Lexington College Students Connect & Share Values with Students from Across the Country
When 300 students from the top universities in the country including Harvard, Yale, Georgetown and Brigham Young gather at Princeton University in New Jersey, one knows that this is an intellectual meeting not to be missed. This included four of Lexington’s own – Mary Boyle, Therese Chin Lee, Anna Murata and Moira Mulcahy.
What brought student representatives from 25 universities across the country together? The 6th Annual Intercollegiate Conference on Sexuality, Integrity and the University hosted by The Love and Fidelity Network. “The Love and Fidelity Network’s annual conference aims to connect college men and women to leading scholars and experts in order to equip them with the best arguments and resources in support of marriage, family, and sexual integrity” says the conference website (www.loveandfidelity.org/2013-national-conference/). Moira elaborates, “The LFN supports college students maintaining their strong core values of integrity during the college years – which arguably are the toughest years of life and where one’s values are the most challenged. LFN teaches students how to live their faith through actions. I wanted to learn more about how to communicate my own beliefs to others when asked and to think deeper about tough topics in today’s society. Being a young adult in this society means it is really important to get through to other people because we can have real impact.”
Over the course of the two day workshop, attendees could attend a number of different presentations from renowned university scholars. Some of the topics included contraception, friendship as a form of love, and building strong marriages as well as the demographics of reproduction and many more. “What really blew me away was when they talked about friendship as a form of love. When you enter into a marriage, people talk about spending their lives with one person. But friendship is a form of love that we can give universally. They told us to not forget about loving your friends when looking for a future spouse. Take care of that side of love because those people will continually support you throughout your life and marriage,” reflects Therese. “You need more than one person standing by your side at the end of your life. It was a marriage conference but we were hearing about friendship!”
Lessons were learned outside of the presentations as well as students interacted with each other during meal time and social engagements in the evening. Moira was really struck by the handsome young men with strong values. She was touched that so many of them opened and held doors for the women, asked if they would like something to drink and spoke to them in a manner showing that they were genuinely interested in what they had to say. Therese commented on how nice it was to sit with different people at lunch and dinner. “We met students who were interning with the World Youth Alliance that lobby the United Nations in support of traditional marriage and the dignity of human life. I had a really funny conversation with two seminarians about philosophy. Here is the part I understood, “Don’t give up on young men! There are good men out there!”
Moira was very inspired to begin a chapter of the Love and Fidelity Network here at Lexington College. “When you are young, you feel like you are the only one with a certain mindset. But all of us gathering together showed me that maybe we can connect other young people in this area with the same beliefs so that we don’t feel so alone.”
Next year’s conference topic has yet to be announced but one can bet that our students will be back. When asked if they will attend next year, they all responded with an emphatic, “YES!”
To find out more about the Love and Fidelity Network’s mission, visit www.loveandfidelity.org