New coexist club paves way for all-inclusive community

FMU welcomed the addition of the Coexist Club to the school’s student organizations, beginning Feb. 24, 2022.   

Intending to create a safe and accepting space for students on campus, Jamie “Laree” Kuflik, junior graphic design major; Alena Brown, sophomore history major; and Caleb Mahoney, junior mathematics and computation physics double major, decided to create a club of their own.  

“Me and my friends felt like we didn’t really have a place on campus because we are not really Christian or Christian at all,” Kuflik said. “We didn’t have a community where we fit in; we were just here.”  

Kuflik, Brown and Mahoney found inspiration for Coexist from the commonly seen bumper sticker and turned it into something much larger. Kuflik said they wanted to focus on the idea that everyone could exist together with no ill-intent toward one another based on religion or ideology. From there, the group was born.   

“The coexist that you see on cars isn’t an organization, it’s just something people believe in,” Kuflik said. “We just took it one step further and made a club out of it.”  

The club is led by its founders, with Kuflik taking the role as president, Brown filling the vice president position and Mahoney acting as treasurer. Kyle Morgan, assistant professor of political science, will be the club’s faculty advisor. So far, about 20 students have signed up to join.   

Kuflik said, though the club is still new and working to become established, they have big plans for the future. They hope to eventually host events geared toward anyone and everyone and invite guest speakers who are knowledgeable on different topics and religions to speak to the Coexist Club’s members. Kuflik said their goal is not to change anyone’s mind about what they think or feel, but instead to show what is out there to students who are stuck and not sure what they believe.  

“We hope to be able to teach people about different religions and have events and things that bring awareness to different things that are happening, whether it be religion or Pride,” Kuflik said. “We’re really just focusing on the Coexist aspect of the club because not everyone has a god, but everyone still belongs.”  

To officially create the club, Kuflik, Brown and Mahoney went through FMU Student Life. They were required to create a constitution, find a full-time member of FMU to be an advisor and have three officials and seven full-time student members. They also created an agreement sheet for new members saying they must be willing to keep an open mind and not harass anyone for their beliefs or ideas.   

Kuflik said, in the future, they may consider teaming up with other clubs and organizations on campus, but, for now, they are mainly focusing on getting themselves established as a club.   

“So far, we feel good about the progress we have made and where we are headed,” Kuflik said. “We are definitely headed up.”  

Students interested in joining the Coexist Club are encouraged to reach out to either Kuflik or Brown. Currently, the group is on Discord, and they can be found on Snapchat and Instagram They plan to host an in-person meeting in the coming weeks to introduce everyone to one another and get things moving.