Beyond getting an education, many Cal Poly students seek more: they’re searching for their next spiritual fix. Maybe it’s the weekly Bible study meeting or monthly Shabbat dinner or giving thanks to God before eating dinner. Religion – or lack thereof – affects students’ lives every day, so the Mustang Daily decided to find out just how much.
Does religion actually influence students’ drinking and smoking habits? How often do they attend religious services off campus? And how big a factor does religion play in controversial issues like abortion and stem cell research?
Despite the publicity for religious organizations on campus, the Mustang Daily was stunned to find in a survey it conducted of nearly 300 students that 72 percent aren’t involved at all in religious clubs at Cal Poly. Moreover, only 23 percent attend religious services off campus.
But the Mustang Daily wanted to find out more than just statistics from surveys and decided to interview students of different religious backgrounds as well. In this issue, you’ll see what it’s really like for students who are Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and more. On the flip side, we check in with students who are atheist and agnostic to see what values they stick by without a religious direction.
All statistics in this issue were based off a Mustang Daily survey that was handed out randomly to 287 students, and had roughly a 6 percent margin of error. In addition, because not all students were surveyed or interviewed, it was impossible to quantify all the religions present on campus.
If you want to share more about your own religious experiences, please comment on our open forum at www.mustangdaily.net or send us a letter to the editor (see page 12 for details).