HSC presented the Chapter of the Year Award during HSC’s Annual Collegiate Camp over Memorial Day Weekend 2019. This award is presented to a chapter that has gone above and beyond in exemplifying Hindu Dharma on campus, organizing outstanding activities and connecting with their local community. Along with the Chapter of the Year Award, this year HSC also announced Honorable Mention and a Best New Chapter of the Year awards.
For the 2018-19 academic year, “Chapter of the Year” was awarded to the University of Pittsburgh for its outstanding
achievements. A $1008 honorarium accompanies this award. In submitting their application for the award, the UPitt HSC chapter stated:
“Our vision of Hinduism on campus is to see devotees engage in bhakti towards God in whatever form they choose to do so, for there is only one Parabrahman. We see Hinduism being the means by which the youth on campus can combat the different forms of Kali [as in Kaliyuga] and stand against him. [. . .] An increase in bhakti means more strength to fight Kali. In order to reflect our vision of bhakti increasing, we engineered and organized our events and [general body meetings] GBMs to foster gyan in college students.”
Pitt HSC hosted events such as a Surya Namaskar Yajna, Holi, and Garba. Innovative themed GBMs (General Body Meetings) discussed topics such as Hindu Dharma & Love, Hindu Dharma & Technology, and Hindu Dharma & Bollywood. The Pitt HSC chapter is proud to educate students about Sanatana Dharma and festivals.
BU HSC is also providing a platform through which everyone can freely discuss and learn more about socio-political and religious issues affecting Hindus in the 21st century. This year BU HSC created a more welcoming environment for all students in the BU community by enhancing their events with added discussions, classical dance and musical performances.
A Best New Chapter of the Year recognition was awarded to Rice University with a $250 honorarium. This chapter was started in 2018 by Anu Singh, a sophomore at Rice. Rice HSC is successfully filling a void on campus by providing a space for discussion about Dharma and Hindu philosophy. Singh felt that many festivals on campus were celebrated in overly secular ways that lacked the core religious and cultural meaning of the celebrations. Starting the chapter provided a home for students to educate and expand their knowledge about Hindu heritage. The students at Rice held events like Diwali Puja, Hindu Dharma 101, Yoga for Stress Relief, a Meditation Workshop, and a talk on the Educational Heritage of Ancient India by researcher Sahana Singh. Rice HSC is successful in organizing events that instill knowledge of Sanatana Dharma and our culture to educate the student body.
Rice University held a “Hinduism 101” session as part of the Interfaith Week on campus. The session was led by Raj Salhotra, president of Young Hindus of Greater Houston.