New RSO hopes to bring domestic and international students together


Mary Newman

Ivy Lu, president of the Buddhist for the World Peace student organization from Taiwan, poses for a portrait Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, outside the Communications building at SIU. (Mary Newman | @MaryNewmanDE)

By Farrah Blaydes , Staff Writer

Mass Communications and Media Arts student Ivy Lu created a newly registered student organization this spring semester in hopes to bring domestic and international students together.

The new RSO is called Buddhists for World Peace.

“World peace is important right now,” Lu said. “With all of us together we can change the world.” 


Buddhists for World Peace is an RSO where students can come together to discuss their obstacles and overcome them together by using Buddhist Literature.

The new RSO is an opportunity for students to explore Buddhism if they haven’t before Lu said. Lu encourages people from all backgrounds to join the RSO.

The Vice President of Buddhists for World Peace Siubhan Stormont, said those wanting to join the RSO don’t need to know anything about Buddhism.

“This isn’t an RSO based on a religion. It’s more of an RSO that follows a particular philosophy that stems from Nichiren Buddhism,” Stormont said.

Nichiren Buddhism is the teaching of hope, Lu said.

“It is a great philosophy, affirming that we possess within ourselves the infinite power to surmount all hardship and breakthrough all obstacles,” Lu said. “Anyone can join, our primary focus is discovering and achieving true happiness through freedom.”

The RSO plans to use Daisaku Ikeda’s Buddhist guidelines for promoting peace, culture and education Lu said.


Ikeda is a Buddhist philosopher, peace builder, educator and author who focuses on the concepts of happiness and world peace. He is the president of Soka Gakkai International, a worldwide Buddhist network which promotes his Buddhist guidelines through personal transformation, according to SGI’s website.

In recognition of his work, Ikeda received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the university in 2006.

Lu said she felt with Ikeda receiving such high honors from the university its important to use his literature as a guideline for promoting the ideas of togetherness, global citizenship and Buddhahood.

Buddhahood is the inherent potential that is referred to as Buddha nature. Buddha nature is a state of life characterized by limitless courage, wisdom, and compassion Lu said.

The RSO plans to do more outside of reading and applying Buddhist literature into the member’s daily lives. One event Buddhist for World Peace will be participating in is SGI-USA Youth Peace Festival on Sept. 29 2018.

The festival is themed “50,000 lions of Justice: Ushering in a new era of hope and respect.”

The festival will occur simultaneously in 9 cities including Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Honolulu, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Phoenix.  

Lu said the primary focus of the festivals is to spread knowledge of the principles of SGI Nichiren Buddhism, promoting peace, and helping one another become better citizens.

Staff writer Farrah Blaydes can be reached at 

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