College Students in World Religions Class in California Learn from Visits to Communities

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On May 7, 1999, The San-Diego Union-Tribune published an
article on the experiences of students in a world religions class at
Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, California. Paul Carmona, chairman of
humanities and performing arts at Cuyamaca and professor for the
course, asks that his students visit two religious communities other
than one’s own, one Eastern and one Western. Carmona commented on the
changes that take place within the students as a result of these
visits: “There seems to be a paradoxical side of it, where a lot of
them aren’t ready to accept the equality of other religions but
somehow or other they are more accepting and tolerant.” Student Wendy
Palladino mentioned that the visits “break down a lot of
stereotypes.” Heather Elliott was one of the few students to visit a
mosque, a situation that Carmona feels is partly to be blamed on
“unflattering media depictions.” Elliott stated that she was hesitant
to go at first, but she feels more informed now. Student Rebecca Kane
stated: “I think doing these projects allowed me to have an open
mind.” Student Said Habib stated: “I honestly feel that this class
has changed me.”