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Campus Life

Rules, Regs & Rights

Check the 2015-2016 Student Handbook to learn the College's rules and regulations and your rights as a student.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Keuka a “Christian College”?

Keuka College, founded by Reverend George Harvey Ball in 1890, is affiliated with the American Baptist Church but is open to any and all denominations and religious expressions. Currently the campus offers Non-Denominational Christian worship, Catholic Mass, and Jewish Celebrations.

2. Do you have to be a member of the American Baptist church to go to Keuka?

No. Keuka is open to any and all religious or nonreligious expressions.

3. What is the Center for Spiritual Life (CSL)?

The CSL Office is where the college chaplain is located. It encourages the spiritual and religious development of the entire Keuka college community.

4. Where is the chaplain’s office?

The chaplain’s office is located in Dahlstrom Hall office 13, between the offices of Campus Activities and Residence Life.

5. Do you need to be Christian to talk to the chaplain?

No. The chaplain is available to any and all students, staff and faculty. Meetings with the chaplain do not necessarily need to be spiritual/religious in nature. The chaplain is available to talk on a range of topics from stress with classes and professors and roommate issues to homesickness and bullying; you pick the topic. All matters are kept strictly confidential unless something in the conversation indicates a person is in danger of hurting themselves or others, at which time the chaplain will notify the appropriate office on campus.

6. What religious traditions are represented on campus?

Keuka is a multi-faith campus. Student religious expressions on campus include: Atheist, Buddhist, Christian (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant), Jewish, Muslim and Wiccan.

7. Are there worship services?

Yes. The Center for Spiritual Life (CSL) offers a Tuesday Night Non-Denominational Worship service for all Christians regardless of denomination led by the College Chaplain Eric Detar. We also offer a Catholic Mass presided over by Father Stan Kacprzak as well as Jewish celebrations throughout the academic year led by Rabbi David Reiner. Services are open to all.

8. Apart from the services already offered on campus are there other services available in the community?

Yes. The CSL has a list of Local Places to Worship and Keuka has many connections with other outside religious institutions. The CSL will gladly help students make those connections if so needed.

9. Are there special scholarships for American Baptists?

Yes. Keuka offers a scholarship for students that are American Baptists. Students must apply upon entering into their freshman year and is renewable up to four years while they are here. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

10. Are there special scholarships for people of other faiths?

No. Keuka does not currently offer scholarships for students of other faiths. The CSL will gladly share outside scholarship opportunities for students as they become known.

11. Is there help available for spiritual exploration Field Periods?

Yes. Keuka offers a Spiritual Exploration Scholarship for students who participate in a Field Period that explores spiritual questions and thoughts. Please contact the CSL or the Center for Experiential Education for more information.

Check out the Spiritual Exploration Field Period brochure (PDF).

12. Are there spiritual groups or clubs on campus?

Yes. SIGs (Spiritual Interest Groups) is an “umbrella” for all spiritual groups on campus. It provides opportunities for faith and non-faith communities (atheist, agnostic) on campus to explore their beliefs, their customs, their traditions, and community life as student groups. Keuka College is a spiritually diverse community, but the numbers of students in each faith tradition vary greatly. SIGs provides a vehicle for spiritual interest groups of any size to be started. Groups in SIGs have their own, unique programs but they also work collaboratively on campus wide, fundraising and service projects with other SIGs groups, to remain in good standing with the Student Senate. Most groups are built around religious traditions, community service, studies, and music. SIGs are developed and led by students, under advisement of the CSL office.

13. What about students who choose not to participate in a religious tradition?

While attendance at worship services and participation in spiritual events are not required at Keuka, it is the hope of the CSL that all students will explore opportunities to grow spiritually while they are here.

14. How can students participate in a religious service?

There are many ways that students can be involved in religious services. All services have opportunities for students to lead and participate in the services. Opportunities exist with music, drama, and technical set up.

15. Does the CSL offer service trips?

The CSL provides community service trips for students throughout the Academic year to Milly’s Pantry, a local food shelter and distribution center helping to feed low and poor income families and children in the community. The CSL also offers an Alternative Spring Break Trip, where students go on a short term (usually a week) mission trip to serve with organizations that serve communities. You do not need to have any religious background to participate in these services and trips.

16. If there are no services for my faith, is there a possibility to help create services?

The mission of the CSL is to foster growth and understanding of the vast religious affiliated of our students, faculty and staff, and to harbor a safe environment for those students in their pursuit of higher academics. We realize that we, as a college, are continually growing and changing. Consequently we strive to always meet the needs of our students. If a service or celebration is not currently offered, please feel free to stop by the office and we will be able to help you start it up.

17. What if I have to miss class because of a religious observance/event?

Keuka College’s policy regarding religious holiday observance and missing class due to an observance can be found in the Student Handbook and Academic Record. The CSL can assist students with any concerns regarding this policy. To educate our campus, the CSL provides the college community with a “Religious Holidays Calendar” that highlights major religious holidays from religions around the world.

18. How can I get further information?

The CSL can be contacted by email at [email protected] by phone at (315)-279-5378. You can find us on Facebook or on Twitter at: @kcCSL
You can also write to us at:
Eric Detar, College Chaplain Center for Spiritual Life
Keuka College
Keuka Park, NY 14478

19. Can outside groups offer spiritual programming to students?

Yes. Keuka College welcomes outside groups to offer spiritual programming to the student body. Religious leaders who are not students and who desire to have a spiritual programming presence on the campus of Keuka College, are asked to submit an “Application/Agreement form for Religious Leaders Connected to a Sponsoring Agency” to the College Chaplain. The chaplain will then forward the application to the Spiritual Life Advisory Board. (S.L.A.B.) for review. Religious leaders are required to abide by campus policy and the expectations outlined in our “Ethical Framework.” Failure to comply will result in immediate suspension/termination of the program. Outside religious leaders must submit their application annually.

20. How does an outside group obtain permission to offer services on campus?

1) Connect with the college chaplain
2) Secure, fill out and return the application for special permission for an outside group to offer services on Keuka College Campus.
3) Upon approval of the contract, it will be valid and binding for 1 academic year. Notice: If an outside group is found to have broken any rules set forth by the College, College Officials, and the College Chaplain, the contract can be voided and your group may be asked to leave campus.

21. Can community members/non-Keuka people participate in religious events, are they closed to the off campus community?

Most of the religious events and services offered by the CSL are open to the non-Keuka community. Please check the events on the college calendar to find out when it is appropriate for non-Keuka individuals to attend services. If in doubt, you can always contact the Center For Spiritual Life at 315-279-5377.