraments of the Catholic faith: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.

After the four presentations, a dinner and discussion was held so for all the students and faculty members to talk about their experiences with their own religions. The dinner menu was created to fit each religions own dietary customs, and people were able to try food from different cultures while discussing there own family and faith practices.

“Your right of passage is not the end all be all,” said Mansoor Ahmed, a 23-year-old Loyola alumnus. “It’s the beginning of your journey.”

Loyola University Interfaith Organization hopes to create more programs over the semester to bring religious groups together to learn from each other even more.

Chicago outlaws sale of synthetic cocaine, marijunana

The Chicago City Council voted Wednesday to outlaw the sale of synthetic cocaine, following an earlier ban on the sale of synthetic marijuana.

Here is a portion of the story from the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago aldermen approved a measure that would ban the sale of synthetic cocaine within the city and levy fines of up to $1,000 on retailers who violate the ordinance.

Businesses also could see their licenses suspended or revoked for selling the substances, which have become more common in recent years.

The intent of the products — sometimes euphemistically called bath salts — is to mimic the effects of cocaine and other illegal substances, like methamphetamine or Ecstasy. But some who have used them have ended up suicidal or have gotten into car crashes, authorities said.

The state made manufacturing or selling the products a felony punishable by hefty fines, but manufacturers have altered some of the ingredients to get around the bans, the attorney general’s office said.

The council also recently banned the sale of synthetic marijuana.