Lutheran Campus Center, Student Ministry Intern
Sami is a current senior studying environmental sciences at UW-Madison, and she has worked at the Lutheran Campus Ministry since freshman year. She has been an intern for the past three years, which entails being a student leader and working the desk to greet students.
What do you think is the biggest challenge our community faces?
We do interact with many homeless people who stay here, especially in winter. Because it’s a warm place. We want to support them. But that’s not our primary goal here. Our primary focus is to help college students. We don’t have the resources to direct them. It is sad. So homelessness is a big problem that I've noticed.
What do you wish people in our community understood better?
We are affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church. If you want to share a faith experience you can come here and participate actively. Or you can just come here and have a coffee because it’s a very safe and open space. And the fact that they are religiously connected is not scary. People don’t have to have something to be here. Lutherans operate usually with the idea of grace and that influences us.
What is one change you would make if you could that would make life better for people in our community?
Ideally, if there were unlimited resources so that no one would experience hunger or homelessness, it would be amazing. But I feel like this is not a practical answer. To be honest, if people had more compassion and openness to people in different circumstances, for example, less judgment, I think it would benefit everyone.
What in our community gives you hope?
During the pandemic the campus was not a normal functioning place for pre-COVID activities. And just being here gave us hope that everything would return to normal, as if everything was getting better. During the pandemic, we realized that people really need support, and we can support them.