The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Official designated meditation, prayer space to come to Evans

An+all-inclusive+worship+area+in+Evans+Library+is+set+to+open+in+two+to+three+weeks.
Photo by Photo by Tyler Snell

An all-inclusive worship area in Evans Library is set to open in two to three weeks.

Religious and non-religious students will soon have a prayer and meditation room in Evans Library. The room on the fifth floor overlooks the Annex and Central Campus Garage and is set to open in the next two to three weeks.

The room was created after University Libraries administration noticed students creating prayer areas in the library, such as Muslim students worshiping under the stairwell. However, Dean of University Libraries David Carlson said this room will be open to all faiths.

“It was mostly driven by student demand in the sense that we have discovered there were Muslim students, primarily, who created a space of their own in a stairwell in Evans,” Carlson said. “It’s for anybody of any faith as well as people of no faith who simply want to go up there and meditate.”

Pixey Mosley, Associate Dean for Administrative and Faculty Services said the room will allow the spaces currently used by students for prayer and meditation to be used to better enhance a student’s experience at the library.

“We want to be able to provide these spaces but also utilize all the areas of our library,” Mosley said. “I think students will get great use out of this room and will really help improve the culture of the library.”

Architecture professor Anat Geva specializes in sacred architecture and was approached by the library to find the perfect spot to create the prayer and meditation room. Geva said the new room will be a great location for people of all faiths.

“Even though we have an All Faiths Chapel, it’s far away,” Geva said. “If you are studying at Evans for several hours, you have this function and don’t have to drag your stuff to the other side of the campus.”

Muslim students have used the stairwell at Evans to pray in between classes for several years, but graduate student and Class of 2015 Nimrah Riaz said this new room will be a great way for people of all faiths to practice their religions and start a dialogue.

“I’m excited for the conversations that will happen especially at a time when we should get to know each other more,” Riaz said. “We can start those conversations and those friendships.”

The room is lined with windows and Geva said this is something prayer and meditation rooms need in order to rejuvenate those practicing their faith.

“It’s important to have light to lift your spirit,” Geva said. “We found the corner was the southeast corner, and it’s in a secluded area away from the day-to-day life of the library.”

One corner of the room also has a column that will be painted with the word “peace” in 25 languages. Riaz said she is glad the library tackled this initiative and looks forward to using the room in between classes.

“Muslim students have to pray throughout the day and that usually cuts into our classes during the day,” Riaz said. “It’s a great way to show inclusiveness on campus. I’m glad [administration] took the initiative. We didn’t even have to say anything to them. I’m very happy about that.”

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