Muslim students now have their own private prayer space in the Loft, moving them out of the hallway by the multi-faith prayer rooms where they used to pray.
They will pray in the Loft until the winter semester ends in four weeks. Once spring begins, Muslim students will move back to the old prayer rooms until the Students’ Union and administration find a permanent space for them to pray.
“Once the summer rolls around, prayer space is not a problem because there are so few people on campus,” said SU president Raphael Jacob. “We will have to meet in the summer with all the stakeholders and figure out a solution. I believe the university has a space in mind. They’re working on it right now.”
SU and administration want the new permanent space ready by the 2015 winter semester. Administration has not announced where the new prayer space will be.
The Loft, which is on the third floor of MacHall, is run by Student Enrolment Services (SES), which falls under the control of university administration. Muslims from the community already use the Loft for services on Fridays.
Jacob said the SU agreed to let SES use some of their space, clearing the way for Muslim students.
“All of the SES meetings that had been booked for the Loft will be moving into Conference and Events at the SU,” he said.
Student senate representative Ilyas Gora brought up the lack of Muslim prayer space to the SU in March. He said everyone involved was supportive, and he’s glad to see the move finally happen.
“The situation now is perfect. All our stuff is already there from Friday prayers,” Gora said. “It’s a quiet room in a central location. And now we have that for the rest of the semester, which is perfect.”
Muslim students are currently not allowed to pray in the hallway next to the multi-faith prayer rooms. Signs were put up last week telling the students about the new space in the Loft.