By Roberto Rojas
Sacred Heart University had its debut of Agape Latte on Wednesday, April 19 at the Linda’s dining hall in the McMahon Student Commons.
Hosted by Campus Ministry, Agape Latte is an event designed for students seeking to learn more about faith and religion while also trying to create a social environment. It was first started by Boston College in 2007.
“We wanted to do this event in order to create a chill environment but also talk about the importance of faith,” said sophomore Trevor O’Brien. “We realize that students are stressed out due to many things they go through at school, so with Agape Latte, this can help smooth things out and have them come out of here with a clear and
Preparation for this event had actually being going along for six months. Those in charge of Agape Latte at the university said that promoting the event was the most important thing for people to get interested.
“I think that students will really enjoy it because it makes the faculty, staff, administrators totally accessible to them, these are the people that they look up to, learn from, and are around every day, but they don’t know anything about them,” said Devon Kemp, Campus Minister of the university. “Having different faculty and staff speak about their lives and experiences allows the students to learn from them on a whole new level.”
The term Agape is a Greek word for a kind of love that seeks nothing in return, while Latte is a rhyme and pun used in reference to the free desserts, coffee, and an engaging discussion offered to students, similar to that of a coffeehouse.
“Boston College actually began Agape Latte ten years ago, and have been working to spread it to other colleges across the country,” said Kemp. “They have been very helpful in getting together our whole plan: our speaker, our location, our marketing materials such as the coffee beans, the buttons, the stickers and much more, so most of the work has gone into our marketing of the event.”
The speaker during Wednesday’s event was Joel Quintong, Director of Residential Life.
During his 30-minute discussion entitled “The Pursuit of Happiness,” Quintong spoke about his career leading up to his arrival at the university and told some stories about his time at Boston College, as well as his Filipino-American background.
“I tried to relate my faith to my extracurricular activities, focusing all my energy on that,” said Quintong. “However, later in my life, I was on a journey on this pursuit of happiness and the one person who really helped me on this journey was my wife.”
Members of Campus Ministry and other clubs around the university are hoping to replicate the success of Agape Latte made by Boston College and other universities by having an event every month starting in the fall next year, with a discussion made by either a staff member or someone in the community to talk more about faith and religion.
“I think it’s important to show the students that faculty and staff go through the same things that we go through in college,” said sophomore Erin Curley. “I think that with Agape Latte, we can create an open forum for discussion about important topics that students and faculty are interested in.”