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Thursday May 13, 2004

Student groups plan interfaith Frisbee tournament

`When Cows Fly’ intended to show tolerant religious community


On Saturday and Sunday, UC Davis religious organizations will be coming together to compete in an interfaith Ultimate Frisbee competition, dubbed "When Cows Fly" - a pun on the phrase "when pigs fly."

The competitions will take place on Russell Field from noon to 3 p.m. on both days. On Saturday, students will participate in round-robin games, and the semifinals and finals will be held on Sunday. Teams will be divided according to skill, not religious affiliation.

This event will also feature a barbeque and concert by local band Akimbo, both held at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Davis.

The tournament is the result of mutual concern among UCD religious leaders. According to event organizer Elana Segal, an employee at the Hillel House, the interfaith community has had difficulty coming together in the past. Segal said the leaders of several student religious groups wanted to find a way to bring students of different faiths together socially.

She noted that Ultimate Frisbee seemed appropriate, and that Davis "seems like a Frisbee town."

Jewish Student Union Treasurer Donald Cohen-Cutler said that the simplicity of Ultimate Frisbee keeps the event open to a wide range of players.

Underneath the novelty of the event lies a very real goal, according to Segal.

"I really hope that we're able to build bridges with communities," Segal said. "In times like these, we need to familiarize ourselves with each other so that stereotypes and misconceptions can be put aside."

Senior Samah Sohrab of the Bahai Club echoed Segal's sentiments.

"I think it's a good idea that we get together and play together and become friends and realize that we're not all that different," he said. "Playing together brings about a sense of unity even just among the team members."

Sohrab also said that he believes religion plays an important part in the lives of students. Religion, according to Sohrab, determines people's attitudes and beliefs about themselves, others, and the world. He said that religion is integral in determining one's mindset.

Segal said she also hopes the weekend will show the UCD campus that religious groups are not at odds with one another.

"I think the campus community is really afraid of the religious community, and that's an actual problem," she said. "[I want to] show the UCD campus that this religious community is here to serve and that there is coherence between the groups. It isn't all just politics and problems - we can get together and talk about issues and problems without a political or religious agenda. Positive things can come out of this."

"When Cows Fly" is sponsored by an array of student religious groups. The Club Finance Council and ASUCD also contributed to funding the event.

Registration for the tournament is open until Friday for those interested in competing.

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