by Becca Tedesco–
With over 60 religious organizations at Virginia Tech, it is evident that the school cares about its student’s beliefs and backgrounds. One action that Virginia Tech has just taken is the addition of a prayer/meditation section located on the second floor of Squires Student Center.
This section of Squires is utilized by many students of many different religious backgrounds, but one group seems to find it very resourceful. The Muslim Student Association is a group of students that are given the opportunity to “come together in a supportive Muslim environment and seek to educate the local communities about Islam.”
Muslims are required to pray at very specific times each day. According to Islamic Relief USA, there are five times throughout the day that a Muslim is supposed to pray: Dawn, Sunrise, Noon, Afternoon, Sunset and Night. Since Muslims are required to pray so often, this resource is extremely beneficial. Students have a place that they can go during a crazy school day that they feel comfortable praying in. The space provides a clean area with mats; something that a Muslim must have in order to pray.
In addition to a clean area, a Muslim must also have a clean body, which is why they wash their arms, face and hair before going to pray. The area located in Squires has no door, so it is open for use as long as the building is open. Although many Muslim students use it, people of other religious backgrounds that also want to pray also use it. Other people go just to sit in silence or meditate. Who knows, maybe it won’t always be for prayer. Maybe it will become a place where people can open up about their faith to others?