Integrity in Action 2015 was a smashing success! Last weekend 50 students, speakers, and LFN staff gathered at Princeton University for this intensive 4-day seminar that trained student leaders for campus activism and equipped them with the tools they need to successfully defend marriage, the family, and the integrity of sex on campus and in our culture at large.
Based on the feedback we've already received from participating students, the seminar encouraged and inspired them, yielding much fruit already--intellectually, practically, and socially. To give you a glimpse into the weekend, we've included pictures and other details from the seminar below. Judging from this formidable bunch, the next generation of leaders will be a force to be reckoned with!
1) Challenging the Intellect
Over the course of the weekend we heard from some incredible scholars. Through a series of lectures on a host of issues ranging from cohabitation to the upcoming Supreme Court decision, the students were taught how to defend and support their beliefs using sound principles and arguments.
Jackie Herrick, a rising junior at James Madison University said she especially enjoyed Dr. Mark Regnerus' talk "because the conclusions he drew from numerous statistics were enlightening." She was most encouraged by the fact that his researched demonstrated that there are still many people who have yet to make up their minds on these key issues – a true "opportunity to win people over with our message," she pointed out.
Another student from Stanford University found the discussion on campus sexual assault particularly helpful. He said, "I had never thought about the link between the hookup culture and the 'rape culture' on college campuses. It just makes so much sense and is so obvious; I can't believe it's not part of the conversation at Stanford yet!"
By the end of the weekend, we were confident that the students left strengthened in their ability to articulate and defend their own intellectual arguments on these issues.
2) Passing on the Practical Skills
Integrity in Action also focused on preparing the students for hands-on campus leadership--as taught by former Love and Fidelity Network student leaders themselves!
Students responded positively to a panel during the seminar with two LFN Student Fellow alumni, Sherif Girgis and Audrey Pollnow, who presented a mock "Anscombe Apologetics" lesson. They talked about how to engage with and respond to hostile questions from peers. One student from Brigham Young University commented, "they did a great job at teaching skills that will be applicable not only for the campus group, but throughout life."
A final workshop gave students the opportunity to try out their new-found skills by putting together a strategy to address a specific campus issue (like the hook up culture) over the course of a semester. Their presentations included ideas for speaker events, poster campaigns, tabling, social events to encourage more dating on campus, and even a choreographed dance routine! See a few pictures below.
3) Creating Bonds that Last
Integrity in Action built an invaluable network of support for all those who attended, emboldening everyone through strength in numbers to speak out about marriage, family, and sexual integrity on campus. It was clear to all of us that a group of 33 strangers had become friends by Sunday morning as the conversations carried on well past dismissal and students made plans to stay in touch. Perhaps more than anything taught in the lectures or training workshops, witnessing this was most gratifying to us at LFN since our aspiration with this program is to foster connections, bringing this next generation of leaders together so they can stand up strong and united for the truth.
A student leader from West Virginia University shared that, "I think the most important thing I take away from Integrity in Action is the knowledge that there is a support group and a network committed to the values of marriage, family, and chastity. This gives me courage and many resources and friends as I look forward to standing up for these values on campus and throughout my life."
Thank you so much to all of you who made this seminar possible. Words cannot fully express how encouraging it is for us to see these students courageously bringing the message of love and fidelity back to their campuses. By sponsoring this seminar, you provided the student leaders with an invaluable training experience that has better equipped them to confidently change their campus cultures.
This was our largest and most exciting leadership training seminar yet. Thank you for being a part of it!