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Construction of the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values, which will be built in the center of The University of Tampa campus and promises to further strengthen UT students’ academic and personal development, will commence this summer, UT President Ronald L. Vaughn announced Thursday, May 22.

The project, which includes a 250-seat main hall, meeting and meditation rooms, pipe organ, a plaza and 60-bell musical sculpture/fountain, is being built through a multi-million dollar lead gift from John H. and Susan Sykes. The total project is valued at $19.5 million.
Full Article: http://static.ut.edu/public_info/Sykes-Chapel-and-Center-for-Faith-and-Values.cfm
 

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I don't think the university has an official religion or anything. I do agree they should probably take down the cross as not everyone is a Christian.
 

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I don't think the university has an official religion or anything. I do agree they should probably take down the cross as not everyone is a Christian.
Not to mention that it's supposed to provide facilities to varied religious groups including Islamic and Jewish student organizations.

I'm sure some will say that it's not supposed to be a cross; that it's a musical/fountain/sculpture thingamajig. Sure looks like a cross to me, though.
 

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btw what kind of idiot would try to deny that fountain thing resembles a cross?

Just like the chapel itself resembles cruciform architecture, something which I presume isn't the best option for a facility open to all religions and faiths.
 

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I don't find the tower offensive in a religious sense. I'm a Buddhist myself and maybe it's because I choose to see the sculpture as what they want me to see--nonaffiliated--but I don't think it's that obviously a cross.
That said, I am offended as a designer. It's not attractive. It's not pretty. It's not... much of anything, really, but it is quite large and not at all distinguished. To be honest, the chapel looks more specifically Christian (it is clearly informed by Christian sacred architecture) than the tower looks like a cross, and I find that much more disturbing. But that's pretty standard; it's tough to build a truly neutral religious edifice that looks like anything without specifically calling from one faith's traditions or another. I applaud them for making the effort but like most things that are supposed to not reflect anything specific, it doesn't look like much.

It doesn't offend me. It just... fails to be anything meaningful on any level. That's sad.
 

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^I agree they could've come up with some more interesting architecture considering that some of the city's best architecture is on campus or the triangle block to the south. This will come off as bland. But of cousre cost was a factor in limiting quality architecture I'm sure...
 

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This has nothing to do with religion, its entended as a study type thing, in my post about UT expanding it explains what it is meant to be for.
 

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Boo hoo! It's funny how people are so quick to complain if there is anything remotely resembling a Christian symbol on something, but it would be seen by these very same people as very forward thinking if it had included some kind of Shinto design. While UT is not a Christian University, I am going to out on a limb here and venture to guess that the majority of its students are Christian. That it can be used by other faithes is great, but let's be honest here, it's not going to be used by the Zoroastrians. Something that tries to represent everything, represents nothing...just look at that awful excuse for a chapel at TIA. I've seen stores in the mall that have a greater sense of "sacred space" than that compass room or whatever it is suppose to be.
 

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It just looks like a carillon to me. *shrugs* UT actually should be all smiles just from that one feature considering that there's currently only 4 true carillons in the state.
 

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Boo hoo! It's funny how people are so quick to complain if there is anything remotely resembling a Christian symbol on something, but it would be seen by these very same people as very forward thinking if it had included some kind of Shinto design. While UT is not a Christian University, I am going to out on a limb here and venture to guess that the majority of its students are Christian. That it can be used by other faithes is great, but let's be honest here, it's not going to be used by the Zoroastrians. Something that tries to represent everything, represents nothing...just look at that awful excuse for a chapel at TIA. I've seen stores in the mall that have a greater sense of "sacred space" than that compass room or whatever it is suppose to be.
Oh here we go.

Actually, I wouldn't be shocked if Christians didn't comprise a majority of students at UT. A lot of people have no religious affiliation at all.

But the fact of the matter is that this is supposed to be a non-faith specific center. It's intended to cater not just to Campus Crusade and YoungLife, but Hillel and Chabad (Jewish organizations - and I guarantee you there are a number of Jewish students at UT), and an Islamic student association.

This may come as a shock to you, but you do not "own" this country. It's not a Christian Nation which suffers the presence of other people. And I, as a Jew, do not feel comfortable with the "Jesus - love him or go home" attitude you apparently subscribe to. If I paid good tuition money to go to UT (and it is not cheap), I'd be, at the very least, irritated about a giant cross hanging out in the middle of campus at a center that is supposed to be for all religious organizations, and not just the Christian ones.

If UT were affiliated with the Methodists or Episcopalians or Baptists, that would be another story. But it's not - it's a secular school which professes to be building a "faith" center for people of all religious persuasions. If you claim that, and then you build a giant cross sculpture right outside it, you're not being honest.

And hey, while we're at it, I'd like to have a space where I can get away from the hustle and bustle of the airport and recite the Amidah, and it would be nice not to have Christ hanging from a crucifix staring at me while I do so.

It's my country too, and I shouldn't be made to feel like a stranger in public places, or even private ones that claim not to have a religious agenda.
 

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If so, fair enough. I don't think it's the most appropriate form for the structure, but I also don't personally care, and doubt prospective students are going to either. It's a private school, they can build it in whatever shape they want. If people don't like it, go to a different school.

I hope folks don't misconstrue what I said above. Evoking imagery of the cross in the design doesn't make the place somehow 'wrong' ethically speaking, it just doesn't make it what I would consider a remarkable architectural design on the outside. The inside is a different story though... from what I heard (today...lol) the interior will be quite kick ass, and will be worth a visit once completed.


Something I keep thinking every time I see them build something... too bad UT didn't take the opportunity to build their own 'tower of learning', ala the real one in Pittsburgh. I think that would be totally kick ass if UT had a quality high rise on campus. Just one though, so that it is a landmark. I think about 300ft would do the trick. (build it where the library is now)... To help fill the space, they could clear out those shit buildings along the waterfront, to the NE of Plant Hall, and turn that into some nice park space (maybe the city could chip in to preserve it longterm)... I don't think people realize how much the buildings I mention will dull the vista from the new Curtis Hixon Park and the Museums. And especially from the Riverwalk. That's what's at eye level when you look at UT... ugghhh.
 

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As usual Jasonhouse, your insights, perceptions, and suggestions are most appreciated! I wish you were in charge of our city!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Bullshit bullshit bullshit.

Faith and Values. Because those things are exclusively bound. Welcome to the South!

Yeah, it's a tin can cuneiform with a cross in front. Way to promote the study of faiths. If you don't find this to be mind-numbingly offensive (they should call it what it is - a church - and stop pretending to be conscious or thoughtful), you really need to take a whiff of some air outside of our little sunbelt.

I'm probably more peeved than I should be, so don't take this too seriously - but this is sort of ridiculous.
 

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^^ Well. Ya know what they say: if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's chicken! :lol:

"Faith and Values. Because those things are exclusively bound. Welcome to the South!" I run across this a lot... pass the opium! ;)
 

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Did I misread what they are building here? I thought it was "Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values" - notice that the word CHAPEL is in there. If it was just a "Faith & Values Center" then I would agree, but since it includes a chapel - no one should be upset that it actually bears some resemblance to a chapel. Also, if you care to look up the etymology of the word "chapel" - you will discover that it comes from the building used to house the cloak of St. Martin of Tours (a 5th Century bishop) that in fact was used for Christian worship. That of course does not mean that the UT Chapel cannot be used for other groups, but it would be ludicrous to think that atheists are going to be using a chapel. Also, for what it's worth, please do not presume that I am some "Bible-thumper." Reasonable people can disagree without it being an exercise in vitriol or bigotry.
 
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