by Lita Gaithers | Staff Writer |
After 40 years of assembling at CSUSB, Campus Crusade For Christ’s new president Andrew Farison is leading the organization into a new era with a new name.
Campus Crusade For Christ International announced on July 20, 2011, that they were changing the name of the organization after 60 years.
Starting in 2012, the organization will be known as CRU (pronounced “crew”). According to Farison, “CRU is not an acronym, but CRU became a popular nickname for the organization with its young members. Removing his dark sunglasses, Farison opens up and says “I personally like and support the name change 100 percent, but there are some in my organization that do not like the name change because “Christ” is no longer mentioned in the title.”
The organization responds to its critics on their website CCCI.org which states, “It is true that we care more about effectively proclaiming the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ than we do about having the word “Christ” in our name. The only name that matters is Jesus and what matters most is connecting people to the name that gives life.”
Farison agrees, and is eager to lead his CSUSB campus organization with its new name to a greater commitment of “winning, building, and sending” people into the world for God.
Farison has been attending CSUSB for four years and is majoring in Liberal Arts.
He’s from Yucca Valley, Calif., and his parents are teachers. Farison is the oldest of four and plans to follow in the family tradition as an educator.
“I enjoy being the president of CCCI at CSUSB. I got involved in my freshman year, my second year I got involved in leadership, my third year the past president groomed me for the office, and this year marks my first term as president. We meet in the Sycamore or Panorama Room on Wednesdays on campus in the Lower Commons at 6 p.m. There’s also a satellite meeting on Wednesdays at noon, for those unable to make it in the evening,” said Farison.
When asked about upcoming events Farison said, “We’re planning ‘Operation Christmas Child’ for the second or third week of November. We’ll be asking CSUSB students to donate toys and gifts for our organization to give to children during the holidays. Then there’s ‘Free Hugs for Valentine’s Day.’ We had a table on campus where we gave free hugs away. That was a huge success this year and we’ll do it again next year as well. Also, in the spring of 2012, we’ll celebrate the ‘National Day of Prayer’ at the CSUSB campus flagpole.”
Farison attributes much of his success and the success of CSUSB CCCI to the organization’s advisor Jon Rittenhouse, who’s a professor at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., and a staff member of CCCI for over 30 years.
“Rittenhouse gives all of the messages on Wednesday evenings and provides training and spiritual guidance to all of our members,” said Farison.
With a smile and a soft voice, Farison closed our interview and said, “My goal of the organization on campus is to appeal to as many people as possible, being aware of trends in our culture, and utilizing them to effectively share the gospel of Jesus Christ.”