After six years of collaboration between the University of Alberta Students’ Union, the Graduate Students’ Association, the Dean of Students and the Vice-President Facilities and Operations, the new multi-faith prayer and meditation space in HUB Mall opened yesterday.
There has been a prayer space located on the third-floor of the Students’ Union Building since 2013, but that space was not large enough to accommodate large groups during busy times such as the lunch hour. The new space in HUB will help alleviate some of the pressures students face in finding adequate prayer space on campus.
"Students balance many activities while on campus, including religious duties and prayers for some of our campus members. With a full course-load, it is tough to find time and space to pray while on campus,” said Fahim Rahman, president of the Students’ Union, who was present at the official opening reception of the prayer space yesterday.
The new prayer space is substantially larger than existing spaces on campus. It contains multiple rooms, the largest of which can accommodate up to 130 people. Smaller rooms are available for interfaith meetings, meditation rituals or religious study, and all the rooms can be booked by students and student groups.
“"Students don't want to be a burden on their classmates or instructors with their religious duties, so having a dedicated space on campus to practice their religion freely will be appreciated. I'm confident this space will make campus seem more like a home for students to learn about their studies and religion, as well as those around them who use the space for various purposes,” said Rahman.
The space is accessible from the main level of HUB, in room 172. It will be open during regular university operating hours. Room bookings are available through the Office of the Dean of Students, here.